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Old 10-08-2006, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default All of you looking to get 17s on the Fiesta... Think again. (ST review)

I've read it before, that the ST isn't as lively as the base model Zetec S, since the 17s increase the grip, but the car ultimately loses out on the fun factor.

A quote from the lastest EVO air freight September Issue about the Fiesta ST;

Quote:
Personally, I warmed to the looks too. Chunky, poised and - perhaps crucially - not like yer boggo 1.4. A lot of credit for this transformation must go to those spokey 17in alloys, which really separate this car from the rental-fleet herd. It's just unfortunate that they also create a major dynamic flaw...

You see, while the ST grips tenaciously and changes direction keenly, it feels like it's got dumbbells attached to the hubs. Those whacking great alloys pick up every rut and ripple in the tarmac, distracting the car from the more important business of flowing neatly along the road. They also introduce a weird and inconsistent glassiness to the steering that someitmes leads to you to believe the front-end group has suddenly disappeared. I have moaned several times that this car would be better off without such big rims and, although I didn't mean for some bastard to take this literally last month by nicking them, spending some time with the ST's little brother, the Zetec S, showed just how sweet a sporty Fiesta can be on smaller alloys.
So, I guess the 16 inch rims make the Fiesta more fun, more agile, and quicker through the corners...
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
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Interesting reading and it makes sense really. The sidewalls would be so small you would feel every rut and most likely it would tramline big time?

What do the people who have gone from 16 to 17" think?

BTW imagine what this would drive like.....
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:16 PM   #3
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^^^ dang! are those 20" ? I wouldnt go bigger than 16" (on Fiesta) on Australian road. It's bad enough driving with 15" wheels. I only realise how bad our roads are when suddenly driving into a brand-new tarmac. The cabin's never so silent before driving on GOOD tarmac.
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murcod
Interesting reading and it makes sense really. The sidewalls would be so small you would feel every rut and most likely it would tramline big time?
Yep, agree with you there David.

It is interesting to note that semi slick tyres in small sizes (for instance, for Hot Hatches) are quite common in 15 inch size.

Then this remark about the 16s on a Clio 182 Cup in Motor, July 05;

Quote:
It cuts into corner harder, the 16-inch Michelin Pilot tyres giving the two finger salute to the 17s' outright grip and ride, and they do it sans squeal or squirm
Then consider that in the current Evo Magazine, the two greatest front-drivers ever (tested) both ride on small rims, 16s and 15s to be exact. Guess which one won the best front-drivers car ;)
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:22 PM   #5
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Hmm honestly i wouldnt care that the rims are slightly heavier. If the overall package is better than the Zetec S then its enough for me. If people are gonna have a cry then bang on some lighter 17s. Simple. Plus the St has firmer suspension wouldnt that compnsate??

That is actually the first review ive read dissing the 17s on an ST. Hmmm find me more like it then maybe i will take his advice. Until then ... Nope. Jeremey Clarkson or Tiff Needle didnt have any issues with the rims did they. Nope, it just shat on all the other cars in the track tests.

I myself went from 15s to 17s and prefer the 17s. Maybe becuase they are a lighter type of rim (im not too sure) The car handles much better and very responsive around hard corners. It never has felt excessivly bumpy or gives a harsh ride.
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:30 PM   #6
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I know this isn't Fiesta related, but I've just fitted 17x7.5" rims and 215/45 tyres to the wifes Mazda 6 (up from 15" and 195/65.) The ride is noticably noisier- particularly over patched roads and the ride is harsher with more tramlining. It's worth it for the handling improvement around corners (a HUGE improvement) but I'm glad we didn't go for 18" rims/ tyres....

Yes, they're 20" rims with 30 series tyres!?! Here's the full advert
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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Maybe the stock 17" wheels the ST's got are heavier than most 17" wheels?
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MISTA FIESTA
... Nope. Jeremey Clarkson or Tiff Needle didnt have any issues with the rims did they. Nope, it just shat on all the other cars in the track tests.
Two words stand out there - TRACK TESTS - on normal roads they may have a different opinion? Also the tyres used on the 17" rims might be to blame for handling issues?
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MISTA FIESTA
Hmm honestly i wouldnt care that the rims are slightly heavier. If the overall package is better than the Zetec S then its enough for me. If people are gonna have a cry then bang on some lighter 17s. Simple. Plus the St has firmer suspension wouldnt that compnsate??

