Category: Ford

We drive the Ford Fiesta ST200

Driven Review on the Ford Fiesta ST200

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

Ford celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Fiesta and what better way to send off the Mk7 Fiesta than with something really special? Say hello to the new Fiesta ST200. Only 160 units of these are coming to South Africa so it is going to be rare to see one. Nonetheless, Ford has already revealed the new ST overseas, so at least we know we won’t be waiting almost 5 years for the ST after the launch of the standard Fiesta, as we did with the Mk7 Fiesta ST.

Of course, this is a more powerful version of the outgoing Fiesta ST. In fact, this is the most powerful Fiesta Ford has ever built. The normal ST already has the ability to set excite, with its thrilling dynamics and cheeky performance figures. Things get even better as the ST200 produces 149 kW and 290 N.m in a car the size of a toddlers shoe. These numbers are impressive, considering the size of the car, so much so the top speed has been limited to 230 km/h,.

The result? An authentic hot hatch experience. Ford hasn’t strayed from the classic recipe of the ST, so it still gives you the thrills you want. The car feels more alive and in the bends, it doesn’t have any signs of a struggling front-end due to more power and torque. During brisk pull-offs, the overboost function comes in handy with an additional 11 kW and 30 N.m of torque on the last set of gears, so all-in-all, a whopping 160 kW and 320 N.m is produced. Ford also took the liberty of improving the final drive ratio from 3.82 to 4.06, so that the car can make the most out of the extra power. For those that don’t know what that means, this then shortens the gear changes and improves in-gear acceleration. It’s even quicker off the line, getting to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South AfricaFord has also worked on the damping of this new ST200, so it’s way more forgiving than the normal ST. It has relaxed dampers and an added new rear twist beam so it’s now even easier to live with, as the ride is not as harsh as it used to be. It is however still stiff enough for when you want to give it the “full beans”. The way the car puts its power down is great, the torque vectoring trickery that Ford uses is still brilliant. After exiting any corner the power is right behind you, to pull you out of any messy situation. The steering is also ever so sharp, the accuracy of it as well as the power delivery works hand well to give the an engaging experience that makes you smile. Overall the car provides accessible performance whilst maintaining the visceral elements you desire in a compact hot hatch.
Ford Fiesta ST200 South AfricaInterior wise, nothing much has changed, but Ford has added a few leather patches on the Recaro heated seats. However, my precious mother battled to fit in the bucket seats and as a result sat on the seat and not in it. The fascia remains the same and the display screen is still quite small. This can be forgiven because this is not a new car, it’s the last hoorah of this generation, so we can only expect an updated cabin in the following ST. Exterior bits include a rather nice looking storm grey paint finish, black 17-inch alloy wheels added to the already standard Fiesta ST go-faster/boy racer looks, completed with an ST200 badge in the rear.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

This ST is arguably one of the best cars in its segment and it has been outdone by this final iteration. This car also offers great value for money with a price tag of R339 900. The current Fiesta was the one we waited for in this segment, previous models models were never the best of the bunch but the mk7 proved sceptics wrong. The ST200 then is a brilliant way to bid farewell, may the next one keep it up.


Siya Manzini 

Junior Writer

 

Details on the limited edition Ford Fiesta ST200 in South Africa

Limited Edition Ford Fiesta ST200 available in South Africa

The Ford Fiesta is a very popular car among the younger generation in South africa and this can also be said for the sportier and faster ST variant. The Fiesta ST is a very rewarding hot hatch to drive, producing 134 kW in a fantastic chassis, making it a very good option for many a racey South African.

If you own or are thinking of buying a Fiesta ST, part of the reason for that purchase is that you want to be a little different and stand out amongst a sea of Polo GTI’s but still enjoy a rewarding drive. Unfortunately the Fiesta ST is also a very popular car, so you’re not going to be doing much standing out, then…

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

This isn’t necessarily the case with Ford latest hot offering, the Fiesta ST200. This is a Fiesta one would definitely stand out in as Ford are only selling 160 of these units in South africa.

