By on March 22, 2016

Bark and Danger Girl's Ford Fiesta STs, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

It’s hard to believe it, but I’m over halfway done with my Fiesta ST. It’s been 13 months since little Zippy made My Old Kentucky Home his semi-permanent residence, displacing the Boss (RIP) in the process. And while my attention has turned somewhat to Zippy’s ultimate replacement, I still smile every time that I press the Start button in the FiST.

My son, whom you may remember for his tearful goodbye to the 302, now hoots and hollers from his booster seat with every press of the accelerator, the yellow beast expunged from his memory. My daughter, ever mindful of the fact that we only get to keep Zippy for another 11 months, has requested that we get another one just like it at the end of the lease.

So imagine their excitement when another Performance Blue Fiesta ST rolled into our driveway over the weekend.

Bark and Danger Girl's Ford Fiesta STs, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Although several other autowriters have purchased their own FiSTs over the past two years (Zach Bowman comes to mind), perhaps nobody has done more the grow the legend of the Fiesta ST than The Smoking Tire‘s Matt Farah, to the point where Farah has been directly accused by many of receiving some sort of payola from Ford. Let me be clear and to the point on this: no such money ever exchanged hands. The Fiesta ST is just that good. And after several thousand dollars worth of upgrades, including a Cobb Stage 3 kit, Matt ultimately decided to sell his car to some lucky soul to make room for another Ford hot hatch in his garage.

That lucky soul was none other than the infamous Danger Girl, who flew out to Matt’s home in SoCal and drove it all the way back to Ohio, with only one quick stop for winter tires in Colorado. After a quick swap back to summer tires on white Sparco rims, and the installation of a booster seat, Danger Girl and big brother Jack made their way down to the Bluegrass this past weekend — ostensibly to bring the little clone to visit his cousins, but also so our seemingly identical Fiesta STs could make friends.

Danger Girl's Ford Fiesta ST Engine with Cobb intake, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Seemingly identical on the outside, that is. After 11,000 miles, a few hours of track time, and two sets of brake pads, I know the Fiesta ST inside and out. The interior will never remind anybody of the Bentley Continental GT3R, but Ford had to compromise somewhere to achieve a sticker south of $25,000. Where they didn’t make a single compromise was in the driving experience. There’s not a single car on the market today that can be driven as close to its limit with such relative ease as the FiST. Despite its obvious lack of straight line speed, the Little Ford That Could can put much more expensive cars squarely in its rear view. I’ve personally watched Cayman and M3 drivers scratch their heads in bewilderment as I thanked them for point-bys.

But I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that I’ve often been able to measure straightaways with a sundial. If there’s anything my hatchback has been lacking, it’s been the ability to mash the go pedal and feel the car kick me in the ass a bit. So when Danger Girl gingerly offered me the opportunity to drive her new baby with its significant power, suspension, and braking upgrades, I accepted without a second thought.

One of the greatest things about living in Central Kentucky is the abundance of drivers’ roads at my disposal. In fact, all I need to do to find a road that highlights the weaknesses of any automobile is make a right turn out of my development. Two Mile Road in Clark County is full of elevation changes, tight corners, and point-to-point straights. I have lived there for eight years, and I still don’t have it completely figured out. And there’s always the chance that around a blind corner you’ll find a John Deere tractor moving at a sloth’s pace.

Danger Girl's Ford Fiesta ST w/ Recaro Seats, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Before I even started my foothills blast, I could feel the difference. Danger Girl’s car has the Recaro seats, which held me snugly in place (I have no idea how Matt and Thaddeus, who are both substantially larger than I am, fit into this car). The whoosh of the turbo was immediately apparent, as was the pitch from the Cobb exhaust.

Ok. Let’s go.

Yes, there was much sturm und drang as I launched out onto the road. The shift points come up much quicker, and the Stage 3 tune allows the turbo to stay in overboost for what seems like eternity. I don’t have Matt’s build sheet memorized, so I can’t be sure of this, but it felt like the sway bar was swapped for a much stiffer one. The friendly body roll felt in my car was non-existent in the tuned FiST as I hustled around the turns, and with much less suspension travel than I’m accustomed.

Finding exactly the right gear isn’t as much of an issue, as there’s just more torque everywhere, but the shifting happens quickly and furiously. The FiST isn’t the easiest car to heel-toe due to the position of the pedals, but I didn’t have to get it exactly right for the power to be there. Matt’s old car jumped out of the turns with minimal coaxing, allowing the excellent stock torque vectoring to work to perfection, pulling the nose of the Fiesta through each backroad exit.

