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Fiesta ST200 | Ford

Date of Release: May 2017
Number of Reviews 2

Designed, engineered and built for the fast lane, the 2017 Ford Fiesta ST 200 Limited Edition is a super-hatch that was built for thrill behind the wheel. From its stunning looks to the race-inspired interior, every detail of this performance hatch exudes excitement.

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The Torque Rating:  

Generic:

Value
Safety
Exterior
Interior
Performance

Hatch Lifestyle

City slicker
Boot/seat versatility
Entertainment
Still looking cool
Robot racer
Overall Driver Rating: 

Generic

Value
Safety
Exterior
Interior
Performance

Hatch Lifestyle

City slicker
Boot/seat versatility
Entertainment
Still looking cool
Robot racer

Design

On outside the 2017 Ford Fiesta ST 200 comes standard with a custom paintwork, 17-inch matte black rims and a sport-tuned suspension for enhanced performance. In essence, it looks more tempting and progressive than the standard ST.

The well-appointed cabin of the ST 200 is a perfect balance of luxurious amenities and performance-focused ergonomics. It features all the bells and whistles you...

Performance

More power from a refined engine with enhanced driving dynamics. Under the bonnet of this hot hatch is an all-so-powerful 1.6 turbocharged engine that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Not only does the engine provide blistering performance, but it is quite frugal as well.

Safety

As one of the most technologically advanced hatch-back in the market, the 2017 Fiesta ST 200 comes with a wide series of intelligent safety and security systems including front automated emergency braking, ABS, driver-knee and dual front airbags.

THE TORQUE REVIEW

Believe it or not, the 6th generation Ford Fiesta has been around for almost 5 years already. It’s a firm favourite amongst THE TORQUE team, and you can read our review of the entry-level diesel (which we aptly named the ‘mile eater’) for proof. Today, however, we sit in a very different Fiesta. The ST200 – the most powerful Fiesta produced to date and, judging by the news coming out about the new 2018 Fiesta ST, it will remain the most powerful. Well, technically it’s a straight tie (4 cylinder 1.6T vs. 3 cylinder 1.5T – both producing 147kW/290Nm)

Ford Fiesta ST200 - rear side view

The current Fiesta ST’s reputation is superb, famously declared by the old UK Top Gear trio as their favourite hot hatch. Back at home, whilst we remained open-minded, we knew the ST200 had big shoes to fill after our Renault Clio RS Trophy test which literally blew our socks off!

First up, what’s so special about the ST200? Well, it’s a limited edition – really, really limited! Ford SA only brought 160 units into the country and they are already sold out. The best you can hope for is to pick up a 2nd hand unit or buy one of three press fleet units from Ford SA when they de-fleet them at the end of this year – these may prove to be a real catch!

Secondly, it’s more powerful than your standard Fiesta ST. Both power and torque are up, but what you really need to know is that it’s 0.2 seconds faster, bringing down the 0 – 100km/h time to 6.7 seconds. That said, stats are only stats. Case in point: we enjoyed a quick dice against a VW Golf 7 GTI and we remained neck and neck over a short distance before slowing down to avoid breaking any laws. It’s about how a car puts the power down that counts, not necessarily its flywheel output (this is what all manufacturers use when quoting power stats).

Ford Fiesta ST200 - Bonnet view

Speaking of putting the power down, one of the reasons this car is so quick is because of what is known as a torque vectoring, limited slip differential. At THE TORQUE, we generally don’t like to get too technical, but what we will say is that thanks to this device, the ST200 literally takes front-wheel grip levels to the limit! The 17-inch Pirelli tyres just manage to cope with all that power, especially through 1st and 2nd gear. From a driver’s point of view, this is one ‘torquey’ engine, providing great pull in all 6 gears. We love how, even when we were cruising along at highway speeds, there’s no need to change down to overtake. It’s more fun, sure - but not necessary.

