Thursday, December 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ford wrings mileage out of three-cylinder Fiesta

By
From page C1 | July 11, 2014 |

There’s a new little secret under the hoods of some 2014 Ford Fiesta small cars.

Added as an optional selection for Fiesta buyers during the model year, a new, three-cylinder, gasoline engine with turbocharger is so fuel thrifty, it makes the Fiesta the top gasoline-powered 2014 sedan in fuel mileage in the United States.

In fact, the 2014 Fiesta four door with SE EcoBoost package has government fuel economy ratings as high as those for some diesel-powered sedans from BMW, Audi and Volkswagen. Specifically, the 2014 Fiesta sedan with the three-cylinder, EcoBoost engine is rated at 31 miles per gallon in city driving and 43 mpg on highways for a combined average of 36 mpg.

The numbers aren’t farfetched. The test Fiesta sedan with the little engine averaged 34 mpg even when the driver wasn’t driving to maximize mileage. This translated into a surprising travel range of 421 miles on one tank of gasoline at a cost of $45 at today’s prices for regular unleaded.

The subcompact Fiesta, with attractive styling and a front end that looks like it’s derived from an Aston Martin, is affordable to buy, too.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $17,400 for a front-wheel drive, five-seat, 2014 Fiesta SE sedan with the 123-horsepower, 1-liter, double overhead cam, turbocharged, EcoBoost engine. Only a five-speed manual transmission is offered with this engine, and buyers are limited to getting this engine on only one of the Fiesta’s three trim levels — the mid-level SE.

This means that buyers can’t get a factory-installed rearview camera because that’s only offered on the top Fiesta trim level. They can’t get bigger, flashier wheels, either, on the fuel-sipping Fiesta with EcoBoost engine. But they can add an optional moonroof and heated front seats and still wind up with a retail price, including destination charge, of just over $18,000.

Note that the fuel-savvy Fiesta sedan with the 1-liter powerplant has a starting retail price that’s $2,475 more than the $14,925 starting retail price for a base, 2014 Fiesta sedan. The base 2014 Fiesta sedan comes with 120-horsepower, 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated four cylinder and five-speed, manual transmission that has a government rating of 28/36 mpg. Overall, the base Fiesta sedan has a fuel economy rating that’s 16 percent lower than the smart-mileage Fiesta with the three cylinder.

Competitors include the 2014 Toyota Corolla LE Eco sedan with 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter, naturally aspirated four cylinder and continuously variable transmission (CVT) has a starting retail price of $19,510. The Corolla LE Eco, with government fuel economy ratings of 30/42 mpg, comes standard with a backup camera and is larger in size than the Fiesta. Another competitor, the 2014 Nissan Versa sedan, has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $14,800 for a Versa S Plus that is rated at 31/40 mpg. This model comes with 109-horsepower, four-cylinder engine and a CVT.

While the Fiesta’s three-cylinder engine is new to the United States, it has been used in Fords sold in Europe, where fuel prices are high.

Truth be told, Americans aren’t all that familiar with three-cylinder engines, and there are few cars sold in the United States that have them. One exception is the 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop whose three-cylinder gasoline engine, like that in the Fiesta, is turbocharged.

Turbo boost helps three-cylinder engines provide a spunky performance and quicker acceleration than what would come from a naturally aspirated powerplant.

Three-cylinder engines also are inherently imbalanced, since two pistons go up and down at the same time vs. the singular remaining piston operating solo. In the Fiesta, Ford engineers installed special engine mounts to handle the engine vibrations and used the flywheel and front pulley to, in essence, cancel the imbalance. The effort worked so well that no passenger in the test Fiesta could tell that the car was propelled by a three cylinder. Everyone guessed it was a four cylinder.

To be sure, the Fiesta could sound and feel like it was working hard on long uphill stretches of highway and carried four adults and luggage.

But in most situations, the car, which weighed less than 2,700 pounds, was not anemic.

Zero to 60 miles per hour time is about 7 seconds, which is on par with typical sport utility vehicles, and the Fiesta was a comfortable, frugal traveler in city driving, on rural roads and on flat highways.

Torque peaks at 148 foot-pounds at 5,000 rpm, and the driver could work the five speed manual to get the most from the power band when needed.

Road noise and some wind noise came through into the passenger compartment. The ride was firm, not floaty, and passengers felt road bumps and pavement blemishes as mostly vibrations. This inexpensive car riding on 15-inch tires with steel wheels was agile, easy to maneuver and had better handling than expected.