Danger Girl's Ford Fiesta ST with white Sparco wheels, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Braking happened instantly and violently in comparison to the stock car, lurching the nose over the front wheels. Danger Girl had a set of Sumitomo summer tires on the car, which didn’t particularly enjoy being asked to brake and turn at the same time; the stock Bridgestones are better, but a set of Direzzas or RE71Rs would be better, still.

All in all, the old Smoking Tire car has enough upgrades to help it keep pace with nearly anything you can imagine on these types of roads. But is it an improvement over the way the FiST rolls off the line in Cuautitlán? In every measurable way, there’s no question the customized car is better. But in many ways, the FiST reminds me of my old RX-8. Every change you make to it seems to take away some of the original magic of the car. It might put up a better time at the track, but it’s like putting a new Shinola alligator band on a TAG Heuer Moncao (which I just did, coincidentally). Everybody knows the TAG bands are garbage, and that the Shinola band is better … but it’s still not a TAG band.

In this case, the sum wasn’t equal to the parts. What Matt and his crew created is something wonderful, but I’m not convinced that it’s a Fiesta ST. I’ll keep mine the way it is.

[Images: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars]

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64 Comments on “Long-Term Tester Update: The Smoking Tire Fiesta ST Comes To Visit...”

  • avatar

    C’mon, Bark, we all know *you’re* the one being paid off by Ford.


  • avatar

    94.8% of vehicles modded from the factory (and the OEM engineers’ specs) end up worse for it.

    *I pulled that 94.8% estimate from thin air, but would bet I’m not far off the mark if such a thing could be measured.

    Rule #1 of “Don’t Ruin Resale Value” Club: Do NOT mod your vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      Cars can be returned to stock form. It’s NBD.

      And “worse”/”better” are highly subjective and individual metrics.

      But what else can be expected of somebody who suggested a 6MT Fit EX driver trade his ride in for a rental spec Camry?

      • 0 avatar

        Many common body, suspension, and electrical mods do not allow for easy (or any) return to stock.

      • 0 avatar

        the problem is that it’s still usually possible to tell if it was modded in the past, and the type of person who would buy a used FiST is likely going to know what to look for.

        but yeah, on these kinds of cars, mods can sometimes help resale, but usually hurt them. To me, a car for sale with performance mods is worth exactly $0. IME a modded car is a beaten car, and I don’t want to be the schmuck left to discover how hard a life the car had.

        Another point- a few years ago I sold my SRT-4 after having it about 9 years and 170,000 miles. I had it listed on Autotrader for like 7 hours before a guy showed up and bought it. The magic words were “no mods, never been modded” and that was plainly evident. it helped also that as far as SRT-4 owners go, I was well on the “older” side.

    • 0 avatar

      I think 94.8% is low, personally. It’s exceedingly hard for most private individuals to do a better job than the factory engineers.

      Mods that work can include the following:

      – Better tires and brake pads, obviously
      – Swap for stock-size, but lighter, wheels
      – Tune 1) by a really good shop specializing in the make 2) that has the goal of better matching the ECU to the quirks of the specific engine installed in the car, not massively increasing power (most tunes do not fit in either of these categories)
      – Speaker swaps, on cars without audio-company-tuned OEM audio systems

      Pretty much anything else is very likely to make the car worse.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly and precisely correct (requisite TTAC B&B politically correct *IMO*).

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        re: “Better tires and brake pads, obviously”

        Better for what? Those of us in harsher climates will be familiar with the phenomenon known as “California tires.” They perform great in magazine track tests, but they become rock hard when the temperature dips below 60, and they grip like a bar of soap in the wet.
        Same thing with performance brake pads: great on the race track, but pray you don’t need them before they warm-up.

        I am hearing more stories of engine tunes gone wrong, like 5-figure repair wrong. That happened a lot in the 90s when every cap-backwards kid had delusions of being the next AMG, but it went away for a long while. Now it’s back.

        • 0 avatar

          The meaning of “better” may be different from one application to the next, but if chosen with the correct priorities in mind better tires and pads will probably improve your car. Correct priorities is probably not going to mean summer tires for 4-season use in a cold place, or race pads for a gentle street driver.

          Also, those mods are truly easy to reverse and won’t affect your car’s value at all.

          Tunes are hard. The good ones are a genuine improvement with little or no downside, but most are not good.

        • 0 avatar

          If you live in a “harsher climate”, you should be using winter tires in the winter months anyway. All season tires are just crap all year long.

