By on June 17, 2014

2013-Ford-Fusion-main_rdax_646x396

 

Just prior to Ford’s fuel economy ratings adjustment, I returned a brand new Fusion with a 1.5L Ecoboost engine. The last car I’ve driven with 1500 cc’s worth of displacement was my grandmother’s 2000 Civic, with its D-Series, single cam engine and 4-speed automatic. You would think that such a tiny engine would help Ford’s mid-sizer deliver solid fuel economy, but the best I could do was a mere 21 mpg in mixed driving.

According to the EPA, the same Fusion gets 23 mpg in town and 36 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined – that’s about 25 percent better than I got. I’ve never had particularly good luck with the Ecoboost engines, whether it’s the 1.6L in the Escape or the 2.0L in the MKZ  in normal driving. My one good experience, in the utterly fantastic Fiesta ST, saw me return 40 mpg over a stretch of two lane highway at 60 mph. But who drives 60 mph on the highway, let alone in the Fiesta ST.

The Ecoboost engines are like the high school classmate who got infuriatingly good grades, but you always knew you were smarter than. They simply happened to be really good at standardized tests and repeating back information, even if their critical thinking and “streets smarts” were lacking.

So, these engines perform really well on the EPA fuel economy tests, but utterly fall apart in the real world. Driving them as one normally would means dipping into the boost of the turbo engine, and subsequently consuming lots of fuel. For an engine that’s been sold on the age-old promise of “the power of [insert large engine here], the fuel economy of [insert smaller cylinder count here]“, that’s not good at all. Especially when you are publicly forced to revise your own fuel economy estimates.

As fun as it may be for certain parties to mock Ford’s “Egoboost” engines, turbocharging is going to become near ubiquitous. The requirements for economies of scale dictate that global engine programs are the way to go, so no more separate powertrains for different markets. Engines must now meet European and Asian environmental regulations, while delivering power levels acceptable to consumers in America and China. And they must be able to motivate everything from an A-segment hatchback to a large crossover. Guess what fits the bill? A family of modular, turbocharged engines like Ford, BMW, General Motors, Honda and countless other OEMs have planned for the near future.

The big problem is not the engines themselves, but the flawed fuel economy tests that bear little relation to reality. These new technologies are then sold on the results of these tests, and the magic numbers never materialize. In some applications, like the Taurus/Flex/MKS/MKT and the ST cars, you at least get the feeling of “big power/torque” to make up with the so-so fuel economy. In the Fusion/Escape 2.0T cars, you get decent power, but fuel consumption is far below what one expects in vehicles of similar size.

In the newest 1.5L, you get neither. Like Jack said about the 1.6L its replacing, the 1.5L and 6-speed automatic “utterly, totally fails to impress.” The power isn’t there, but neither is the fuel economy. There’s a lot to recommend about the Fusion overall: it looks great, rides well, has a solid, well-built feel and they’ve finally fixed the once-awful MyFord Touch system. But I can’t seem to find a powertrain to works well. Perhaps I’ll have to rent a 2.5L base model. It might end up being the game changer for Ford’s mid-sizer.

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241 Comments on “Editorial: Lots Of Boost, Not Much Eco...”


  • avatar

    If they’d simply put an APPROPRIATELY sized engine and a well programmed 8-speed in these cars, they’d have no problem.

    These turbocharged engines usually demand premium fuel to meet advertised HP/Torque – wherein a regular V6 would allow you to use regular unleaded. And turbochargers typically use more fuel than a well designed DI V6 because the “boost” consumes more fuel and O2 at a higher rate.

    The Fusion should come with the same 3.7-Liter V6 from the MKS.
    The top trim should come with a 3.5-Liter Ecoboost and Brembo brakes/ aggressive sport kits, etc.

    The MKZ should come with the 3.5-L ecoboost STANDARD.
    AWD should also be standard.

    The MKS should come with the 3.5-L ecoboost STANDARD and an upgrade option to the BOSS from the Mustang.

    Ford/Lincoln (Mercury R.I.P) gives you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to be proud of and that’s why I’ve turned my back on their cars.

    A Lincoln Navigator with a turbo V6???
    Meanwhile, GM is putting 6-Liter V8′s in all their trucks and the Escalade.

    I’m not asking for anything crazy…just give me a decent V8 for a truck and a decent V6 for a mid-sized sedan.

    My uncle rebuilds Ford Capri, Mustang and now – Merkur XR4Ti. He’s got 2 Merkurs and 5 Capris. All with crate BMW/ coyote engines and then he puts turbochargers on them.
    Have you seen the size of those 4 cylinders? Those things are massive – but provide almost 200 HP. Reminds me of Chrysler’s old 2.7-L in the LX platform. If it had a new 8-speed and redesigned oil distribution, it would be fantastic.