The test Fiesta also had impeccable fit and finish, inside and out.

While the dashboard was dominated by plastic, the textures and gauges and controls were pleasant. Cloth seats up front gave good support and didn’t look bare-bones. But they had to be adjusted manually.

The back seat cushions were short, and legroom can feel tight at 31.2 inches. While there are three seats and seatbelts in the back seat, three people back there feels like too many.

But front-seat passenger and driver get good 42.2 inches of legroom, and trunk space of 12.8 cubic feet in the Fiesta sedan is generous for a subcompact.

The 2014 Fiesta sedan earned a four-out-of-five-stars rating, overall, from the federal government in crash tests.

But side crash test results were only good enough for two stars.

Consumer Reports magazine said predicted reliability for Fiesta cars is worse than average.

 

2014 Ford Fiesta sedan SE EcoBoost

BASE PRICE: $14,100 for S sedan manual; $15,195 for S sedan automatic; $15,580 for SE sedan manual.

PRICE AS TESTED: $17,690.

TYPE: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger, subcompact sedan.

ENGINE: 1-liter, double overhead cam, turbocharged, direct injection, EcoBoost three cylinder.

MILEAGE: 31 mpg (city), 43 mpg (highway).

TOP SPEED: NA.

LENGTH: 173.5 inches.

WHEELBASE: 98 inches.

CURB WEIGHT: 2,578 pounds.

BUILT AT: Cuautitlan, Mexico.

OPTIONS: SE EcoBoost package (includes 1-liter, three-cylinder engine) $995; comfort package (includes heated front seats and outside mirrors, automatic temperature control) $290.

DESTINATION CHARGE: $825.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Clay D YoungbloodJuly 09, 2014 - 9:28 pm

    In the early 1980s Chevy had the Sprint, with a 3 cylinder Susuki motor cycle engine. It was rated at 55 miles per gallon. Lots of people loved it. My wife and I got one. The Dealer - Lamb Chevrolet, National City - destroyed the car. They wanted to promote Gas Guzzlers. We got our money back on the Lemon Law, but the Dealer put the wrong oil in (supposed).

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Solano College trustees move back ‘home’

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Needs of small dog give Solano man life’s mission

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Christmas comes early for prenatal program participants

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Police chief: Suisun crime up 3 percent in 2014

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Council OKs $65,730 pact to advocate for Travis base

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

    Fairfield pays $42,500 to settle soil suit

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

     
    Jury convicts teen for role in 2012 DeBartolo’s heist

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
     
    Fairfield police log: Dec. 15, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Suisun City police log: Dec. 16, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 15, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Fairfield police log: Dec. 16, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

     
    Fears fanned by hackers bring down Sony film

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Like Iran, secret diplomacy leads to US-Cuba thaw

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    US-Cuba thaw could benefit farmers, energy and travel firms

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

     
    Freed American endured years of declining health

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Bay Bridge light sculpture to keep on shining

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Study: Huge wildfire supports need for controlled burns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    14 charged in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Russians flock to stores to pre-empt price rises

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Pakistan buries victims of school massacre

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    .

    Opinion

    Asia needs to prepare for a possible China crash

    By William Pesek | From Page: A7

     
    Tortured roots of enhanced interrogations

    By Walter Pincus | From Page: A7

    Editorial Cartoons: Dec. 18, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Crime Witness Protocol 101

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Dec. 18, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Dec. 18, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Dec. 18, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    My siblings don’t want to replace abusive mother’s pacemaker

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    25 movies chosen for the National Film Registry

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Saving Private Ryan’ among films being preserved

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Sports

    Falcons cruise by crushers in girls basketball

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    49ers release McDonald amid further legal trouble

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Carr faces another tough test in rookie season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    For MLB, changes in Cuba will take time to sort out

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Garcia resigns as FIFA prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Chattanooga women stun No. 7 Stanford 54-46

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Track coach Drummond gets 8-year doping suspension

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Warriors’ Bogut out with knee injury vs. Thunder

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    AP source: Romo close to $15M, 2-year deal with Giants

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Baseball monitoring White House Cuba decision

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    APNewsBreak: Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Painkillers lawsuit against NFL dismissed; may be appealed

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    .

    Business

    McDonald’s in Japan limits orders of fries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Amid scrutiny, Uber says it will focus more on safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    Health care exchange sign-ups exceeding last year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Fed to be ‘patient’ about a rate hike; stocks soar

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Obituaries

    Jennie Ponce Reyes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Marian L. “Chicki” Downs

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9