Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic has gone greener for 2012, with a number of tweaks and new features pulling its fuel consumption figures down from an already-impressive 3.6 l/100km to 3.3 l/100km.
Carbon emissions are also improved, rated at 87g/km, making the diesel-powered hatch a compelling alternative to Toyota's 3.9 l/100km and 89g/km Prius, powered by a petrol-electrid hybrid system.
The ECOnetic's sharpened economy come courtesy of improvements to the diesel engine, optimised gear ratios, a lower ride height making for a slicker profile, revised aerodynamics and new low rolling-resistance tyres.
Despite the improvements, Ford says the Fiesta ECOnetic will not be returning to Australia in the foreseeable future.
Speaking with TMR today, Ford Australia's Neil McDonald said that while the ECOnetic stood as the halo model in the local Fiesta line-up, the car's low take-up and a switch to Thai-built models saw the car scratched from the line-up.
"It's a very proven, fuel-efficient vehicle, but we see the 1.6 TDCi, which is also a very economical engine, as the way to go as far as spreading the message," Mr McDonald said.
"Take up of the ECOnetic was also quite low, at around 20 a month. While it was a significant catalyst for us to raise awareness of turbodiesels in small and light cars, the market has moved on and awareness is now there."
Mr McDonald said that Ford's local arm will continue to look at international options where applicable.
"There was also a question of complexity in the Fiesta line-up. The ECOnetic is built in Europe, and our local cars are sourced from Thailand, so there's a practicality matter to be considered there also," he added.
For Australian Fiesta buyers, the next model to look forward to is one that sits at the opposite end of the line-up: the high-powered Fiesta ST hot hatch.
Due in Australia in 2013, the Fiesta ST is powered by a 130kW 1.6 litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, giving the Fiesta family a much-needed rival to Volkswagen's Polo GTI.
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