The Ford Fiesta ST200 gets a little bit more of everything over the standard ST. It has different styling, more power and and even better handling. It is also more expensive at R339 900 but for a car that’s more rare in South Africa than a VW Clubsport S, it may be worth the money.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

In the performance department, the Fiesta ST200 receives an increase in power from 134 kW to 149 kW or 200 bhp exactly. Torque also increases with an extra 50 N.m, bringing the total to 290 N.m. If that’s not enough, 20 Seconds of overboost is also available which produces an additional 11 kW and 30 N.m. That’s a total of 160 kW and 320 Nm – nice!

The additional power means a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h. Helping you get to that speed, in a safe environment of course, is a shorter 6th gear ratio.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

The suspension receives updates as well with revised damper specs, increased stiffness in the rear twist beam and a bigger diameter front anti-roll bar. New settings have also been included for the Electronic Power Assisted Steering to improve vehicle response. All in all, a fantastic handling hot hatch has been improved even further.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

We can’t forget to tell you about the unique exterior and interior design elements either. The Fiesta ST200 is only available in Storm Grey, a colour which has been specifically introduced for this model. This is offset by Matt Black 17” Alloys, Red brake calipers, LED rear taillights and ST200 badging.

Stepping inside, one will find heated Recaro sports seats, dual-tone seat belts, illuminated scuff plates and privacy glass from the rear windows.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

From the images, we can see that the Ford Fiesta ST200 is still quite understated and would not be easily recognizable to everyone. It is definitely a unique Fiesta ST and isn’t too badly priced when one considers that it will be scaring Golf GTI’s at the lights!

Updates to the Ford Focus in South Africa

South African Car News: Ford Focus Updated

South African Car News: Ford Focus Updated

The South African hatch segment is a very competitive place to be for a car manufacturer. We are seeing new and updated vehicles released on a regular basis as manufacturers compete provide the best package for car buyers.

One of these cars to recently receive upgrades is the Ford Focus. These changes include a new Diesel variant and updates to the styling and driver assistance packages.

Trend Styling Package

The updated styling package refers to the Trend styling pack which is only available on the 5-Door models of the Ford Focus. Changes to this pack include a newly styled bodykit, rear wing, 17-inch multi-spoke with lower profile tyres and a tilt and slide sunroof.

The sunroof is not the only electronic accessory in this pack, as the trend styling pack now also includes Bi-Xenon headlights derived from Focus ST3. These headlight incorporate dynamic beam technology and LED running lights. Finally, the Trend pack includes dual-zone climate control, heated and folding mirrors and privacy glass on the rear.

This is a nice pack to give your Ford Focus that little bit extra in styling and comfort and is priced at R19 984.

Driver Assistance Package

Ford’s driver assistance package has been updated to now include their SYNC 3 Infotainment system. The SYNC 3 is a big update over the previous SYNC 2 system, the 8-inch screen is brighter and now allows touch sensitive gestures. It also includes full navigation in multiple languages and supports Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

This package also includes a rearview camera, Active Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Aid. Costing just R17 089, it could be a worthy upgrade.

New Ford 1.5-litre TDCi turbodiesel engine

The final upgrade to the Focus range is that Ford have replaced the 1.6 TDCi engine with a new 1.5-litre TDCi engine. Producing 88kW and 270 Nm while delivering power via a six-speed manual gearbox. We’re told this engine is much better than the one it replaces – a test will tell.

 

Limited Edition Fx4 Ford Ranger in South Africa

Limited Edition Ford Ranger Fx4 in South Africa

Limited Edition Ford Ranger Fx4 has been added to the South African range.

There’s a new version of the Ford Ranger and Ford describe it as “stunning.” Describing your new product as “stunning” is much the same as when a restaurant describes a dessert as being “delicious” on their own menu. I will be the judge of that, thank you very much!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say “stunning” but it is quite nice. And it’s certainly striking. Based on the Ranger 3.2 TDCi Double Cab 4×4, the Fx4 receives a number of visual only enhancements, as well as Ford’s latest SYNC 3 Navigation and infotainment system. The Ranger is arguably the benchmark in its segment with its “car-like” demeanour – its comfortable, refined and really is the kind of bakkie one can drive every day, in comfort.

Apparently the Fx4 nomenclature has something to do with the F-Series pickups in the US, but that’s about as far as the similarities go – Americans would consider this rather large vehicle a bit of a joke if parked up next to an F-250.

