2019 Ford Fiesta ST-Line

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A few years ago, I traveled with a group of friends to New York City to visit a buddy who had moved out for his birthday. My friend and I were trying to figure out what to do while we were there. We struck gold: Vin Diesel, of “Fast and Furious” and Rihanna cover song fame, would read children’s books to adults at a comedy club in the city. Better yet, tickets were only $5 apiece.

A frantic email and scramble to purchase tickets proved soon afterward that it was, indeed, too good to be true. Instead of Dominic Toretto reading us the “Goodnight Moon,” we got a guy in a bald cap with fake muscle sleeves reading a book he wrote as Vin Diesel’s character in those movies — fool’s gold, as it turned out.

Related: 2018 Ford Fiesta: What You Don’t Get

I felt a similar level of disappointment today with Ford’s news that it would bring back for the 2019 model the Fiesta ST … Line. The Fiesta ST-Line is, in essence, a Fiesta ST in a bald cap with fake muscles.

The Fiesta ST has a special place in my heart and the hearts of Cars.com staff. Last summer, I detailed our picks for the most fun-to-drive cars that cost less than $25,000, and the ST was the most submitted car in the entire piece: Four other editors emailed me to ensure its inclusion.

Imagine my despair when Ford canceled the Fiesta ST last year. This was a small performance car done right. Sure, its interior was rather cheap, the backseat could only fit your shortest friends and ride quality was harsh to say the least. But it could really find its way around a corner: The Recaro seats hugged your hips, and the excellent manual transmission was paired perfectly with the 197-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. On an autocross course or the open road, there were few better companions for the price.

Ford also announced in April that it would scuttle its sedans, including the Fiesta, after the current generations play out. That gave me hope; perhaps Ford would offer a last hurrah for the ST so enthusiasts could give it a proper goodbye.

No such luck. Instead, we get this 2019 Fiesta ST-Line, which Ford says is popular in Europe. Instead of the bygone ST’s engine, the ST-Line has the standard Fiesta motor — a 120-hp, non-turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder. Instead of the ST’s sport suspension, the ST-Line has the Fiesta’s regular-duty running gear.

That said, you do get a few go-fast cosmetic parts:

  • Blacked-out roof with large rear spoiler
  • Honeycomb front grille and rear bumper insert
  • Dual chrome exhaust tips
  • 16-inch black-alloy wheels
  • ST-Line side badging
  • Sport cloth seats with red stitching
  • Metallic pedal inserts
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel with red stitching

The end result is a car that looks like a Fiesta ST, but it’s just like that comedian: a disappointing lookalike trying to fool you in a bad costume. It’s a kitschy tribute to an awesome machine that I still miss. For those interested, it goes on sale in October.

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