Volkswagen Polo 2013 Review
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The performance based 'hot hatch' usually comes from a long line of donor cars that have been sacrificed at the hands of mad engineers with a limited budget and zero time before release.
With this in mind, engineers scramble around the parts bin with the aim of finding bang for your buck parts that create fun with spunk and performance,
The look and feel of a 'hot hatch' in 2014 won't appeal to everyone and being realistic, that's the idea. Most manufacturers will only produce a handful of vehicle (depending on the market) that attract a certain age bracket and bank balance.
One company that has 'hot hatch' desirability down to a fine art is the Ford Motor Company. Ford has the crucial runs on the board and international awards to prove that they are masters of producing petite performance.
"The Fiesta ST leverages the performance input of our European team [Ford Team RS] to deliver a very refined car that will appeal to a broad spread of customers," said David Katic, General Marketing Manager - Ford Australia.
With a six month waiting list for the ST, Ford Australia has the 'hot hatch' market by the scruff of the neck. But Ford can't just rely on reputation alone and rightly so with an increasing number of manufacturers all jockeying to take the crown of this small, but lucrative market.
"[The Ford Fiesta ST] is already a smash hit in Europe with a bank of customer orders...It's a car that speaks directly to connoisseurs of the hot hatchback, who have a passion for performance driving," Katic said.
The Molten Orange-coloured ST from the front has looks that Aston Martin would be proud of. The aggressive, yet appealing, oversized black plastic mouth feeds air directly to the front mounted intercooler. The lower air dam and front chin combine to produce an assertive look and a hint of down-force with headlights that sweep over the front wheel arches and back towards the front windscreen.
The exterior features of the ST include; 17" five spoke sporty rims with tyres to match, stylish side-skirts, colour-coded side mirrors and door handles, dual chrome exhaust; and just like the front, the rear looks like it has been designed by the Italians for an upcoming supercar.
The 'mini me' black and grey interior has been borrowed from the Ford Focus ST parts bin. It's very sporty and fresh although it has been shrunk slightly to fit inside the petite cabin of the Fiesta ST. The driving position is spot on helped by the comfortable and hugging RECARO seats which you notice the moment you climb inside. Yes they're not for everyone although if you are tall and thin, they provide optimal comfort regardless of the terrain.
Ford has installed a cracking stereo system, not that it got much use with the sweet engine note and induction noise becoming my favourite tracks.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST has an five-star ANCAP Safety Rating. Safety systems include, ABS, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, traction control, hill-start assist, rear parking sensors, vehicle alarm and engine immobiliser.
The engine and transmission have been designed in unison to maximise power and fuel economy. The six speed transmission feels direct when shifting and geared to ensure you won't be caught out by being in the wrong gear.
If you're tackling city streets or traffic cones on a skid pan, third gear will ensure you're always in the sweet spot for economy and power. The sporty nature of the engine promotes free flowing revs which delivers power right to redline.
For most hot hatch buyers, fuel consumption isn't much of a concern, but just in case it is the ST like most modern day self-shifters will indicate on the dash the gear you should select and when to change.
On a fast set of twisty turns the ST comes alive and excels under pressure. The feedback from the tyres and suspension to the driver is just superb. The revs of the engine sing as the overboost feature cuts in to give you the full 147kW, a 20 second punch of confidence to tackle the following curve and launch out of that next corner.
Ford's torque steer trait has all but vanished, with only a hint of understeer when pushed. Having driven the 2013 Audi R8 V10 and the manual version of the new Porsche 911 Carrera S, the drivability of the ST is every bit as good under the same conditions for less than a 1/10th of the price.
The Ford Fiesta ST will suit owners that are looking for a sporty, fun performance based car that makes all the right noises for not a lot of money. It may not be the biggest performance car out there but bang for your buck, the Fiesta ST will impress you no end. Its small size is perfect for city driving and parking with the ST being comfortable and spacious enough for those extended trips into the country.
The Fiesta ST isn’t a car for everyone, its pint size makes that point very clear, but for the selected few that buy the ST, the rewards start as soon as you take the key.
|Ambiente||1.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$6,900 – 11,950||2014 Ford Fiesta 2014 Ambiente Pricing and Specs|
|Sport||1.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$8,990 – 14,990||2014 Ford Fiesta 2014 Sport Pricing and Specs|
|ST||1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN||$12,999 – 18,999||2014 Ford Fiesta 2014 ST Pricing and Specs|
|Trend||1.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$9,490 – 13,000||2014 Ford Fiesta 2014 Trend Pricing and Specs|