    My other Uncle’s MKS 2013 EGOboost returns 23MPG city driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yeah, I’m not sure why Ford is choosing only to put the 3.5-liter EcoBoost in the Navigator. It’s not as if anyone in the large luxury SUV segment has any qualms about a V8 engine. In fact, the only non-V8 large luxury SUV is the diesel spec on the GL-Class.

      • 0 avatar
        RangerM

        Likely, because it’s enough engine.

        I have a 2013 F150 Crew with the 3.5L and the 3.15 rear. If you cannot control your urges to “boost”, your FE is going to suffer. But, it’ll also surprise your Dodge/Chevy V8 counterparts who think they can walk away from you at a stoplight. (they can’t)

        But, if you use the cruise control (at 70 mph or below) on the highway, 25+ mpg is easily achievable. Mountainous terrain usually takes away 1 mpg.

        • 0 avatar
          Sky_Render

          That 3.15 sounds worthless for towing, though.

          • 0 avatar
            RangerM

            I don’t do much towing, but if I need it the 3.15 is good to 8200 lbs (according to owner’s manual). If anyone needs to tow more than that, they should buy an F250/F350, anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            ChevyIIfan

            Oh, it is worthless for towing. Not sure where RangerM gets his tow rating from, but he Supercrew with the 3.5 and the 3.15 rear is only good for 6350 lb. Manual:

            http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/catalog/owner_guides/13f12om3e.pdf

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          It’s not that you’d *need* a V8 in the Navigator so much as the fact that the target audience for such a car probably *wants* a V8. I know that the upcoming Navigator and Expedition are stopgap products that will get the company by until it can create some truly competitive large SUVs…but why shouldn’t they go ahead and also offer a V8?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I am disapointed that the 5.0L is not being offered in either. The talk up until the reveal was two engine choices in the Expedition. We now have to wait until 2017-18.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            @bball40dtw — Given how few of these they sell (about 50k a year combined), it probably doesn’t make sense to go through all the certification for two years. But yeah, it seems like a competitive miss.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            At least they are upping the power numbers. I think the 3.5 Ecoboost is going to be at 380 HP and 460 Torques in the Navi/Expedition.

        • 0 avatar
          vent-L-8

          I have a 2012 F150 w/ 3.5 turbo and crew cab and I have never (ever) been above the low 18s on the highway w/ cruise. Around 15 in towm. I like the truck, way powerful enough but I have never achieved anything close to the 25 RangerM

          • 0 avatar
            RangerM

            @vent-L-8

            I guess when they say “your mileage may vary” they aren’t lying.

            I can only say that my truck is bone stock, with 18″ wheels and a 3.15 rear. Just drove back from Parkersburg, WV to Raleigh, NC and got 23.9. (the MPG meter read ~25). Staying on I-40 in NC–which is relatively flat–the meter can approach 27, but it’s always been a little optimistic, so I assume I’m getting 25+.

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        Higher displacement and more cylinders bring with them tax consequences in Europe and Asia. If major drivetrain components are supposed to be used world around that can mean problems for auto makers.

        • 0 avatar

          I understand that taxes are high in Europe based on displacement but you’re doing it to yourselves.
          Stop worrying about CO2 and focus on building better cars.

          The last Navigator’s V8 was plenty torquey for towing boats and trailers and ran on regular unleaded.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Why not tax actual environmental performance instead of displacement? Why not tax effective displacement (since boost makes a small engine perform–both in power and pollution–as a larger engine)?

          I’d much rather people fix bad laws than build bad cars to satisfy those bad laws.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Why not tax actual environmental performance instead of displacement?”

            Because a smaller turbocharged engine can return better mileage than a naturally-aspirated engine of the same output.

            It just won’t do it if you put your foot to it.

            The solution should be to dissuade people from putting their foot to it. The problem with such a solution is that it affects drivability. No one, especially journalists who get to expense their gas, likes loafing it out of an intersection because of turbo lag, aggressive upshifts and electronic throttle control.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Its more complicated than that, it seems these systems don’t play as well with automatics vs manuals. If you develop a powertrain which is going to be used by the rest of the world, you’re going to support manuals and automatics. The region which favors the manual will see better results than the ones who don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            It’s not an automatic/manual thing, it’s that people don’t drive to the EPA cycle (and Derek certainly doesn’t).

            A small-displacement turbo should do well with a smart automatic, assuming the driver’s intent it to save fuel. If the auto learns that the driver is a leadfoot, it won’t be upshifting as soon as it could, and mileage will suffer.

