BEHIND THE WHEEL: Ford Fiesta S v

MONDAY DECEMBER 12, 2016

Ecoboost v ST

The fiesta trio, I've been waiting for a long time to write those words because life always gets in they way resulting in the delay of this occurrence. What's more, in Malaysia tyres do get punctured rather frequently, often times a dire replacement was needed which resulted in more setback.

 

Hatchbacks are adored for their agility including the ease of drive in Kuala Lumpur says the person with less than adequate parking skills. I wondered why are there so many of these pesky Fiestas running about and they are a popular choice in my circle of friends. So I decided to gather them all to see what’s what.

FIESTA S

1.5-litre 4-cylinder

110 hp 140Nm

6-speed Dual Clutch

0-100 km/h: 11s

Top speed: 210 km/h

RM 88,388

FIESTA ECOBOOST

1-litre 4-cylinder

125hp 170Nm

6-speed Dual Clutch

0-100 km/h: 9.4s

Top speed: 200 km/h

RM 98,488

FIESTA ST

1.6-litre 4-cylinder

180hp 240Nm

(overboost 197hp 290Nm)

6-speed manual

0-100 km/h: 6.9s

Top speed: 220 km/h

RM 149,888

First into the old school natural breather, in the case of linear delivery of power, it will be needing all the revs to keep up with its other sisters. Into the Ecoboost, there was an immediate difference to how power is delivered. That apart, engine is quieter upon ignition while shove is spritely, especially so for a 3 cylinder.

 

Near identical to its naturally aspirated sibling, the steering is light but responsive to inputs, dare I say better than an Audi A4. However, being electrically assisted there is not much in the feedback department. The suspension setup is compliant even on rough patches without having to compromise much of its agile nature.

Then we had a drag race between the two to see which is quicker, more importantly by how much. On that day, the naturally aspirated Fiesta had a perfect launch while the Ecoboost took time for its turbo to spool and the rest was history. The margin was a car’s length when approaching the century mark which was quite an amazing find.

 

If neither the S nor the Ecoboost is good for you, there is always the meaty ST. Packing a slightly bigger engine at 1.6 litres (still milk carton sized according to Shiang), stiffer suspensions at all corners, beefy brakes, sound symposer piping in the right notes and the defining feature; a manual transmission which amplifies the driving experience by ten folds.

 " There is little wonder why

Fiestas are popular"

While the Fiesta ST may look like Ip Man taking down 10 man with ease, it too comes with compromises. One, ride can be a tad bouncy on most roads in Malaysia where I am constantly given a belly massage. Then, it gets tiring after hours in traffic jam as of all manual transmissions but nothing beats the Megane RS.

I’m not going to say ST is clear winner here in this comparison because if someone can only have one car in their garage, he or she is better off with the Ecoboost. Not only is it decently quick as well as being appropriately comfortable but the most economical of the three.

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