By on August 29, 2011

Although Ford has been relentlessly hyping its US-bound Focus ST, there’s been nary a word of a hot Fiesta coming to the states. And even if we do get the 180 HP (or thereabouts) 1.6 Ecoboost-powered Fiesta ST, seen here screaming around a certain ubiquitous test track, it probably won’t be in the three-door trim you see here. Still, if US-market Fiestas start at $15,500 and top out around $22,000, what would you (hypothetically) pay for an extra 60 forced-induction ponies, some nice wheels and the ubiquitous go-fast appearance bits? Or is there simply no reason to sell a hot hatch in the US that’s smaller than the forthcoming, 250 HP Focus ST?

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94 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: What Would You Pay For This Feisty Fiesta?...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    I’m looking at buying a new or new-ish car come January or February. Considering the Fiesta is the pre-shopping favorite of the four new car possibilities and (most likely) 2 late-model used possibilities, of course I’d be interested. The Fiesta 5-door I’m looking at stickers at $17,890 in SE trim, or $19,135 in SES (manual, sunroof, Sync package, plus a few minor bits). For an ST, I’d ago about double the difference between the two added to the price of the SES: $21,625, say $22,000 to round it off.

    In a three-door, I’d even be more interested. Way more interested. Also, with the SE or SES, I’d plan on keeping the Porsche 924S under antique plates. For the ST, I’d consider trading it in.

  • avatar
    ajla

    My answer depends heavily on the final specs and price of the 500 Abarth.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    It wouldn’t cost more than 30k, because no one would buy it…so somewhere between 22 and 29k…let’s call it 25,500.

  • avatar

    I think a 180 hp 6-spd Fiesta would be an awesome commuter car, especially if it could eke out 30ish MPG highway — and especially if the package included uprated brakes, not just tires and swaybars or whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      30ish MPG highway is just about real-world Carrera, Cayman S, and Boxster S territory–cars with 75% more engine. I would hope for something approaching 40 MPG.

      • 0 avatar
        dmchyla

        +1. I can get 30 with a gently driven C5 or later Corvette (non-Z06). If I can’t get 38 or higher freeway with a pocket rocket, why bother?

      • 0 avatar

        You guys must live on a different planet than I do… I could never get anything like 30 mpg consistently in something like a C5. I’m not talking about a momentary “30 mpg” readout at one spot on your commute, I’m talking about 30 actual mpg, tank to tank, in a car used mostly for commuting.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        +1. I can get 30 with a gently driven C5 or later Corvette (non-Z06). If I can’t get 38 or higher freeway with a pocket rocket, why bother?

        An anecdote: a few years back I rented a C5 and I rent Impalas all the time. Either car would be challenged to get more than 10-13mpg in city use.

        Drive a Corvette either a) like it’s meant to be driven, b) in a commute that doesn’t involve long, flat highways. The advantage of a Mini or similar that gets at least double the Corvette’s real-world mileage becomes very apparent. I can flog the snot out of, eg, a Mini Cooper in-city and won’t hit the troughs of mileage that an interstate queen gets without trying.

        I’ve seen this comment whenever the 30mpg Corvette claim is made: “If you’re consistently getting 30s in a Vette, you’re doing it wrong”. I tend to agree.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott_314

      + John. The Corvette gets 20MPG and the Mini S, which the Fiesta would beat, gets 30MPG. Fueleconomy.gov. No one would cross shop them anyways so its moot.

      • 0 avatar

        I have to think that most of the people making the 30-mpg-Vette claim have never actually lived with one. I never had a C5, but I’ve driven a bunch of them, and I owned a C4 ZR-1 as a daily driver for a few years, so you could say I’m reasonably acquainted with the problem. It’s like this: If you don’t stay out of the throttle, you’re not going to get great mileage, and if you’re driving a Vette… you’re not going to stay out of the throttle. I certainly never could. I could sometimes get 23 mpg highway in the ZR by lugging it in 6th at the speed limit, but why carry around 405 hp if that’s all you’re going to do with it?

