Ford retires three-door Fiesta ST

Class-leading tearaway has been shuffled off along with the rest of the entry-level Fiesta lineup

By PH Staff / Friday, 22 April 2022 / Loading comments

The three-door Fiesta ST might very well have been the easiest car in the UK to like. It didn’t cost very much, it didn’t drink a huge amount of fuel, it looked good and, of course, it was extraordinarily amenable to being driven on its door handles. Ford famously made us wait a long time before introducing it with the seventh generation – but once it arrived, it was feted as brilliant by virtually everyone. And has remained so ever since.

But despite being recommended as the solution to ‘small and fast and cheap’ for a decade, time has moved on around the long-running Fiesta. Sales of Ford’s perennially popular supermini are said to have plummeted in recent months as the model faces pressure not just from widespread component shortages, but also the market’s fundamental switch to ever-smaller crossovers – not least the new Puma.

Factor in a mounting squeeze on resources at Ford’s Cologne-based factory – itself going through a billion-dollar transition to EV production – and the manufacturer plainly decided something had to give. That something is the entire three-door variant, including the ST and the Fiesta van.

Fortunately, Ford has confirmed that it will continue to build the more recent five-door ST, but it is now part of a slimmed down Fiesta lineup – meaning that you’ll only be able to have it in range-topping ST3 format. The net result of that is where the ST was once a £19k lightly-equipped scamp, it’s now a kitchen-sink toting £26,595 flagship.

Will this diminish its reputation? Probably not. Hardly anyone bought the entry-level ST anyway, so it’s never been quite as cheap as people imagined, and the things we love about the car are not hindered by the additional doors. Plus you can always avail yourself of a bountiful secondhand scene – there are 583 examples on PH alone.

Nevertheless, it will be a po-faced enthusiast that doesn’t gently mourn the passing of the three-door model – not least because it has underpinned the Fiesta product line for nearly 50 years. Certainly it’s black armbands on for anyone who kicked off their car history with an XR2 or XR2i or RS Turbo or RS1800 or ST.

  • Ford Fiesta ST (Mk8) | PH Used Buying Guide
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