By on November 26, 2012

197 horsepower. 214 lb-ft of torque. Five doors and a useable back seat? Perhaps I spoke too soon about the Fiat Abarth.

This is said to be the first look at the North American spec Ford Fiesta ST. It’s expected to return 34 mpg on the highway thanks to a tuned-up 1.6L Ecoboost and a 6-speed manual gearbox. Aside from the cosmetic changes, a bespoke stability control system, torque-vectoring and quicker steering should help make the Fiesta a potent little hot hatch. We’ll get all the details Wednesday.

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86 Comments on “Five Door Ford Fiesta ST Just Shy Of 200 Horsepower...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “…and a useable back seat”

    Not really.

    • 0 avatar
      nickeled&dimed

      We used the back seat on our rental over the summer. Nothing wrong with it. We usually had 1 or 2 adults back there. No less comfortable than the friend’s ’03 civic that was the other car.

      • 0 avatar
        BlueEr03

        I have to second ajla. I looked at the Fiesta and I couldn’t comfortably fit behind myself at 5’11. The Fiat, on the other hand, I didn’t have a problem with. Granted both are cramped, but I was more comfy in the 500.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I think Ford is competitive in this segment. The Fiesta has probably one of the most sophisticated drivetrains in the subcompact segment at this price point.

        However, the rear seat is pretty small compared to some competitors.

        As far as the turbo reliability issue, I’m skeptical of reliability and longevity not because it can’t be done, but it can’t be done typically in this type of motor, which is not a robust, diesel-like motor (built to withstand what are already high pressures of DI and then tacking additional pressure of forced induction on to it) with additional cooling capacity (heat soak is a bitch) to ensure a long service life.

        Diesels are a great example of how (especially European) vehicles have more robust motor cores to handle higher operating pressures, so much so, that many diesel motors from the likes of Mercedes (usually the ones found in late 70s and 80s era MBs) can run for 500k miles without a major rebuild.

        I am not saying that some people (usually, the very diligent ones when it comes to PREVENTATIVE maintenance) can’t or don’t get 100k miles+ and beyond out of turbocharged motors without major issues, but I am saying I am of the opinion that they’re 1) much more diligent than the average vehicle owners, and 2) the minority (albeit maybe not exception).

        This isn’t a Ford specific criticism. Until engineers from any of the mass market manufacturers can detail how they compensated for much higher operating pressure and heat soak by way of adding supplemental cooling systems and more robust engine blocks, couplings, valves, hoses, etc., I won’t be a true believer.

        These are low margin vehicles, and it would probably add 10%+ to price of designing/building the motor with consistent longevity in mind, which would wipe out any net profit the manufacturer could have ever hoped to make.

      • 0 avatar
        dpriven

        I own a 2002 Honda Civic sedan and a 2011 Fiesta 5 door.

        The Civic is a limo compared to the Fiesta.

        I like the Fiesta a lot… but the back seat is a tight and unpleasant place. If my family weren’t a bunch of shorties (I’m 5’8, and no one else is over 5’2″), I wouldn’t have bought it.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “This isn’t a Ford specific criticism. Until engineers from any of the mass market manufacturers can detail how they compensated for much higher operating pressure and heat soak by way of adding supplemental cooling systems and more robust engine blocks, couplings, valves, hoses, etc., I won’t be a true believer.”

        So you can’t look at the design specs and see this for yourself, but rather the engineers must shove them under your face?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        @corntrollio: “So you can’t look at the design specs and see this for yourself, but rather the engineers must shove them under your face?”

        OH, THE ENGINEER & MARKETING DEPARTMENT “DESIGN SPECS”!!! That’s the ticket to guaranteed reliability and long term durability!!! How could I have missed this secret for so long? Oh my!

        Do you really, REALLY, expect me, the customer, who is the person that the company is supposed to instill with confidence about long term reliability regarding the new uber-turbo’d motors, to spend time researching what the engineers did (or claimed to do, or claimed falsely to do, or didn’t do)?

        No thanks. I’ve seen all manner of marketing B.S. many times before on all manner of product.

        Unless the laws of thermodynamics, physics in general, and engineering-to-a-disposable-price-point have suddenly done a miraculous 180, The real proof in this pudding is …. proof.

        I don’t need one of these ALLEGEDLY more reliable turbocharged mills. I’m comfortable with N/A motors now and probably forever.

        …But, if I ever get the feeling…

        It will take time and much ownership experience by guniea pigs everywhere to convince me of the gobbledygook they’re now marketing about these gloriously more reliable commuter mills.

        Godspeed, guinea pigs, Godspeed!

