Ever since the Golf GTi first made its appearance back in the 1970s, car makers have spawned a lot of hot hatches. These days, VW’s hot hatch is now in its seventh generation. But, if you’re a fan of the “Blue Oval”, you might be wondering which Ford models are the best.
My first encounter with a hot hatch from Ford was the iconic mk2 Fiesta XR2. A friend of mine bought one and let me take it for a test drive. As you can imagine, this was some time ago but I can still remember thinking how brilliant that car was when I drove it! They are a rare sight these days, given that most of them are now scrapped or in a museum somewhere.
It has a powerful yet eco-friendly engine under the bonnet
Engine technology has come a long way since the days of the XR2. All modern engines feature fuel injection and get controlled by an ECU. In case you wondered, it’s a car’s electronic “brain.”
The Fiesta ST features a 1.6-litre engine, just like the old XR2. But the only similarity between the two engines is the displacement. That’s because the ST engine is a 16-valve turbocharged EcoBoost unit. As standard, it boasts 180 brake horsepower.
When you fit such an engine into a lightweight Fiesta shell, it gives you phenomenal power. From a standing start, you can reach 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds! You also have a top speed of 137 mph.
The 1.6 EcoBoost isn’t just popular for its power. As you may have guessed, it sports green credentials too. Carbon emissions are just 138 g/km, and combined fuel economy is 47 mpg. The engine works in tandem with a six-speed manual transmission. Having test-drove a Fiesta ST from TC Harrison Ford, I can confirm the it feels positive and smooth to drive.
Some of you might be thinking that such a car might not handle well. After all; a lightweight body and a powerful engine can mean trouble, right? Well, in this case, you would be wrong!
The Fiesta ST offers excellent handling, even at high-speed driving. And if you happen to make a bad move, the car’s electronics will put things right again for you.
It’s a technology geek’s dream come true
The Ford Fiesta ST features all manner of modern equipment that you’ll need in today’s motoring. As standard, you get air conditioning, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth. The Ford SYNC technology is brilliant, and can handle most tasks via voice control.
If you opt for the ST2 trim, you also get things like keyless entry and LED daytime running lights.
If you’re after a reliable hot hatch, and you don’t want a German car, stick with Ford and get yourself a Fiesta ST! The price point is also fair, making it in reach within most people’s budgets.