Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215 – Driven

There seems little doubt at the moment that the Ford Fiesta ST is the one to pick if you’re looking for a small hot hatch, despite some very stiff competition from the likes of the Peugeot 208 GTI and Renaultsport Clio 200. Where the Ford really shines is in its low asking price, undercutting the competition by a margin that’s hard to ignore. So how does a new higher-specced and higher-priced model fare? What if it had more power too?

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

More Goodies

The ST3 is this new top-of-the-line trim level. Ford have taken an ST2 and thrown in almost all of the options list, namely keyless entry, full climate control, the Sony DAB sound and navigation system, cruise control, auto headlights and wipers, a self-dimming rear view mirror and powered mirrors. The asking price is £19,250, £1,000 more than the ST2 but representing a saving of over £250.

The new equipment is welcome but it does highlight the Fiesta’s main weakness, namely the dashboard layout. The sat-nav display is small and the Sony system has a myriad of buttons. The Fiesta lags behind the logical simplicity of something like a Polo.

On the other hand, the Fiesta offers superbly grippy Recaro seats as standard. It’s also easy to get comfortable, with a two-way adjustable wheel, a gear stick that falls to hand easily and pedals that are just right.

The higher price makes it slightly more expensive than the 208 GTI and Clio 200 Turbo (before options). The value-for-money argument becomes harder to justify but it’s still the pick of the bunch if driving thrills are what count. And if they’re not what count, why the hell are you looking at a car like this?

On the outside you won’t notice much difference. You get the same choice of colours, the same grey wheels and red brake calipers (if you pick the optional styling pack) and ST bodykit. It’s almost the same story underneath – the accurate steering and entertaining chassis remain untouched, guaranteeing plenty of grins on your favourite roads – but take a quick look at the boot lid and you’ll see a little yellow badge that hints at one of the other upgrades on this ST3.

Ford Approved Tuning

It’s the Mountune MP215 engine upgrade. For just £599 you get a headline Ford-approved power output of 215PS. The changes consist of an ECU remap accompanied by a new high-flow airbox, K&N filter and air hose to let the engine breath more freely. Torque is up too, from a useful 290Nm to a very handy 320Nm.

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

Now it’s worth pointing out that the headline power figure is based on the Fiesta’s time-limited overboost, whereas the standard model is always quoted as having 182PS, the output without the overboost. So according to Mountune’s own figures the MP215 upgrade adds roughly 15PS (not the 33PS that some publications have been claiming).

The 0-60mph time drops by 0.3 seconds but it’s the mid-range that gets the biggest boost – in 4th gear the ST will accelerate from 30-62mph in just 5.7 seconds, 0.7 quicker than before.

It’s that mid-range urge that makes the biggest difference on the road. You quickly find that you can leave the Fiesta in third or fourth gear and still travel quickly. You don’t need to drop a gear for tighter corners or opportunistic overtakes.

The changes to the airflow also introduce a subtle change in character to the engine sound. There’s a harder tone on full throttle, a slightly deeper growl, that makes it sound that bit more special. It’s not a drastic change but if you know your fast Fiestas you’ll appreciate the difference.

There is a little more torque steer than before but it’s not enough to ruin the experience. The ST’s chassis is a well-sorted piece of engineering and the extra power doesn’t diminish that.

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

After driving this new model my love for the Fiesta ST is stronger than ever. If you like your tech and creature comforts you’ll find a lot to like about this high-spec ST3. It’s got all of the kit you need and still represents good value, but I still see huge appeal in a basic ST for a little over £17k. You get the same amount of fun but for a couple of grand less.

However, there’s no question about the Mountune upgrade. It’s a no-brainer, a cheap way to get more power without sacrificing the Ford warranty. Whichever specification you choose, just make sure you ask your dealer about the Mountune MP215 upgrade.

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215

Ford Fiesta ST3 Mountune MP215 Specs

Performance & EconomyFord Fiesta ST3Mountune MP215
Engine1,596cc 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol1,596cc 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission6-speed manual, font-engined, front-wheel drive6-speed manual, font-engined, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) without overboost182 / 180-- / --
Power (PS / bhp) with overboost200 / 198215 / 212
Torque (Nm / lb.ft)290 / 213320 / 235
0 – 62 mph (seconds)6.96.6
Top Speed (mph)139---
CO2 Emissions (g/km)138138
VED BandEE
Combined Economy (mpg)4747
Kerb Weight (kg)1,1631,163
Price (OTR)£19,250£19,849


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Author: Chris Auty

Voted the Breakthrough Blogger of 2013 by SEAT and the Guild of Motoring Writers , Chris has lived and breathed cars since he was old enough to say 'faster'. With a penchant for hot hatches and an allergy to public transport, he would much prefer to drive a bad car than never drive at all. Fortunately his family has learned to put up with this obsession and the internet has provided a channel for his ramblings.

