The acclaimed Fiesta ST was crowned the UK’s best hot hatch for the third year running at the 2016 What Car? Awards.
Enjoyed by almost 18,500 owners, Ford Fiesta ST is still racing ahead up the sales charts three years after launch.
Forecast to account for 5,000 of Fiesta’s overall 130,000 annual UK sales, the ST has averaged well over 6,100 registrations a year since 2013.
Jim Holder, What Car? editorial director, said: “The enthusiast scene is still frothing at the mouth about the brilliance of the ST.
“Simply put, it’s everything you want in a hot hatch: fast enough to thrill, but not so fast as to scare, small enough to fit easily down tight back roads, and with alert, corner-hungry handling that’s joyful even on mundane roads.”
The consumer magazine and website, attracting over 1.95 million monthly users, also dubbed its favourite hot hatch a “mini rally car for the road”, declaring it more fun than some cars costing more than £100,000.
Priced from £17,645, the Focus ST boasts a 182PS 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine, taking the car from rest to 62mph in under seven seconds. Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost range of 1.0- to 2.3-litre powertrains available in Europe combine direct injection, variable valve timing and turbo-charging to enable a downsized engine to return improved fuel economy and performance.
On receiving the award, Andrew Fraser, lead EcoBoost engineer based at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre, in Essex, said: “Winning three years on the trot shows how well loved the Fiesta ST remains. An EcoBoost engine is now in 50 per cent of all Fiestas we sell, proving how much both the car and our innovative engine deserve our best-selling UK car accolade.”
The previous Fiesta ST, on sale for four years from 2005, was bought by 17,000 fans – already overtaken by the current model.
New Ford Galaxy – best MPV (£25,000+)
The new Ford Galaxy, on sale late last year, is best Multi-Purpose Vehicle for its price, according to What Car?
“The car seems to shrink around you on the open road, feeling grippy and precise through corners, proving MPVs needn’t be tedious to drive after all,” said editorial director Jim Holder.
“For all the enjoyable handling, the ride comfort on the Galaxy is more than good enough and the tall windows give all occupants a clear view out.”
What Car? named the Ford Galaxy Zetec with 2.0-litre TDCi 150PS diesel engine as its pick of the range.