By on November 28, 2012

The Ford Fiesta ST looks even better in a bland color like silver. It’s the kind of car you could leave parked on the street without worrying about theft or vandalism. Try that with a hot Honda from the 90’s. The ST’s big change might be the ST-specific seats installed here. There’s only a small badge, and the alloys don’t exactly scream “performance car” either.


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32 Comments on “Live Shots Of The Ford Fiesta ST: 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show...”

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    At least in the pictures, this looks really nice. We’re waiting for “tangerine scream” to make an appearance . . .

    The question this car may raise is: Why buy the Focus ST? The rear seat room in the Focus is not great; nor is the cargo room under the hatch, with the rear seats up. This car may be a few tenths of second slower; but I’m guessing it’s going to feel pretty nimble, which is what these cars are all about anyway.

    If you want to haul ass in a straight line, buy a Mustang . . . either engine.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m wondering the same thing too…

    • 0 avatar

      Just riffing here, but four doors with a rear seat that will be comfortable for my two kids, plus performance?

    • 0 avatar

      If the Recaros are much larger than the standard seats, the rear seat in the Fiesta could be kids-only. Adults of middling height will just fit in the back seat of the Focus ST.

      Juxtaposed with the XKR-S, the Fiesta ST further emphasizes a point in my Focus ST review: why are the most expensive performance cars now the gaudiest? Some commenters found the Focus ST a bit overdone, especially in TS paint, but compared to anything AMG or Jaguar’s latest performance models either ST is quite tame.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        It’s been about a year since I went Focus-shopping, but I do recall sitting in the Fiesta in the showroom and thinking it felt a little small, even in front. (I’m 6’4″ 215 lbs.) For that matter, the Focus felt snug to me, but I’m o.k. with “snug.” With me driving, only small adults or kids are going to work sitting behind me in either car.

        My theory about the gaudiness of six-figure performance cars is that they are like five-figure mechanical watches of the type you see advertised in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal: they are about display, not function. Their owners want everyone else to look at what they’ve bought and be impressed. The performance delta of these cars over their more pedestrian model siblings is completely unusable on public roads. In fact, the performance of their pedestrian siblings is largely unusable on public roads. So, it’s really about flash.

        I recall fondly my 1992 Taurus SHO, which was totally devoid of any boy racer accessories. Only those in the know would recognize the cheese slicer wheels as belonging to a hot sedan, rather than its family-hauler cousin. And, I would add, the performance difference between the SHO and its pedestrian siblings was completely useable on public roads, where it’s useful not to draw attention to yourself with flash.

    • 0 avatar

      Because you can put the rear seats down to get cargo space, get similar strait line performance, get vastly better gas mileage on the commute and because, while the Mustang is nimble in it’s own way, this thing will make a Mustang feel like a semi truck.
      But most importantly, there is now a choice!

    • 0 avatar

      There is actually a big difference between the two cars’ back seats. The Focus’s isn’t huge, but it’s usable by, say, tallish teens. The Fiesta’s is closer to being a kids-only proposition.

      But I do like the way the Fiesta ST looks. If I wanted a small-but-zippy commuter car… this would definitely make the short list.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m going to say that if you’ve got two small kids and daycare payments plus health insurance are killing you, and you want a sporty small car, but didn’t want to pay in the ballpark of $30k for the Focus ST (after dealer mark-ups, and the fact you can’t find a base model between Monterey and San Francisco), you go for the Fiesta ST.

      If you have the ballpark of $30k or can swing the loan payment, then you can get the Focus ST.

      As it stands now, the Fiesta ST looks like a more viable option to a Civic SI when the lease on my Crosstour is up. Unless I say “screw it” and go with either a V6 Charger or V6 Mustang.

    • 0 avatar

      The rear seat in a Focus is not as bad as you may have read. We own a 2012 Focus SE and use it primarily to taxi around our three kids (ages 9 through 13). There is plenty of room for them in the back seat for short to middle distance rides (i.e. less than an hour). However, back seat leg room is affected by how far back the front seats are extended. The range of extension back for the front seats is much greater than any other car I’ve owned. With full extension back of the front seats, rear seat leg room is cramped, but if the front seats are set for someone my height (6’1″) the rear seat leg room is acceptable, without the driver feeling cramped. I suspect that if Ford had engineered the front seats to adjust back only to the average for this class of car, the complaints about rear seat leg room would be minimal.

    • 0 avatar

      During long drives: the padding on the Focus will out perform the lower cushion on the Fiesta. Focus has full leather Recaro’s that do not look boy racer and are really comfortable if you aren’t a wider person.

      MFT – on the Focus: 8″ display. Fiesta: 6″ display. Fiesta lacks cluster control of climate, radio, etc.

