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Fiesta will be rated at 29/40 city/highway

Ford has been hyping its Fiesta subcompact for quite some time now. The American auto giant has been previewing European versions of the vehicle across the country for the past year and has blitzed the airwaves with Fiesta "commercials" during American Idol.

Now with production having kicked off in Mexico, Ford is proud to announced that its latest vehicle is EPA certified for up to 29 mpg in the city and an impressive 40 mpg on the highway. That 40 mpg number is for a Fiesta equipped with the 6-speed, PowerShift semi-automatic transmission. Ford has touted the 40 mpg figure before as a preliminary estimate, but now the numbers are official.

For those that like to row their own gears, mileage isn't quite as impressive. Fiestas equipped with a manual transmission will only get 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

For comparison, the most efficient versions of the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris are rated at 28/35 (city/highway) and 28/36 respectively.

"The new Fiesta is yet another car in Ford's lineup that delivers class-leading fuel economy," said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering. "From Super Duty to Fusion Hybrid and the new Mustang V-6, Ford is committed to fuel economy leadership with every new vehicle it introduces in all segments."

"We worked hard to deliver the class-leading fuel economy Ford is becoming synonymous for," said Fiesta chief nameplate engineer Steve Pintar. "To be the only vehicle in the segment to deliver 40 mpg is something we feel consumers will appreciate."

Pricing for the Fiesta starts at $13,320 for the base sedan and creeps all the way up to $18,190 for an SES hatchback equipped with the PowerShift transmission. All versions of the Fiesta are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 120 hp and generates 109 lb-ft of torque.

The current four-cylinder engine is expected to be replaced shortly with a three-cylinder EcoBoost engine which should further increase fuel economy both in the city and on the highway.

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RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Keeir on 5/17/2010 5:12:11 AM , Rating: 5

#1. Geo Metro was tiny and fairly unsafe. The Fiesta is a good 5%-20% larger in every dimension. Most tellingly, the Fiesta wieghs in at 500-750 more lbs than the Geo Metro.

#2. The EPA 2008 ratings for the 2000 Chevy Metro? 41 MPG HWY

#3. In terms of real pollution per mile.. a 2011 Fiesta emits like 1/10 that of a 2000 Chevy Metro!

So your upset that a larger, faster, safer, more comfortable car that emits less toxic pollution per mile gets nearly the same rating as a peice of junk from 10+ years ago...


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 5:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, well the 2002 Honda Civic HX gets 31 city, 40 hwy on the "new" epa cycle and the 1992-1995 Civic VX "Federal" (has lean-burn) is rated at 39 City, 50 Hwy and it's a hatchback... Either way, cars are most certainly capable of better mileage, though I think Ford is scared to come out with a high mileage vehicle because it will either cannibalize their hybrid sales or they're concerned they'll be too slow.

There is one thing I'd like to point out with these fuel economy numbers, these fuel economy numbers achieved by these older vehicles are ALL stick-shift vehicles, not automatics.. With that said, Ford has no excuse for not giving the option for a Fiesta with a manual transmission equipped version that gets the similar mileage to the two vehicles I listed in the first paragraph.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By fishman on 5/17/2010 7:17:58 AM , Rating: 2
The new epa cycle is used starting in 2008. Some cars had their fuel economy ratings drop by more than 10%.

As others have mentioned, cars today are heavier to meet the new crash protection requirements. And lean burn engines have trouble meeting the current pollution requirements.

You say that you think that Ford is "scared". How about the other car manufacturers? Where are your Hondas you raved about? If it is so easy to do what you say, why will the Fiesta beat the Hondas in fuel economy? Why can't Honda's CRV beat out the (non hybrid) Ford Escape fuel economy?

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 9:04:24 AM , Rating: 2
The new epa cycle is used starting in 2008. Some cars had their fuel economy ratings drop by more than 10%.

I know, that's why I specifically said, "on the "new" epa cycle". If I were to use the "old" epa cycle, the numbers would be significantly higher for all vehicles involved.

As others have mentioned, cars today are heavier to meet the new crash protection requirements. And lean burn engines have trouble meeting the current pollution requirements.

Your point about weight is irrelevant because the Fiesta weighs nearly exactly the same as the Civic HX I mentioned in the post you responded to, yet it gets better mileage. The Civic VX, while lighter, is only 300lbs less, which is certainly achievable. Also, even the non-leanburn Civic VX (California) has a "new epa" rating of 37 city, 45 highway which is still much higher than any of the other vehicles. One of the reasons for the better mileage in the VX over the HX is because of the transmission, which has a 3.25 final drive vs the 3.722 final drive in the '96-'00 HX and 3.842 final drive in the '01-'05 HX.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By fishman on 5/17/2010 9:17:51 AM , Rating: 3
So where are the new Hondas that will beat the Fiesta gas mileage?