    • 0 avatar
      tbone33

      Another vote for the rear seat being too small. It has less space back there than the Fit or Sonic.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I would suppose, if rear seat room was your major buying point, maybe what you’re looking for is the Focus, not the Fiesta.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        “I would suppose, if rear seat room was your major buying point, maybe what you’re looking for is the Focus, not the Fiesta.”

        No, because even the Focus doesn’t have much–it’s trumped by the Chevy _Spark_. If you want rear-seat room in a small car, you’re best to look at the Fit, Sonic or (especially) the Versa and skip Ford altogether.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “No, because even the Focus doesn’t have much”

        Yup. The Fiesta and Focus drive brilliantly and feel solid, but the interiors are packaged horribly. Uncompetitive backseat space, but the cars are heavy and just as long as everything else in the class. Where did the space go?

        I know most people don’t buy a Fiesta for backseat room, but it sure is nice to have a maneuverable and cheap little car that can also fit your carseats. Some of the Fiesta’s competitors can.

    • 0 avatar
      BillC

      I’d consider it useable if it held my golf clubs.

  • avatar
    Easton

    At least Ford is trying to add a little spice into otherwise bland segments. Too bad I can’t say the same for many other manufacturers.

  • avatar
    mike978

    More powerful than I had read earlier. VW GTi power in a smaller package!

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    After trying a Fiesta, we bought a Focus SE hatchback. The Fiesta is too slow even for a car that will spend most of its time on city streets. This engine should solve that problem.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I predict that in about 5 yrs or so, car experts will be telling used car buyers to avoid all these new turbo econoboxes for inherent longevity problems with the turbos and to buy an extended warranty along with the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      They’ll sound like my father back in 1985!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        He was right. People tell me to ignore my friend’s nightmare ownership experience with his 2008 VW GTI DSG in judging VW’s turbocharged cars of today. For me, 2008 isn’t that long ago. People were saying they had it figured out way back then too.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’ve always been skeptical of turbos, seems like that’s the engine mod du jour lately.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        CJinSD:
        At least this will forego the autotragic dry dual clutch trans.

        I echo the turbo sentiment. My worries lie in the high pressure fuel delivery. This isn’t as high heat as the 3.5 gtdi, but the packaging is equally as nightmare-ish.

        It is fun to drive, though mine only had 180the hp.

      • 0 avatar
        segxr7

        CJinSD: That’s an issue with VW, not turbocharging in general. And yes, I’ve been hearing “B-b-but that was almost 5 years ago! VWs are bulletproof now!!” since the late 90s.

        Cadillac fans were the same way with the Northstar. At first, 1995 was the year “they fixed everything”. Last I heard the cutoff was 2003, but that was also around the time everyone stopped caring about a crappy engine that hadn’t been upgraded in 10+ years.

      • 0 avatar
        Bill Wade

        He was right. You wouldn’t believe how many turbos I’ve replaced in my 87 Grand National.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      The turbo K-cars blew up.

      This would sound like evidence against the turbos, if it wasn’t for the following statement.

      The naturally-aspirated K-cars blew up too.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        I put 160,000+ miles over 11 years on a 2.2 Lancer ES Turbo. ZERO problems with turbo. One huge problem with the return coolant line from the turbo, which caused an overheating episode to ruin the head gasket. Once the leak and the head gasket issues were resolved, another nine years of driving. Of course, I maintained the car properly and made it a habit to have “cool down” time before parking the car.

        IMO, any problems with properly designed turbo motors (let’s not speak of the carbureted ones here), are from the owners neglecting the maintenance schedule or abuse. I think a little car like this is pretty cool, although if I had to replace my wife’s car (the “good” car), I’d buy a turbo Malibu (because Mopar doesn’t make a direct replacement of my old Lancer) and never once worry about the turbo.

        Materials, processes and lubricants have improved VASTLY in the last 25 to 30 years; if one could keep any (manufacturer’s) turbo motor alive back in the days of the Thompson Twins, it can be done today.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Uh, no they didn’t. Naturally aspirated 2.2/2.5s were pretty stout, and boosted versions were able to take pretty good thrashings and could tolerate extra boost provided care was taken with A/F ratio so as to not run too lean. Lean conditions will kill any boosted engine…

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Yeah, that’s probably true. You never see any cars in Europe like this that last very long.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        A friend’s family put over 100,000 miles on their naturally aspirated Lebaron GTS. Our Lancer ES Turbo never saw 40,000 miles, but it did see its 3rd head gasket.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        @geozinger, that’s probably the key. Buying new? Sure, go turbo, as long as you know how to take care of it. But you probably stand about as good a chance of finding a decent used turbo engine as finding a decent rotary.