The fact that the ST200 comes exclusively in a 6-speed manual gearbox formed the core theme around one of the biggest office debates we’ve ever had! It’s a well-known fact that everyone who considers themselves a serious driver always proudly states that they’d opt for a manual over an auto gearbox. It’s one of the biggest differences (other than the price - which is a jaw dropping R95k) between the ST200 and the Clio RS Trophy. We loved the Trophy, especially for the following:

  • Impressive launch control
  • Amazing Akrapovic exhausts that love to burp, crackle and pop as you play with the quick changing dual-clutch gearbox via your steering-column mounted, paddle shifts
  • A chassis that helps you carry so much speed through the bends

Due to the ST200's manual style gearbox, you don’t get:

  • Launch control. It’s all up to you.
  • There’s no crackle and pop exhaust sounds that so many of us love. That said, thanks to a bit of trickery, the ST200 does sound good, particularly if you apply the heel&toe technique on your downshifts – phaarrp!
  • A car that’s easy to drive in heavy traffic. The short, stiff clutch is great when you’re giving it “the beans”, but not so great in heavy traffic.

Sounds a bit negative, right? Think again. The conclusion of our office debate was this: as good as modern autoboxes have become, there is nothing quite like being in complete control of a car. And that’s exactly what you get with the ST200 – COMPLETE CONTROL.

Ford Fiesta ST200 - rear view

The steering is phenomenal! It’s so direct, giving the driver great feedback, allowing you to point the front-end exactly where you want it to go. Unless you are going waayyyy too fast into a corner, there is literally no understeer. Definitely, the least amount of understeer on any front wheel drive car we’ve ever driven. We’re pretty sure that’s the exact reason why the Fiesta ST is so highly rated by Clarkson and co. Above all that, it is really fun too – the ST200 provides a bit of backend sideways action thanks to something called “lift-off oversteer”. With a bit of practice, you can really leverage that effect, along with the car’s great front end and ample exit power (290Nm via a clever diff) to make the ST200 fly through the bends at an alarming pace. We were thoroughly impressed with how well this car handled!

With such accessible power and such comprehensive feedback, combined with the fact you’re in full control of it all, the ST200 has become our (for most of the team anyway) favourite driver’s hot hatch – especially on everyday roads.

Other highlights include:

  • The love it or hate it, who cares, it’s exclusive, Storm Grey metallic exterior paint. We actually like it because it is different to the generic, overused colour palette generally found on our roads. It kind of reminds us of a certain Aston Martin colour…
  • Speaking of which, that Aston Martin inspired “shark mouth” grille and those long sweeping headlights look great! The rear taillights are LED based.
  • Exclusive, matt black, “chariots of fire” looking 17-inch five-mag wheels, which contrast nicely against the red brake callipers.
  • Body hugging, Recaro partially leather performance seats with heating function
  • Exclusive ST200 badges on the rear of the car and internally, located next to that sweet 6-speed manual.
  • Privacy glass, illuminated scuff plates and rear park assist (including rear camera)
  • Auto headlights, auto central locking, auto windscreen wipers, climate control, keyless entry and door handle downlights which look great!

Ford Fiesta ST200 - Recaro seats

Being exclusive, we felt that the ST200 could have done with one or two more additional upgrades:

  • The short aerial could have been replaced with a much better-looking shark fin
  • It would have been nice to have a red, centre line on a flat bottom steering wheel
  • The outdated Sony infotainment system doesn’t support a race computer

Other than that, it’s a great car. If we had to squeeze out one last negative, it would be that the ride comfort is a bit too firm, especially when commuting through the suburbs. Hey, if that’s the price you have to pay for superb handling, then so be it!

If you are able to get your hands on a ST200, let’s try to imagine what it would be like to live with on a daily basis and see how it matches up against our hatchback lifestyle judging criteria:

  • City Slicker (3 out of 5): Is parking a breeze? Can you whizz through traffic etc.? You might look slick in your limited edition hot hatch, but there are some drawbacks. The ride is a bit hard, the clutch is a bit stiff and the front doors are massive, making parking in a tight parkade a bit tricky.