      • 0 avatar
        SunnyvaleCA

        It’s not that we would cross-shop. It’s that the poster I responded to was hoping to “eke out 30ish MPG highway” in a 180 HP subcompact; we were noting that you could eke out that much with cars with huge amounts more power and weight and tires. We think the expectations of a modern 180 HP subcompact should be to eke out 40 MPG, not 30.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    If I was in the market for a hot good looking small car, I would get a wrx or si. Forget the fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      The WRX will probably be about $10k more than the Fiesta minimum, and the si will likely be more as well, and may end up slower.

    • 0 avatar

      Anyone who would choose a Honda over a Fiesta or Focus right now needs to get out and test-drive both. You will be very surprised, both by how good the Fords are and by how far Honda has fallen. I was a big, big Honda fan once upon a time, and I would love to see the company get back on its game, but right now it’s no contest. The little Fords are playing in a different league.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        The Fit is an exception to the whole “Honda has fallen” meme. It’s still a very good car.

        Also, I’d point out that you can fit four people quite comfortably in the Fit, whereas even the Focus has a challenging rear seat (the Fiesta’s is a no-go zone). And then there’s the cargo space thing.

        I’ll give on your point vis a vis the Civic and Focus, but the Fit has very definite advantages.

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        Now Honda needs to make a Fit R with a 2 liter.

      • 0 avatar

        @psarhjinian My wife just bought a 2012 Focus hatchback as a commuter car. We’ve put 3 kids (boys ages 12, 12, 9) in the back a couple of times, and I’ve ridden back there once or twice to try it. It’s snug, but not at all unworkable — I’d have to measure to be sure, but I don’t think it’s any tighter than a Fit’s. The Fiesta is definitely a squeeze, though.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    The Mazdaspeed 3 weighs a bit more, but we’re still looking at 1:12.5 verses 1:14 power to weight ratio. I’d have a hard time paying close to the $23.5k price of the ‘speed if fuel economy were not a concern.

  • avatar
    dwford

    An interesting question several manufacturers are about to ask. Along with the Fiesta ST, we will soon have the Fiat 500 Abarth and the Hyundai Veloster turbo. All 3 can break $20k without a turbo…

  • avatar

    We discuss this, and similar, questions regularly on the FiestaFaction.com forums. I personally believe there is room for both a Focus ST and a Fiesta ST in the US market. But, there will need to be a few differentiators between the two to make it work.

    One, will obviously be price. But, since the Focus ST will be a 5-door (there is currently no 3-door 2012 Focus available anywhere in the world), then maybe the Fiesta ST could be offered here as a 3-door, for those that have been clamoring for a 3-door Fiesta since launch.

    The Fiesta could slot in as the true, classic, affordable, ‘hot hatch’. And, the Focus, which will be decidedly upmarket, will be the more grown up choice.

    The only sticky wicket in that scenario is that a 3-door Fiesta would need to be federalized separately, which is very costly. And, I don’t know if enough people would bite. The internet is ripe with posts about those ‘wanting’ a 3-door hot hatch. But, I don’t know if I believe that would translate into people opening their checkbooks. I for one would.

    One thing that might spur Ford on to offering it here is the fact that the Chevrolet Sonic will already have an available turbocharged engine. And, while that model is not being touted as a performance variant, a bit of tuning and some additional parts could allow GM to offer an RS or even an SS version.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The internet is ripe with posts about those ‘wanting’ a 3-door hot hatch.

      These seem to be the same sort of people who are clamoring for a turbodiesel station wagon with a manual transmission. Meanwhile, out here in the real world, almost no one in the United States is buying those, either.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        My last new car was a 3-door Golf TDI. I’d prefer 3-door hatches to 5-door hatches.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        Volkswagen sells every TDI wagon it can make in the United States. While I know that it’s become an oft-repeated meme amongst the hip, car-enthusiast skeptical here, there is a market for these kinds of vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Your local VW dealer will beg to differ. VW sells every single Jetta Wagon TDI they can be bothered to import, and discounts on them are few and far between. I suspect the profit margins on them are pretty good. And given that it is the ONLY manual transmission diesel wagon available in the US, it is no wonder that in the big picture almost no one buys manual transmission diesel wagons. You can’t buy what isn’t sold here. Ckicken, or egg?

        As to the hot Fiesta, well, Ford sure won’t sell 100K of them, but it seems like they would sell. Of course the $100M question is would they sell enough to pay back the ludicrous Federalization costs?

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        Is that not because there are none for sale in the US?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Volkswagen sells every TDI wagon it can make in the United States.

