2005 Ford Fiesta ST150 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Quick, beautifully sorted and well made - well pleased!


No faults so far (I would hope not, too)

General Comments:

After five years with an infinitely troublesome, but fun to drive Saxo VTS, I was looking seriously at a Clio 182 Cup, but had reservations about the build quality and reliability. Two friends who had (admittedly older) Clio 172's were thoroughly disgusted with the quality and faults of their cars, and backup from Renault UK, so despite the Clio's very impressive driving characteristics, I was reluctant to hand over the cash. When the ST was announced I decided to hold off and try one, and I'm very pleased I did.

Let's get one thing out of the way. The ST is not as quick off the mark as the Clio. The Renault's engine is an absolute screamer and goes like a missile when you give it its head. The Fiesta's is a bit lazier and more midrange orientated. That's not to say it isn't quick or won't rev - far from it, but the Clio definitely has the edge. On the flip side, the ST feels just as quick if not quicker than the Clio below 5,000 RPM which let's face it is more useful in day to day driving.

In all other respects however, and after nearly 5,000 miles of use, I cannot fault the ST. The handling is brilliant - proper old school hot hatch stuff with a bit of lift off oversteer always available, lovely, quick geared and perfectly weighted steering that is full of feel, and a general "thrash the living daylights out of me" feel as soon as you slip behind the wheel. After the Focus' 6 year reign as the drivers car of its class, it would have been little short of criminal for Ford to have screwed up here.

Like most Fords, the driving position is very natural (something again I couldn't really get on with in the Clio) and it has lovely Recaro style seats which are snug and firm, but very comfortable. The dash plastics and build quality wouldn't disgrace a car of twice this price, and coming from the flimsy Saxo, it feels like a substantially better piece of engineering all round.

The engine was very tight when new, and my car felt substantially less responsive than the 1500 mile demonstrator I tried. However, patience and restraint for 1,000 miles (my choice, not the manufacturers) paid off and now it flies. The engine is a little coarse at high revs, and there is quite a lot of intrusion when you're working it hard, but they've engineered in just the right amount of induction roar and tailpipe noise to give it a purposeful quality. It's not as sweet as the Clio's unit, but I like the fact that you can hear it working. Too many modern cars are silenced to the point of blandness.

Reliability has so far been impeccable, and to be honest I would expect nothing else at this age and mileage. The 2.0 Zetec engine is well proven, and I know several Mondeos and Focuses with this engine that have blitzed 150,000 miles without a single mechanical hiccup. It used a bit of oil in the first 2,000 miles, but this has settled nicely. I last topped it up at 3,200 miles and it's still over half way to max on the dipstick. The car gets driven hard (it just begs for it) so that's quite acceptable for me.

It's too early to comment on dealers as the car hasn't needed any attention yet. My brother-in-law runs a company Focus and uses a local dealer which he recommends, so hopefully they will be OK. The other good thing with Ford ownership is having three dealers within a 15 mile radius of my house.

So to summarise, it's a fast, fun, slightly coarse rocketship which really feels like it's been set up by people who care about driving. It's well made, reliable (so far touch wood) and comfortable enough to use daily without discomfort. Power junkies will buy the Clio for its insane engine, but as a package, and to own and pay for out of your own pocket, I would argue this is the better car. As for performance, bear in mind that German magazine Auto Bild got this car around the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife just a tenth of a second slower than the more powerful 182.

I only use it on the road anyway, and so far I'm chuffed to bits.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2005

27th May 2005, 08:11

An excellent, well written review!

2nd Aug 2005, 12:13

Very well written, and useful indeed; what a delight to see that people know what they are talking about! Felt I should say that (plus I'm also crossed between Clio Cup and Fiesta ST, an obvious choice for some). I was impressed to see that all the points you mention are relevant to me (even the engine noise, although I like them sweet;-) and from the practical perspective. Although I confess I probably wouldn't want to buy second hand from you;-)

2005 Ford Fiesta ST 150 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Fantastic fun!



General Comments:

Fantastic car! Had a Zetec S prior to the ST and thought that was good! but the ST is something else.

Despite being a small hatch the build quality and comfort of the car is more like you would find in a quality saloon, seats are comfortable, wind noise non existent the car is well kitted out and all the controls are easy to hand.

Performance - well, handling is phenomenal no body roll, stable at high speeds (even at about 130 mph doesnt seem scary) and can match or better most cars on the road. My only criticism is that it doesn't feel that fast straight line 0-60 but from 60 mph onward it pulls and pulls leaving any following cars as tiny dots in the rear view mirror (often much to their surprise)! Great fun on the motorway and back lanes too due to taught handling!

I love this car! (just wish it had an extra 20bhp or so)!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2005

21st Apr 2005, 04:44

I have recently taken delivery of my Performance Blue ST150 and after 1500 miles I am very impressed. I was amazed by how much the engine loosens up with miles and feels a lot punchier now, particularly toward the upper end of the rev range.

One thing I am pig sick of already is people asking how it compares to the Clio 182. This was my view:

Performance: Clio quicker by a fair way. You have to thrash it to within an inch of its life though.

Handling: Very little in it.

Feel: Fiesta's trump card IMO. Lovely steering, sharp, but progressive brakes, perfect heel and toe pedal layout, knife through butter gearbox. Steering apart, the Clio can't match it.

Build quality: Again, the Fiesta by a country mile. Trim, plastics and build quality wouldn't disgrace a mid spec saloon. Clio feels cheap and tacky and both demonstrators I drove had numerous creaks and squeaks despite less than 1500 miles on the clock. There is more engine and road noise in the Ford though.

Running costs: Again the Fiesta - 3 groups lower insurance, and Ford parts are about the cheapest available.

I also read an article in Autocar this week that said despite a 32 bhp difference, the ST and 182 are within a tenth of a second of each other around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Not regretting my decision so far. When I have more miles on the clock I'll post a review.