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Fiesta ST Named “Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car”

Added: 16 May 2019

Everyone at Day’s Ford was excited to hear the news that the Fiesta ST has been named as “Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car” at the Autocar Awards. It’s a title which we can fully endorse, having admired the hot hatch ourselves for some time now!

It seems that the team at Autocar have a similar relationship with the pocket rocket. Late last year, they staged a showdown to find out which sub-£30,000 sports car offered the best blend of practicality and performance.

The Fiesta ST took on the likes of the Mini Cooper S, Suzuki Swift Sport, Toyota Yaris GRMN, Volkswagen Up GTI, BBR Mazda MX-5, Hyundai i30 N, and last but not least, the Renault Megane RS 280 Cup. Of course, it was always the Fiesta ST that would come out ahead of the pack.

The Autocar team described the Fiesta ST as having an “infectious, bubbling enthusiasm for getting around corners in ridiculously agile fashion.”

So, what makes the Fiesta ST so special?

It all started with a ‘Mk8’ Fiesta, which is 71mm longer than the ‘Mk7’. The Ford Performance in-house tuning team went wider again on that driven axle, ending up with a whopping 48mm increase on track compared with that of the old Fiesta ST.

The team then added the most direct steering rack to be fitted to a front-driven Ford, along with a limited-slip differential - the first to be offered on any Fiesta hot hatchback. Supplied by Quaife, it works in tandem with a brake-actuated electronic torque vectoring system. It automatically biases the torque across the axle to the wheel with the most grip, reducing wheelspin and slip.

When it comes to suspension, the Fiesta ST combines MacPherson style struts at the front and a torsion beam at the back. Tenneco RC1 dampers can then switch between soft and firm settings, depending on the road surface, allowing for a more supple ride quality than past ST models.

According to Autocar...

“The new car is considerably more comfortable than the old one was around town, it retains a slightly restive ride on the motorway and has reactive vertical body control over really tough B-road Tarmac.”

Under the bonnet is an all-new, all-aluminium, 1497cc three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which produces peak outputs of 197bhp at 6000rpm and 214lb ft, and transient ‘overboosted’ torque of 236lb ft. It’s the world’s first three-pot automotive engine that can switch onto two-cylinder running under low load conditions.

Why did the Autocar team choose the Fiesta ST?

The Autocar judges took the ST onto a track to test the handling and confirmed that “the new model still does that curiously addictive thing of seeming to yaw about its centre point and roll onto its outer edge in perfect, exquisite unison the instant you turn into a corner.”

“It leans and rolls as one and at exactly the same rate, so from behind the wheel you feel as though you are swooping through bends, or driving on gravel.”

You might think that all hot hatchbacks handle like this, but it’s just not true. At Day’s Ford, we believe that the Fiesta ST is something special.

As the Autocar team says, “It may be an ST and not an RS fast Ford, but this Fiesta certainly doesn’t want for the sheer grip, traction, power or body control it needs to be taken seriously by the circuit-driving fraternity”

Justifying their decision for naming the Fiesta ST as “Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car”, the Autocar team concluded...

"There isn’t another front-driven performance car in striking distance of this Ford’s £19k starting price that offers nearly as much driver appeal.”

Are you tempted by the ST? Want to get behind the wheel and experience it for yourself?

>> Click here to test drive the Fiesta ST

>> Click here to find your nearest Day’s Ford branch

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