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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 bety on 5/17/2010 6:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
When I was young, my Honda CRX got 40mpg, and some fuel efficient versions got 55! It was a heckuva lot cooler to be seen in to ;-)

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By teldar on 5/17/2010 8:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
And it was a 4 wheeled, 1400 lb death trap compared to today's cars. The new fiesta weighs 2500 pounds to meet current safety legislation. Do you think that makes a difference?
Lets compare apples and oranges.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By bety on 5/17/2010 10:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! It was hardly a "deathtrap". today.

However, I am well aware of the weight differential. I was not trying to say that current cars do not have other advantages!

Only making a note of how, in terms of actual MPG, we've gone backwards in some ways!

Thus, it's hard for me to get excited over a fiesta with 40mpg.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/18/2010 3:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
The only high MPG vehicle that I'm aware of that weighed that little was the 1986 Chevrolet Sprint ER; even the '89 - '94 Geo Metros weighed AT LEAST 1650lbs. For those who aren't aware, the "Chevy Sprint" is the 1st generation "metro" with the "Geo Metros" being the Second generation ('89-'94) and then the ('95-'01) being the third generation, which btw are all just rebadged Suzuki Swifts. The beloved CRX weighed at a minimum 1800lbs and got up to 2100lbs in the higher trims. Also, the CRX was crash tested and received 4-5 stars; 5 for driver, 4 for passenger, then in later years it was 5 for passenger, 4 for driver which is very good. However, the Chevrolet Sprint received 1 star and was probably the worst rated vehicle I had ever line with the 80s Chevrolet Suburban (also 1 star rated). It's not hard to make a good crash test rated vehicle that weighs very little, what's difficult is making that same vehicle safe against a much heavier vehicle. There is a reason why people die when they crash head-on into a semi-truck, regardless of what they're driving.

As for the Fiesta weighing what is weighs, most the reason isn't the safety systems but because it's actually a pretty big car inside..big enough for at least 2 tall people (over 6 feet) to comfortably sit in the back seats. Safety systems don't weigh 1000lbs, what weighs 1000lbs are "luxuries" and the fact that the vehicle's shell isn't made of iron oxide (it can actually withstand a crash). You can call a vehicle that comes with a rigid body a "safety system" but I feel it serves at least two purposes, one is better handling and the other is safety..

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here, let me just point out how much bigger say a '97 Civic Hatchback is compared with an '88 Chevy Sprint, much like the one I started off this response with.

Chevrolet Sprint Metro (85?-88) Rear leg room, 29.8", Front Headroom 37", Rear Headroom 36"
Geo Metro hatch (89-94) Rear leg room, 29.8" Front Headroom 37.8", Rear Headroom 36.5"
Civic Hatch (96-00) Rear leg room, 34.1" Front Headroom 38.8", Rear Headroom 37.2".

Also, the shoulder room in the Civic is about 1" more than the metros.. But the reason is very obvious for why the metros weigh so little and have so little interior room (relatively). The '85-'88 Sprint Metro is only 144.5" long and that is increased to 147.4" for the '89-'94 Geo Metros while the '96-'00 Civic Hatchback is a "whopping" 164.5" long.

To conclude, the weight of these vehicles is what it is not because of "onerous" government mandates (there really aren't all that many) but because people don't want to feel like sardines and because people think they need 3 moonroofs, air conditioning, power everything, an assload of sound deadening, etc. If you scrap all of those luxuries, you'll quickly see the weight of vehicles fall. Either make the vehicles smaller, remove some "luxuries" or switch to what we currently consider "exotic materials" by using lexan instead of glass, or aluminum instead of steel for the body. Now, if you want to talk about how costs to purchase a new vehicle has climbed since the mandate for such things as car airbags, I'm all ears because those things aren't cheap.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By bety on 5/18/2010 6:17:36 AM , Rating: 2
Wow. Great post.

Yes, I was going to point out that my CRX was nowhere near 1400lbs...but once people start throwing around rhetorical nonsense like "deathtrap", it's a safe bet that they just want to vent their emotional bias, and aren't genuinely interested in a thoughtful, informed discussion!

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Rasterman on 5/17/2010 10:15:26 AM , Rating: 4
It is a common mistake to discount the additional weight and impact of safety standards. To see the direct results of such safety equipment watch the following video of a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu.

I think after anyone watching video would dismiss all notions of older cars being better, it is simply nostalgia impairing your judgment.

"It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection," says Institute president Adrian Lund. What this test shows is that automakers don't build cars like they used to. They build them better."

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 10:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree with all your points, that test was considerably skewed; you can read about it here:

With the infamous weak "x-frame" design and welds a half-century old, one shouldn't be surprised the 1959 Bel Air did so poorly.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By RandomUsername3463 on 5/17/2010 11:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
Weight does not equal safety. Engineering additional structural members adds weight, which equals safety.

i.e. your old 1950s cars don't have crumple zones, seat belts, air bags, etc, so they are not very safe.

Even relatively modern (heavy) SUVs can be very dangerous in a roll-over vs. much lighter car.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 11:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
All else being equal, sheer weight does add a measure of safety in a head on collision (though it does nothing for single-car accidents). You can't get around conservation of momentum.

That said, the effect of structural strength, crumple zones, etc, more than outweigh a small mass differential.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By afkrotch on 5/18/2010 5:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
Depends on how much weight. A tank has a lot of weight and I can't think of too many brick walls that will stop the tank.

Bring your airbags, crumple zones, etc against a tank that's poorly designed for impacts.

RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By MrFord on 5/17/2010 11:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
People tend to equal older cars to heavier cars, which is not always true.

The new Malibu weights in at 3436lbs.
The 57 BelAir? 3269lbs.

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