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VW Polo GTi vs Ford Fiesta 2.0i ST

Broadcast date : 24th December 2006

The Ford Fiesta ST has spear-headed Fordís revival in the youth-performance end of the market for a couple of good reasons.

It has an excellent chassis, it has a sporty image with a funky three door bodyshell off-set by large diameter alloy wheels, spoilers and scoops, and a willing 2.0 litre mill which gives it a good power-to-weight ratio.

The Polo Gti has been configured to take some of that glory away from the Fiesta.

What it brings to the party are alloy wheels which are too small to be really sporty, a five-door body-shell that is more family orientated than funky, a tasty rendition of the VW rhombus Grille which is its styling highlight and a 110 kW version of the VW/Audi 1.8-litre turbo, which is the carís strong point

But the vital component on a performance car is the engine. On paper the Fiesta looks good, with 112 kiloWatts, an 8.something 0-100 and a 200-plus top speed.

The problem from our point of view is that the engine just doesnít talk the walk, so to speak. It isnít sweet at any spot in the rev range.

The Polo mill, on the other hand, is The Bizz. Itís a tried and tested turbo with modest peak power for a 1.8, but its 110 kW gives 0-100's competitive to the Fiesta and a claimed top speed some 20 km/h faster.

The bald figures are one thing, but itís in the feel that the Volkswagen scores. It likes to sing for its supper, this motor, which is probably why Gugu was so critical of the suspension. Actually, the rest of the Car Torque team preferred the Poloís ride on rough surfaces.

When it comes to a feature-for-feature shoot out in the interior, we have a mixed bag with these two cars.

The Ford Fiesta ST has the funk factor, especially with its contrasting dashboard top, strong, bold instrumentation and racy seats.

The Polo has played it safer. Volkswagen have gone for a heritage look with the plaid check upholstery drawing on original Golf Gti roots. Its dashboard and steering wheel look classier than the Fordís set-up, but not as much fun.

Itís as if Volkswagen wasnít prepared to commit fully to the youth market with the performance Polo. 

Volkswagen Polo GTi
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol turbo 1 781 cc
  • Power: 110 kW @ 5 800 rpm
  • Torque: 220 Nm @ 1 950 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,6 seconds(claimed)
  • Top speed: 220 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 9,0 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R188 700

Ford Fiesta 2,0i ST

  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol 1 999 cc
  • Power: 112 kW @ 6 500 rpm
  • Torque: 190 Nm @ 4 500 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,6 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 203 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 9,1litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R171 950

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