Volkswagen GTI vs. Ford Fiesta 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 27, 2015

An all-new Volkswagen Golf GTI bows this year, the latest in a decades-long succession of sporty hatchbacks from the German automaker. Ford's Fiesta ST follows the pocket-rocket formula established by the GTI years ago, albeit on an even smaller, subcompact platform. How does the scrappy Fiesta ST acquit itself against the revered GTI? Let's find out.

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

Why We Like the GTI

The GTI has long been recognized for its quality and refinement relative to key competitors. The focus this year is on adding greater athleticism to the mix, which has been achieved with an all-new suspension, a tad more power and optional performance upgrades.

The GTI's 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 210 horsepower and is paired with your choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic manual transmission. The available Performance package provides 10 more horsepower, upgrades brakes and a limited-slip front differential. In top form, the GTI scoots from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, almost a full second quicker than last year.

See more sedan comparisons here »

Why We Like the Fiesta ST

Motivated by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the Fiesta ST remains one of the quickest subcompacts you can buy. With 197 horsepower at its disposal, the ST can hit 60 mph in about 7 seconds, and yet still returns 29 mpg in combined driving. The suspension and steering systems respond quickly to driver inputs and road conditions, a characteristic than be appreciated in everyday driving and romps through the twisties. In keeping with the theme of affordable fun, 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.

What It All Means

Longtime fans for the GTI will find it hard to resist the 2015 model. It's altogether more playful than previous editions, and yet retains its sophisticated demeanor. The Fiesta ST offers a certain delinquent appeal and delivers as much entertainment as you could hope for in its price class.

Our Verdict: Ford Fiesta ST

When it comes to thrills for the money, few cars do it better than the Fiesta ST.

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen GTI »

Take a closer look the Ford Fiesta 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. 


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