        And they don’t sell very many of them.

        As of mid-year, just the Prius alone was outselling the entirety of diesel passenger cars sold in the US by a margin of about 3:2. That in spite of the tsunami/ meltdown that depleted Prius inventories to minimal levels during the second quarter.

        There is almost no demand for diesels in the US. If VW brought in too many more of them, then they’d have to use incentives to sell them. 33,000 VW diesels sold in six months is a tiny fraction of the 6.3 million vehicles sold over the same period.

      • 0 avatar

        The great majority of those diesel sales are probably Golfs and Jettas. Based on those who participate in TrueDelta’s survey, manuals make up a significant percentage of the total. One possible reason: diesel drivers really pack on the miles, and don’t want to figure out how expensive the DSG can get with 150k+ miles on it. Fluid changes alone can be very expensive.

        Not that this invalidates your main point: there are plenty of cases where enthusiasts insisted they’d buy a car it if was offered, then did not.

        As for the federalization costs, they can’t be that high. Honda offered the circa-2003 Civic Si as a UK-assembled hatch that otherwise wasn’t sold in the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The great majority of those diesel sales are probably Golfs and Jettas.

        Pretty much. The European brands moved 47,873 diesels during the first half of the year. Of those, 26,919 of them were Jettas and 5002 were Golfs; collectively, those two models comprised 2/3rd’s of VAG’s, BMW’s and Mercedes’ total diesel sales.

        These sales are a tiny percentage of the overall market. To put things in perspective, Buick sold more Lacrosse’s over the same period than VW sold Jetta diesels. If the hype is to be believed, then VW is smart enough to ship over just enough, and to avoid sending too many.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      See my opening post. The Fiesta ST would possibly be the perfect car for me. Reasonable practicality, and still allow me to stay down to two cars (car + Ranger XLT), rather than 3.

    • 0 avatar
      majo8

      I would be the first in line to buy this car if it came in the three-door. I wouldn’t even consider the five-door ( I’ve been in one, and can’t stand the fact that the b-pillar is right next to my head, and with the seat in a comfortable position, my elbow is back farther than the door armrest, and I’m only 6’1″ ).

      Ford really needs to have another 2/3 door car in it’s stable other than the Mustang. In the 90’s they had six different 2/3 door offerings.

      And no……I’ve never clamored for a diesel wagon with a manual. A Focus ST wagon? Now that’s a different story……

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Or is there simply no reason to sell a hot hatch in the US that’s smaller than the forthcoming, 250 HP Focus ST?

    My first inclination is to agree with this. However, if it works as a halo car that helps to sell the lower trim levels, then it could be worth it for that purpose alone.

    That being said, there’s no point in selling it on the cheap if its role is to move more of the other tiers. I’d probably add $3,000+ to whatever is now the most expensive model, and offer it loaded with few options. And then, don’t expect to sell very many of them.

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      So more or less an R32 effect, but this time around not becoming an expensive liability to dealers. I like that idea, but I’m not sure it will work with small cars in the same way it works with high performance/high price models. I do wonder how many people walk into a Mitsubishi or Subaru dealership thinking that they are going to buy an Evo or an STi and leave with a lower-trim Lancer or Impreza.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        How does it not become an expensive liability? The Fiesta is not an aspirational car. A 2012 VW GTI has a base price of $23,695. A MazdaSpeed3 starts at $23,700. Probably not coincidentally, a Mini Cooper S costs exactly the same amount. I’d gladly pay a four thousand dollar premium to have any of those three over a Fiesta ST, were I buying a forced induction hatchback for some reason. Chances are the Fiat Abarth will be priced to reflect its lack of value relative to the Mini Cooper S, further challenging the Fiesta ST with its more charasmatic style.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        How does it not become an expensive liability?

        By not building or attempting to sell very many of them.

        The main purpose of a halo is to sell other products. If done properly, it should help to sell more of the mid- and upper-level cars.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        “I’d gladly pay a four thousand dollar premium to have any of those three over a Fiesta ST, were I buying a forced induction hatchback for some reason.”