That is actually the first review ive read dissing the 17s on an ST. Hmmm find me more like it then maybe i will take his advice. Until then ... Nope. Jeremey Clarkson or Tiff Needle didnt have any issues with the rims did they. Nope, it just shat on all the other cars in the track tests.

I myself went from 15s to 17s and prefer the 17s. Maybe becuase they are a lighter type of rim (im not too sure) The car handles much better and very responsive around hard corners. It never has felt excessivly bumpy or gives a harsh ride.

Ok Damo,

Now I know you - so this is nothing personally attacking you, but within 5 minutes I've found this;

Quote:
Hop into the ST and it's easy to get settled; the chunky wheel adjusts for rake and reach and the seat cushion height can be tailored. Initially, the 2-litre Zetec sounds a bit ordinary but the gearshift has a nicely weighted, connected feel and the ride feels quite supple. However, even before we'd got to the end of the airport access road, some of the depressions and ripples in the asphalt suggested that this chassis might not be one of Ford's best efforts. The reverse is usually true - I remember thinking that the new Mondeo was going to be great within yards of driving off, and the same went for the SportKa, Focus and Puma. Maybe it was just a strange bit of road...

Sadly not. The area to the south of Sienna is choc-full of superb ribbons of tarmac that cling to the hillsides and present mile after mile of bends, many of them second and third-gear fodder - prime hot-hatch territory. While the ride is indeed supple and able to soften the worst ridges and pot-holes, this doesn't go hand-in-hand with confident composure. Indeed, there's a vagueness on turn-in combined with a lack of steering feel that knocks your enthusiasm for pressing on and discovering how much grip there is.

...

However, this isn't a chassis that flows, the odd bump unsettling its poise while the wooliness on turn-in and the lack of steering feedback in those vital fractions of a second as the car turns are dissatisfying. The ST is more like the flat-footed 206 GTI than the nimble Clio Cup.

The engine isn't a source of joy either. Coarse and characterless, it labours up through the mid-range and you find yourself at the redline wondering what happened to the sweet spot where it comes alive. There's noticeable shunt when you get on and off the throttle, too.
It then goes on to speak about the lesser Fiesta models...

Quote:
Right now, though, the ST feels like an unfinished project, as though it hasn't been subjected to the final ten per cent of development that smoothes off all the rough edges and tightens and hones the chassis' responses to the level that Ford is now renowned for.

A drive in the diesel-powered Zetec S (petrol versions weren't available) showed that the Fiesta platform can be poised, responsive and enjoyable. As it stands, the ST is a missed opportunity.
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:38 PM   #10
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I would happen to assume that the difference between 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 would be noticable..
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:39 PM   #11
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Actually i remember reading that article on some magazine when I was in newsagent a while ago. The writer preferred the Zetec S. I havent driven Fiesta ST nor even sat it in, so I cant say anything.
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #12
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in 40 mins this thread has boomed,
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:41 PM   #13
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HAHHAHAH i so knew you would find articles. Good stuff, well my post was useless then.

I think people have to experience the car b4 a definitive bold , statement can be justified.
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:44 PM   #14
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a question for the adelaide people.. does your car tramline while traveling down jetty road glenelg? back a few years ago i used to drive a white hilux ute along those lines and in the wet it used to hammer.. kind of sad now that i remember it.. but i suppose kids are kids..
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:54 PM   #15
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And another quote, in this review about Fiesta's in general;

Quote:
Driving
The Fiesta's forte. Ford really knows how to make cars handle, so even the cheapest Fiesta will thrill the driver in you. Steering is crisp (all models have a leather wheel), corners are taken tidily and enthusiastically yet the ride remains supple too. A class act, enhanced on the Zetec S model to perfection. Indeed, it's better than the ST, which has more grip but less finesse. The ST's engine is quicker but noisier than the 1.6-litre Zetec-S too. No Fiesta engine is quiet though, while road and wind noise also join the cacophony. But supportive, high-set seats and a spot-on driving position pleases, making up for the lack of space for the clutch foot.
I think you get the point
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:06 PM   #16
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I think you will find that the 17's give better handling (In Real life it will be impossible to measure a difference though) but what gives the 16's the edge is less weight.

Unsprung weight has a huge impact on how the car feels. Its not the small sidewall thats causing the problem but the heavy 17's. Have heavy wheels with smallish sidewalls and you will feel everything on the road. Same size wheel but lightweight as you will have a hugly better ride.

