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$25K Fiesta fuel-miser eclipses Prius

Fuel sipper: Ford has priced its new diesel Fiesta Econetic at $24,990 driveaway.

Ford’s $24,990 driveaway Fiesta Econetic pips Toyota hybrid to be fuel economy king

16 Oct 2009

FORD has confirmed that its long-awaited Fiesta Econetic officially will be Australia’s most fuel-efficient car when it goes on sale at driveaway price of $24,990 on December 1, edging out the latest Toyota Prius and BMW’s Mini D.

As forecast by GoAuto Media last month, the Fiesta Econetic averages 3.7 litres per 100 kilometres in the just-released Australian Design Rule 81/02 combined fuel consumption rating, putting the German-built diesel-powered light car 0.2L/100km ahead.

Furthermore, the Fiesta Econetic achieves 3.2L/100km on the extra urban (highway) cycle, half a litre less than what the Toyota can muster, and 0.3L/100km better than the Mini.

And while the $24,990 driveaway pricing is slightly more expensive than predicted, the smallest Ford sold in Australia still comfortably undercuts the Mini D by around $10,000 and the Prius by almost $20,000 ‘on the road’.

According to Ford Australia president and CEO Marin Burela, an Australian motorist averaging 15,000km a year would take about 115 years to recoup the price difference with Prius if petrol was priced at $1.23 per litre.

But the Fiesta Econetic still lags behind the Toyota hybrid for low carbon dioxide emissions, managing 98 grams per kilometre against just 89g/km.

27 center imageNevertheless, it still means the Blue Oval greenie is the only other vehicle to breach the sub-100g/km barrier.

As revealed earlier in the year, the Fiesta Econetic uses a revised version of the 1.6-litre TDCi turbo-diesel engine found in the Mini D, as well as several Peugeot and Citroen models and the up-coming Volvo C30 DRIVe.

Putting drive to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox, it delivers 66kW of power at 4000rpm and 200Nm of torque from 1750rpm.

We understand that an automatic gearbox may be offered later, but none has yet been confirmed for the Fiesta Econetic by Ford.

The fuel consumption figures are aided by a 10mm lower ride height compared to other Fiestas (ground clearance is 93mm), as well as improved aerodynamics courtesy of air deflectors, specially designed wheel caps for the slim 14-inch steel wheels running on 175/65-section low-rolling-resistance tyres.

Other fuel-saving devices include low-viscosity engine and transmission oils, a taller final drive ratio, the replacement of a spare wheel/tyre with a ‘tyre mobility kit’ and driver aids to encourage environmentally friendlier driving, specifically a green ‘shift indicator’ light in the instrument panel.

At 1088kg, the Fiesta Econetic is at least 7kg lighter than the conventional five-door CL model, but the base three-door CL weighs slightly less at 1085kg.

It also manages a five-star ANCAP crash-test rating, since it includes seven airbags including one for the driver’s knee, as well as electronic stability control and ABS anti-lock brakes.

Also standard will be air-conditioning, front power windows, electric mirrors, remote central locking, cruise control and fog lights.

Mr Burela believes the Econetic is the more relevant car for Australia, since it makes better-than-hybrid economy more affordable for the masses.

“This is clearly a game changer for the industry in Australia,” he declared.

“This is not business as usual. We are not tinkering around the edges. We are being very bullish. And more importantly, we are delivering to our customers what it is that they have been asking for and looking for, for many years.”
Ford Fiesta Econetic pricing
Econetic $24,990

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