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Ford Fiesta ST hatchback (2013-2017) - Engines, drive & performance

Without a doubt, the Ford Fiesta ST is one of the most entertaining small hot hatchbacks on sale

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Without a doubt, the Ford Fiesta ST is one of the most entertaining small hot hatchbacks on sale. For that you can thank the powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and the way its suspension has been set up. The more powerful ST200 is a little expensive but is destined to go down as one of the truly great fast Fords due to its pace and handling prowess. The car generates so much grip that you feel confident pushing it along a twisty road that would make you slow down in one of its rivals.

Ford Fiesta ST petrol engine

Power comes from a 180bhp 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that gets the Fiesta from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 139mph. It sounds great, and although purists might not like the synthesised noise that’s pumped into the cabin via a tube under the bonnet, this gives the car a sporty note that fits perfectly with its image.

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You might want to see if you can live with that noise, though. It’s entertaining for short journeys, but if you’re planning frequent long motorway drives, you might be left with the engine note zinging in your ears.

But if you’re happy with that and hungry for more power, you have the option of the ST200 version, which can produce 212bhp thanks to an overboost function and comes with suspension upgrades to make it even more fun to drive. The ST200 can get from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and top speed increases from 139 in the standard ST to 143mph.

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An alternative is the Ford-endorsed tuning pack developed by specialist firm Mountune. Unlike most aftermarket tuning packs, it can be fitted at your local Ford dealer and doesn’t affect the manufacturer’s standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty. The pack costs around £600, excluding fitting, although that only takes an hour and cuts the 0-62mph time to 6.4 seconds. You don't, however, get the gearbox and steering tweaks that you get with the more expensive ST200.

You don’t have to get the Mountune pack fitted when you buy the car – you can go back to the dealer and have it added at any time.

There are also a range of parts from Ford Performance. The dealer-fit options include lightweight alloy wheels and coilover strut and shock absorber kits which come pre-assembled to enable your Ford dealer to fit them quickly.

Take the Fiesta ST down a challenging back road and you’ll understand why the car has such a stiff ride. Drive through a fast corner and there’s very little body lean to speak of, giving you plenty of confidence to drive quickly. Enthusiasts will also be happy to see the Fiesta gets a manual gearbox rather than an automatic transmission like the one in the Renault Clio RS, while the responsive steering is simply the icing on the cake.

Although there are three models in the standard range (ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3) they differ only on equipment and all offer an identical driving experience. You won’t be disappointed.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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