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BFYB 2014: Overall Winner - Ford Fiesta ST

By Scott Newman, 28 Apr 2015 Best Value Performance Cars

All hail the new king. Surprise, right?

BFYB 2014: Overall Winner - Ford Fiesta ST

We know what you’re thinking. How the hell does a car that won neither of the categories take the overall crown?

It’s really very simple. Against its $0-50K peers, the Fiesta ST scored a Bang index of 85.9 and Bucks index of 134.1 for an overall BFYB score of 162.5, just pipped by the Renault’s 164.6.

By bringing in all those fast, expensive $50-100K cars, the Ford’s Bang index dropped slightly to 79.4 (i.e. it wasn’t that much slower than the fast stuff) but its Bucks index skyrocketed to 185.3 (i.e. it was a LOT cheaper) for a final BFYB score of 193.4, pushing the Renault (190.8) into second place outright.

Regardless of the numbers, you’ll get no argument from anyone who’s driven one that the Fiesta ST is a thoroughly deserving BFYB winner.

If the name of the game is providing performance and fun for not much money, then the Blue Oval’s latest pocket rocket is a guaranteed future hall-of-famer.

Besides that bargain price, its numbers aren’t anything particularly special. Nought-to-100km/h takes 7.4sec and the quarter mile 15.4; solid, but far from mind-blowing.

What separates the Fiesta from its peers, though, is that it feels so alive. The 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine has torque everywhere but also revs and growls with fizzy energy; likewise, its six-speed manual has a precise, mechanical feel.

Its lap time of 1:06.6 was no faster than the Clio or Peugeot 208, but it could’ve done a 1:15 for all we cared. Accurate, talkative steering and a chassis that responds to your every whim mean that whether you’re chasing a lap time or driving it while looking out the side windows, you’re full involved without any uncertainty as to what’s going to happen next.

The only real chinks in its armour are a slight lack of traction exiting second-gear corners, the occasional steering rack rattle when really loaded up and brakes that get a bit soft after a couple of hard laps.

Perhaps some will find its willingness to oversteer a little unnerving at first but with a little practice you can practically enter corners backwards, all the while safe in the knowledge that you’ll be able to gather it up again.

Its talents were reflected in the judges’ rankings, with no-one placing it lower than third overall. No-one except Brendo that is; while full of praise for the Tangerine Terror, he ranked it way down in 12th! Pro drivers, what do they know anyway?

Behind the Fiesta, the final outright podium places were filled by the categories winners, the Renault Sport Clio RS200 (2nd) and VW Golf R (3rd).

Vaulting into a surprise fourth place was the Peugeot 208 GTi, followed by a local hero, Holden’s SS ute, stealing the place from Subaru’s WRX STI by a mere 0.1 point!

With a BFYB title and Performance Car of the Year podium placing under its belt, the only thing left for the Fiesta to do is to join the likes of the Subaru WRX and Polo GTI in the hallowed halls of the multiple BFYB winners.

But that’s a problem for next year, so for the next 12 months, the Fiesta is king.

Outright Placings

  1. Ford Fiesta ST
  2.  Renault Sport Clio RS200
  3. VW Golf R
  4. Peugeot 208 GTi
  5. Holden SS ute
  6. Subaru WRX STI  
  7. Subaru WRX
  8. Skoda Octavia RS
  9. Mazda 3 SP25
  10. Kia ProCeed GT
  11. Holden SS-V Redline
  12. Audi S3
  13. BMW M235i
  14. VW Golf GTI PP
  15. Chrysler 300 Core
  16. Mini Cooper S
  17. Hyundai i30 SR
  18. Lexus IS350 F-Sport
  19. Audi RS Q3
  20. Volvo S60 Polestar
  21. Abarth 595 Turismo