Old habits die hard, though. First trip in the Fiesta ST3: click the end of the indicator stalk until the average MPG display appeared, then hold down for a reset. I wasn’t expecting much, but all for the sake of road test review completeness and all that.
First 5 Minutes: Ford Fiesta ST3
So if the wonderful Recaro chairs hadn’t been such divine hip-huggers, I’d have fallen clean out of my seat when, after the 100-mile commute into the office, I cycled the trip back through. It read? 46.5mpg.
I was genuinely astounded. This was a fizzy 182hp 1.6-litre turbo hot hatch, hotter than anything else in its sector (think on that, Renault…), yet it was delivering economy almost equal to the fully-charged Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV I’d driven in the previous day. And unlike with the Mitsubishi, I hadn’t even been trying in this. Genuine reset and forget.
So, what to do on the next run into the office? Why, give it a proper eco go, of course. Put the patented Aucock Real World Economy Test (TM) into practice. It’s quite simple: drive slightly faster than the trucks to ensure they’re not heavy-hogging your bootlid, but otherwise, stick to around 50-55mph. Not too slow, not too fast, just right (and it’s amazing how little extra time it adds onto even a 90-minute commute).
The result? An astonishing 57.6mpg. It’s a hot hatch that does 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds, dammit! This was remarkable. And, honestly, not hard at all: a sweet engine happy to lug at sub-1500rpm revs, a turbo that is wakeful even at 1250rpm and a general Ford fluency that means it’s not clumsy even when everything mechanical’s being kept low-effort means it’s even a pleasure when making a token nod to efficiency.
Point proven, I drove it to the office yesterday for the last time before the man from Ford collected it. I habitually reset the trip, turned the display off and flashed it up again when at the office. Just out of interest, like. Result? You’ve got it…
Fiesta ST3: the hot hatch you just can’t, it seems, guzzle gas in. A pleasure you don’t have to feel guilty about, and another reason why it lays claim to being one of the very best cars on sale, at any price. Supercar enjoyment, supermini fuel bills… yes, that works for me quite nicely. You?