By Bradford Wernle, Crain News Service
DETROIT (Oct. 30, 2013) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certified the 2014 Ford Fiesta SE, equipped with Ford's 1-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, at 45 mpg highway — the highest mpg for a non-hybrid gasoline car.
The EPA rated Ford Motor Co.'s 2014 Fiesta SE with manual EcoBoost package at 32 mpg city, 45 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined. The SE, which will be sold only with a five-speed manual transmission, arrives in dealerships later this year. The mpg rating applies to both four- and five-door versions of the Fiesta.
Prices for the Fiesta 1-liter start at $16,740 including shipping.
Among competitors, Chevrolet's 2014 1.2-liter, four-cylinder Spark is rated at 31 city/39 highway; Toyota's 1.3-liter, four-cylinder Scion iQ is 36 city/37 highway. The only other vehicle available in the U.S. with a three-cylinder engine is Daimler's Smart car. The small two-seater is EPA rated at 34 city/38 highway. The 2014 Volkswagen Passat diesel is rated at 31 mpg city/43 mpg highway, 35 mpg combined with a manual transmission.
Ford will continue to offer the Fiesta SFE—Super Fuel Economy—version even though its EPA rating of 30 city, 41 highway and 34 combined is lower than the 1-liter EcoBoost Fiesta.
The 1-liter EcoBoost was developed in Europe, where it is sold in five nameplates. Ford said the pint-size engine accounts for 32 percent of Focus sales and 26 percent of Fiesta sales in Europe this year.
Ford has doubled production of its Cologne, Germany, engine plant to 1,000 engines per day to keep pace with rising demand.
"With the new Fiesta 1-liter EcoBoost, we're pushing into fuel economy numbers only seen in hybrids and diesels," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas.
The 1-liter is the second new EcoBoost engine Ford has introduced in the Fiesta this year. Ford is already selling the performance Fiesta ST, powered by a 1.6-liter, four cylinder EcoBoost engine. Ford also offers the carryover 1.6-liter normally aspirated four-cylinder engine in the Fiesta.
Reporter Richard Truett contributed to this report, which appeared on the website www.autonews.com/ of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.
2013 and 2014 EPA ratings for city, highway and combined
Chevrolet Spark: 30/39/34
Ford Fiesta SFE: 32/45/37
Nissan Versa: 31/40/35
Smart Fortwo: 34/38/36*
Scion iQ 36/37/37*
BMW 328D 32/45/37
Chevrolet Cruze: 27/46/33
Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec: 28/45/34
Volkswagen Golf 30/42/34
Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon: 30/42/34
Volkswagen Passat: 31/43/35
Ford Fusion Hybrid: 47/47/47
Honda Accord Hybrid: 50/45/47
Honda Insight: 41/44/42
Honda CR-Z: 36/39/37
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: 45/45/45
Toyota Camry Hybrid: 43/39/41
Toyota Prius: 51/48/50
Toyota Prius V: 44/40/42
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid: 42/48/45