If small wheels were better why do JGTC cars have massive wheels+low profile and go going supercars have 19inch wheels with 30profile tyres? Because they use forged magnesium wheels to get a light weight.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:08 PM   #17
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WOW, Now this is a good example of a review comparing the ST to lesser models

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Driven: Ford Fiesta ST and Zetec-S
18 Nov 04


Quote:
So do the dynamics live up to the promise? ... the basic Fiesta has one of the best chassis in the business, so the starting point is a good one...bFord is also claiming that the Fiesta ST will 'protect the novice while rewarding the enthusiast'. ... that usually means plenty of understeer as you approach the limit, which is one of the first characteristics you notice when pressing on in the Fiesta ST.

That's not necessarily a bad thing if you're getting loads of communication through the seat of your trousers, but driving the ST 150 quickly delivers a strangely detached experience. There is a huge amount of grip via those Pirelli P-Zero tyres, and the quick steering rack allows very swift direction changes, but the car's responses feel a bit wooden and uninvolving. And while it feels objectively quick, the engine delivers its performance with a coarse blare that doesn't inspire and becomes unpleasantly intrusive as you punt toward the redline.

THE REAL REVELATION

The Zetec-S version of the Fiesta shares much of the visual punch of the ST, but with lower output 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines. The petrol develops 100bhp, while the diesel generates 90bhp. 4Car drove the diesel Zetec-S and found it to be the revelation of the day. Sure, its not nearly as quick as the ST - Ford claims a top speed of 112mph and 0-60mph in 11.2secs - but it has 151lb ft of torque from a low 1750rpm. That means you can stick the Zetec-S diesel in third and happily dispatch a twisting country lane without having to shift up or down every few seconds. And on its less aggressive 16-inch wheels, we found the Zetec's suspension more compliant and the chassis more communicative. In short, the Zetec-S is more fun to drive than its bigger brother ST. The Zetec-S is also cheaper to buy - 12,495 compared with 13,595 for the ST - and a lot easier to insure as it is in insurance group 6E to the ST's 13E. For the record, the petrol Zetec-S costs 11,595 and lives in insurance group 7E.

So there you have it, more evidence of the relentless march of diesel. Looking back all misty-eyed at the XR2i, you'd have been laughed out of town in those days for suggesting a diesel Fiesta might be more fun. But that was then and this is now...

Maybe Ford Australia should cain considering the Fiesta ST, and instead release the Fiesta Zetec-S Diesel :P
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:18 PM   #18
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^^^ Hmm, i was just thinking about Duratorq Fiestas .

But do you think Ford Aus would do some tweakings on the ST ?
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:18 PM   #19
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What are you trying to show?
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:19 PM   #20
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ok i think we all need to have an ice cold glass of our favourite berverage and chill out a touch.. it feels pretty heated in here
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperKid
^^^ Hmm, i was just thinking about Duratorq Fiestas .

But do you think Ford Aus would do some tweakings on the ST ?
I doubt it mate - There isn't a large enough market here to re-tune the ST for our market. Just like the XR5T, which is largely unchanged (um, more de-specced) then the European ST Focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieoter
What are you trying to show?
That 16s are better for your Fiesta :
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:23 PM   #22
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The tyres would be cheaper, too
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teki04
That 16s are better for your Fiesta :
Well thats not true. Putting big heavy wheels on a car is the problem not the size.

Either way the 17's are quicker
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieoter
Either way the 17's are quicker
Too hard to teach the uneducated...

Bigger, is not always best
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:36 PM   #25
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Of course bigger is not always better but the fact remains that the 17's are quicker. Your reviews show the ride is worse.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieoter
Of course bigger is not always better but the fact remains that the 17's are quicker. Your reviews show the ride is worse.
And that 16s are more fun and easier to throw into corners.

Nothing shows that 17s are quicker. I can attest to that, as I've seen RSCs on 17s be outhandled by those on 16s.

This is also the reason you see all small hatches on Semis usually running on 15 inch rims.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:42 PM   #27
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i do believe i am educated enough to say 17" RULE no matter what the problem is. 17" are always better, IMO, just need to get softer suspension
lol
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:42 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieoter
Of course bigger is not always better but the fact remains that the 17's are quicker.
What do you mean by that?!? :
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:46 PM   #29
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What's up with all the smoke in here.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:49 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photn
IMO, just need to get softer suspension
And handle like a boat.... _
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