2014 Ford Fiesta ST Full Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited September 2014 in Ford

image2014 Ford Fiesta ST Full Test

On paper Ford's Fiesta ST is the best sporty subcompact you can buy. We find out if it lives up to the hype in our latest road test.

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  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    Kudos for giving this car some adjustability in the handling but the Ford method of using the brakes as an LSD just makes me cringe. What are the chances of an aftermarket Quaife or Torsen diff with a flash to disable the Ford cop-out software?
  • boff_boff_ Member Posts: 51
    The difference between the Boss 302 and the track pack-equipped Mustang GT amounts essentially to shock and spring selection, different brake lines, exhaust and engine tune, and a fake suede wheel. Yet the Boss is a driver's tool and the GT is not. Okay, then. Perhaps it's the stripes!
  • boff_boff_ Member Posts: 51
    Good question, agentorange. The Ford system makes for a fun street driver, but forget about taking your torque-vectoring hot hatch to the track, where the brakes will be cooked into oblivion within a few laps.
  • s197gts197gt Member Posts: 486
    are the stock seats the same as a stock fiestas?

    i would presume so. how about a $500 upgrade to no name sport seats more suited to this car? it doesn't need recaros...
  • socal_ericsocal_eric SoCalMember Posts: 189
    It's probably a good bet you'll be able to get a Quiafe for it within the next year. As for disabling the electronics, there wouldn't be a need to as they should complement the mechanical diff and it wouldn't be very likely to do since the algorithms live in the ABS controller and not the engine controller. The market to reserve engineer that controller just isn't very likely. ---------------
    Speaking of the electronics, yes they use the braking system and if you track the car may need upgraded (probably pads and fluid at a minimum), but electronics are being used on quite a few cars these days to include rear and all-wheel drive for torque transfer and you're going to see it more and more. It allows the manufacturer to tune the chassis as a whole and get it to do things that would otherwise be difficult… like making a nose heavy front driver easy to rotate and control on the street. ---------------
    A mechanical limited slip in the Fiesta and Focus ST would help put power down better without increasing thermal load on the brakes as much, but if you disabled the electronics and some of algorithms such as the active torque vectoring and curve control (understeer mitigation) it would quite dramatically change the character of the car (you can test this for yourself on the ST by disconnecting an ABS wheel speed sensor to disable it while leaving electronic brake force distribution active).
  • skeezix4meskeezix4me Member Posts: 1
    I was able to drive a Fiesta ST last month and came away very impressed. Aside from the absurdly-bolstered Recaro seats, this little hatch is quite impressive. I’m guessing Ford won’t have a hard time selling as many of these as they can make. With so many of the ‘sport-compacts’ going large (Focus), soft (GTI), bland (Civic Si), or away (Sentra SE-R) it’s nice to see a car like this coming to market that harkens back to the original GTI’s I grew up with. I agree it’s not perfect (back seats that don’t fold flat, and the Recaros reducing rear seat leg space), but for a daily driver that small, fun, and affordable, I think Ford got it right.
  • ebg1222ebg1222 Member Posts: 1
    Hey Edmunds, are you guys planning to get one of these little rockets for your long-term test cars? i hope so.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,267
    My mom has a Fiesta SES and it can fit 3 adults, so it's pretty practical.
    ST sounds a bit too hardcore for me.
    How about a GT version with a 1.5 and a 6 speed?
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • engineer_mbaengineer_mba Member Posts: 11
    Every front-wheel-drive performance car deserves a helical limited slip differential to maximize performance and complete the overall package. With that said, I am very disappointed with the availability of helical differentials. Car manufacturers only offer them as OEM equipment very rarely. Aftermarket manufacturers (Quaife, Wavetrac, Torsen, etc.) only offer a limited selection of available differentials for certain cars. You would think that with modern technology and computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM), a differential manufacturer should be able to produce a single helical differential "made to order" for a specific customer based on the make, model and specifications of the customer's car for a reasonable price. Instead, differential manufacturers only make helical differentials in large "batches" for a select few car models in order to maximize profitability. With modern technology, I think that manufacturers should be able to do better.
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    @engineer_mba just because you can't buy one at a store doesent mean you can't buy one give the company a call most of the big name brands will do a special order (eaton is one of them) it will cost 3x as much for the part but if it's that important to yo
  • engineer_mbaengineer_mba Member Posts: 11
    bassrockerx - Thanks for the tip. I will see what I can find.
  • socal_ericsocal_eric SoCalMember Posts: 189
    The transaxle used and the volume from many different market make it pretty likely we'll see some different options if you're specifically looking at a Fiesta ST. It would be great if you could easily buy helical gear, automatic torque biasing diffs or other types for all cars but the machining of the carrier (which isn't too difficult) isn't so much a problem as having to research, develop and cut/machine the custom ring gear, bearing and race design to mate up to each transmission, and also possibly alter the pinions and internal gears to fit a specific carrier as well as any changes in the design to alter the torque transfer characteristics for each specific application.-------------
    I'd agree that it would be nice for more cars to have them, especially high power front drivers, but from the automaker's standpoint the investment and uptake rate unfortunately aren't high enough to justify it in most cases (especially in this end of the segment although luxury cars like higher end BMWs are turning to electronics solutions instead of mechanical as well). At least with time the ABS, braking, electronics and tuning abilities should improve like all technologies but could still complement a mechanical solution for the best of both worlds.
  • rob204rob204 Member Posts: 5
    This is kinda old now, but having looked it over, KUDOS to Ford for this car. It's too small for me, but if you want a new corner carver on the cheap, this thing costs literally about 8 thousand less than a Miata and while it has no removable top, it makes the Miata look like a Matchbox car for real in terms of technology. Mazda is supposedly finally doing a new one.

    Also, I saw the comment on Mustang GT Track Pack vs BOSS and I can tell everyone, the differences are IMMENSE overall This isn't the place to debate it, but please, just look them up and study for a few minutes. They're very, very different overall.
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