2015 Ford Fiesta ST – The Go-Kart on Steroids. Yes, It’s Cliché

2015 Ford Fiesta ST

And she’ll have fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the ST away. Isn’t that how the song goes? If not, I am taking the liberty to adapt it because the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST totally deserves it. Don’t tell the Beach Boys. 

When I said I was picking up that little red 2015 Ford Fiesta ST parked right there, everyone had the same reaction: “Oh you’re going to have so much fun.” Either that or “I haven’t driven it yet.” I was pretty confident I was in for a treat because that’s what I enjoy driving the most: agile, nervous, little cars. Plus, I hadn’t touched a manual transmission in over a month, since I had left my own personal car behind to take on my role as a journalist with the difficult, difficult task of testing a different car every week. Someone’s got to do the dirty work. And after a series of automatic transmissions and CVTs, going back to a three-pedal setup felt like I was a junkie getting a free pass to her chemically-induced nirvana. Or should I say mechanically-induced.

What do you get when you put a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine in a 1,200kg car? A lot of fun. The small engine block is not meant to go crazy fast. In fact, at a normal cruising speed of 120 km/h, the 197-hp rated engine will send the rpms pointer flying up to 3,000 quite easily. The real fun lies in the 202 lb-ft of torque the turbo engine has in store and in the fact that it teams up really well with the 6-speed manual transmission for instant accelerations, even when you’re already zipping down the highway. The title of the article might have given it away already,  but the car handles like a go-kart. I know the comparison is a little cliché, but trust me, there has hardly been a better one. You feel well grounded and the body roll isn’t significant enough to discourage you from tackling any corner with all the enthusiasm and/or optimism your heart desires. You are in a Recaro seat, the car is low, nimble, you feel its weight in the steering. Not uncomfortably so, just enough to feel that you are in control. Like a go-kart, without the bunch of testosterone-packed teenagers playing Schumacher and ramming you into a wall trying to pass in a corner. True story.

The advantage you have over a go-kart is obviously that the Fiesta ST can be driven on the street, and that it comes with many great features. The version I drove came with all the convenience you can expect from a $28,500 car. Such features include voice activated navigation, SYNC infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, rear view camera, wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, keyless access and push button start, the MyKey feature that recognizes the key in use and allows you to set up reminders and speed limits specific that key, ambient colored lighting (I chose red because it matched the color of the car), heated, leather and cloth, Recaro seats, etc.

You will have guessed that this car won’t be your ride of choice should you have the whole family to drive around. It will comfortably sit two and less comfortably sit four. So don’t get cocky: this car is all about the driver. Provided you’re no taller than 5’8″. The cockpit is very snug so if you have a history of claustrophobia, you might not be at ease in that teeny weeny compact hatchback. You can always give yourself a chance to breath better and opt for the Ford Focus ST. The 285-liter cargo volume of the Fiesta ST will accommodate the equivalent of a purse and three grocery bags. In case of dire need, the volume triples to 720 liters with the second row of seats bent down, so you will still be able to proceed to your weekly Ikea razzia.

You want the stripes? You have to pay for them. You don’t want them? Don’t get them. They are a dead giveaway that you don’t plan to drive this car quietly. Lucky for you, you have the option of going incognito, and other than the ST badge, nobody will know that your Fiesta can actually kick some behinds. I have to say that I like what Ford is doing with their lineup when it comes to design. This seventh generation of the model received a facelift about two years ago and it still looks awesome. Yes. Seventh generation. The model has been around for almost 40 years! And it’s been aging gracefully. My editor asked me about the ST and whether I would recommend he buys it. My reply was that if he was willing to trade some fuel economy (8.6 liters/100km on average) for some pure driving fun, then yeah. He should absolutely go for it. I won’t lie: you will have to compromise with the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST. But if after an introspection, you are willing to deal with its flaws, then treat yourself. You deserve it.

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Sabrina is a woman who loves cars, but hates writing her own biography.

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