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2014 Ford Fiesta focuses on fuel economy

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Hermann J. Knippertz/AP/File

(Read caption) A 2009 Ford Fiesta is pictured in Cologne, Germany. The 2014 Ford Fiesta, which will be released later this year, increases fuel efficiency to a combined 34 mpg.

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Ford's updated Fiesta SFE is offering even better fuel efficiency for the 2014 model year.

The Fiesta uses a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, developing around 120 horsepower. It's a fun little car to drive, but the main focus here is economy.

With EPA-rated mileage figures of 30 mpg city, 41 highway and 34 combined, it uses less fuel than any other subcompact--save for Toyota's hybrid Prius C, of course.

 

The smallest Prius comfortably beats the Fiesta SFE on every measure--and a full 23 mpg in the city--albeit for extra cost.

A closer comparison might be Nissan's 2013 Versa, which loses 1 mpg to the Fiesta on the highway but remains 1 mpg better overall--highlighting the issue with advertising highway mileage alone. Buyers may also cross-shop with the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic, capable of 29 city, 40 highway and 33 mpg combined, with a 1.4-liter engine and manual transmission.

Sacrifice a little style and blur the lines between city car and subcompact, and an even more frugal challenger appears: the 37 mpg city, 44 highway and 40 combined 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.

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The Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package Fiesta improves on the regular Fiesta's economy thanks to aerodynamic tweaks both visible and underneath the car, grille blockers, lower rolling-resistance tires and cruise control.

It does require you to specify a Fiesta in SE trim with the PowerShift automatic transmission, though--so while the SFE option costs only $95 on its own, you'll need several thousand over a base Fiesta to buy the most efficient model.

Some may find it better to wait for a potentially even more efficient Fiesta--the 1.0-liter Ecoboost due later this year.

Ford says that car could be the most efficient non-hybrid car on sale--implying gas mileage better than the 40 mpg combined Mitsubishi Mirage.

The 2014 Ford Fiesta will be arriving in dealers soon.

Which would you choose--the budget Mitsubishi, Fiestas SFE or EcoBoost, or spend the extra on a 50 mpg Prius C?

 

 

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