          I do tend to agree with you about brake pads, at least on the better brands. I tend to not see the point of tunes – cars are fast enough already.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d add differential and gearing changes (within reason) to your list as well.

        Edit: and maybe additional oil and transmission coolers.

      • 0 avatar

        “– Speaker swaps, on cars without audio-company-tuned OEM audio systems”

        YMMV. I’ve been in some cars/SUVs with *expensive* branded audio systems, and they were disgustingly bad. I left thinking “19 speakers, DSP, and 800 watts, and *this* is what they did with it?”

        • 0 avatar

          That is true, but the presence of a branded audio system usually makes installing an aftermarket system very difficult. Often you have to rip out everything. Branded speakers often have weird impedance and weird crossover points, and the amps are typically built to handle that and won’t deal well with drop-in aftermarket speakers.

          And my rule still applies… it is VERY VERY DIFFICULT to create an aftermarket system that truly sounds better than a mediocre stock system with decent aftermarket speakers. Just adding a lot of power won’t do it.

          Also, there is the head unit issue. OEM head units often have their issues, but aftermarket head units are a disaster. They look horrible installed in most cars newer than about the mid-’90s, they typically have nasty garish onscreen graphics, and they are often very hard to use.

          • 0 avatar

            *shrug* most of the aftermarket speakers I’ve tested (from mainstream brands) have been pieces of junk. If the box has a graph showing the speakers frequency response, it’s a total fabrication. They claim 100 watt continuous power capability, but even at head unit power levels (16 watts) they have incredible amounts of distortion in the bass and midbass, and poorly damped cones so the modulation distortion is terrible. I can’t afford to shell out for stuff like Focal so I won’t claim any knowledge of the higher end stuff. But there really is a lot of bs and nonsense in audio which convinces people to pay for things like cast aluminum speaker frames, sparkly cones, and rubber boots on the magnet; all the while the thing just utterly fails at being a decent speaker.

    • 0 avatar

      There are few modifications that I think are a good idea, but they are usually “factory modifications”.

      For example, I put the suspensions pieces and the steering rack from an Olds Touring Sedan on my Electra. Another idea would be taking Marauder or P71 parts and putting them on a stock Grand Marquis.

      • 0 avatar

        This can work, but often requires caution — for instance (just to pick a car I know) installing a roll bar from a LS460 F-Sport onto a regular LS460 will not produce the right results without also adding the stiffer F-Sport shocks. One piece often relies on another. Especially with suspension, you’re likely to make the car worse if you install some factory parts but not others from a hotted-up version.

        Of course there are truly simple mods like +1 OEM wheels — those rarely cause problems. In fact I’m on the lookout for a set of 16″ “GS wheels” in the Seattle area for my Legend L with factory 15s.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed with the exception:

      – V8’s were meant to be uncorked aft of the heads

      – Honda motors were meant to be uncorked before the heads

      – never discard the oem parts


    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      To each their own, I always say. Some of those mods can make people really fall in love with their cars. The mods are particularly useful when you’re thinking about trading in a paid-off car, when some tender loving care and a few tasteful upgrades would cause you to want to keep it for another five or six years.

      The bad part, as you basically said, is when people modify their cars and then expect the pre-owned market to reimburse them for their outlay. Only a fool would pay you extra for that cheap lift kit and those (illegal) green corona DRLs you put on your Silverado LT.

    • 0 avatar

      DW you are mostly right but some mods are logical. Heres a perfect example…my BMW 335d came from Germany with Continental run flat tires. By the time it had 35,000 miles 3 of the 4 wheels were bent due to run flats ridged sidewalls that transfer the shock of hitting potholes directly to the wheel. I replaced the wheels with the same BMW wheel, replaced the tires with a set of excellent Falken ZE950’s, and bought a BMW spare tire kit with a space saver spare. 45,000 miles later all 4 wheels are still perfect. Since I live in socal where it gets hot, all my vehicles are white and they all have aftermarket tinted windows which again is IMHO a logical mod.

      • 0 avatar

        Good tires, good wheels, tint (which is pretty much necessary in Florida, Nevada, Arizona, etc.) and even good shocks & struts are not things I’d be concerned about from a mod standpoint.

        Even high quality, larger sway bars work well and are not objectionable in terms of sports car mods.

        Bilstein HD shocks alone can actually improve resale value on many vehicles (I love Bilstein quality and so do many buyers in the performance car and truck market).