    • 0 avatar
      jetcal1

      Turbo’s have improved. Improvements aside, oil coolers and a secondary oil pump are still the way to go. (Oh, and don’t forget the synthetic.) I have seen over 300k on 2 after market installations by paying attention to the lube systems and not boosting beyond common sense.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Correct. The issue with the ’80s Turbos was the car owners and to some extent, corporate management, not the parts suppliers or the Turbos themselves. Chrysler and Ford found that adding a relatively cheap Turbo to a small engine gave it highway merging punch without sacrificing MPGs. Where the corporations got it wrong was they actually expected car owners to allow their engines 30-40 seconds of ‘cool-down’ after driving them for 5 minutes or more, putting the onus on the individual to do the right thing. Which they didn’t, causing thousands of Turbos to overheat and fail way before their time. However, if you READ the owner’s manual (met far too many people who had no idea that they even had one in their car) and followed the simple instructions and had a little patience, these Turbos would last a long while.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Yeah, and modern turbos will do this cool-down for you. They are better equipped to handle the heat, so that the cool-down isn’t always necessary. However, in high boost situations, they will keep the cooling systems running after you turn the car off.

    • 0 avatar
      segxr7

      I think turbos get a bad rap because until recently, they were mostly used by VW, Saab, Chrysler, and Mitsubishi. Those tend to have pretty horrific long-term reliability regardless of whether they happen to be turbocharged. Same with diesel engines in cars–people condemn them to this day because GM couldn’t make one hold up back in the 80s.

      I had an ’88 T-Bird Turbo Coupe, which had a slightly beefed-up 2.3l Pinto engine with a 15 psi turbocharger. It had over 100k on the original engine/turbo when I got rid of it. I drove it *hard*, and bumped up the boost to 18 psi (!). It ran great and didn’t use a drop of oil. It was water-cooled, so there was no finicky cooldown period or anything. A lot of people on forums had TCs with far more miles than mine, and it was rare to hear of anyone replacing the turbo unless it was to upgrade to a bigger one.

      If Ford could pull that off 25 years ago, I don’t see why they can’t now.

      • 0 avatar
        Hezz

        My 1983 Turbo coupe went well over 200k on the original turbo. Every diesel truck you see out there on the road is turbocharged, and is expected to go 350-500K between engine overhauls.

        Nothing to worry about with turbos, everything to worry about with companies that make disposable cars. I’d be worrying about that fuel pump on a DI Ford, not the turbo.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      In the really great big super duper turbo debate, discussed by people more knowledgeable than me, why are Volvo’s low pressure turbos never brought up?

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Part Deux: What if replacing your turbo at 150k (arbitrary number thought up by me) was accepted as normal maintenance.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        For question 1, because that would kill the “turbos suck” argument (as would a number of other cases, including the VWs and Audis you don’t hear about).

        For question 2 (which I would put at 200K), because, even though the large majority of people who complain about longevity of a vehicle are replacing cars at 100K or less anyway, they like to complain.

        Also, they are cheap bastards who think a turbo is too expensive, even though there are lots of other things that just plain wear out when you run a car at 150-200K. For example, here is an upgraded turbo (K04 instead of K03 for the VW/Audi 1.8T) for $330 — first page of a Google search.
        http://www.cxracing.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=CXR&Product_Code=TRB-K04-1

        You’re a cheap f*** if you think that’s an expensive part for a European car with 150-200K miles, especially considering it will last for another 200K miles if you aren’t a cheap bastard about maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      Hoser

      I’ll be sure to let you know when the AiResearch T3 on my 1983 Turbocoupe decides to give up.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        I got to replace the turbo in my ’09 TDI this summer at 66,000. $1800 for the unit (which VW graciously agreed to eat after my calls to VWOA), $1200 for labor. Design stinks; turbo housing is cast with exhaust manifold and electronic wastegate is not replaceable separately. Any failure of part of the system means the entire assy must be replaced.

        Mark me as a disgusted customer, both with VW and turbo technology. There is no excuse for a $3000 repair of anything on a car with only 66k.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I suppose having rear doors makes the seats more easily accessible, though the back seats in the Fiat are just fine once you get there. Then again, I’m 5’6″ so there is a bit more leg room left when I’m driving.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    The Fiesta has plenty of room in the back seat for an adult. My wife is five feet tall and 95 pounds.

