GRR Garage: Is the Fiesta ST all the hot-hatch you could ever need?

21st June 2019
Seán Ward

The last time I wrote about the ST it was after a four-day, 1,000-mile adventure to Spa Francorchamps for the Spa Classic. Sadly, my adventures since have been had a little more locally, but more time in one of the best hot hatchbacks ever made can hardly be reason for complaint.


Swapping the roads around Spa for the lanes of Sussex is, in places, a little disappointing. There are several craters on my commute in to the Motor Circuit that wouldn’t look out of place on the moon, holes in the ground that could prove fatal to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport 205/40 R18 tyres, or cleave away a chunk of alloy from the 18-inch wheels.

On the other hand, the road’s imperfections prove just how polished the ST is, and how good some of the local roads really are.

Firstly, despite being labelled a ‘hot hatch’ the ST is, ultimately, still a Ford Fiesta, and that is in no way meant to be derogatory. Even with the larger, optional 18-inch wheels (a £425 option over the standard 17-inchers) the ST doesn’t ruin your back or distribute whatever drink you’ve put in the cupholder all over the floor. It’s firmer, for sure, but there’s a ride quality in the Fiesta that some hot hatch manufacturers just can’t replicate; firm and unforgiving does not a hot hatchback make.


Secondly, the ST turns simple, relatively mundane journeys into journeys to get excited about. The incoming Mercedes A45 AMG’s four-cylinder engine, for example, will produce 415bhp. Granted, in size at least the Mercedes would better rival a Focus, but ultimately it can still be considered a hot hatch. But on those quick trips over to Goodwood, would I really be able to have more fun in something like the Merc? I’m confident a morning blast in the A45 would be absolutely hilarious, but joy can be found in the Fiesta at almost any speed, whether the road is fast and wide or slow and technical.


The ST has, quite honestly, left me wondering if you actually need any more car. Its limits are attainable and not at all scary, and in many ways it captures the spirit of the hot hatch better than anything else out there. Forget the double-clutch gearboxes and the four-wheel-drive systems, simplicity and approachability is king. It’s here that the ST excels.

Photography by Pete Summers.

  • Ford

  • Fiesta

  • GRR Garage

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