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Ford's Fiesta ST is a compact pocket rocket

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Ford’s 2014 Fiesta ST is not your typical compact hatchback. No sir-ree Bob. This five-door is hot, hot, hot. A baby Cobra Mustang if you will.

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The ST connotation stands for Sport Technologies, which also enhances the Ford Focus, Fiesta’s big brother. As such, Fiesta ST gets it power from a 1.6L, direct injected turbocharged four cylinder that puts out 197-hp and a whopping 202 lb/ft of torque. Combined with a 6-speed (only) manual transmission, the Fiesta has been 0-60 tested at 7.1 seconds. This boy racer car garners EPA mileage estimates of 26 city, 35-highway mpg. With these impressive numbers, Fiesta leads the main competition as a Mini Cooper S, says Ford, offers just 181-hp and Fiat’s 500L Abarth generates 160-hp.

Despite all this grunt, the ST remains a daily driver with decent fuel economy and ample cargo carrying space.

Compared to the Fiesta SE we tested previously with 1.6L 120-hp engine four cylinder, the major differences between it and the ST are obviously the power, seats, suspension and trim.

Since we covered the power, the ST comes with the optional and firm, Recaro seats that seem too much for a car of this size. With huge side bolsters, it makes ingress and egress tough. So much so that it broke my $42 iPhone belt case when getting in for the first time. But the seats are colorful and had “ST” embroidered on the headrests.

The back seats are more practical with decent ingress/egress thanks to wide opening rear doors. Legroom, however, is tight if the front seats are racked well rearward.

Along with the ST package comes an abundantly wrapped leather steering wheel, ST emblems on the door sills, exterior badging, rear wing, chin spoiler, twin exhaust tailpipes and low profile Bridgestone Potenza 17-inch tires.

The nicely designed vertical stack contains easy to use HVAC controls and a 6.5-inch LCD screen for audio and HVAC functions.

With red accents throughout, it’s a sporty eye-grabbing interior. Added to its sportiness are aluminum pedals and Brembo-look disc brakes.

As for ride, it’s firm and taut. Ford lowered and stiffened the suspension, strengthened the front struts for better wheel control and its steering was made a tad quicker than a normal Fiesta. There’s also an ESP control that allows three handling settings.

Ford also added Torque Vectoring, which applies front braking to an inside wheel to overcome torque steer from the potent torque being generated. This all adds up to impressive handling for a compact car, especially a hatchback.

And although it doesn’t affect ride or handling, the ST has what’s called a “mechanical sound suppressor” that enhances the sound of the engine inside the cabin. A psychological trick if you will.

For a content laden performance type hatchback, the ST is reasonably priced. Aside from all the aforementioned goodies, standard fare includes HD Sirius radio, Sync with MyFordTouch, keyless ignition, perimeter alarm, anti-theft immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring, heated front seats and outside mirrors and much more.

Optional equipment includes molten orange metallic paint ($595), Recaro seats ($1,995), GPS Navigation ($795), premium painted wheels ($375) and delivery ($825). That brings the base price of $21,400 up to $25,985. Not a bad price for all this performance and content in a compact package.

Now if you’re not a performance enthusiast, Fiesta’s also come in S Sedan, S Hatch, SE Sedan, SE Hatch, Titanium and SE SFE EcoBoost (FE for Fuel Economy package) model with EPA mileage ratings of 31/43 mpg.

The base S Sedan starts at $13,865 and has EPA mileage ratings of 28/36 mpg. This is Ford’s least expensive sedan and it too is loaded with a fair amount of content.

The Fiesta ST received government 5-star safety ratings of four stars for overall safety, five for driver frontal crash, four for passengers, five for driver front seat, two for passenger and four for rollover.

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