Certain neoclassical cars inspire such passionate, some would say borderline obsessive devotion from their loyal fan base that they achieve cult car status —the Porsche 911, VW Beetle, and Mazda MX-5 Miata immediately come to mind.
Cult cars exude charisma, style, and offer a distinctive driving experience that sets them apart from more mundane motor vehicles.
With that said, the Ford Fiesta ST is destined to become a modern cult car collectible, too.
In North America, the Ford Fiesta ST was available from 2012 to 2019. According to Business Insider, approximately 5,000 Fiesta STs were sold per year, which translates to roughly 35,000 cars spread throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico markets. Given that Ford sold 4448,398 F-150 pickups in the U.S. during the first half of 2019, the FiST (affectionately nicknamed by Fiesta fanatics) is a relatively rare sight on American roads.
Scour online user car marketplaces for secondhand Fiesta STs and you’ll likely yield a ton of results, but that’s sure to change as solid examples are increasingly snatched up and the leftovers are wrecked by careless hoonigans.
A performance bargain
The biggest reason why car enthusiasts and the automotive press adores the Fiesta ST is its unbeatable combination of accessible performance, economy, hatchback versatility, and value.
To drive a Fiesta ST is to fall in love with it. A punchy turbocharged 1.6 liter 197 hp four-cylinder engine drives the front wheels through a precise six-speed manual transmission. Ford claims that 0-60 mph happens in 6.7 seconds, but the FiST feels much faster thanks to its lithe 2,720 lbs curb weight. If you still crave more speed, the aftermarket is plentiful with affordable power-boosting mods.
The featherweight Ford really rips through turns, too. Steering feel is natural and direct, the grip is tenacious, and body roll is surprisingly flat considering how tall the ST stands. The Fiesta ST is an absolute riot to drive on curvy back roads.
The FiST delivers incredible bang for your buck. In 2019, you could score a brand spanking new Fiesta ST for only $21,340. Desperate dealers in some markets even offered buyers deep discounts in hopes of clearing up some showroom real estate for faster-selling trucks and crossovers.
If you look hard enough, you can find used STs with low mileage for around $13,000. That’s an insane deal for such a thrilling everyday performance car like the Fiesta ST
The Ford ST division of high-performance cars is steeped in racing roots and you can see this lineage well represented in the Fiesta ST.
Ken Block of Hoonigan Racing Division Team raced an all-wheel-drive rally version of the mighty FiST for years, and his unadulterated adoration for this hot hatchback is widely-publicized.
Check out how Mr. Block prefers to play in his Fiesta rally car:
This kind of genuine racing cred only serves to bolster the Fiesta ST’s already impressive cult car resume.
Buy one before it’s too late
As of this writing, the Ford Fiesta ST is an unrivaled value in the used performance car market. For the price of a trashed, high-mileage Subaru WRX, you can enjoy a practical, quick, and cheap-to-own five-door sports car that you won’t see at every other stoplight. But you better hurry—word on the street is that the Fiesta ST is soon to be a cult collectible.