What Is It?
The 2018 Ford Fiesta ST is a refreshed version of the sporty Fiesta ST hatchback that initially went on sale for the 2014 model year. Although the Fiesta ST isn’t yet getting a full redesign, the small car is making some big changes next year — including a completely new engine.
That new engine is a bit unconventional. Replacing last year’s 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, it’s a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder — making the Fiesta ST maybe the first modern performance car with a 3-cylinder engine. But despite the engine’s smaller size, it offers the same 197 horsepower as today’s model, along with more torque: 214 lb-ft, versus the current ST’s 202. Nonetheless, the 2018 Fiesta ST will offer roughly the same performance as the outgoing model, with a 0-to-60 time of 6.7 seconds.
Other changes are less drastic. The 2018 Fiesta ST touts an updated exterior design, with revisions confined primarily to the front end, the rear end, and the wheels. The ST will also gain cylinder deactivation, for improved gas mileage, a new active exhaust system with “Electronic Sound Enhancement” and extra driver-selectable drive modes. Of course, inside, the new ST will also offer the latest version of Ford’s SYNC infotainment system.
Ford hasn’t announced pricing, but we don’t expect a huge increase from today’s starting MSRP of around $22,000.
When Can You Get It?
Later this year.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
If you’re looking for a performance hot hatch without breaking the bank, the Fiesta ST is your car. With a starting price of around $22,000 — a figure not likely to increase much for 2018 — the Fiesta ST offers more bang for your buck than virtually any other car. And while it’s down on power compared to other hot hatch models, including Ford’s own Focus ST, none offer the nimble feel of the Fiesta ST — especially for the money.
Other Cars to Consider
FIAT 500 Abarth — The tiny FIAT 500 Abarth offers excellent styling and an amazing exhaust note — but it doesn’t boast the practicality of the larger Fiesta ST. It also doesn’t have as much power as the Ford.
MINI Cooper S — the MINI Cooper S is more expensive than the Fiesta ST, but also more luxurious on the inside. The Cooper S also offers sharp handling and an iconic design.
Used Ford Focus ST — If you like the Fiesta ST but you want more power or performance, the Focus ST is the one to get. But since it’s bigger and faster, it’s also more expensive — so you may want to consider a used model.
Used Volkswagen GTI — If you like the Fiesta ST but you want a larger vehicle and some additional amenities, consider the Volkswagen GTI. It touts a well-crafter interior and a torquey turbocharged 4-cylinder engine — but its higher price means you may want to consider a used model.