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How the 40-mpg 2011 Ford Fiesta compares to its thrifty competitors

Consumer Reports News: May 17, 2010 04:55 PM

When gasoline prices hit $4 a gallon in 2008, some car companies (and a good number of consumers) placed an increased focus on small, fuel-efficient cars. The economy has driven consumer interest to models that are affordable to purchase and operate, and automakers face increasing challenges to hit federally mandated fuel economy targets. As a result, more thrifty models are hitting the market, including the much-hyped (as in it's featured seemingly every week on 'American Idol') Ford Fiesta.

Among the Fiesta's chief claims is that it would achieve 40 mpg on the highway. Mission accomplished. Today, Ford announced that the Fiesta has achieved an EPA-certified 40 mpg highway/29 mpg city. For the moment, the Fiesta promises best-in-class fuel economy, but it won't be available until this summer and competing models are also nearing production.  (See our small car ratings and buying advice.)

Independent from the EPA and manufacturer claims, Consumer Reports conducts our own fuel tests, which provide real-world figures for comparison. (See how we test fuel economy.) We use a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line and run three separate tests to determine highway, city, and overall mileage numbers.  

We look forward to testing the new Fiesta. We plan to buy a Fiesta with the automated manual transmission, as well as one with a traditional stick to see if reality lives up to the hype.

Fuel economy comparison
Below is list of the Fiesta's competitors to see how they stack up in gas mileage. 
 
EPA city/highway
CR city/highway
Make/model automatic manual automatic manual
Chevrolet Aveo 25/34

27/35

17/37 N/A
Ford Fiesta 29/40 28/37 N/A N/A
Honda Fit 28/35 27/33 21/39 24/37
Hyundai Accent 27/36 28/34 19/37 23/36
Kia Forte 27/36 25/34 19/38 N/A
Nissan Versa 28/34 26/34 19/35 N/A
Suzuki SX4 25/32 23/33 18/35 N/A
Toyota Yaris 29/35 29/36 23/41 N/A

Check back in the coming weeks for our full Ford Fiesta ratings, including fuel economy for this new model. 

For more details on the new Fiesta, see our new car preview and model overview.

Liza Barth

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