That. That picture is all you need to know about my 2016 Fiesta ST and my impressions on it. Before the car even needed gas (reported 28.9 MPG anyone?), the rear tire received a puncture similar to what must have sunk the Titanic. Being a 17” tire, all stores have them on special order, and I am on the donut—or rather the Fiesta is in the garage—until Monday. The ‘Quest for the Rubber’ as I have dubbed it, will be covered in the very near future, but first, my actual, untainted-by-a-flat impressions, of my 2016 Fiesta ST.
My wife (and my boss, friends, family….) have all been urging me to update my ride, and get a proper new car; not merely ‘new to me’. I feel that many new cars are chunky and heavy compared to what I wanted, so the list was a short one. I wanted a cheap car—under $25k—and something that wouldn’t make me suicidal with boredom. I considered getting a new Honda Civic Hatch Sport model, or perhaps one of the new VW Golf Sportwagen AWD models. Both of those would have been compromises, sacrificing sporting pretensions for practicality, and I really wanted a real, fun car. The answer, as Thaddeus of The Smoking Tire likes to say, “is always Fiesta”. Enter the Fiesta ST.
Once I came to this decision, I was faced with a new one: how to option it? I didn’t care about any of the available options besides one: the seats. The normal seats are an attractive, unique cloth sports seat with ST embroidered on them. The optional seats are made by Recaro for Ford, and come in either orange and black or grey and black. The seats are heavily bolstered and feature heated bottoms. I was leaning towards the Recaros, and after test driving both I was sold. It had to be the Recaro seats.
This presented a problem. I had already driven about 40 miles away to Elk Grove Ford in Elk Grove, California, to find a Fiesta ST with Recaro seats and ordering one optioned with just the Recaro seats could take upwards of six weeks. The Fiesta I had test driven was in the color I wanted—Black—but it was fully optioned. These included navigation for the Sync 3 system ($795), a moonroof ($795), and black painted wheels with red brake calipers ($375). None of these options are intrusive, or bad by any means, and considering the cost of the Recaro seats ($1995), some concessions could be made on my end. After some financial finagling, the extra options were softened by over $2400 in incentives on the car.
I drove away with a new Fiesta ST by any definition of the word: it had only 31 miles on it. Over the next two days, I drove the car during my normal routine, and it performed entirely up to expectations. The Recaro seats hold you in place while also being comfortable—although I will not be sad if they break in a little. The confidence the Recaro seats give in corners is appreciated, because the Fiesta ST possesses a lightness that is entirely new to me. I found this surprising, because my old SVT Focus is very similar in the ethos behind the cars design. Both cars weigh relatively the same, with similar power, and a snippety 6-speed gear box.
The Fiesta ST is light, and a pleasure to shift, while the 1.6L EcoBoost engine pulls strong from above 2300rpm. Surprisingly, first gear is a little tame, whereas second gear is an absolute fireball of a gear. While it isn’t hard to outpace the Fiesta ST in a straight line, curvy roads are a different story. The Fiesta ST uses its enlarged maw to gobble up twisty roads, going so fast, safely, you can’t help but smile. Since this was the whole reason I wanted one, I consider this mission success. The future will tell whether or not the smile stays.
The interior is a pleasant place to be, and easy to get used to. I thanked my lucky stars that I was not cursed with Sync 2, as Sync 3 is actually simple, with few buttons, as compared to the massive numbers of buttons in older Sync systems. The buttons that are there are logical, and aid use of the system. The navigation is a step below Garmin, and does make me appreciate Honda’s use of Garmin systems in their infotainment. That said, it isn’t terrible, and I am sure I can get used to it. Bluetooth and voice commands work flawlessly.
While I would love to continue to gain an opinion and appreciation of my new car, replacing the flat is turning out to be a true undertaking (and something not covered under any warranties or that my dealer is helping with, before I put gas in the car, I have to put a tire on it). Stay tuned for the Quest for the Rubber, and what it takes to get a 17” tire in the ‘evolved’ motoring world we live in today.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.