Over 43 years of buying cars, and this is the best-handling car I've ever driven (including two Mazda Miatas). when your right foot goes to the floor, the road had better be clear because you will be gone! The brakes are right-now direct, and the features are outstanding. Get the Recaro seats on the ST and it's like you're velcro'd into the car (which is really good when cornering hard). The 6-speed manual shifts like a knife through honey. Bottom line, if you like to drive, get a Fiesta ST.
I wouldn't recommend this car to a friend because it has had some issues since I have owned it. I am aware that it is a used car but it doesn't drive smooth, it's very jumpy when I accelerate and it also stalls sometimes. There is a grinding noise that I can feel in the gas pedal when I accelerate as well. I have to take it to a mechanic after owning it for 5 months because the engine light came on. There is limited space inside. There is also a door latch recall that Ford has yet to fix. My door wouldn't latch one day so I had to get a bungee cord and attach it to my passenger seat.
This car is hilarious fun. It has the best brakes of any car I have ever driven and has incredible grip. It may not drift like a rwd sports car, but it rotates nicely on corner entry and is very neutral through turns. It is definitely the best handling front wheel drive car sold in the US and one of the best handling cars regardless. More importantly, it does all of that while gettin 30 mpg combined and you can actually fit stuff in it. The ride is firm and it gets a little bouncey on larger bumps, but that is the price you pay for 0.96g of lateral grip. The transmission is bolt-action slick, I find the seats very comfortable, and there is enough adjustment in the seats and steering wheel for most anyone to find the right driving position.