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Hoser McMoose on 5/18/2010 4:46:57 AM , Rating: 2
You're not making sense. The old vehicles were rated on the old cycle, not the new one.

When the EPA brought out their new rating system they also released *estimates* for all the old cars that had been rated under the old system.

Note that they did NOT re-test the cars on the new system. Actually I believe all they did was subtract a fixed percentage from the old rating to estimate the car would perform on the new system.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By teldar on 5/17/2010 8:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
So... lets forget all about technical capabilities of a computer controlled system like new drive trains and just go to your complaint about FORD (not mentioning anyone else not doing it either) not giving you a manual with the same efficiency as the new automatics.

1. Manuals probably need to be more robust because people are going to drive them harder more of the time than a comparable automatic. This makes them heavier. This adds weight and takes away efficiency.

2. Do you know what it would cost to develop a new manual tranny for every single different model of car? Ford and GM cooperated on a transmission for trucks and spent over $1B on development.
Not too economical.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 8:39:25 AM , Rating: 1
Uh, what? Manual transmissions are pretty much inherently more robust lb for lb compared to an automatic transmission because automatics have far more "stuff" just for gear shifting. I don't know about you, but I rarely hear about Manual Transmissions failing while I've heard automatic transmissions failing quite often, especially when they're paired with engines that are too powerful for them. (See Ford Tarus, Windstar, Aerostar -I think?, Honda Accords '98-'02, etc.. )

As for "developing a manual tranny", they wouldn't have to because they probably already have one in europe that would be suitable for the job. Finally, even if the one from the european market wasn't "tall enough" (low revs in top gear vs high revs in top gear), they could easily just get an appropriately sized final drive which would cost nearly nothing. I know this to be easily done because that's exactly what Honda did with its 'various' trims it had where the EX had a "short" gearing and the CX/VX (92-95), HX (96-05) had "tall" gearing, but otherwise the gear ratios 1st-5th were about the same for the most part.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 8:49:30 AM , Rating: 4
Goku, sorry but you have things in reverse. It's not that the manual transmission is somehow worse than your average manual, it's that this automatic transmission is considerably better than a standard automatic.

In the past, automatics always rated lower efficiency than manuals because they were heavier, and had a certain amount of energy-wasting slippage. This automatic, however, is essentially, however, a manual tranmission with shifting controlled by a computer. The slip is gone, and so is most of the additional weight. And since the computer determines when to shift, efficiency is higher.

Can you do square roots in your head as fast as a calculator? No? Then don't be surprised that a computer can pick optimum shift points better than you.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 6:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well firstly, the higher EPA fuel economy numbers in the semi-automatic over the manual have nothing to do with the semi-automatic transmission's computer. The reason being, these vehicles are tested under all the same conditions. The only reason it would get better fuel economy than the manual is because it is geared higher than the manual since the auto manufacturers have concluded that the only people who would buy a manual are buying one for performance and not economy. Assuming this semi-automatic transmission is as efficient as the manual transmission (no pumping losses or anything of the sort) then they should be dead even in fuel efficiency, assuming they're geared the same.

If there are any gains to be made with the semi-automatic transmission's computer, it will be in real world conditions like when you have inexperienced drivers leaving the car in a higher gear than necessary for the given load and speed. Since the efficiency losses of the automatic are eliminated with this more advanced transmission, for most people, they'll see improved fuel economy compared with them rowing their own gears since people at times can be absentminded, let alone aren't knowledgeable enough about their own car.

So while this semi-automatic transmission will benefit most people, there will still be a segment of the population that would be better served with a manual, such as performance enthusiasts who want to be in control and "hypermilers". One reason for rowing your own gears is that while the computer has a lot of sensors to read from and can calculate quickly, it can't predict or see what is up ahead like a person can.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Keeir on 5/17/2010 11:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
The 1992-1995 Civic VX falls into the same category as the Chevy/Geo Metro.

The 2002 Honda Civic HX is better example. Yet your still left with a car that was less safe, emitted more pollution per mile, and had less features.

I mean, this is not a global conspiracy people. If no Japanese, European, or United States automaker can make a car for the US market regulations or market expectations.... then it must be hard!

Lets take that 2002 Civic HX. Why did Honda stop selling it? Federal safety regulations? Federal EPA pollution regulations? Not a popular choice at the dealership? Why? Why does the best civic get 36 mpg highway?

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