I went out with a good friend of mine recently who was fairly fit and didn’t care much about gym or eating well. He was good at sports, athletic and that’s pretty much it, he was just naturally good at many things. After a few months, however, before seeing him he decided to take his health and body very seriously and got very fit and lean in a short space of time. He was the same friend I have come to know, just better physically.
Ford South Africa sent me this, the best handling and most fun mini hatch you can buy with your money right now. It’s very hard not to love, it handles well, has great power and doesn’t use that much fuel no matter how you drive it. It’s called the Fiesta ST200 and like the normal ST, it’s become a lot better. The same car but much, much better.
Let us begin with power. The nippy little 1.6 turbocharged engine now has 147 kW and 290 Nm and will dice to 100 kph in only 6.7 seconds before running out of breath at 230km/h. A further 11 kW and 30 Nm are available for up to 20 seconds thanks to the engine’s overboost function. With tweaks and tunes here and there the sound it makes is great with deep induction and turbo noise you would normally find in a big 2 litre engine. With consumption rated at 6.9 litres per hundred being believable, realistically you’re gonna drive this car to its full potential so expect nothing more than 9 litres per hundred which is still very impressive.
Power on the inside is sent to a very slick, short throw six speed manual gearbox which does not like traffic or slow driving. My experiences with it showed me that brisk, fast and peppy driving is what it likes most when you throw the gears around. The interior is typical, straight forward Ford. Aluminium pedals and a gear shifter with a nice chunky steering and tight fitting seats. Just to let you know you are driving the ST200, there is a badge in front of the gear selector to remind you.
The ST200 gets 17 inch five-spokes as standard and look pretty mean when combined to the slick and grippy 205/40/17 tyres which handle and put the power down so well. This coupled with sharp bitey brakes adds for an all round handling hatch that will stop on a dime each time.
What else is different compared to a normal Fiesta ST? Well, the suspension has been upgraded with a claimed 27% more roll stiffness. The dampers have also been tweaked for better impact absorption and the power steering system has been revised. This all translates to incredible handling around corners and on the track, but on normal public roads not so much. Let’s just say that you shouldn’t get take-away coffee unless you want it spilt all over you.
Only available in Storm Grey the ST200 looks gorgeous in this colour and as this will be the last Fiesta ST version in this shape, it will go down as an iconic little hatch. Retailing at R339 900, which is R14 000 more than that standard Fiesta ST, it makes it a bargain for the amount of power and fun you will have. It also comes with bluetooth & wireless audio function, USB, heated seats, reverse camera and a 4 year 120 000km service and warranty plan standard.
So is it worth it? Yes, for around R300k you can get 200HP and a fun little toy to live with in the city. It’s practical for a young upcoming boy or girl who likes to enjoy fun in small doses that can compete with a demanding and time consuming lifestyle. Even though the new Fiesta ST is due in a couple of months I must say that this is one heck of a way to say goodbye to one of the best handling small hatches out there. Good job, Ford! more of this, please.