I stray dangerously close to reviewing the same car twice in under a month. Not three weeks ago, we published a road test of that Fiesta over there, and now we’re looking at this one over here, which is nearly identical. 118bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine, manual gearbox, five doors – check, check, check.
The ST-Line X is a bit more expensive, though, because it has more equipment. Much of this is intended to improve the looks. I thought the Titanium was very attractive, not least because of its optional Blue Wave paintwork, but there’s no denying that the ST-Line X appears considerably sportier, even though its straightline performance is identical.
Although the Titanium has 16″ wheels as standard, our test car was fitted with 17s. That’s the normal size for the ST-Line X, so it should behave in a very similar manner (which is to say a most splendid one) but again Ford delved into the options list and supplied 18s, with of course lower-profile tyres, in this case.
The 18s cost £550. If you want to ruin a Fiesta, there are cheaper ways of doing it. Pushing it off a cliff and hiring a taxi to get back home would leave you a lot of change from £550.
The damping of what it pleases Ford to call this car’s ‘sports tuned suspension’ is unable to compensate for the extra stiffness of these tyres’ thin sidewalls, with the result that bumps and jolts are transferred straight into the cabin. This Fiesta is already less pleasant to drive than one with more suitable wheels and tyres even before you’ve got out of first gear, and the gap becomes more obvious still after that.
I had given up on the car almost completely, vowing that I would never buy one, until I happened to point it down a twisting country road. I won’t say it entirely redeemed itself here, but it did start to make a lot more sense, feeling like the capable warm hatch its appearance suggests it ought to be.
Looked at in that way, the ST-Line X may be the car for someone who wants a Fiesta ST but can’t afford to buy, fuel or insure it. For everyday use it’s probably fine on the standard wheels, but on those ruddy 18s, nope.
Engine size 1499cc
Top speed 121mph
0-62mph 9.0 seconds
Fuel economy 80.7mpg combined
CO2 emissions 89g/km
Towing capacity 1000kg (braked)
Euro NCAP (2017) Overall 5 stars Adult occupant 87% Child occupant 84% Pedestrian 64% Safety assist 60%
Information correct at publication date