Richard Bremner discusses the merits of Fords Econetic Fiesta versus other forms of ecocars. Are you better off with a really efficient conventional engine, a hybrid or a pure electric car?

ecocars

Yellowwheels is a broad church. To feature here, a vehicle doesn’t have to have supercar, hot hatch or racing credentials (nor always be yellow!) but has to excite, intrigue or fascinate . The current wealth of new eco cars from startup, as well as traditional manufacturers is fascinating, but with all the hype, are they really what you or I will buy?

We invited internationally renowned motoring journalist Richard Bremner to give his views. He is co-founder/owner of CleanGreenCars.co.uk and is running a special eco version of Ford’s highly regarded Fiesta, the ECOnetic, as a long term test.

Richard Bremner at the wheel of Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

Richard Bremner at the wheel of Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

Click green arrows below to listen to sound clips

Tell us about the merit of this car versus other eco cars

Are cars such as this Ford really helping reduce CO2 ?

Read on for full feature and pix

Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

Richard’s journey into London started from his Berkhempstead base, with a run down the A41, joining the M25, then turning east onto the A40. A mixture of 70mph motorway, slow crawl down dual carriageways and urban stop-go, then journey home with a fair amount of back and forth, and idling for the camera left the car reading 52.8mpg. Much higher mpg can be had with a bit of care

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Richard Bremner:

Green in the city

Green in the city

“Buying greener wheels needn’t mean buying an expensive hybrid if you want an ultra-low CO2 car – in fact, there are several small diesel hatchbacks that admit less CO2 than the admittedly bigger Honda Insight hybrid. Among them is Ford’s Fiesta Econetic, one of an array of eco-hatches offered by a variety of manufacturers that have been specially modified to issue less carbon dioxide. In the Ford’s case, the modifications include a lower ride height to smooth the car’s passage through the air, a tailgate spoiler achieving the same end, low rolling resistance tyres and altered gear ratios designed to squeeze more miles from its 90bhp 1.6 turbodiesel motor, if at some expense of acceleration.
escape from the city

escape from the city

The Fiesta Econetic also provides a gearshift change-up light to aid your fuel-saving, and a trip computer to reveal how well you’re doing. Which in the case of this long-term test car is pretty well, if not as well as Ford’s 76.3mpg combined fuel consumption claim suggests. A typical figure would be around 58mpg while paying reasonable attention to the change up light and maintaining a brisk pace, but a concerted effort to save fuel has seen an impressive 71mpg appear in the readout. Drive gently, and a regular 60mpg-plus is entirely possible.
So is the Econetic, which costs a not inconsiderable £14,095, worth the extra over a standard Fiesta? That’s slightly difficult to answer because there is no direct non-Econetic equivalent in the Fiesta range, but it looks good value against the less powerful £13,695, 68bhp, 1.4 TDCi Style + diesel five door.”

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Click green arrows below to listen to sound clips
Is it worth paying extra for the ECOnetic version of this Fiesta ?

Any disadvantages to running this eco version of a conventional engined car ?

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Look out for Richard Bremner’s full long term test and report over on CleanGreenCars.co.uk

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photos by Tim Andrew

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