            The problem isn’t the turbo or the transmission, it’s that we have a culture of driving that doesn’t encourage gradual starts and awareness of traffic flow. People tailgate, gun it out of intersections, speed up quickly and then summarily brake to shed speed. They do this with blown fours and naturally-aspirated eights (ask me how often I see my rear-view dominated by a half-ton truck’s grille).

            Only hybrids and EVs seem immune to this, and that’s likely self-selection at play: you have a subset of drivers who are conscious of the energy management of their car, and cars that provide distinct feedback to compensate.

            The issue is fundamentally one of perception: we have a selection of cars out there with potentially excellent fuel economy, should someone care to drive them that way. Most people don’t, and the people who review them are even less likely to try.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Fair enough, but shouldn’t products in general be designed for the needs/wants of end users as opposed to the users adapting their behavior?

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            That’s a tough question: you’re asking the product to do the impossible: deliver fuel economy and performance without sacrificing refinement or costing a lot.

            The closest we get to that is a hybrid: it’ll be somewhat more forgiving of a ragged driving style by managing the powertrain better and recouping energy lost to braking. But it’s not a panacea, and it costs more.

            What this does is give us a more efficient powertrain at a lower cost. But it’s not going to work miracles; there has to be some changes in behaviour on the part of the driver. Power isn’t free.

            Ford could, in theory, make the turbo laggier and the transmission more reluctant to downshift, but that would hurt drivability and reviews. Again, no free lunch—reviewers already bitch about automatics that reach for the sky at every opportunity.

          • 0 avatar
            Monty

            Everybody should drive Norm’s magical SAAB – that would solve ALL the above problems.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            “Because a smaller turbocharged engine can return better mileage than a naturally-aspirated engine of the same output.”

            You missed the point.

            A 1.5L turbo will not get the same efficiency as a 1.5L non turbo, and a 1.5L with 30 psi boost will not get the same efficiency as a 1.5L with 10 psi boost, so why tax them all the same and claim taxing displacement is about the environment?

            It boils down to addressing what you intend to address, not some other factor and then hope no one finds a work-around.
            - If you want to reduce fuel consumption, tax fuel consumption.
            - If you want to reduce pollution, tax pollution.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The 3.5L ecoboost is a bit big for the MKZ. The new 2.7T should do nicely though.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Or even the 2.3T, the one that’s going into the MKC and (in a different form) the Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “The problem isn’t the turbo or the transmission, it’s that we have a culture of driving that doesn’t encourage gradual starts and awareness of traffic flow. People tailgate, gun it out of intersections, speed up quickly and then summarily brake to shed speed…
        The issue is fundamentally one of perception: we have a selection of cars out there with potentially excellent fuel economy, should someone care to drive them that way. Most people don’t, and the people who review them are even less likely to try.”

        Thank you – finally a voice of reason. +1000

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      We (well, I) need pics of those Merkurs now. The ones in Europe only came with a 150 hp injected 2.8 V6 (I’ve had two, and for the record they can easily average 20mpg) , but lots of people put Cosworth turbo engines in them. Would love to have one with a V8, the old 5.0 fits very nicely, and only weighs 20-40 pounds more than the old v6, depending on configuration.

  • avatar
    Toad

    Oddly, the owners of cars with turbo diesel engines generally report real world fuel economy that is BETTER than the EPA numbers.

    Anecdotally, 10 years ago I had a Dodge pickup with a small displacement V8 (4.7l, only 225hp) that got terrible fuel economy, but when I upgraded to a Dodge Durango with similar weight and aerodynamics but the much bigger Hemi (330hp) engine I also got much better real world fuel economy.

    It seems having a small engine working itself to death is not as efficient as a larger engine working a a more leisurely pace.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Yeah but didn’t you know that diesels are slow, loud, smoky, and break down all the time?

      Why is my country still stuck in 1985?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Small underpowered engines to my right, and turbos to my left. We really are back in the 80s.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “We really are back in the 80s.”

          Woo-hoo!

          Can we has synth-rock again?

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I’d love to hear songs like “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “The Final Countdown” on the top 40 stations again.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Big Guitars, Big Synth and every digital effect known to Japanese engineers. Bring IT.

            Too much hipster minimalism and tube amp piety these days.

          • 0 avatar
            mikehgl

            For those of you with small displacement turbocharged engines in search of better mpg: Relax, don’t do it when you want to go to it….

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I suing you for reckless endangerment, mikehgl.

            In the Recent Comments sidebar my eyes lit on only:

            “For those of you with small”

            And my cortisol spiked.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            ……I’d love to hear songs like “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “The Final Countdown” on the top 40 stations again……

            Ever listen to the words on the first few lines?

