2012 Ford Fiesta Econetic review

* Updated Ford Fiesta Econetic driven * Now averages 85.6mpg and 87g/km of CO2 * On sale now, priced from 14,445...

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Rory White
09 May 2012

2012 Ford Fiesta

This is the revised Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi Econetic, which averages 85.6mpg and emits just 87g/km of CO2.

The figures are an improvement on the previous version's 78.5mpg and 95g/km, so the car is still exempt from road tax, but now offers even lower fuel bills.

A host of new efficiency measures help it achieve these figures, including an engine stop-start system, revised gear ratios and regenerative braking technology.

Ford has also improved the air-conditioning, cooling fan and alternator efficiency, while a new Eco mode assesses your driving style and offers efficiency tips.

There arent any cosmetic or trim changes.

Whats the 2012 Ford Fiesta Econetic like to drive?
The 1.6-litre diesel engine isnt the last word in refinement from cold. Considering its green credentials and Ford's attempts to make the gearing even more eco-friendly, however, it's impressively uncompromised and flexible.

Theres more than enough power, whether you're nipping in and out of traffic around town or cruising on the motorway.

Similarly, the ride is good, despite the Econetic's lowered ride height (chosen for maximum efficiency), and road noise is kept to a minimum.

The real highlight remains the Fiestas handling, though. The car feels incredibly agile and the steering is perfectly weighted.

Whats the 2012 Ford Fiesta Econetic like inside?
All of the changes are technical, so the interior is unchanged.

The shiny black Sony stereo fitted as standard to our Titanium-trimmed test car gave it a welcome boost, although the cabin looks pretty sharp in cars without it, thanks to the mobile phone-inspired dashboard and edgy styling.

A soft-touch covering makes the dash pretty tactile, too, even if some of the plastics lower down feel cheap.

The Fiesta isn't as good as some rivals on space and versatility, but there's enough room for four tall adults and a good-sized boot.

The driving position is spot-on, too, and there's plenty of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel to help you find the sweet spot.

Should I buy one?
The Fiesta Econetic manages to be extremely frugal, yet brilliant fun to drive. It still costs you nothing in road tax each year and it remains in the 13% tax band the lowest for diesels.

On the downside, the most basic Edge-spec Econetic three-door now costs 14,445, which is 550 more than the previous entry-level model.

Choose a five-door Titanium car and that price rises to 16,795, before you add any options.

The Econetic isnt cheap, then, but neither are competitors such as the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion. In fact, the Fiesta's starting price is 550 lower.

Factor in the superb handling and solid refinement, and the Econetic is an excellent choice.

Read the Ford Fiesta review for parents at Mumsnet Cars

Seat Ibiza Ecomotive
VW Polo Bluemotion

What Car? says

Rory White