      HID lamps on Focus. Dual zone climate on Focus.

      More space. I can take two friends golfing in the Focus. I can take only one in the Fiesta.

      If you think the above is trivial, the Fiesta ST will be a great value proposition.

    • 0 avatar
      Lawyer Applegate

      At 6’6″ and 275 pounds, I find that the new Fiesta effectively has MORE room for the driver than the Focus does. The asinine ‘flying buttress’ floor-to-dashboard console design of the new Focus (and a ridiculous number of other vehicles) cuts into the side of my lower leg next to the knee and that hurts like a sumbitch after an hour or two.

  • avatar

    It’s just a bit too stealth… Perhaps the color, and the wheels? Black or a deep charcoal with slightly edgier wheels.

    • 0 avatar

      No, you want stealth if you’re in an urban jungle like San Francisco. Every time I’d drive my Mustang (in Redfire Metallic) up there to see some friends in Golden Gate Park or Downtown, I’d be worrying that it was either going to be stolen or someone was going to vandalize it.

      Some cars are meant for cities and others are meant for the suburbs or small towns. A red Mustang is clearly meant for the ‘burbs.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    LOVE that this thing is understated, even more so than the Focus ST. I would seriously consider this, as radically different as it is from the likes of my current Subaru Outback.

    The issue with these cars are that this is the type of car you want to get new…since you never know how its been driven before you and chances are that its been driven very aggressively. Sad…as it’d be a great used buy.

  • avatar

    I still remember when headlights were on the fronts of cars and not on the sides.

  • avatar

    Why does it seem to be sitting so high on the wheels? It’s practically got new RAV4 levels of air between the wheel and the wheelwell, especially in front. Is this how it actually sits, or is this one on a display stand of some kind?

    • 0 avatar

      I know!!! Funny no one else commented on it. Why the hell is a performance car so high? Sheesh looks like its ready for some 4×4 action. I always wonder why manufacturers hesitate to lower the height on these so called “Performance” models?

  • avatar

    Shocking. Another mediocre Ford so over styled its almost comical.

    What an ugly, underpowered, overpriced tin can.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      Ugly – subjective
      Underpowered – are you kidding?
      Overpriced – TBD but based on Ford’s record, possibly.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s underpowered. If it was the 80s, I could see it. But with it’s porky weight, it needs more power.

        And Ford has had their arrogant pricing in place since the Flex. This cheap tin can is FAR too much. It should MAX at $15K-$16K

      • 0 avatar

        86SN2001 what are you on? How the heck is this thing underpowered? Look at the competition, look back at the Fiesta ST, then reconsider. If you think this is underpowered than you think about 99% of the cars on the market are underpowered. Jesus. Many reasonable arguments to make, but that is not one of them.

    • 0 avatar

      Your absolute hate of Ford is noted.

      Having driven a Fiesta for a week as a rental, I was reasonably impressed. Wouldn’t mind spending time behind the wheel of the ST…growing up in Germany, small hopped-up hatches made me happy (but full confession is that I’ll be looking at a Wrangler as my next ride down the road.)

      • 0 avatar

        Never said I hated Ford. There are many Ford models I like and, in fact, I own a Ford powered vehicle…and it’s my favorite vehicle to drive.

        So, in essence, you’re completely wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      197 hp in a B-class sedan is underpowered? Hell, in the 1980s, a Camaro SS had a hard time churning out 200 hp.

  • avatar

    That’s what my 89 Civic Si used to be, only better. I would love one today (I think, I haven’t actually driven it). But with a family it’s way too small for my current lifestyle.

  • avatar

    Saw this at the car show. The demographic buyers were climbing all over it so I gave up sitting inside. It is good looking in pictures, it is even better looking in person. Seems like a very nice package and has already been debated here – the Mustang is not the answer for everything.

  • avatar

    So I’m 58, and use my current Focus SE mainly as an around-town car. Seems that this Fiesta would fit the bill quite well. And I’m not too worried about all the issues raised so far; it’s more about driving fun in town. Looks like this could be a winner. And the reason for the high ride height could be the shipping bumps weren’t taken off?

  • avatar

    I like the ST, but I would like to see a middle range for both the Fiesta and Focus, like a higher HP 1.0 Ecoboost in the Fiesta and the 1.6 Ecoboost in the Focus. I drove both the Fiesta and Focus in their base forms and liked them both, but they just felt 20-30 horsepower shy of a good compromise of performance and mpg. I’d probably get into a lot of trouble with the ST versions.

  • avatar

    I needs 6″ of height taken out of it from the sheet metal. Too tall in the body all through the length of the car

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