The secret diary of a motoring journalist aged 39¾'ish


7th January 2019

This feisty Fiesta has been getting rave reviews, yet I’ve managed to miss driving it until now. Still, it’s here for a week and I have a couple of journeys that will suit the compact, punchy package. First impressions are this new generation ST is a bit more understated than the previous model. Good or bad thing? Depends on your outlook, but this ST-2 model has the optional red-painted brake calipers for a small nod to its ability.
Secret Diary - 7th January 2019 - Ford Fiesta ST - Image 8
Right, first task for the Fiesta ST this morning is defrosting quickly as I have a meeting and it’s sub-zero. No problem thanks to the standard heated windscreen. It’s something Ford has made a real virtue of and I don’t understand why more car makers don’t supply this simple but effective device. My route is made up of motorway and dual carriageways, which the ST dispatches with real comfort and suppleness.
Secret Diary - 7th January 2019 - Ford Fiesta ST - Image 7
Another day of chores for the ST, which seems a shame as it’s not making the most of its talents. However, experience of owning hot hatches in the past tells me this is the reality of using this type of car. So, the Fiesta toddles to the shops and picks up the kids from an after-school event every bit as easily as any other Fiesta in the range. The only point to note is the Recaro front seats pinch a little rear legroom for my son.
Secret Diary - 7th January 2019 - Ford Fiesta ST - Image 10
Taking the kids swimming this afternoon, I felt a chill run down my back. No, I hadn’t forgotten goggles or towels, but I did get a trickle of water dropping onto my neck when I opened the Ford’s door to fit the seat belt around my daughter. It also splashed onto the dash around the air vent and the carpet below. It’s an unusual complaint in this day and age, but no less irritating for that.
Secret Diary - 7th January 2019 - Ford Fiesta ST - Image 11
At last, freed from the shackles of the daily grind, I get to head out in the ST purely for the fun of it this morning. Jeez, is this car good or what? As soon as I point it down a deserted country road, my grin spreads in concert with the rev counter. The 1.0-litre 200hp motor pulls hard and fast, the gear shift is tick-tock precise and the ride has a limber quality that lets you press on across even the most pockmarked roads. What a cracking hot hatch.
Secret Diary - 7th January 2019 - Ford Fiesta ST - Image 3
An early start and another chance for the heated windscreen to work its magic. This morning I’m off to spectate at the Borders Hill Rally, which is a mix of off-road and stage rallying with the added attraction of a V8 soundtrack. The 100 miles are taken care of easily by the ST and the last 25 or so are a delight on curvy tarmac. As for the competition cars, they make traversing rough tracks look like a stroll.
Secret Diary - 7th January 2019 - Ford Fiesta ST - Image 1
At the beginning of the week, I had worried the Fiesta ST might use buckets of fuel. I needn’t have worried as it’s averaged 39.2mpg, which is very reasonable given the miles and stick I’ve applied in the last few days. That’s not as good as the official 47.1mpg, but it’s not something I’d worry about much as the joys of this Fiesta ST far outweigh a small shortfall in fuel consumption.
Secret Diary - 7th January 2019 - Ford Fiesta ST - Image 2