BEHIND THE WHEEL: Ford Fiesta ST

MONDAY JULY 4, 2016

I recently participated in a car survey in hopes to shape the future of cars, most importantly to understand the very reason why people buy cars. After that eventful evening, I learnt two things. When it comes to buying a car people tend to be drawn by polarising looks as well as wanting to be the innovators or early adopters despite knowing that car will eventually be saturated. It is no wonder why the BMW 3 series GT is selling well or that the X6 was a commercial success. That is also why Mazda came up with a dim head up display in the CX-3 while touch sensitive controls are opted instead of intuitive analogue ones in a HIV.. I meant HRV.

PRO

Darting response

Entertaining drive

Menacing looks

Rarity

CON

Overly friendly passenger seat

Ride's a tad firm

SPECIFICATION

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

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As long as an M5 is equipped with a head-up display, I would want one in my Mazda 2. The kind of mentality where it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work very well so long as I have it. The very same reason why people buy fake Louis Vuitton. What’s next? How about adjustable spoilers? Followed by air brakes. Why not give it front lifting hydraulics? What really matters when buying a car is finding that balance of comfort and driving dynamics instead of gizmos you’d get bored of after the third time of usage.

Those are the very reasons why the Ford Fiesta ST was not given much of a bleeping damn. There is no touchscreen, no rev counter sweeping mechanism and no speed projecting device. What really repels these people is that manual gearbox. I do admit I’ve got my share of fear for manuals for not being the best driver among my peers let alone in the neighbourhood that’s why DT is much needed around here. To make matters worse, I’ve made a fool of myself in an R56 Mini John Cooper Works in the past so shifting gears myself is a frightful thing after North Korea in my mind that is.

 " It is a happy place, the ultra-hugging Recaros..the driver one that is "

After eight long years I was finally brave enough to give the stick another go and man, was I glad to be in an ST. I cannot deny I was in a state of shock but the little Ford took off with little effort, that is all it takes. To my surprise, it was rewarding at the same time encouraging at the same time. Above all, a jam did not stir up in the midst of all these magnificence. Having all the nonsense together with non-essentials left at the shelves in return for a manual shifter makes this Fiesta the best car I have driven in recent years. Or was it the Carrera?

Being an incapable manual driver, I was happy.. wait, beyond happy hooning in an ST. It gave me a purpose of wanting to drive it more and more when I was taking baby steps which means anyone at all could drive this thing. The Fiesta ST makes about 180 horsepower accompanied by 240 Nm of torque when petrol is applied which doesn’t look like much. The catch is, it has got an over boost function for a full 20 seconds which grants another 17 horses and 50 torques. My concern is, how is anyone not going to lift off during that period of time on public roads? So you've got a make no difference 197 given that figure is bound to rise when you fuel it with premium gas.

" If only these were go-faster badges "

Being sent into the medieval times is not all rainbows and butterflies, not everyone was a king who has more wives than fingers. The infotainment isn’t exactly as knobby as a Peugeot’s, neither is it great but you’ll find your way. A sea of black panels or scratchy bits but hey, what do you expect when it has got Golf GTI's performance at the price of a 1.4 Golf? As a novelty or a cherry on the cake, there are only fifty of these running in the country.

Little did I know a car can offer so much when its most outstanding features are metal kick plates, a manual transmission and Recaro seats. It is likely the best driver’s car here when the MX-5 is only available with an automatic transmission while a GT86 doesn’t possess the shove. Granted it is nearly twice the price of a Fiesta S but think of the ST as AMG to Mercedes. So is Lexapro or is this better? This is.

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