        Since you aren’t going to, then what does your opinion matter? Especially considering you despise forced induction anyway. But I think I already know the answer: you wouldn’t be able to stand a domestic brand getting away with marketing a premium small car and selling it. Considering how you have berated VW in the past, I find your comment all the more hilarious. If VW and Mazda can sell a hot hatch then there’s no reason Ford can’t do the same thing- in fact, they’ve already been doing it for a number of years. The high transaction prices for the new Focus and the demand for the upper trim levels are just icing on the cake.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The already overpriced optioned up Fiestas are slower than their competitors. Trying to bait and switch people with a car that has completely different driving characteristics won’t work. They could make one Fiesta ST for each large market dealer and it would still be an expensive folly because the certification costs are the same if they build 800 cars or 25,000. The only way to make it sell would be to advertise it at $19,995 base price. They don’t want to do that because they want to be able to gouge people on the lesser Fiestas. Who knows if they could make money at that price anyway, even though I don’t hear much about GTIs, Speed3s, Sis, or Cooper Ss being loss leaders, but each of them represents far more value at its respective base price than an ST would at $20K flat.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        What is that number of years, CarbecueFan? One? One half?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The already overpriced optioned up Fiestas are slower than their competitors.

        As far as I can tell, they are selling quickly enough, which is the speed that counts the most for the manufacturer.

        Trying to bait and switch people with a car that has completely different driving characteristics won’t work.

        No, a bait and switch would entail claiming that the car could be bought for $4,999, only to find that the advertised price didn’t include a $23,000 PDI and delivery fee.

        There’s no bait-and-switch involved. Retailers of all sorts routinely use the lowest- and highest-priced product in a series with the goal of selling more of the product in the middle. (Offering a few varieties can make the middle seem like an appealing compromise.)

        If only a few percent of the Fiestas sold were of this variety, that would probably be sufficient. But the goal should be to move a higher total volume of the entire line, with as much of that going to retail as possible.

        it would still be an expensive folly because the certification costs are the same if they build 800 cars or 25,000

        The Fiesta is built in the NAFTA zone. There’s no problem here.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        You must be kidding. Ford is already selling plenty of Fiestas north of $20k, sans performance packages, so I don’t really know what you’re basing your argument off of. As for “slower,” unless I see some empirical data I’m not really going to care. Especially since all of the cars you mentioned aren’t technically in the Fiesta’s class anyway, besides the Cooper S. And that’s sold well enough to prove that this is a viable market segment.

        It’s so funny because it’s not gouging to you when Honda wants $18-$20k for a Fit that doesn’t even begin to approach the ST’s level of refinement, performance, or features. Or $24k for a new boat-anchor Civic Si which isn’t competitive with much of anything. But then again, nobody ever accused you of taking a balanced view of brands.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        NAFTA has nothing to do with NHTSA, EPA, or CARB compliance and certification.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        NAFTA has nothing to do with NHTSA, EPA, or CARB compliance and certification.

        You must be under the impression that the current Fiesta hasn’t been built to US specifications, or that it’s particularly difficult to design the engine to meet US emissions standards. It’s not as if Ford has to build the entire thing from scratch.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        When I said competitors of the current Fiesta, I meant these cars:

        http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparisons/10q3/2011_ford_fiesta_vs._2010_honda_fit_2011_mazda_2-comparison_tests

        Fiesta was slowest, least efficient, least desirable, least…

        Maybe there are UAW deadenders paying too much for Fiestas, but they’re massive promotion fodder where I live. The Fit is too expensive, IMO. That is because they are made in Japan and our currency devaluation has created a situation where Ohio built Civics are almost certainly less expensive for Honda to produce. Where would you put your marketing effort?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I was under the impression we were talking about a 3 door Fiesta with a turbocharged engine. Neither the body nor the engine is certified for sale in the US or California(which might as well be its own insipid bureacratic kingdom). What were you talking about? Mexico is in NAFTA. Living within 25 miles of the border, I see all sorts of crummy little cars that can’t be sold or registered here but that are on sale in Mexico.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Fiesta was slowest, least efficient, least desirable, least…

        Did you read the article?

        “Highs: Rock-solid chassis, quiet on the road, high-class looks.”

        “the Ford comes off as the most luxurious of the bunch. The rest of the interior is awash in quality materials; a telling touch is the padded-cloth armrests in the doors, and this is the only car here that has them. Our sound-level results were a three-way tie at 70 mph, but our ears say the Fiesta is the quietest of the bunch. Barely any road or wind noise intrudes into the cabin. And the ride is unflappable over all road surfaces.”