        Engine mods (chip or FI), catback/exhaust mods, any “stance” suspension, body kits, custom paint, etc., are the types of things that kill resale either because they’re too owner specific or create reliability issues.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a friend who has a 2015 Focus ST who is constantly wanting to perform upgrades: engine tuning, new intake, exhaust (because that noise yo!) and is all the time telling me I should do the same to mine, 2014 FoST. My response is that my car is more than adequate for my needs and that I’d rather not futz with it. Oh, and the guy at the gas station is telling me to tune my car so I can push over 300hp and 320ish torques. It’s not worth it for me.

      On another note, do the countries of origin for the ST levels in the Fiesta vary like they do for the Focus ST? I have an ST1 and my engine is Spanish, whereas my friend has an ST3 with a German engine. Confused.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve been thinking about a Fiesta ST, but over the weekend I drove a base rental Focus, and appreciated the inherent goodness in the car. I’ve yet to drive any model of Fiesta.

        Aside from the obvious size difference, which is more fun, Fiesta or Focus ST? Is the Focus almost as good? I’m wondering what the pros and cons are, other than the size.

        • 0 avatar

          One of the biggest cons to the Focus ST is the enormous pickup truck-like turning circle of almost 40′. Kind of defeats one of the main advantages of buying a smaller car, maneuverability. Almost everyone has said the FiST is the most fun and the hot hatch to beat in the segment for overall performance. If you don’t need the space, get the FiST.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t have much experience with the Fiesta as a rule, but I noticed that the blind spots are hideous even compared to the Focus. I didn’t like that the car felt like a roller skate, but I understand that is what some people appreciate. To me the Focus ST feels more solid and pinned down, read heavy.

          What Ubermensch says is true; the turning circle takes some getting used to. There is only 3/4 turn from top dead centre to full lock on either side and the tires are wide, about 12′. The Fiesta ST has a larger fuel tank as well; don’t ask me why.

          If you liked the Fiesta, then by all means buy it. They look decent as a hatchback.

    • 0 avatar

      DeadWeight is right. If I have even the slightest sense a car has been modded previously, I’m gone.

  • avatar

    Thanks guys! So glad the car could go to a good home. The Sparco wheels look nice! For those who are probably interested, here’s a build sheet for everything we put on the car:

    COBB Stage 3 Package:
    – COBB Turbo-Back Exhaust w/ Poly Exhaust Mounts
    – COBB Cold Air Intake & Filter
    – COBB Front-Mount Intercooler and plumbing
    – COBB Rear Motor Mount

    COBB Off-The Shelf Stage 3 91 Octane Tune & 100 Octane Pro-Tune (real time switchable via Accessport)
    Stock HP – 191 WHP, 237 WTQ
    Stage 3 Off the Shelf 91 Octane Tune HP – 217 WHP, 287 WTQ
    Stage 3 100 Octane Pro Tune – 240 WHP, 318 WTQ

    Pierce Motorsports Polyurethane Bushings
    Porterfield R4S Brake Pads
    Motul RBF600 Fluid
    Stoptech Stainless Steel Brake Lines
    Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires

    Thats it! I included the Pierce Motorsports front and rear chassis braces with the car; never got around to installing them, maybe Danger Girl got them done? The sway bars were stock last time I saw the car.

    I hope you guys have so much fun with it. Use launch control by holding down the ‘OK’ button on the steering wheel and flooring it in first gear. Now go beat up on some Porsche’s in the canyons.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it must have been the bushings that I was noticing. It’s a hell of a car, bro. :)

    • 0 avatar

      Looked up the cobb cai. I approve. Most cais dont use the factory airbox and are pulling hot air from the engine bay rather than cool air from outside, that hot engine bay air equals turbo death at worst and decreased performance at best.

      Of course you dont want condensation to form either…its a fine line keeping turbocharger output and charge air cooler output all at the right temperatures…my plant uses a two stage charge air cooler, cooling each stage with water and flow control mixing valves to keep the temperature precisely cool but not cool enough to condensate. See Whartons diesel engines page 37.

    • 0 avatar

      It has just come to my attention here that the 1.6 Ecoboost in my Fusion 6MT must be pretty similar. Bark or Matt, do you know of any major differences in the engines? Checked the Cobb site and though it lists a tuner as available, there are no specifics on the tunes. We’ve been pleased by the car’s agility as-delivered–was surprised to fine it weighs only 3350lbs–but the power is merely adequate. Looking to add some chassis enhancements from Steeda, like a strut brace and rear anti-roll bar, but Steeda doesn’t even acknowledge the 1.6T exists. Another 50 hp would certainly delay the day it gets traded for a Fusion Sport with an inevitable automatic transmission. We love the manual transmission–with it the car really seems more like a late-90s 5-series than a current midsize domestic.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t know if the COBB software works on the Fusions, but if you call up their main headquarters in Austin, they have a team of reps who would be happy to tell you.

