Why the Ford Fiesta ST should be pulled from sale

Dear Ford Motor Company, please do the honourable thing and pull the Ford Fiesta ST from sale. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant car. In fact, it could be one of the best cars of the decade. No, the problem is, the Fiesta ST has taken a plough through the level playing field and rendered all other new car reviews obsolete.

Allow me to explain.

It’s now impossible to review a new car costing less than £20,000 without referencing the Ford Fiesta ST. For most conclusions, you can simply cut and paste one of the following two lines:

Spend a couple of grand more and you can buy the sublime Ford Fiesta ST

Or,

That’s a few grand more than the Ford Fiesta ST, which is more fun and better value for money

We’re getting to the stage where the answer to just about every question is “the Ford Fiesta ST”. Other carmakers may as well shut up shop and consider moving into the manufacture of pepper mills. Or tractors.

Take the Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam. I was fortunate enough to take one by the scruff of the neck and chuck it along Route Napoleon earlier in the month. It was good. In fact, it was very good. Proper junior hot hatch thrills with just enough power to entertain. The 148bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is properly rapid, the car corners sharply and the ride quality – in France at least – was exceptional.

Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam in Forget About the Grey

So you begin thinking of it as a rival to PetrolBlog’s favourite – the Suzuki Swift Sport. That is until you look at the price. Vauxhall is asking £16,995 for the Adam Grand Slam, which is a lot. But once you’ve added the must-have Recaro seats, IntelliLink system and metallic paint on the test car, the price rockets to £19,425.

Which is £30 – or half a tank of fuel – more than the top-spec Ford Fiesta ST3. Good lord.

Rear of Ford Fiesta ST

And don’t think I’m picking on the Vauxhall Adam – a car I genuinely like. The Ford Fiesta ST has also killed the Renaultsport Clio (although Renault also played a big part in its demise) and Peugeot must be rueing the day Ford launched the Fiesta ST. Although friend of PetrolBlog, Antony Ingram, tells me the new 208 GTI 30th Anniversary actually beats the Fiesta. Which is a big call.

Hot hatches aren’t the only cars to suffer from Fiesta ST comparisons. I was driving the new Jeep Renegade last week – PetrolBlog review to follow soon. The petrol-engined Renegade I was driving cost over twenty-four-and-a-half-grand. Clearly, the Fiesta ST and Renegade aren’t battling on the same forecourt, but you can’t help but use the price-value-brilliance test, of which the Fiesta ST is the past master. And using the Fiesta ST as a gauge, the Renegade seems incredibly pricey.

Jeep Renegade on the beach

Soon we’ll be judging all cars against the Ford Fiesta ST. The Rolls-Royce Ghost? It’s good, but you can have ten Ford Fiesta STs for the same price. The BMW 7-Series? Sure, it’s a quality motor, but wouldn’t you rather save £40,000 and opt for the Fiesta ST?

It is the answer to every question. What’s the capital of France? The Ford Fiesta ST. Who should be the next presenter of Top Gear? The Ford Fiesta ST. Name five famous Belgians. Er… Well, almost every question.

And its presence isn’t limited to conversations about cars. Maybe you’re considering adding a conservatory to the rear of your house. All is going well until you receive the estimate for £20,000. At which point you’ll turn to your other half and say, “hang on, that’s the same price as a top-spec Fiesta ST, could we add that to the back of the house instead?”

Or perhaps you’re planning a lavish wedding, which will inevitably cost much, much more than the price of the world’s best hot hatch. So you catch a train to Gretna Green and book the function room at your local cricket club instead. Sorted.

2015 Ford Fiesta ST

Play fair, Ford. Either raise the price of the Fiesta ST or pull it from sale for a few months. Give the other chaps a chance. It’s the right thing to do.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

16 comments

  1. March 25, 2015
    Rob

    Yes ….. nut £20k for a fiesta…. granted thats not a shocking as £20k for a friggy Vauxhall Adam (nee. Fiat 500) but still £20k!!!!

    Reply
    • March 25, 2015
      Gavin Big-Surname

      Normally I’d agree with you. But the Fiesta ST is worth every penny. Prices start at just over £17,000.

      Granted, it’s a lot for a Fiesta. But – without wishing to paraphrase M&S – this is more than just a Fiesta!

