Everyone want hybrid-like fuel economy, but not everyone wants to pay the premium price for a hybrid car. The Ford Fiesta with the 1.0 liter EcoBoost could be the proper alternative to a more-expensive hybrid, offering up to 45 mpg on the highway for a starting price of just $16,445 (plus a $795 destination fee). Ford may have just undercut its own hybrids with this move.
To wit, the 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine provides the 2014 Ford Fiesta with 32 mpg in the city and up to 45 mpg on the highway. While Ford has reportedly played fast-and-loose with the fuel economy numbers of its new line of hybrids, I am thinking they learned their lesson regarding customer expectations. The 2014 Fiesta had damn well better get 45 mpg, or customers will be up in arms. Again.
While the city fuel economy leaves some room for improvement, the 45 mpg highway rating is better than every other compact car offering, including Honda’s CR-Z mild hybrid. Ford also kept the price as low as possible, starting at $17,240 for the sedan or $17,850 for the hatchback. That’s right in line with competitors pricing, and is low enough for most consumers to want to make the upgrade to the better engine. The standard Fiesta gets up to 29 city and 40 highway (with the SFE fuel saver package) and has a 120 horsepower 1.6 liter engine.
That means the 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine package (which includes a decklid spoiler, 15-inch steel wheels, and regenerative brakes) adds about $995 to the price of the Fiesta, while improving the gas mileage by some 4 mpgs on the highway. Customers can expect to have about 123 horsepower to play with in an engine that has proven wildly popular. Also, this motor is no slouch in the right car, as Ford has proven.
That works out to approximately 40 to 50 miles extra between fill-ups, and at that rate it won’t take too long to make up the extra money. The Ford Fiesta and EcoBoost line of engines is proving to be amazingly versatile, offering both high-mpg models and high-performance from engines with less displacement than a bottle of soda. With compacts like the Fiesta now offering hybrid-like fuel economy though, could Ford lose out on sales of cars like the Fusion hybrid, which carries a higher sticker and profit margin?