Finalist Ford Fiesta ST – Best Sports Car Under $100K 2021
August 5, 2021
Light, nimble and a huge amount of fun, the Ford Fiesta ST is as pure a hot hatch as you could want.
The direct steering and impressive chassis setup are well balanced with the turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, to provide an entertaining drive experience both around town or around a track.
You need to work it hard to get the most performance, with peak power of 147kW at 6000rpm and 290Nm torque at 4000rpm, but the snarling exhaust goads you all the way there, with pops and crackles rewarding any late change.
We found that the Fiesta was more fond of dry rather than wet surfaces, with the front-driver naturally understeering when pushed, but the naturally entertaining lift-off oversteer kept all the judges amused, regardless of conditions.
It’s $32,290 price point makes it easily the most affordable of our finalists (near a third the price of the AMG or Supra GTS), but things like halogen high-beam headlamps and some basic interior trim components do serve as reminders of the car’s positioning. That said, the seats are tremendously comfortable, even if the car is cozy inside!
Like many cars with a well sorted chassis, as willing as the engine is, it could do with a little more oomph at the top end and more response off boost, to be a real standout in the hot-hatch stakes.