        And if you look at the spec comparisons, it also had the shortest braking distance.

        http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/d9223803320daddaa3c83db50ee22645.pdf

        It would seem that some buyers opt to accept one set of pros and cons over the others. If Ford can make some of them happy enough so that they tell their friends and perhaps buy another, and if they can generate a profit while doing it, then it makes sense to sell it.

        And if the car has a good platform, then it’s a good candidate for a performance version, since the underpinnings are probably up to the task. Why that should upset you, I don’t know.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Neither the body nor the engine is certified for sale in the US

        The Fiesta is built in Mexico and sold in the US. If Ford was to offer the car in the US, it would be built on the same line, not imported from Europe. The body has already been federalized — it would be the same one that they’re selling today, with some different trim bits.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        Oh man, you’re right, the Fit got better fuel economy… by 2 mpg, well within real-world fluctuations. It also overran the competitors in terms of quietness and interior refinement, which has shown time and again to be two of the assets that American consumers care about most. Nobody buys a base subcompact for speed, either. Which leads me to my final point regarding that comparison test, which was that exactly zero of the cars tested were the Fit ST. Which begs me to wonder why you bothered posting that review in the first place.

        Ford has been building cars for long enough that I think it knows how to certify a shorter version of one of it’s best-selling cars without too much hassle. The question remains as to whether they will go that route, but I hope that they do.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Pch 101,

        The 3 door body has not been certified for US sale. The reason it isn’t available in the other Fiesta trim levels has everything to do with the high cost of certifying it. It is not that there is anything wrong with the 3 door, or that Ford doesn’t know how to certify the 3 door. It is a costly process that Ford didn’t bother with because they don’t believe there would be enough additional sales to justify paying for it. You keep repeating what is obviously an incorrect belief of yours, and I keep correcting you. If you don’t want to believe me, do some research. Engine certification isn’t cheap either, and it must be done for two different legislative agencies. That’s why we have so many fewer engine choices in car lines that offer a great variety in Europe or Asia. The idea that Ford would do both an engine and a body only for a halo ST that would be wedged hard into the market at a price and content point where a high margin or high volume would be difficult to achieve is optimistic on someone’s part.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The 3 door body has not been certified for US sale.

        You’re really hung up on irrelevant details.

        The question is a hypothetical one, namely one of whether Ford could sell a performance version of the Fiesta in the US, and if so, for how much.

        That doesn’t mean that this hypothetical car, which does not exist in US form, would have to be built in Europe, or feature exactly the same packaging as would a European model. It’s ultimately a generic question about whether or not Ford should make hot subcompacts.

        Your responses are grounded in your contention that Fords are shitty cars. You’re entitled to your view, but I was focusing on the business angle of whether Ford should try to sell cars like these to Americans. My opinion is that they should consider doing so for halo effect with prices to match, not with the intention of selling a lot of them.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The 3 door body has not been certified for US sale.

        You’re really hung up on irrelevant details.

        The question is a hypothetical one, namely one of whether Ford could sell a performance version of the Fiesta in the US, and if so, for how much.

        That doesn’t mean that this hypothetical car, which does not exist in US form, would have to be built in Europe, or feature exactly the same packaging as would a European model. It’s ultimately a generic question about whether or not Ford should make hot subcompacts.

        Your responses are grounded in your contention that Fords are lousy cars. You’re entitled to your view, but I was focusing on the business angle of whether Ford should try to sell cars like these to Americans. My opinion is that they should consider doing so for halo effect with prices to match, not with the intention of selling a lot of them.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I have enough faith in Ford to believe that they will consider the cost of a US Fiesta ST program in deciding whether or not to proceed with one. The expense of offering the car is as irrelevant a detail as whether or not the Mexican factory that builds Fiestas for the US market burns down next week. Feel however or whatever you want about it.

  • avatar
    colin42

    It needs to start around $18K and top out not much more $23K, but it also needs to handle like it’s on rails and get over 35 mpg highway

    • 0 avatar
      gogogodzilla

      That sounds about right.

      I was going to say that it needs to be priced around $20,000, with additional options… and needs to get roughly the same fuel economy as what you’ve already said.

