Posted on January 19, 2018
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.
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...
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.
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.
Date reviewed: 2017-12-05 15:15:00
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)
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).
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:
Due to the ST200's manual style gearbox, you don’t get:
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.
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:
Being exclusive, we felt that the ST200 could have done with one or two more additional upgrades:
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:
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!
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!
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