The B segment hot hatch battleground is about to heat up considerably. The £29,995 Toyota GR Yaris is inbound, and meanwhile Hyundai is busy readying an i20 N. For all you bargain hunters out there, though, neither has a direct predecessor, making finding a cheap, used equivalent a little tricky.
Happily, the brilliant Ford Fiesta ST - the current king of the spicy B-seggers - replaced a car that was very nearly as good. The previous-generation ST was also around for a good few years, meaning the oldest examples have been kicking around long enough to take a moderate beating from the depreciation stick.
Prices now start at just under £6000, although given that a decent chunk of the STs around that mark are either Cat N write-offs or have well above average mileage, we thought we’d start our search at £7000. The one we decided to dig out is a [2013 car],(https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/202003098182654), which has covered a very reasonable 57,000 miles and is yours for £7295.
It’s an ST-2, which was - at the time - the highest trim grade for the car. The interior’s held up nicely to seven years of use, and the 17-inch alloy wheels are in good shape. The rims look to be wearing mid-range Maxxis tyres, which will be fine, but that’s a good area to upgrade at some point.
Propulsion comes from a 1.6-litre turbo engine, good for 180bhp. The chassis is the star of the show, but if you insist on more straight-line performance, a Stage 1 upgrade from Mountune (a company which provided an official, warranty-approved power pack later in the ST’s life) will boost the inline-four to a thoroughly appealing 215bhp.
Any downsides? Well, the interior’s not the nicest, being something Ford designed before it really started pushing its cabins upmarket. Fuel economy can be particularly hilarious if you’re pressing on (but acceptable on a cruise), and if you’re after an early one, you won’t have the option of a more practical five-door ST, which was added late on in the car’s life.
The foibles are small ones, however. What you’re looking at here is an engaging, exciting performance car for not a lot of money which - unlike the Mercedes E55 AMG we were eying up the other day - won’t run away with your wallet and set it on fire at every given opportunity.