      That said, it really depends on what price point Ford is going to price the Focus ST. The Fiesta ST ought to be at least $6-8,000 less than the Focus ST.

  • avatar
    PintoFan

    I think right around $25k would be realistic, but at that point I see significant problems with crossover to the Focus line.

    • 0 avatar

      There will always be overlap in the pricing of models. The question is, will Americans see the value in a ‘more expensive’ small car?

      In Europe, the top trim Focus overlaps with the entry-level 3 Series, and yet they still sell them.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        That’s because in Europe the base 3-series is an economy car. The brand magic of BMW and Mercedes for years has hinged on convincing rich Americans that what is considered to be a taxi in Europe is worth a premium price once it has a generous slathering of interior cow.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        BMW E90 3-series started out with the 120 hp 316i in Europe, although they killed that engine recently in favor of a base 316d with 114 hp. The US base 3 series(and 1 series) engine has 230 hp. The European market 3 liter gas engined 3 series costs at least as much there as it does here, and it is more than any mass produced Focus.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        That’s because in Europe the base 3-series is an economy car.

        No, it really isn’t. JD Power in the UK classifies the 3-series as a “compact executive”, which is Britspeak for what we refer to as the “near luxury” class. In other words, it’s the same.

        The difference is that Europeans accept cars of all sorts with smaller engines than do Americans who are buying the same class of car. If you had ever been there and paid to fill up a fuel tank, you would understand immediately why that is.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      PintoFan: I think right around $25k would be realistic, but at that point I see significant problems with crossover to the Focus line.

      Not necessarily, as this Fiesta would be pitched as a pocket-rocket performance car, while the Focuses in that price range are nicely trimmed compacts for a young couple, retired person or family with 1-2 children. Those are completely different target audiences.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Seeing as the Fiesta costs way too much already, I would pay about $17K for it. The current Fiesta has no business maxing out at $22K…The top of the line Fiesta should max out where it starts…about $15.5K. So $17K for the ST version would be acceptable. Any more and it’s just not worth it.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I don’t think the price is that important so long as it makes some sense to the buyer. What matters is building a rep for a model. A good performance version of any model will do more than billions of dollars spent on marketing and advertising.

  • avatar
    hifi

    No automaker has ever been criticized, or gone broke, by offering too many good cars. Conversely, carmakers have gone broke by artificially dumbing down some of their cars to supposedly bolster the sales of other cars.

    I say that Ford should make each car the best it can possibly be. If it eats some of the sales of the Focus, then make the Focus better. And the Fiesta ST could easily sell for a price that’s competitive with the Mini S, which starts at around $23k.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Keep in mind something that could affect the market: Some of us out there really like fast, hot handling, very small cars. For next year’s purchase, I’m not looking at anything bigger than a Honda Fit or Ford Fiesta – deliberately. Because I don’t want something bigger. This from a guy who, 40 years ago, wanted to build a Kawasaki H-1 triple powered go-cart for autocross.

    Now, the big question is that is there enough other people with my tastes, who are actually ready to spend the money, to make it worthwhile?

  • avatar
    chaparral

    It makes a lot of sense as a $19,999 car. There’ll always be a market for the quickest/fastest/most fun car for under twenty grand, as that’s the maximum most enlisted men can buy; Navy Federal Credit Union will lend most enlisted men $16,000 with $4,000 down for a car. Remember the Dodge Neon SRT-4? That’s what its role in life was. I’d guess that well under 50% went to civilians.

  • avatar
    340-4

    $19,995 out the door. You want more goodies, head on over to the parts counter.

    They’d sell all day, but they’d have to top 35 on the highway, and preferably have a limited slip, good seats, and leave the Civic Si in the dust for $4k less.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Ford should offer the 3dr Fiesta here no matter what version. After all there are the Fiat 500, Yaris and Mini as it’s competitors in the small hatch $17-23k range.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    As said by others above. It has to be cheaper than GTI, Mazdaspeed, Mini Cooper S, and STI. And I assume the inevitable Elantra Turbo. This car has to come in at around $21-22k to have any kind of success. At least a few thousand cheaper than the others.

  • avatar
    jogrd

    If it comes out I’d upgrade if it was a couple of thousand more, say $22,000 or so. A close ratio gearbox would be even more welcome. The ratios are a bit trucklike currently.