More specifically, the Fx4 gets black finishes for the grille, fog lamp surrounds, exterior mirrors, roof rails and door handles. The side steps, rear bumper and sports bar come in Panther black which should all go nicely with the aftermarket “Raptor” look-alike grille the Fx4’s owners will almost certainly fit the moment they take delivery, as most Ranger owners do.

Interesting side note – there have actually been reports of these “Raptor” grilles causing engine cooling issues on Ranger models. Not surprising, however, as these modifications are not OEM items and as such were likely never tested further than fitment, because they look kiff, bru.  

The Ranger Fx4 is available in just four colours – Panther Black, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey and Frozen White and can be had with either an automatic or manual transmission.

Pricing is R593 900 for the manual and R608 900 for the automatic. Both come standard with a 4 year/ 120 00km warranty and 5 year/100 000km service plan with 3 years/ unlimited km roadside assistance.

Stunning? Perhaps not. Relatively good value for money and a stealthy version of the best bakkie you can buy? More likely.

 

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Polo 1.0 TSI R-Line vs Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Powershift

Polo 1.0 TSI R-Line vs Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Powershift in South Africa

The newly launched Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI R Line is a nifty little thing. The exterior look of this car is one that will pique the interest of many buyers. It’s marketed as a “performance” Polo despite it only having a 1.0 litre engine with 3 cylinders, but after driving it we can confirm that its nippy. The question then for you as a buyer is what’s the better buy, this new Polo TSI or perhaps the also-very-good Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost PowerShift Titanium?

 

The specs:

The Ford has been around for a while as consumers have loved the 3 cylinder 1.0 litre EcBoost engine it offers. With 74kW and 170Nm, the little Ford produces good numbers for both city and open road driving thanks to turbocharging. Equipped with the 6 speed PowerShift gearbox, it makes being stuck in traffic bearable since your left foot can rest. The Volkswagen Polo 1.0 litre TSI R Line has similar figures in terms of displacement and forced induction. It too has 3 cylinders but produces more power with 81kW and 200Nm. The difference is not huge but will be felt by keen motorists who love to drive in a hurry. Since both these cars have tiny engines, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that they would be frugal on fuel. The Fiesta has a great claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 4.9 litres/100km, but the Polo edges ahead with a claimed figure of 4.4 litres/100km, again very closely matched.

The looks: 

In this segment, aesthetics play a huge role as cars like these are aimed at youthful individuals and let’s face it, the youth “like things”. In that case then choosing between the Ford and the Volkswagen may be a challenge as they both look great. The Fiesta has ST bits on it, making it look nice and sporty. The Volkswagen on the other hand comes equipped with the R-Line package, giving it too a racier look. On the inside is where the Polo has the slight upper hand as the cabin layout is simpler whereas the Fiesta is a bit too busy. Both cars offer connectivity such as Bluetooth and USB as well as auxiliary input. The new infotainment screen on the Polo is the nicer of the two but Fords SYNC system is quite good to use as well. In terms of overall appeal, the cars are again closely matched but the Volkswagen has a disadvantage. The fact that there are so many on the road may make the car seem more “common” but the R-Line kit can set it apart. Both cars are also four doors so they’re on par when it comes to space and access into the rear.

The Drive:  

The spikey nature of the Fiesta has always been something we’ve enjoyed about the car, it’s an engine with character. As mentioned having an automatic gearbox makes the car easy to live with day to day, so it will be a dream in the city. The Polo however is more of an angry little car. The DSG gearbox in the car has changed the character of the vehicle, giving it an immediacy that’s quite surprising. The way the VW handles too is something you don’t expect from a little 1.0 litre car. The Fiesta will be the one you want if you’re of a more relaxed disposition, whereas the Polo wants to have more fun.

Overall:

Both these cars are great vehicles indeed. At the end of the day it all comes down to preference and of course price. At R290 000, the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI R-Line is not exactly cheap, the Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost PowerShift Titanium comes in cheaper at R274 900. That price tag comes with a 4 year/60 000km service plan which is a good deal. The Polo only comes with a 3 year/45 000km service plan. So what will you buy? These cars are marketed differently but offer very similar specs. If you’re more of a thrill seeker, we recommend the Polo, but if you want to save some bucks and still have a banging little cool car, the Fiesta is a very good choice too.