New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: Ford Fiesta ST

2007-11-22 07:43

Marius Scheepers, Johannesburg

Now let's have some fun! That's what I think every time I get into this little toy...

The heart of this car is a jewel of a 2.0 litre engine. With a power output of 112 kW and 190 Nm of torque, and a weight of more or less 1200 kg, this car can go.

The engine sounds sporty, the gears shift quickly and securely and it has a hard, but compliant ride perfect for a car of this nature. It handles as if on rails and the brakes are also first class. The combination of excellent brakes and very grippy Pirellis means that not even the ABS kicks in every time you need to brake hard.

Reasonably economical

Fuel consumption on the ST all depends on the driver. On long journeys it's very easy to achieve around 7.2 l/100 km, fully loaded with the aircon on. In city driving, it rarely goes over the 8.7 l/100 km mark. But, with the occasional dice, it can go to around 13 l/100 km. Average per tank has never exceeded 10 l/100 km. That means at least 450 km on a 45-litre tank.

Inside the car is spacious enough for four adults to sit comfortable, even on longer journeys. The boot, however, will not take weekend luggage for four...

The specification list is quite good with aircon, power steering, six-disc front loader (unfortunately no MP3 here), electric windows and mirrors and, of course, those very comfortable Recaro seats. They do hold you in your seat around fast corners.

The quality of the interior is good for a car of this class and price, although it is bettered by newer rivals.

A few things are missed though. It doesn't have any traction control, which means on dirt or a wet road, it is very easy to light op the front tyres. A sixth gear would also be nice, as the car is revving at around 4 000  r/min at 120 km/h. But this can also be good, because 4 000  r/min is where the torque peaks, which means you don?t have to shift down to overtake slower traffic.

Rattling boot

There are a few negative points though. After 60 000 km there are a few rattles, especially coming from the boot. The tyres wear down quickly, all four tyres were replaced on 42 000 km, but that's more because of my driving style.

Then there is the service from Ford. The only bad thing about owning a Ford is the service. They just can't do it right the first time - or the second or the third!

The Fiesta ST might not be the quickest of the little hot hatches, but it sure is an awesome drive. For the price, you can't go wrong and this car will give you years of endless fun, whether you drive like your grandma or Alonso.

There are quicker pimped-up Golfs and Unos too, but the overall package can't be beaten.

Will I ever get myself another Ford? Only if Ford will see to their pathetic service since there's nothing wrong with their cars!


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