2014 Ford Fiesta ST

2014 Ford Fiesta ST

Episode 3346
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Here at MotorWeek, we’re always looking for cheap thrills…performance wise that is…and while they have become somewhat more readily available of late, many options are still a little too watered down for our tastes. That brings us to the Ford Fiesta ST. Is America ready for a world class high performance subcompact from Ford? Well, we sure are!

Performance oriented versions of existing cars are nothing new and usually come with a 20 or 30% boost in power. Well how about 65%? That’s what we’re talking about here in the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST.

Its 1.6–liter turbo I4 sees numbers climb from 120–horsepower and 112 lb-ft. of torque to 197 and 202 respectively! And while those aren’t supercar high, they are certainly high enough for a good time. And, with the engine’s instant response, the numbers feel even higher. 

Just about everything has been major upgraded here, including suspension, brakes, and steering.

The humble Fiesta was already a solid handler for a bargain basement subcompact, but now it’s gone full on Go-Kart. With a firm feel that’s more like a mid-size sport sedan than pocket rocket. 

We’re talking true point and shoot fun here! This car yearns for you to get on it and stay on it. It even has a very pleasing exhaust note, inside the cabin, thanks to a sound symposer; powerful, but not too loud at all.

Off the line, torque steer is surprisingly minimal, despite big hits from the turbo, accompanied by some cool waste gate noise that put smiles on our faces. A strong clutch aids the launch, and you hit 60 in 7.1–seconds. Again, nothing for purveyors of exotic cars to lose sleep over, but in this little car it mean just plain fun, as you grin your way to the end of the ¼-mile in 15.3–seconds at 93 miles-per-hour. The shifter is fast and direct.

The ST…Sport Technologies…engineers added Torque Vectoring Control, but weren’t able to dial quite all of the understeer out. But just about, as it sticks really well and feels exceptionally neutral for a front-driver, with very little roll. 

The interior is spiffed up with aluminum trim, enhanced gauge cluster, and well bolstered Recaro seats. Ford’s MyFord Touch screen is here as well, and most found words on the display too small for easy use, and ended up using voice command. 

Rear seats are more spacious than many other pocket hot rods, and you can fold them down to expand the 10.1 cubic foot cargo bay to make the ST a purposeful hauler in more ways than one.

The last Sport Technologies effort we sampled was the Focus ST, and as much as we loved that, the Fiesta ST has the same amount of awesomeness in a smaller and lighter package. It’s just simple, pure, driving fun. Sure a Corvette can beat it in every performance category, but is it more enjoyable? Well that’s doubtful.  

So yes, the Fiesta ST is a lovely piece of work and we liked just about everything about how it goes. But, many of our staff were less enamored with the exterior design. 

The 5-door hatch-only ST is definitely tricked out, though; sharp and evil looking from most angles. But, with way too much grille up front; like a stupid grin showing way too many teeth. Poor rear visibility from the thick C-pillars didn’t help either. And some thought the brake calipers would benefit from some bright paint to sport-en the look up even more. 

But cosmetics aside, this is the most pure joy we’ve ever extracted from a front-wheel-drive car. All while doing fine on gas. Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 26-City, 35-Highway, and 29–Combined. We fit right in a 29.1 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

And all for an amazingly low price starting at $22,225. High performance on a budget, that’s what a lot of us are looking for, and the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST delivers that best.

So much so we delivered it our Drivers’ Choice Award as Best Subcompact of the year. We love it!

Along with the Focus ST, Ford has got quite a great thing going and should really promote the ST lineup more, as they could be real halos for the brand. We think that most Americans are well beyond the rear-drive only bias when it comes to performance cars. And while putting more spunk into an existing model is not a new idea, this one is as well executed as they come.

Specifications

  • Engine:
  • Horsepower: 197
  • Torque: 202 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 15.3 seconds @ 93 mph
  • EPA: 26 mpg city/ 35 mpg highway
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles