Ford Fiesta ST vs. Ford Focus ST

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - March 30, 2015

Ford gives enthusiasts two choices in the hot hatchback segment, the subcompact Fiesta ST and compact Focus ST. Both offer inspiring performance for their respective classes and are aimed squarely at drivers who want to inject a little fun into the daily routine. Which example of pocket-size performance impresses us more?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Fiesta ST and the Focus ST »

The Case for Fiesta ST

Thanks to its turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the Fiesta ST is one of the quickest subcompacts you can own. With 197 horsepower on tap, the ST can hit 60 mph in about 7 seconds, yet still returns 29 mpg in combined driving. The suspension and steering are tuned for quick, intuitive maneuvering that can be appreciated in both city traffic and serpentine backroads. As you might expect in a sprightly little hatchback, a six-speed manual is the only transmission offered.

The Fiesta ST is tricked out with a hefty load of standard features for this class, including keyless ignition, a premium Sony sound system and aluminum interior trim.

See more sedan comparisons here »

The Case for Focus ST

Like the rest of the Focus line, the ST has been re-skinned inside and out for 2015. The suspension and steering systems are even tauter than last year, but ride quality remains pleasant. At the heart of the hatchback lies a 252-horsepower turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder, which takes the ST from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. As with the Fiesta, a six-speed manual transmission is mandatory.

The Focus ST certainly deserves credit for its refined interior and suitability for everyday driving. While some of its competitors are a tad rough around the edges, the Ford doesn't sacrifice an ounce of civility in the name of performance.

What's the Difference?

The Fiesta ST is a scrappy, eager contender that delivers as much entertainment as you could hope for in a subcompact. The larger Focus ST comes off as more adult and palatable to drivers who insist on a certain level of comfort.

Our Verdict: Ford Fiesta ST

When it comes to sheer pulse-raising fun, the Fiesta ST has the edge over its more mature brother.

Take a closer look at the Ford Fiesta ST »

Take a closer look at the Ford Focus ST »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.