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16 Comments

  1. Fully agree about the dashboard on the fiesta – ford really should have junked the old set-up for a touchscreen infotainment system by now.

    It makes the ford satnav a worse choice than using your own standalone system, especially as the satnav itself is nowhere near garmin/tomtom standard.

    Come on ford, even budget citycars have got music/satnav touchscreens now!

    Let you know because the ST is such an amazing drive – but please rectify this at the ST facelift in a couple years (and I’m sure they will)

  2. Hello George,

    The good news is that the Focus shares the same system but it’s being phased out with the upcoming facelift, replaced by a large touchscreen. So it’s reasonable to expect the same system will work it’s way down to the Fiesta, but let’s hope it doesn’t take too long.

  3. Is the mountune really worth £700ish (with labour) for a couple of tenths off the already impressive times and a small boost to the already impressive torque? I’d like it, but just unsure how noticeable these relatively low increases would be over standard?

  4. A good question George! Many will be perfectly satisfied with the stock ST but if you’re happy with the idea of aftermarket tuning and crave a more muscular Fiesta then yes, it is worth it. It is a subtle change in character (no Jekyll and Hyde comparisons here) and you’d need to drive the two back-to-back to really appreciate it, but there is also the change to the engine tone to appreciate (or not, depending on your preference for rorty sounds).

    You can get the ST remapped by other companies for less (typically £400-£500) with similar results but there are two advantages to paying Moutune. One is the warranty support, the other is that insurance companies recognise the Mountune as a specific model making it easier to insure.

    Oh, and you get that little yellow badge to stick on the back 🙂

  5. Thank you for your reply Chris, I’ve had mine standard for a few months and actually perfectly happy with it. As you suggest, this isn’t a major tune and lot of what I’ve read says it’s most noticeable in the higher gears. I don’t do much motorway work in mine and have never been one for the ‘bragging rights’ of owning the upgrade (and the badge of course – although fair chance that would get forcibly removed at some stage I suspect!) Just don’t think it’s quite enough for me for the money and extra insurance.

    But many thanks for getting the power gains correct in your article – so many reviews, even from ‘leading’ car websites, use the base power and torque figures and then the overboosted figures from mountune for the gains. Even mountune themselves are a little sneaky on their own website, using the stock 0-62 time and the mountuned 0-60 time to make the car seemingly 0.5 seconds faster. Lies and statistics huh!

    Can agree the Fiesta ST is a terrific car, best and most fun I’ve ever owned.

  6. PS Would add I very nearly purchased a different car you gave an excellent review to, the Suzuki Swift Sport. And if Suzuki had just given it a little more torque (admittedly tough to do with a naturally aspirated engine) I probably would have done. But after the surging power of the ST I just couldn’t face all that high revving for relatively little return. But for younger drivers or those wanting a softer ride the Swift Sport is a cracking car for the money.

  7. I still adore the Swift Sport, and it’s often the target of searches on Autotrader, and current gen models are starting to become increasingly tempting 🙂

  8. I have to say I was very surprised to see how many people were getting the figures wrong for the Mountune upgrade. At first I thought it was me who was getting it wrong but I checked them several times and it seems like the big boys missed it!

  9. I am 52 and decided I wanted to live my 20s properly. This ST has given me life. Amen.

  10. Welcome to the Church of ST, Andrew.

  11. I have an ST mountune upgrade and its well worth the money. One thing people haven’t mentioned is you also get the car lowered by 15mm which is enough to improve the ride comfort. The power gains are more noticeable than you think and the extra torque and long rev ranges makes it easy to get carried away. Super fun!

  12. Hi Jonathan,

    Glad you like your Mountune. Curious abut the suspension mods, were they offered as part of the performance upgrade or was that another one of Mountune’s packages. I’ve not heard any mention of them either so I’m wondering if Mountune have changed the upgrade slightly since launch.

  13. I am picking up a ST3 in march but the ford dealers are telling me the mountune m215 needs to be up grading for the new ST engine, but mountune have not brought it out yet ?

  14. That sounds odd Paul. I’m not aware of any changes to the ST’s engine, I’m sure the press office would have been shouting about it if there was anything significantly different since launch.

    Try calling Mountune direct (01277 226666) – maybe they can set your Ford dealer straight.

  15. I will do thank you for the help

  16. I bought an ST in May 2014 (paid £15,250 via CarWow) and then got the Mountune MP215 upgrade at the first annual service in May 2015. You *can* feel (and hear) the difference – complete no-brainer and the best £600 I ever spent on a car 🙂

    I can also confirm that they *didn’t* lower my suspension by a further 15mm – not sure where that has come from.

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