  • Boot/Seat Versatility (4 out of 5)Does this hatch give you the flexibility you need in everyday life? Standard stuff for a B-segment hatch. It’ll take care of your everyday needs with 276l on hand and 60:40 split folding rear seats. It’s a bit of a squeeze to reach the back seats, but once you are there it’s actually quite comfortable.

  • Entertainment (3 out of 5): Can you play what you want to? Does it sound GOOD!?! We’ve said enough already about the outdated, button-heavy infotainment system, but on the positive side, the sound system is good!

  • Still looking cool (5 out of 5): Does your car aid your image or will its look, age quickly? If you’re like us, and actually like the colour, we think this is one good looking hot hatch!

  • Robot Racer* (5 out of 5)We've all done it… Will you win the drag race in your hatch? With a manual launch, you might not be as quick off the mark against software aided launch-control cars, but it’s such a sweet feeling seeing your opponents car move up and down alongside you as you fly through the gears via that short-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox.
    *THE TORQUE encourages responsible, law-abiding driving.

So... is the ST200 worth R14k more than the standard Fiesta ST? We say hell yes! Is it the perfect hot hatch? ...No. As with all cars, there are drawbacks. There are lots of aspects of competitors’ hot hatches that we prefer, but the ST200 has a trump card up its sleeve which helps it stand out. It has tons of character! And it's due to that character, that makes the ST200 so easy to fall in love with and cherish for the long term. A future classic? We certainly think so!

Likes:

  • A true driver’s car!
  • Plenty of torque – this car pulls nicely whilst remaining relatively fuel efficient (over a fairly hefty week, our average came in at 10l/100Km)
  • Steering and handling – it gives you the confidence to really push the limits

Dislikes:

  • Other than those awesome looking Recaro seats, the interior design and build quality isn’t our favourite
  • Unfortunately, every day can’t include a “closed-off” mountain pass. Instead, you’re more than likely to be sitting in heavy traffic. Get ready for your left leg to be bigger than your right…
  • The centre armrest can get in the way sometimes as you are changing gears

Do you own or regularly drive the Ford Fiesta ST200? Tell SA what you love about your car by quickly rating it on THE TORQUE. Register today!


WHAT IS ‘THE TORQUE’?

THE TORQUE is an independent platform dedicated to car reviews. Instead of judging a car based on one or two people’s opinions, THE TORQUE allows you to see what like-minded, real people, who actually own or regularly drive the cars have to say about them.

In addition, THE TORQUE team shares their own ‘lifestyle orientated’ and easy-to-understand reviews on selected cars. Combining the two, gives one the ability to make a truly informed purchasing decision on what the best car for you is. After all, buying a car is a big decision! Register today and tell SA what you love about your car!


DRIVER REVIEWS

Showing 1 of 1

Leonadine Van Deventer

Overall rating:  

Date reviewed: December 26, 2017

I'm VERY satisfied with my Hot Hatch Ford Fiesta ST200. The steering really is perfect, with the ...

I'm VERY satisfied with my Hot Hatch Ford Fiesta ST200. The steering really is perfect, with the car responding to whatever my needs may be. Acceleration through each gear is very good. The interior engine sound that FORD improved really makes it sound amazing. It's a good looking car and it definitely attracts a lot of attention. Those that do know it's a limited edition fall instantly inlove.. The Recaro seats makes it absolutely remarkable. The rear lights are fantastic with that bit that looks a lot like those of the Mustang...My car just looks elegant but sporty...The only downside to me personally is definitely the Sony sound system. Knowing that the new ford fiesta ST will present with the bigger screen really is disappointing. Other than that I'm completely inlove....LIMITED EDITION....... UNLIMITED THRILLS

Generic:

Value
Safety
Exterior
Interior
Performance

Hatch Lifestyle:

City slicker
Boot/seat versatility
Entertainment
Still looking cool
Robot racer

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