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Ford’s most fuel efficient passenger car ever


March 25, 2012

Ford's new Fiesta ECOnetic Technology is the company's most fuel efficient model ever

Ford's new Fiesta ECOnetic Technology is the company's most fuel efficient model ever

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With the cost of fuel hitting family budgets harder and harder, Ford of Europe has commenced production of its most fuel efficient (and lowest CO2 emissions) passenger car ever. The company’s new Fiesta ECOnetic Technology is powered by a 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine providing 205 Nm of torque that offers fuel economy figures of 3.3 l/100 km (71 mpg US / 86 mpg UK) with CO2 emissions of 87 g/km.

In addition to the diesel engine that features bespoke calibration and optimized gear ratios, the car’s fuel-sipping specs come courtesy of a variety of ECOnetic technologies. These include Auto-Start-Stop, which shuts down the engine when the vehicle is at idle, Smart Regenerative Charging, which feeds back energy captured when braking to the vehicle’s battery, Eco mode, which provides the driver with feedback about their driving style, and a gear shift indicator in the instrument cluster that signals the optimum time to change gear.

While the car’s engine is built in Britain, the new vehicle is now rolling off the production line at Ford’s Cologne Assembly plant in Germany, and will come in three- and five-door versions, with a variety of trim levels depending on the market. The company says half of all Ford cars sold in Europe will be ECOnetic Technology models by the end of the year, increasing to two-thirds in 2013.

North American motorists hoping ECOnetic Technology models will be showing up in showrooms across the pond seem to be out of luck with a 2009 article in Business Week saying Ford wouldn’t be able to sell enough of the vehicles at a cheap enough price, due to exchange rates. Additionally, upgrading its Mexico plant to produce diesel engines would cost more than US$350 million. The company doesn’t believe there is a sufficient market for diesel cars in North and South America to justify such an outlay.

But buyers in the U.K. should note that the car’s fuel economy and CO2 emission figures mean that it is exempt from road tax and avoids London’s Congestion Charge.

Source: Ford

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Auto-Start-Stop should be available on every engine

Mike Donovan

Go ahead. Break my heart, again.

I will be posting this on one or more of the blogs I edit under what's become a standard topic: The latest fuel-efficient car we can't buy in the United States.


Smart cars are made in Germany yet find a big enough market here but Ford can't???? One more stupidity!

Max Kennedy

I am not impressed. I can already hit 71mpg with a 3cyl geo metro using auto stop (well in my case manual stop)

a 1.4 diesel in a car that small should EASILY get 60MPG with JUST the diesel engine and auto stop.

your telling me they added an entire hybrid system and only managed to add 10mpg ??

Chris Taylor

Ill beleive it when I actually drive it - got a new 1.6 duratorc focus which promised 67 mpg combined and best I can do is 55 combined and 58 if I do long journeys with the speed kept below 65, so I have a hard job beleiving Ford's figures at the moment


Put this into your Commuter Van and I will buy it in a New York heart beat! Please!


but what's it like merging into highway speeds? I certainly don't want a sluggish car struggling to get up to speed as I merge onto 495!


This is a car I feel would be purchased in the US. As to the claim that 350 mil would be needed to produce the diesel engines in a Mexico plant, I don't buy the argument.

I would like to explore the costs of shipping the engines from the Brit plant to Mexico for assembly there or for installing already assembled engines into the Fiesta. I would also like to explore the exchange rate argument. What would it add to the cost of the car and is it really a barrier to entry in the US market?

One of our vehicles is a 2003 Honda Insight and wondered why a diesel version was not available and what the diesel itself would add to the mileage.

I would very much like to buy a diesel vehicle that gets in the neighborhood of 70 mbelieveeleive many Americans are also of the same ilk.

David Armstrong

As always the economy one is able to get is down to the type of driving conditions at any given time even if you have experience driving economically. This can vary as much as 10 or 15 mpg from a tank fill even from a highly efficient car such as a hybrid. The figures advertised are in ideal test conditions and what the car is capable of but real world driving is totally different. @ Chris your metro is much smaller, lighter and has less equipment than the Ford so cannot be directly compared, if that engine package was in the Metro you would really have something to bragg about.


What a frigging joke. they could easily just make them in north america.

Clifford Tindall

I agree that it sucks that some of the best cars (and motorcycles) made never get to the U.S. I'll always believe that it's big oil that's responsible for this until someone proves otherwise.

As for fuel economy, I drive an '06 Honda Insight that gets about 60 mpg and that's bone stock. They made that car for 7 or 8 years and only now may be building cars that approach or surpass that mileage (but of course aren't available here). As for get up and go, my car does just fine with it's 5 speed. Shift at about 4K and very few people ever pass me, even on steep mountain roads. I love that car!


These numbers are pretty lame when you compare them to the audi a2 which is a pretty similar size. Not bringing reasonable fuel economy to North America? Shame on you Ford.


Dear Ford,

Please send me one of these cars. I will gladly provide a market report to you at no charge. Thanks.

Mark A.

Mark A

This vehicle was 'trialed' in Australia but was dumped or discontinued because of a lack of interest, according to Ford and it's dealership figures. We are paying around $1.70 a litre ( $7.85 US a gallon ) in Australia for Premium Unleaded 98 octane petrol or gas. Diesel is on par if not more expensive depending on the outlet. European diesel hatches that produced nearly the same fuel efficiency figure were few and far between and are nearly double the price. I don't understand Ford's logic, for the most part Australia suffers from urban sprawl, public transport is improving but suffers because of the lack of an integrated light rail network in all major cities. Major roads are near gridlocked during peak periods which total 6 hours per week day and the majority drive vehicles which eat 7 litres of gas per 100km at minimum of double the CO2 emission of this Ford hatch. I'm hoping Ford can reintroduce this vehicle or use it's technology in a similarly sized and locally manufactured vehicle.


David Armstrong has it right. Send the engines from Britain and install in Mexico. Ford, . . . try it !!! Look at VW, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz ALL sell diesels in the US and they are selling !!! Why don't you think a diesel will sell in the US ???

I would like to buy a Ford, but seriously, some of us will buy a diesel if offered.

Offer it in the Focus too for those who need a larger, small car, . . . please. Make it a hybrid, and possibly turbo-charged, and you will have a WINNER !!!


Guys, don't fret about missing out on this car - it's a complete crock. In australia, the econetic version in $9000 MORE than the base model. I've owned a fiesta 4 years now, done 110,000km and put just over $10,000 in fuel through it. So assuming the econetic ran on nothing, I would only just have broken even. In reality, it's about 200,000km to break even. Just to break even.


Chris Taylor Jr - 1. It's a 1.6 l. 2. It hasn't got a hybrid system added to it. It has a strengthened starter motor, and a slightly larger conventional battery. The alternator will allow the battery to become quite depleted, then when you hit the brakes, the alternator ramps up the amps going into the battery - assisting in slowing the car and recovering the energy otherwise lost.

Foghorn, the A2 was of all aluminium construction - expensive stuff and Audi made a loss IIRC on every one it sold. This is a mainline steel bodied vehicle at nowhere near the exuivalent price in same year dollars.

This is an impressive achievement, and yes, it can get out of its own way.

Marc 1 from Oz.

Marc 1

This car is going to rock. Ford always had the reputation of producing fuel efficient cars other Fusion all the popular model give reasonable MPG

Mike Hornsey

There could be good reason that people in the states avoid diesels. "Previous studies have found very small particles of soot, or nanoparticles, are able to travel from the nose and lodge in the brain. But this is the first time researchers have demonstrated a change in brain activity."


Maybe Europeans are already so brain damaged that they can't tell they're brains are being rotted. I kid, I kid! :P


I got 70mpg out of our 02 yaris diesel on a long trip recently, It regularly get 60mpg, I struggle to see how Ford has produced anything special?

Tom Gwilliam

What angers me is that in the US all the most fuel efficient vehicles are foreign made. I have to look at all the bumper stickers that exclaims,”Out of a job yet. Keep buying foreign!” Yet I can barely afford to get to my job because of the cost of fuel to get there. Saying there is no market for that type of car is ridiculous. Look at all the fellow Americans driving foreign cars and I will show you the market. I am having a hard time understanding the logic. Any reasonable priced vehicle that can give me 50 miles to a gallon is ideal. Yet her I am stuck between wanting to support American products or saving hundreds a year on fuel. They better do something quick as I might have to buy a foreign vehicle out of necessity.

Keith Brown
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