Fun. That’s the bottom line feeling during a one-week test drive of the 2015 Ford Fiesta hatchback. The front wheel drive Fiesta’s spry handling is due in large part to an independent MacPherson strut/stabilizer bar front suspension and twist beam with coil springs rear suspension. The tested 98-inch wheelbase Fiesta was fitted with 17-inch wheels and summer performance tires, adding zest to the hatchback’s nimble handling. With the optional Recaro race car styled front seat, the side bolsters became physically draining to this test driver during an hours’ long excursion.

The tested Fiesta was powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged direct injection EcoBoost four- cylinder engine that nets 197 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 202 pounds-feet of torque at 4200 rpm. Engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission. The tested Fiesta ST hatchback strongly underscored its performance features. Human-machine control points included a rather strange interface (a slider button on the steering wheel stock) for engaging the front and rear windshield wipers. The 2015 Ford Fiesta Hatch ST carries a base MSRP of $21,435 and estimated fuel economy of 26 city/35 highway.