    She has plenty of room back there…

    That’s the largest adult I’d think would be comfortable assuming anyone over 6 feet tall is driving.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Still want Focus ST but I do have to wonder what the price/performance/insurance/interior decibel level difference will be between the two.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I haven’t sat in a Fiesta, but I’ve read more complaints about the back seat in that car then the back seat in the Fiat. The Fiesta will have an edge in cargo capacity. I’ll be curious to see the price. It’s gonna have to be good to make it not worthwhile to step up to the Focus ST or V6 Mustang, much less an Abarth, GTi, or Veloster Turbo. Maybe they get it “under $20K” with an MSRP of $19,995? It would be a nice marketing pitch.

  • avatar
    jaje

    If it comes in under $20k it will be quite a performance bargain. The Focus ST is a good $4-5k more expensive and much heavier (3,200 lbs – quite heavy for a FWD car).

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    The question becomes, for ~$20,000, do you get the most expensive version of the cheapest Ford, or the cheapest version of the most expensive Ford.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    What a vile little tin can.

    Disgusting styling, the failed MyFord Touchy, a price that is far too high, and it’s named after a woman’s product.

    This pop can is about desirable as swine flu.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    It has always been wiser to buy a cheaper version (less equipment) of a higher class car than an optioned out version of a lesser car, example> I bought a plain Camry in 86 for a little more than a well optioned Corolla.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    That’s a really cool car. I hope it can be had with the manual, a sunroof, and no Ford Touchy or Sync. That would be really cool. The Ford A/V “technology” is a no go for me. And I happily live with iDrive.

    I think the Fiesta’s size is reminiscent of the second gen Mazda 323′s which is really nice.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    CJinSD, Volt 230, 28-cars-later, segxr7…..

    Well, there are turbos and there are turbos. And there is good maintenance and bad maintenance. And good warm-up/cool-down and bad warm-up/cool-down. And there is high boost operation and low boost operation. All of which says that it’s going to be hard to generalize about “turbos” as a class.

    Turbos are essentially force-feeding an engine beyond what it would naturally handle. (Imagine force-feeding anything else, like a goose, and see what happens.) Even Mike Miller, the technical editor for BMW’s Roundel magazine, has been cautious about turbos, since longevity and low-maintenance of a car AFTER 100,000 miles are some of his primary considerations. Bearings, operating temperatures, and VERY frequent oil changes are key issues.

    Whether we like it or not, turbos are the way the auto world is going to go. They give great low-end torque, great fuel mileage, are altitude unaffected, and keep the EPA extraordinarily happy via CAFE.

    Would I get one? So far, I’ve managed to avoid them, since vehicles I obtain are intended for the long haul. But one day (if I live long enough), that may not be possible. Maybe get one that operates conservatively, do the proper warm-up and cool down, and change turbo oil every 2,000 miles. It’s just a bit early to tell anything definitively about this new flurry of turbos, like Ecoboost.

    Here is a link from someone who asked exactly this question:
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070715115230AAaQjOC

    ————————-

  • avatar
    Skink

    It would be a good car if the power was directed to the rear wheels.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Turbo reliability? If only this site had posts from someone with a good background in statistics and control of a large amount of auto reliability data… Michael Karesh, are you out there? Would you check to see if reliability tracks with make vs. Turbo? Maybe even see if the recent versions are tracking as more reliable than older turbos? It’s work for free, but you could always make it a story on your own byline instead of a reply to this one if B.S. approves.

  • avatar
    BigMeats

    Interesting photo. If Ford issued that, why do they want to evoke rotting concrete infrastructure?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “I, along with I’m sure Sajeev and probably most people, wish there was a Lincoln equivalent of the Mustang.”

    The time to strike was when the iron was hot back in ’05 and Mercury was around. A greatly upgraded interior Cougar would have been awesome….

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Why not the three door? It would sure look cute in my driveway. remember when we had choices? The manufacturers offered 2dr hdtp, 4 dr hdtp, 2 dr sedan, 4 dr sedan, 2 dr convertible, 2 dr station wagon, 4 dr station wagon. We had several choices of colors inside and out. Now the auto industry gouges the public with few choices and bland black or grey interiors. You could also get bench seats or bucket seats. Now we are left with overpriced vhicles with little style.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    I like this car.

    I like it even more because it has a proper manual transmission!

    Should be a fun little pocket rocket.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    What we need now is a hot version of the Sonnic so that the war can begin.

    • 0 avatar
      tbone33

      I almost purchased a Sonic hatch, which has a very useable rear seat. If one buys the 1.4l turbo for 18k, then spends another $400 on a chip, one can have 150 hp and 180 ft lbs of torque. Those may not be a hot hatch numbers, but the numbers are at least warm. On the other hand, then you have a car with below average reliability (per Truedelta) that will operate under more stress than it was designed for.


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