      Reply
  2. March 30, 2015
    Ed

    could be…but every time i sit in a Fiesta it instantly reminds me of where the money has been saved. Yes, I know it’s all about the driving dynamics etc etc. but to live with, the Ford’s interior is a cr*ppy place to be. An ergonomic nightmare with confusing sproutings of buttons taken from a Motorola Razor mobile phone…Not a patch on the newer-generation 208 for quality feel. These things matter when you use your car every day.

    Reply
    • March 30, 2015
      Gavin Big-Surname

      Fair points.

      Have to agree that the 208 GTI’s interior is better. If the reports on the 30th Anniversary edition are to be believed, it might just topple the ST.

      That said – and I’m not just saying this – I never thought about the interior once during my week with the car. Sure, over a period of several weeks and months, it could become an issue. But based on pure driving fun and overall feel, it’s hard to fault.

      Swings and roundabouts I guess. After a day of driving a 208 GTI on the roads of North Wales, I was left feeling disappointed. But after two weeks of real-world driving, I began to see the appeal.

      Would still take the ST, mind! :-p

      Reply
  3. April 2, 2015
    EndlessWaves

    The exterior doesn’t do much either. The fiesta design isn’t too strong to begin with and doing a Volvo-style brake-disks-and-roof-spoiler makeover for the ST hasn’t much improved it.

    The best looking current shape fiesta I’ve seen is the 2010 RS WRC model that was shown at Paris 2010:
    http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plik:Ford_Fiesta_RS_WRC.jpg

    The ST would really benefit if it was offered with those sort of looks.

    Reply
  4. April 16, 2015
    Mike Owen

    While I see where you are coming from here and it gave me a good chuckle. Also totally agree with your comment “But based on pure driving fun and overall feel, it’s hard to fault. ”

    But … Bottom line is … that not everyone wants one. In my case it was the appalling low speed ride and the lack of 4-doors that killed it off.

    Reply
  5. April 19, 2015
    Pete

    Do you in the UK have deals through COSTCO to get cars cheaper if you’re a member. Here in the States, I got mine for less than $20,000. A steal! It’s the best car I’ve owned and I’m in my mid 60’s!

    Reply
    • April 22, 2015
      Mike Owen

      Unluckily not available in the UK for that sort of money. Though there are still decent discounts to be had if you shop about, it is a Ford after all (no insult intended to the car here).

      We also don’t get the 5 door that’s available in the USA either! Might have swung it for me if it did.

      Still rather like my RS Clio EDC, even if no one else does.

      PS. I wonder if the ride gets tuned differently for the States???

      Reply
  6. April 23, 2015
    Everything Motoring

    Why do I always feel like the USA get more bang for their buck. 5 door availability and for that price seems like good value to me.

    Reply
    • January 12, 2016
      Bettino

      In México is even cheaper, just got mine 16 model, only one version for sale 5 door with recaros and sunroof, only options not available are GPS and reverse camera all for $18,000USD.

      Reply
  7. May 26, 2015
    Jennings Ford Direct

    They are filtering through as Used cars now on Ford Direct =
    http://www.jenningsforddirect.co.uk/cars/ford/fiesta/series/st/

    14 and a half for an ST2 with under 7k miles looking feisty in black.

    We are getting good demand for used ST’s thats for sure.

    Oh tea and biscuits on delivery van for petrolblog staff if they dont block this comment for being to advertorial!!

    Reply
    • June 17, 2015
      Gavin Big-Surname

      Nope, you’re good! Keep promoting good value used Fiesta STs!

      Looking forward to the tea and biscuits. Hobnobs, of course! 😉

      Reply
  8. January 2, 2016
    Brad

    There are so many though they are like pylons now..

    For the same price you can get a Focus St-2 now for £19k after discount.. I’d rather have that.. When you consider that, the fiesta is expensive.

    Great car.. But on that scale id go for a corsa VXR with performance pack for the same price (brakes, lsd, coilovers)

    Reply
  9. January 2, 2016
    Kyle

    Rather than fiesta lowering their price, why don’t greedy companies lower theirs!? #teamfiesta

    Reply
  10. January 4, 2016
    Wilfredo

    We don’t see many of them in the states. I’ve had mine for 5 months and have only seen 2 others.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2016
      Susanna

      Depends where you live, in KC we have a nice amount of them, I’m in a meet up group with 15-20 other FiSTs.

      Reply

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