    Not sure where all the hatred for an inoffensive subcompact comes from.

  • avatar
    wsn

    If someone wants both 200ish hp and decent fuel economy, why would anyone buy a Fiesta instead of a Camry Hybrid is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      Weight! A Camry Hybrid is well over 3000 lbs, the Fiesta around 2500. You’d have to have over 250 horsepower in the Camry to match a 200 horsepower Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      In what conceivable universe would one cross-shop a midsized hybrid family sedan with a subcompact hot hatch? Similar horsepower and mileage numbers notwithstanding, the cars are totally different in purpose.

  • avatar
    SV

    Considering the larger and more powerful Mazdaspeed3 and VW GTI start a touch under $24k, a Fiesta ST would need to be cheaper to make any sense. I think $20-21k would work, with the Focus ST starting at $24-25k max.

  • avatar
    moorewr

    $21,500 base. I’ll take mine in white.

  • avatar
    John R

    We’ll have to see how the Veloster Turbo pans out. If it going to be more than $25k its going to be a problem. That’s WRX money.

  • avatar
    obruni

    $19,995 for a base ST (before destination charges, of course), and only offer a limited range of options after

    both the Mini Cooper S and VW GTI start at $23,700.

    the base advertised price needs to be substantially less than that, as the Fiesta is neither as big & powerful as a GTI nor as “premium” as a Mini.

    that price would also provide a nice kick in the ass for the Fiat 500 Sport.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    None;

    We were looking at new cars and I test drove one. Terrible little car. Being trapped in that thing was absolutely miserable. It fealt cheap, cramped, uncomfortable. The engine was pathetic on power, so I guess the turbo would take care of that complaint, but it would still be a cheap miserable $20k+ car.

    Test drove a Focus. Much better, but not enough to justify the almost-$20k price tag they want for them. At least it wasn’t a misery on wheels like the Fiesta.

    Test drove a near base model 2012 Mustang. Less then a week later it was sitting in our garage.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      You obviously aren’t the target market since you bought a pony car instead of a compact which aren’t even remotely in the same class. Funny thing is rear seat passengers would have probably been more comfortable in that “cramped” Fiesta than in your Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      gogogodzilla

      How can you stand the seats in the new Mustang? My friend has a V-8 version… and everytime I get in it, my back starts to hurt immediately. Plus, the headrests push my head too far forward.

  • avatar
    jruhi4

    Something of a wild card and threadjack amidst all this discussion: might Mazda be considering a Mazdaspeed2? If so, it’d likely be a couple of hundred pounds lighter than a Fiesta ST, and probably a more desirable B-segment hot hatch for North America.

    As to this discussion’s original premise, I agree with a couple of the recent posts that $19,995 would be the lowest realistic starting point for a Fiesta ST, and anything more than $21,500 base would be a ripoff.

  • avatar
    redav

    I believe it makes sense for Ford to offer it, but the Focus & Fiesta STs will be competing with & stealing sales from each other. While I do believe there is a market for these vehicles, it is not as large as enthusiasts think–I think there is a fairly hard ceiling on demand.

    Personally, I would not buy it regardless of price. I would opt for the Focus ST or MS3 if I wanted a hot hatch.

  • avatar
    crbf1

    Ford already (sort of) asked this question and consumers answered: 2002-2004 Focus SVT – nearly everything was different from a normal 3- or 5-dr Focus (springs, dampers, brakes, engine, trans, exhaust, seats). Just about 13K sold in 3 years. At the time, I think regular Foci were doing about 200K per year.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great car. But my 03 stickered north of $22K; it was a bargain (I thought) at $12.5 as a 1.5-year-old used car.
    Still, I’d buy a Fiesta ST if it started under $20K. Heck, if they offered the 138hp engine from Europe w/a 6-spd m/t and rear discs, I’d buy that!

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    ONLY IN AWD!

    Ya, ya…all you performance nuts insist on RWD and standard , but for those of us living in winters with wives and kids who refuse such, we STILL want to get our car fun.

    Have been so looking forward to seeing the ecoboost in the smaller cars, as well as the SUVs …but just NOT the way they did it with the Explorer!

    I now look more towars the reinvention of the Escape in its new KUGA dressing. Hopefully it will get this same ecoboosted 2.0.

