Mild tweaks drop emissions to 87g/km and improve fuel consumption with no impact on drivability

What is it?

Britain's road tax system doesn't reward drivers for choosing the most efficient car possible once below 100g/km. But the EU CO2 range emissions target means there's an incentive for car makers to eek out the last drops of carbon dioxide efficiency from their models. As Britain's best-selling car, the benefits of the greenest Fiesta having its emissions slashed are manifold.

The Fiesta Econetic now emits 87g/km, down from 95g/km and records an official 85.6mpg on the combined cycle. The previous Econetic covered 78.5mpg. The most obvious change is the introduction of automatic start-stop, the first Fiesta to have such a system.

The Fiesta has longer gear ratios for third, fourth and fifth gear with an unchanged final drive. The 1.6-litre TDCi engine has a redesigned injection system with improved eight hole injectors controlled by a more powerful engine management system. The air-conditioning, cooling fan and alternator are all more efficient than the outgoing model.

What's it like?

The result is an engine that feels much the same as the old car. Start up from cold is lumpy, and while vibration is absent, the four-cylinder's thrum is intrusive under load. It's a flexible engine, capable of pulling from fairly low engine speeds. There's enough kick to make untroubled motorway overtakes, but ultimate motorway efficiency and refinement is hampered by the lack of a sixth gear.

Acceleration takes a rather loud 12.9sec, and top speed is rated at 111mph.

Tall tyres aid a cosseting ride, despite the Econetic's lowered suspension, yet it remains the entertaining steer it ever was. It is proof that electric power steering can yield feel and engaging handling.

While we were unable to match the claimed 85.6mpg, a variety of roads harvested an easy 58mpg. A lighter throttle would have pushed above 60mpg with more possible once a few thousand miles are under its wheels.

Econetic models retain the low-roll resistance tyres and aerodynamic undershield and wheel deflectors. The interior is standard Fiesta fare - stylish and well built - and the driving position is as good as any in this class.

Should I buy one?

Like most of its rivals, the Fiesta Econetic isn't cheap to buy. The Edge Econetic is £14,445 - an increase of £300 - while the Titanium model tested costs £16,795.

That the Fiesta's peerless dynamics shine through on such an efficient model is why it remains our favourite supermini.

Stuart Milne

Ford Fiesta Titanium Econetic 1.6 8v TDCi

Price: £16,795; 0-62mph: 12.9sec; Top speed: 111mph; Economy: 85.6mpg; CO2: 87g/km; Kerbweight: 1100kg; Engine type, cc: 4cyl, 1560cc, turbodiesel; Power: 94bhp; Torque: 151lb ft; Gearbox: 5sp manual

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Join the debate

Add a comment…
mcpmalcolm 6 December 2012

Fiesta Econetic Engine

Having owned a Fiesta Zetec 1.6TDI for 5 years thought it was about time to cahnge for a newer model. What a mistake!

Just bought a 61 plate Fiesta Titanium 1.6 TDI Econetic engine, lovely car but only half the performance of the old engine.

Sluggish is not the word, wished I'd known about this befoe I bought

Matthew Griffiths 11 May 2012

Re: Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi Titanium Econetic

rodenal wrote:
Agreed, it sounds like the 3 cylinder unit with 125bhp in a fiesta would be absolutely perfect for those who only need a small car. I have my doubts it'll appear though

I believe it's going in the Fiesta at the end of the year when the facelift happens. It's being launched in the B-Max in September. I thinks it's going to be the death of small expensive diesels.

Oilburner 11 May 2012

Re: Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi Titanium Econetic

xxxx wrote:

The 58 mpg figure for the diesel is not my opinion it's the figure Autocar got in the test, please re-read.

The 40 mpg for the 1.4 petrol is my opinion and I reckon it's about right.


"1.4i Zetec Fiesta and that gives an overall test mpg figure of 33.9" that's way off. Honest John's Telegraph Real World test has it has 41 mpg far more realistic than 33.9.

The missus had a brand new Fiesta 1.4 Zetec as a hire car yesterday, doing about 150 miles in it. The trip computer showed 46.9mpg by the end of the day - reset before she went.

In my mk6.5 Fiesta the trip computer is actually slightly pessimistic, so it may be even better than that... Interestingly, that 1.4 was getting slightly better figures than I get in the same sort of driving with the older version of the 1.25!