Had driven all the cars in the Micra sub compact size (Fit, Accent, Rio, Mazda 2, Sonic) and was ready to pull the trigger on a order for a Micra SR 5 speed standard. Then I test drove a Ford Fiesta ST. Bottom line, I now have a Fiesta ST on order.
You can say they don't really compete directly with a Micra, other than being a sub compact hatch back. Certainly they are more money than a fully loaded SR Micra (about $4500 difference for a base Fiesta ST (no nav, sunroof or custom wheels), but as far as fun to drive, simply no comparison.
The ST with it's turbo 1.6 L engine produces 197 HP and 214 ft. lb of torque. 0 to 60 comes in between 6.4 & 6.9 seconds depending on the tester and top end is about 143 mph) It is the most fun small car I have ever driven even compared to a Miata I had a few years ago. Lots of power at any RPM, yet very relaxed in highway cruise mode (about 2800 rpm at 120 kph in sixth gear)
As impressive as the power is, the handling is unbelievably good for a front wheel drive. Ride can be a little abrupt, but considering the world class handling, not too bad. The standard Recaro seats are simply awesome as well.
2015 Fuel economy is rated at 42 mph highway (2014 rated at 50 mph) and as you know, they have revised 2105 ratings to be more realistic to real world driving.
I had resigned myself to getting basic transportation in a sub compact, now I will have something that will do everything a basic sub compact hatch will do and have a car that doubles as a mini performance car as well.