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08 August 2011

DOE rubber-stamps Ford Fiesta's frugal 19 km/L run

Words by Christopher Kho
Since its launch a year ago, Ford has badged its fun-loving little Fiesta with the words “fuel efficient.” But with no official numbers to back-up the claim, we couldn't quite put our finger on how “fuel efficient” this small car really is. Now, as it celebrates is 1st birthday in the Philippines, the blue oval brand finally gets to put its foot where its mouth is. 
In a recent fuel economy run supervised by the Department of Energy (DOE), four of Ford's Fiesta's set out to prove just how fuel-frugal they can be. The challenge was to take a 700-kilometer expedition from Balintawak to Vigan and back on a single tank of gas. With the DOE keeping a watchful eye, all four Fiesta's were inspected, and its hoods, lift gates, and fuel gates were officially sealed before setting off. 
Each Fiesta carried on-board a driver and navigator, driving at normal conditions with the windows closed and aircon switched-on at speed “1” throughout the trip. Running at average speeds of 40 to 80 km/h depending on traffic conditions, the team traversed on highway roads from Manila to Vigan to Pampanga via the NLEX. And for the record, all four tires on each vehicle were pumped to the manufacture-recommended 32 psi. 
After a whole day of driving, the numbers were finally in. The pair of Ford Fiesta 1.6 A/T Sport hatchbacks covered 730 km in a single tank of fuel, brining-in a fuel consumption of 18.84 km/L. Its four-door counterpart, the Fiesta 1.6 A/T Trend sedan on the other hand brought home the bacon with an astonishing 747 km run that averaged 19 km/L. Peculiarly, the Fiesta 1.4L M/T Trend sedan threw-in the towel at only 705 km and managed 17.03 km/L. Though still respectable for its class, we assumed that a manual and smaller engine would give off better results. Perhaps, Ford underestimated the 6-speed PowerShift's capabilities when they said it “deliver[s] the fuel efficiency of a manual gearbox.”
“The All-New Ford Fiesta proved that it is indeed a class-leader for fuel efficiency, confirming expectations with some very impressive results,” says Dino Obias, AVP for Marketing of Ford Group Philippines.
Averaging a fuel consumption of 18.4 km/L between four-door and five-door models, Ford's all-new Fiesta is decidedly one young achiever. Happy Birthday!