    The Focus had been on my mind and I have been searching for all spy photos for some time, IF if comes in AWD and a hatch.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      AWD is overrated. I know because I own and AWD car and while it helps you go, it does nothing to help you stop or turn in slippery conditions. FWD or even RWD with snows will usually be better than an AWD car with all season tires in the snow. The rest of the year the AWD system just adds weight and friction loss.

      FWD was an innovation based on packaging, cost, and fuel efficiency, not because of it’s traction benefits. AWD is really only useful to about 5-10% of the population who have to drive in really bad winter conditions WITH snow tires.

      The right tires are the most important thing, not what wheels make the car go.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It depends on the AWD system if it will help you go around corners or not. If you have a electronically controlled 4wd system being marketed as AWD then no it doesn’t help you get around corners. On the other hand if you have real AWD with a proper center differential or an old fashioned manual 4wd it does help it turn. Back before ABS it also helped you stop in a controlled manner if it isn’t an electronic 4wd system, by keeping all the wheels turning at the same speed.

      • 0 avatar
        SunnyvaleCA

        The problem with the Fiesta is that it is a FWD design with lots of weight on the front wheels. If you were going to make a one-off RWD design out of it you would still have most of the weight on the front wheels. That’s a problem when coupled with the 180 HP engine. So, you’re kind of left with AWD as the alternative.

        It would be nice if we had a small and light zippy car designed from the ground up as a RWD, though. Maybe cut 1000 pounds out of the Mustang, shrink it by 20%, and improve the space efficiency so it isn’t cramped inside.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’m wondering if (notice I didn’t say when) GM brings the Diesel Cruze over what will happen with the Focus and Fiesta’s engine options. If Ford offered a diesel engine choice, I would imagine it would help sales because they could advertise a car that gets better economy than the Ecoboost. I personally wouldn’t pay for a powerful gas engine Fiesta because really, why would you need that much power in a daily driving situation? But a diesel would be tempting to me. I like the looks of the Focus hatchback in particular but unfortunately Ford isn’t offering the correct engine for me to buy one.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    No more than $17,800 which is what I paid for my Juke S w/ the 188HP 1.6 DIG-T and Auto trans. The Juke came with a great list of standard features. These Fiestas are way over priced. For what they will probably charge to this Fiesta you could buy a Juke SV w/ AWD and Nav.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    My first new car was a Mark I GTI, which I just loved and drove for a decade. It weighed a little over 2000 pounds. The current iteration, the Mark VI GTI, weighs almost 3200 pounds. A Fiesta SES is listed at 2600 pounds, and I suspect the ST would be in the same ballpark. It very well could be that the Fiesta ST would make an excellent spiritual successor the original Hot Hatch, even more so than what the GTI has evolved to, which is a nice Grand Touring vehicle. A Hot Hatch should be tossable, eager to please, and rewarding to drive, even if refinement is less of a priority. Price it in the low 20s and it would be a viable alternative to those who value the driving experience, which admittedly is a limited segment of the market.

    The enemy of all performance cars is weight. I applaud Ford for thinking this way as well.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    I hate to be the one to burst the warm and fuzzy small car bubble, but eventually the majority of people are going to get used to current fuel prices and adjust their budgets to afford fueling the larger, more powerful vehicles that they REALLY want.
    I got a hunch that if someone was to look at the historical data they’d find most small vehicle sales were at their peaks during poor economic times. The economy can only stay bad for so long…
    I’m not trying to bad mouth small cars. (Some people really get their panties in a wad over that). Just don’t be too surprised if the upsurge in hatches and compacts proves to be just a fad.

  • avatar
    cackalacka

    If Ford were practical about this, they’d have a limited NAmerican, release (say 5-10k units, so as not to cut into Focus numbers), price it to not lose too much money, and use it as a halo to pull the Fiesta’s sales.

    Most kids on a budget don’t care if it is 120 or 160 hp, but do enjoy a light and tight ride.

  • avatar
    outback_ute

    Based on the pricing of the ST relative to the rest of the range when they sold them here in Australia (badged as the XR4), I would put it at the $19-20k mark. Mind you that does not account for the 3 door bodyshell not being offered in the US which would add costs for amortization of the certification spend.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Did anyone else noticed giant x-brace in the car?


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