  • avatar

    I rented standard Fiesta at DTW last week. 400 miles. 60% expressway. 39MPG. Computed long hand. miles/gallons. Not using the lying trip computers.

    Previous Pissat was 36mpg. Altima 36MPG. Much roomier. Just about same mileage.

    Drove nice. But i m 6’3″ 220 lbs. Too small. Real tight across the knees.

    Fiesta is out for me even tho I love pocket rockets. Prior Civic Si and Sentra SE-R owner here.

  • avatar


    Just out of curiosity, what kind of wear are you getting from the FiST’s tires? Is it a decent highway ride?

    I checked a FiST out this weekend at the car show, and daddy likes. I’ve been thinking Mazda3, but this car’s on my radar now.

    I owned a Focus ST (the last gen) back the day, and was stuck buying new tires basically every year and half, which got expensive. Plus I should have had winter tires, because the performance rubber compromised the Focus’ winter capabilities – anything more than a few inches of snow and it was basically useless, which is a bad thing here in Denver. I’m a single dad with two kids at home AND alimony, so I’d rather not incur a lot of extra automotive costs if I don’t have to.

    Any input?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m pleased that cars like this even exist.

    • 0 avatar

      to me, doing a Fiesta ST was a no-brainer. It’s more or less a “parts bin” car when you think about it. I can’t see how there would be too many bespoke parts on it which don’t have an “ST” logo on them. Brakes and some suspension bits.

      • 0 avatar

        There is no other Fiesta with a 6MT in it. That’s pretty major.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Exactly. It couldn’t have been too expensive for Ford to produce that variant. Yet, it seems to be (I have not driven one) a vehicle that is a lot greater than the sum of its parts. Plus, it seems to have gone a long way in fostering goodwill toward Ford from motorsport enthusiasts.

        A no-brainer, indeed.

  • avatar

    I assume we would have heard here if there had been a major failure while you’ve owned the car Bark, but have you encountered any unexpected issues at all? And is there someplace we can read about the long-term ownership experience of what is now DG’s car?

    I’m wanting one of these more and more. Thinking about insurance quotes and test drives now.

    • 0 avatar

      No, no issues whatever with the car. It’s been dead reliable.

      Mr. Farah chimed in above with his build sheet. He’s been talking about the car for about a year and a half now on his podcasts.

    • 0 avatar

      I had the car for 2 years, 2 months and 16,000 miles. During that time the car went to the dealer twice, for regularly scheduled maintenance, and that was it. Never had a single issue. We went through the stock Bridgestone tires in about 7,000 miles, and the Michelin Pilot Super Sports we replaced them with were on the car when DG picked it up, with maybe 30% tread life remaining. But as far as reliability goes, we didn’t have any issues at all in the first 2 years, and here is a video of what it’s like to drive it on the 100 octane tune (maybe i can’t post video links? Doesn’t seem to be showing)

      • 0 avatar

        Links don’t work in our comments, unfortunately. :(

        EDIT: removed the http, now you can copy and paste.

      • 0 avatar

        Wicked ride! I’ve been obsessively watching smoking tire videos over the past 3 days. Wife thinks I’ve gone off the deep end, but she understands that the smoking tire videos have been filling in the void left by the demise of the old top gear. The FiST on 100 octane? Well, that’s a sick ride. One of my favorite videos!

  • avatar

    To me, this is so much self-reinforcement. Two guys who both swear that what they did with their cars is the best way.

    My experience – 2011 GTI Autobahn 6MT. APR $600 Stage I tune (actually, I have the factory tune, the Stage I 91 octane, the Stage I 93 octane and a 100 octane tune), a good ($250) short ram (heat-insulated) intake, better pads ($219), an Audi S3 intercooler ($149 and it is a bolt-in swap) for more capacity, and Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires. Total minus the tires (OEM Pirellis were worn out anyway): $1,218. This to me is the sweet spot – Stage II would have meant probably a stronger clutch.

    Stock, on a chassis dyno, it showed 203 hp/218 torque, with power peaking at 5,500 rpm. Tuned, it dynos (same dyno) at 232 hp, 272 torque, peaking at 6,000.

