Mike Stevens | Oct 28, 2011

Ford's ultra-efficient Fiesta ECOnetic light car has been updated for the 2012 model year, bringing a slight improvement to its already impressive fuel economy.

Boasting a number of tweaks to its 1.6 litre TDCi common-rail diesel engine, the Fiesta ECOnetic has shaved 0.1 l/100km from its fuel consumption figures. The result: a combined cycle rating of 3.6 l/100km, a 2.7 percent improvement.

If that doesn't sound like much of a saving, consider this: the Fiesta ECOnetic is Australia's most fuel-efficient car with an internal combustion engine - including the current range of petrol-electric hybrid cars.

"Fiesta ECOnetic perfectly balances a stylish, affordable car that considers the environment and our future, without compromising the style or technology which has made the Fiesta one of the world’s most popular small cars," Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano said.

"It brings together a whole range of clever thinking and technologies that are available right now, creating an environmentally conscious vehicle that delivers economy without compromise and genuine savings against the fuel cost of daily driving."

It's a tight race however, with Audi's 1.6 litre diesel A1, the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion and the MINI Cooper D all listing figures of 3.8 l/100km.

At 3.9 l/100km, Toyota's Prius hybrid and the Volvo C30 DRIVe are not far behind, while Lexus' CT 200h hybrid is just on the other side of the crucial 4.0 l/100km mark, at 4.1 l/100km.

The ECOnetic's emissions are also among the lowest around, at 95g/km - a match for the CT 200h, better than the A1's 99g/km and not too far off the Prius' 89g/km.

As for the Fiesta ECOnetic's tweaks, Ford says it's the little things that count.

2010 ford fiesta econetic road test review 04.jpg

Headlining the list of mechanical updates for the Fiesta ECOnetic is a revised gear set, with new 3rd, 4th and 5th gear ratios.

There is a new Variable Flow Oil Pump, designed to match pump flow to the engine's needs - a change from the previous system, which linked the oil pump operation directly to engine revs.

A new asymmetric crank sprocket is in place to reduce overall load on the drive belt, and a bi-directional crank sensor reduces engine start times.

There's a more accurate fuel temperature sensor, and the Powertrain Control Module has also been recalibrated.

For 2012, the Fiesta ECOnetic remains otherwise unchanged. Power stays at 66kW and 200Nm of torque, while the exterior, interior and specification carries over from the 2011 model. Price is also unchanged, at $24,990 plus on-roads.

A facelift is on the way for the Fiesta however, revealed in the form of the Fiesta ST Concept at last month's Frankfurt Motor Show. Check it out here.


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