Road Trip: 2014 Fiesta ST

Fiesta ST Road Trip Featured

Molten Missile

Traveling to Mustang Week in a 2014 Fiesta ST was more fun than expected

By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner, StacyStangz, and courtesy of Ford Motor Company

I have driven some great Mustangs to Myrtle Beach over the years. From a GT500 to a Boss 302 to a Gotta Have It Green Coyote, they have always garnered positive comments, questions, and the traditional thumbs-up from fellow Mustang Weekers. As I rolled toward the beach in a 2014 Fiesta ST, I wasn’t quite sure how the hardcore Mustang fans would react to the little hot hatch.

Having driven a variety of high-performance ’Stangs to Mustang Week, I wasn’t quite sure how the Fiesta ST would be accepted by the Pony Car crowd. It turns out the Molten Orange missile received a warm welcome from the Mustang fans. Performance is a universal language.
Having driven a variety of high-performance ’Stangs to Mustang Week, I wasn’t quite sure how the Fiesta ST would be accepted by the Pony Car crowd. It turns out the Molten Orange missile received a warm welcome from the Mustang fans. Performance is a universal language.

Well, as it turns out, I received many compliments and questions regarding the EcoBoosted pocket rocket. It seems that fans of performance truly appreciate it in all forms.

Perhaps the highest accolade it received came as I rolled into the BFGoodrich Autocross school at Myrtle Beach Speedway. As I walked up to the classroom session just as it was about to start—just like being late for class in high school—Tyler Hinker, the marketing manager at Gateway Classic Mustang, said “someone brought the ringer.”

Everyone seemed to love the Molten Orange hue of the hot hatch. If you want this paint on your ST, it will set you back an additional $595 for the option. As an owner of a Focus ST, I can definitely appreciate its little brother, but it’s smaller, more nimble build does give up some storage space, which is important when you are on a long trip with lots of gear.
Everyone seemed to love the Molten Orange hue of the hot hatch. If you want this paint on your ST, it will set you back an additional $595 for the option. As an owner of a Focus ST, I can definitely appreciate its little brother, but it’s smaller, more nimble build does give up some storage space, which is important when you are on a long trip with lots of gear.

Yes, when it comes to killing cones, the small, nimble Fiesta ST was born to do this kind of work. It’s taut suspension and flyweight let it glide through the sharp turns. When pitted against the heavier more powerful Mustangs, it’s one time when David has the clear advantage over Goliath. This definitely proved true, despite my average driving. Yes, the Fiesta ST turned in the quickest lap (in under 38 seconds) through the cones at the Stage 2 (a.k.a. advanced) school put on by the tire company.

The 1.6-liter Gas Turbo Direct Injection—a.k.a. EcoBoost—engine in the Fiesta ST is best described as peppy. Officially, it is rated at 196 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t offer the grunt of the 2.0-liter in its big brother, the Focus ST, nor does titillate like a turbo V-8. However, its performance is leaps and bounds better than the base Fiesta engines. It delivers enough to make the car fun, but not the too much we always yearn for.
The 1.6-liter Gas Turbo Direct Injection—a.k.a. EcoBoost—engine in the Fiesta ST is best described as peppy. Officially, it is rated at 196 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t offer the grunt of the 2.0-liter in its big brother, the Focus ST, nor does titillate like a turbo V-8. However, its performance is leaps and bounds better than the base Fiesta engines. It delivers enough to make the car fun, but not the too much we always yearn for.

If you don’t know much about the Fiesta ST, or the ST-branded rides in general, you might be scratching your heads. Well, ST stands for Sport Technologies, and its cars are created by Ford’s Global Performance Vehicles Group tuned by the likes of SVT and Team RS engineers. They work over the base Fords where it counts, enhancing them with retuned suspensions, EcoBoosted power, and six-speed manual transmissions.

In practice these Fords offer an impressive combination of performance and affordability. They are not supercharged Mustangs, but they are a heck of a lot of fun. They also offer an impressive balance of fuel economy and performance. Even fully loaded with the optional Recaro package and optional Molten Orange paint, our 2014 Fiesta ST tester topped out with a sticker price of $25,955. You’d be hard pressed to find this much fun in a more affordable package. Nor would you be able to beat up on Mustangs at the autocross.

While not quite as luxurious as the Focus ST interior, the Fiesta ST innards are a big step up from the base Fiesta. The most important upgrade in a car that handles as well as this one is the upgraded Recaro seating. These front buckets cradle you like a mother with a newborn and keep you planted while you carve corners. Our tester was fully loaded, and included the heated seats and navigation. The former were unnecessary in Myrtle Beach, while the latter was quite handy.
While not quite as luxurious as the Focus ST interior, the Fiesta ST innards are a big step up from the base Fiesta. The most important upgrade in a car that handles as well as this one is the upgraded Recaro seating. These front buckets cradle you like a mother with a newborn and keep you planted while you carve corners. Our tester was fully loaded, and included the heated seats and navigation. The former were unnecessary in Myrtle Beach, while the latter was quite handy.

I still prefer the Focus ST, but after a Mustang Week in the Fiesta ST, it has earned a greater level of respect from me. If you want a daily driver to complement your higher performance vehicles, you can’t go wrong with this hot little handler.

Ford is giving away one of these sweet little rides via its Drift with Ford contest, and our tester was called into action to model for the contest in Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s display at the Speedway. If you want to enter, head over to www.driftwithford.com.
Ford is giving away one of these sweet little rides via it’s Drift with Ford contest, and our tester was called into action to model for the contest in Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s display at the Speedway. If you want to enter, head over to www.driftwithford.com.

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