    In 49,000 miles, I have had a drivers-door keyless sensor go bad, and had one fuel injector go bad…both handled under warranty. That’s it.

    I can switch between tunes without leaving the driver’s seat, using the cruise control switchgear. Since I got the mods done, with around 3,500 miles on it, I set it to Stage I, 93 octane, and have never, ever changed it from that.

    I don’t beat on it – but I don’t see how having less power is a better thing. GTIs are known for not having much in the way of torque steer, and will the extra power, it still doesn’t.

    It’s holding its value quite well, but I modded it because I want it to drive that way now, while I own it…I’m not going to worry that when I go to sell it, I might not get as much for it…GTIs don’t typically lose value with minimal, well-done mods.

    I have to laugh at the 9-year-old SRT4 Neon with 170,000 miles that went for top money because it had never been modded…just what IS top money for that car, with those miles, anyhow? An official Mopar Stage I tune would not have even affected the warranty, and the owner went without the extra performance for 9 years and 170,000 miles…so that he could get an extra $800 or whatever at resale? Kidding?

    It’s like people I know who bought a house last year, who plan to stay for 10-15 years, who won’t redo the kitchen, because in that neighborhood, in that house, they won’t get it back at resale…hello – you are going to use the kitchen EVERY DAY for 10-15 years! Having a better kitchen all that time is the payback…not when you sell the house!

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Make it 4. I’ve had 2 heavily modified BMWs – supercharged with reputable firms, that had a combined 70k miles , track driven in one of them ,without a single major mechanical failure, including stock clutches. The e36 had 140k miles on it when I sold it.
    I sold both for a fair price to likeminded enthusiasts, via interweb forum.
    It’s true you can never get the full price of mods upon resale, but who cares on a depreciating asset. But I enjoyed approx 5 yrs of driving fun. Actually the zhp is probably going to appreciate..

    • 0 avatar

      ZHP e46s are going for crazy money right now. I know because I have been looking for one. The ones I have found on AT are listed for over twice their KBB values. I’m not going to pay $25k for a 12 year old 3 series. Crackpipe

      • 0 avatar

        The ZHP has not much over a sport package car. 10 hp ? The issue of the suspension has been done to death, and at this age, you can pick and choose your parts. Find a clean sport package car, and ignore the ZHP.

      • 0 avatar

        My current stable is an ’05 ZHP coupé, and an ’02 E39 M5. Both bone stock and super-clean. The ZHP may be the best car I’ve owned in 43 years of driving. And I say that despite the fine machine that sits next to it.

        Nice ZHPs can be found for reasonable money, and they turn up fairly regularly. People (and dealers too) often don’t know what they have.

        • 0 avatar

          Currently have a 2016 Fiesta ST, had a 03 ZHP sedan I sold for a C5 Z06. Sometimes wish I’d kept the ZHP, since it was absolutely the best all-around car I’ve ever had.

  • avatar

    Tell about your trip to the Post office to pick up your package from Ford (wink). Did the car ride any better on the way back ?

  • avatar

    Must. Not. Trade in. Accord. Before. The. Lease. Is. Up.

  • avatar

    We also installed the Cobb Stg 3 stuff and have approximately 20k miles on it problem free. It’s a little more laggy, a little bit louder (reminds me of our old Abarth), and it feels like the car has slightly more oomph. Is the mods worth it? I’m undecided. My favorite mod is the Koni Yellows thanks to the efforts of Lee Grimes and his team over at Koni. All the extra rebound makes the car more planted on the KY back roads. Now days, our FiST is rarely driven. Most of my commuting is in a GX470. Driving around Louisville is harder and harder in any sports car. Traffic, road, and other terrible drivers takes away any fun you can have in a car. My S2000s, Civic Si, and FiST enjoy garage life most days out of the year.

  • avatar

    I just purchased a 2016 FiST yesterday, Kona Blue with the black rims, low profile tires – only thing not on the car are the Ricaro seats. This car has got to be one of the best bargains available on the market today – the features you get for the price are amazing!

  • avatar

    I owned a Fiesta st for about 15 months.
    As a daily driver this car was great in the summer.
    In the cooler months it was awful.
    I swapped to smaller rims with snow tires.
    Here in new York, with the awful potholes on the roads, it was just awful in the winter.
    You bounce around like a freaking pinball inside.
    ZERO cargo space with rear seatire up also.
    Traded for a accord sport 6 speed, very glad I did.
    Almost as quick from a stop, runs on 87 octane, and is much roomier.
    As a secondary vehicle/toy though the fist would be great.

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  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber