2014 Ford Fiesta ST – Four Seasons Wrap-Up

Miles to Date: 21,436

Long-Term 2014 Ford Fiesta Update: Fall 2015 ( 5 of 5 ) Miles to date: 21,436

We’re hooligans at heart. You probably are too. Think of the feeling you get in your stomach when you’re bombing down your favorite back road or slicing through traffic on the freeway or doing a burnout in a parking lot. Cars that encourage this sort of behavior put a smile on our face, and when we first drove the Ford Fiesta ST we grinned from ear to ear. Its ever-eager personality hooked us immediately, and we knew we needed a Four Seasons test to spend more time with this hot-hatch firecracker.
To create the ST, Ford fitted its prosaic, $15,000 Fiesta subcompact with a 197-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a fantastic six-speed manual transmission—the only transmission available, amen—and a taut, track-ready suspension, all as standard equipment. This Performance Blue car came with only two options: a $795 navigation upgrade for the standard MyFord Touch infotainment system and $1,995 heavily bolstered, heated Recaro front seats. All said, it stickered for just $25,015. The performance and excitement you get for that pittance is absolutely astonishing.

“The ST is a hungry little speed gremlin always whispering for you to rev a little higher, brake a little later, and turn in a little harder,” said daily news editor Eric Weiner after his first drive in the car. Daily news editor Jake Holmes wasted no time taking the ST to an SCCA autocross driving school. “The Fiesta ST is a nimble weapon on these figure eights and slalom courses,” said Holmes. “It is incredibly well balanced, with sharp turn-in and tons of front-end grip.”

Other staffers soon took the little Fiesta to more autocrosses and a few open track days, heaping on praise and calling the car a “high-energy funster that encourages you to cut loose completely.” Even when we pulled out of the paddock and onto public roads, the playful Ford Fiesta ST had us driving with abandon. “It’s the kind of car that makes you feel like you’re 16 years old again,” contributor Marc Noordeloos said after jumping over railroad tracks and pulling handbrake turns in parking lots.
Good luck fitting this much junk in the Subaru BRZ’s trunk—staff photographer Patrick M. Hoey managed to 
cram all of his equipment into 
the ST on a road trip through the Midwest.
The spankings soon caught up to the car, and we started feeling vibrations at highway speeds and hearing clunking noises from the rear suspension. The mix of low-profile tires, a stiff chassis, and driving on Michigan’s scarred roads bent three wheels and blew out both rear suspension dampers, and we were out $1,925. We reluctantly settled down and soon realized that the sheer amount of fun we’d been having blinded us to some of the Fiesta ST’s major flaws.
You won’t find any dual clutches or paddle shifters here—a good old six-speed manual is the only transmission choice.
Complaints cropped up about the cramped rear seats and the awkward driving position, and the poorly designed pedal box came under fire for making heel-and-toe shifting near impossible. The throttle is significantly farther back than the brake pedal, so we spent $50 on a 3-D-printed throttle pedal spacer we found online. (It helped but didn’t fix the problem.)

With the rear seats folded, there’s only 25.4 cubic feet of cargo space—more than most sports cars, but hardly competitive among other subcompact hatchbacks—and we disliked the MyFord Touch infotainment screen, which has such a small display that you really should be stopped to safely use some of the tiny buttons. Voice commands make things easier once underway, and all Fiestas now get Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system, which should resolve many of our qualms.
The only real symptoms of the ST’s humble roots are found inside, where an awkward seating position makes it hard to get comfortable.
And yet, we still had a glint in our eye for the ST. It was easy to forgive and forget these annoyances as soon as we downshifted to squirt through gaps in traffic or chucked the ST into a tight corner. Holmes noted, “The Fiesta ST always makes a bad first impression when I haven’t driven it in a while. But after about two minutes of driving, I remember why I adore this car. It’s so willing, so eager, so desperate to play hard.”
Our stock Fiesta ST needed only upgraded wheels and tires to conquer a winter rally stage alongside its rally-prepped twin, below.
The memories of bent wheels and blown shocks faded, and we got back to doing what both we and the Fiesta ST do best: playing hard. With winter coming, we picked up a set of Bridgestone Blizzak tires from Tire Rack just before two editors took the Fiesta ST to an ice-racing event on a frozen lake in northern Michigan. Racing went off without a hitch, but when exiting the course, we ran over a snow-covered boulder that ripped off a side rocker. The cosmetic damage didn’t stop senior editor Chris Nelson from taking the Fiesta to the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in Salem, Missouri. There he met up with professional driver Andrew Comrie-Picard, who won the 2014 Rally America two-wheel-drive championship in his own modified Fiesta ST. The two tried their damnedest to push the Ford beyond its breaking point, splashing through ice-covered creeks, jumping over cattle grates, and going flat out along rally-stage roads, but nothing broke the car. “An economical hatch shouldn’t be good at everything, but not even imitating rally drivers shattered the ST,” said Nelson, slightly disappointed.

We finished off our Four Seasons test with one final romp at—you guessed it—yet another autocross. And once again, the Fiesta made us smile in a way we’d never expect at this price point. It threaded through cones with the same unbridled energy we remembered from when we first fell in love with it.
Even after the worst whupping we’ve put on a long-term car in a long, long time, this Fiesta ST wanted to keep playing. We did too, and some editors even browsed local dealer listings for new Fiesta STs, desperate to continue the love affair even after the car left our Four Seasons fleet. We’ll miss the way the Ford combines performance and practicality in an affordable package, how it turns every drive into something exciting and joyful. But we’ll miss it most because it always encouraged our inner delinquent to come out and play.

Pros & Cons

+ Fun, eager personality
+ Unbeatable excitement per dollar
+ More practical than any sports car
– Awkward driving position
– Bouncy ride
– Cramped interior

2014 Ford Fiesta ST Running Costs

3-yr/36,000-mi bumper-to-bumper
5-yr/60,000-mi powertrain
5-yr rust perforation
5-yr/60,000-mi roadside assistance
Scheduled Maintenance
7,022 mi: Oil change, oil filter replaced, $46.17
18,761 mi: Oil change, oil filter replaced, brake inspection, $77.36
Warranty Repairs
5,552 mi: Purchase, mount, and balance Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires, $764
5,684 mi: Repair bent front left wheel, $135
7,022 mi: Replace bent left front, left rear, right rear wheels; replace two rear shock absorbers, $1,926.62
9,157 mi: Purchase, mount, and balance Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 winter tires, $591.24
19,153 mi: Purchase, paint, and install replacement rocker sill, $683.31
19,290 mi: Replace cracked front windshield, $345
Fuel Consumption:
EPA city/highway/combined:
29/40/33 mpg
Observed: 28.6 mpg
Cost Per Mile
(Fuel, service, winter tires)
($1.39 including depreciation)
Trade-In Value
*Estimate based on information from Intellichoice

  • Our Test Results
  • 0–60 mph 6.4 sec
  • 60-0 mph 104 ft
  • 1/4–mile 14.9 sec @ 94.6 mph
  • Skidpad 0.90 g


  • Body style 4-door hatchback
  • Accommodation 5-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest.) $22,225
  • As tested $25,015


  • Engine 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
  • Displacement 1.6 liters (97 cu in)
  • Power 197 hp @ 6350 rpm
  • Torque 202 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm
  • Transmission 6-speed manual
  • Drive front-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 26/35/29 (city/hwy/combined)


  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.3 turns
  • Turning circle 35.5 ft
  • Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear Torsion beam, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented discs
  • Wheels 17-inch aluminum
  • Tires Bridgestone Potenza RE050A
  • Tire size 205/40R-17 84W


  • Headroom F/R 39.1/37.2 in
  • Legroom F/R 42.2/31.2 in
  • Shoulder room F/R 52.7/49.0 in
  • Wheelbase 98.0 in
  • Track F/R 57.0/57.0 in
  • L x W x H 160.1 x 67.8 x 57.2 in
  • Passenger capacity 85.1 cu ft
  • Cargo capacity (rear seats up/down) 10.1/25.4 cu ft
  • Weight 2742 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 60.1/39.9%
  • Fuel capacity 12.4 gal
  • Est. fuel range 360 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)


  • standard equipment

    • Automatic climate control
    • Sync w/MyFord Touch
    • HD radio
    • SiriusXM satellite radio w/trial subscription
    • Keyless entry and ignition
    • Aluminum sport pedals
    • Rear spoiler
    • 17-inch aluminum wheels
    • Sport suspension
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
    • Tilt steering wheel
    • Automatic halogen headlights
    • Fog lights
    • Cloth-trimmed sport seats
    • Interior ambient lighting
    • Floor mats
    • Sony audio system
    • Cruise control
    • 60/40-split folding rear seats
    • Hill-start assist


  • options for this vehicle:

    • Recaro package- $1995
    • Heated Recaro front seats
    • Heated exterior mirrors
    • Navigation- $795