Life Begins Over 40: 2014 Ford Fiesta SFE Gets Estimated 41-mpg Highway Rating
Ford announced today that its subcompact 2014 Fiesta has been rated at an EPA-estimated 41 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in the city when fitted with the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package. The SFE package is available on the Fiesta SE with the 1.6-liter four-cylinder and the six-speed automatic transmission, which utilizes dual dry clutches and parallel gear sets. The clutches are computer controlled and the actual shifting is done by electromechanical actuators, reducing the power loss of a conventional torque converter and contributing to the improved fuel economy.With 40 mpg the new fuel-economy target for manufacturers, the SFE relies on additional aerodynamic enhancements to hit this coveted number. The SFE package includes a rear spoiler, side air deflectors, underbody shields, lower grille blockers, low-rolling-resistance tires, and cruise control.
This year’s rating is a 1-mpg improvement across the board versus the 2013 Fiesta SFE. Fuel economy numbers aren’t available yet for the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic; last year’s model was rated at 29 city/40 highway for the manual and 27/37 for the automatic. Another competitor in the segment, the 2014 Nissan Versa, gets 31/40, but that is when it is saddled with the dreaded continuously variable automatic. The 2013 Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris trail the pack; the Fit with the automatic gets 28/35 while the Yaris gets 30/37 regardless of transmission choice.
- Instrumented Test: 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Manual
- Comparison Test: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ Turbo vs. 2011 Honda Fit Sport, 2012 Hyundai Accent SE, 2012 Kia Rio5 SX, 2012 Nissan Versa SL, 2012 Toyota Yaris SE
- Instrumented Test: 2012 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Automatic
Of course, when it comes to fuel economy, what is achieved in testing and what is seen in real-world-driving conditions are two different things. While 41 mpg is worth its weight in gold when it comes to marketing, we’re not optimistic we’ll come close to that number once we get behind the wheel.
By Jeff Stork