            The bitch is hungry/She needs to tell/So give her inches
            And feed her well

            I so miss the 80s!!

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            The local rock station plays it completely uncensored, I guess Klaus Meine’s accent threw the FCC off.

            Another great thing about 80s music is that, even as one hit wonders, there was a decent amount of countries getting hits on the US pop charts. England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Sweden, Australia…it was a great time to listen to music.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “Yeah but didn’t you know that diesels are slow, loud, smoky, and break down all the time?

        Why is my country still stuck in 1985?”

        Amen.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “Oddly, the owners of cars with turbo diesel engines generally report real world fuel economy that is BETTER than the EPA numbers.”

      On the highway, yes–turbodiesels do really well at low-RPM cruising: no throttle pumping losses and the actual volume of fuel used is very low.

      Keep on the boost (eg, in the city) and they’ll suck fuel like any other engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Corners

        We have a manual trans 13 Golf Diesel…just had one tank of all city driving at 45 MPG imperial and last month we went from from Vancouver to Seattle and then across Washington to Sandpoint Idaho and not on the interstates all on 1 tank….59.1 MPG imperial! Best part is all the torque available down low where you are crusing most of the time. I’m sure I could get better mileage if we slowed down a bit for sure!

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “We have a manual trans 13 Golf Diesel…just had one tank of all city driving at 45 MPG imperial”

          45mpg, even measured in imperial gallons, is pretty optimistic for all-city driving in anything that isn’t a hybrid. Most TDI drivers are in the mid-30s for city.

          • 0 avatar
            Corners

            45.1 MPG imperial converts to 37.6 MPG US…
            http://www.fuelly.com/car/volkswagen/golf/2013/Corners/230815

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        My Liberty CRD (2.8 Ininlie 4 turbodiesel by VM-Motori) is rated for 21-23 city to 31 highway.

        Around town driving it usually hovers in the 23-25mpg range. I’ve bested 31mpg on the highway too. The only time I’ve seen it dip down below 20mpg is when I’m either towing a 3,500lb camper, or it’s below freezing and doing 50mph in 4WD through several inches of snow. And yes, I’m one of “those” drivers and no, I’ve never put it in a ditch or guardrail.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          AMC
          Those are pretty cool rigs with the CRD. How do you like it?

          My wife is insisting on a Cherokee Trailhawk (I know I know, but she has even gone to the dealer without me to look at them, so she really must have her heart set on it) and I can only hope that we will get the diesel in the US that is going into the ones they are exporting. I won’t hold my breath, but if they do it for 2015 I’ll at least be a little bit of a happier camper.

      • 0 avatar

        DIESEL ENGINES provide higher torque than Gasoline engines due to a longer stroke cycle.
        …but their power band is truncated.

        …a turbo helps to spread their power over a higher range.

        A diesel owner will already get higher fuel economy, but a turbo diesel owner will most likely get lower economy if they drive the car aggressively.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @BTR
          You sort of have it a little incorrect regarding the stroke length of a diesel as the to how the diesel gains torque.

          It gains it’s torque through the slow combustion of the fuel.

          Diesel combusts slower, so this provides force on the piston for a longer duration.

          Torque versus bore and stroke is the same for a gas engine as a diesel.

          As an engine moves over square the torque band tends to broaden and as it becomes under square the torque band narrows.

          I do know we can and someone will point out how to gain and alter torque and power via the heads, ie cam grind, lift, porting etc.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            “It gains it’s torque through the slow combustion of the fuel.
            “Diesel combusts slower, so this provides force on the piston for a longer duration.”

            Nope.

            Faster combustion = better efficiency, which for a given amount of fuel = more torque. The reason is that the productive result of combustion is pressure that pushes the piston. It does not push the piston for a moment and stop, it pushes it until it doesn’t move any further or the exhaust valve opens (relieves pressure). If you burn all the fuel at the very beginning, all the released energy works to push the piston for the entire power stroke. If some fuel burns part-way through the power stroke, that energy release can only push the piston for a part of the power stroke.

            There’s a reason fuel is injected into the cylinder all at once, and not progressively throughout the entirety of the power stroke.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @redav
            What efficiency are you discussing?

            FE??

            I don’t think so.

            To gain maximum FE you require a high torque low reving engine.

            Torque x RPM give you power.

            Add to this the energy density of diesel is greater than gasoline and far greater than ethanol, you will use less fuel to generate torque and power in a diesel.

            Diesel provides this by the flame front having a retraded rate of growth in comparison to gasoline.

            This in turn provides the piston with a greater duration of gas expansion, hence more torque.

            Also, diesel being a compression ignition engine adapts to turbocharging far better than gasoline which is restricted by compression pressure in the combustion chamber.

            GDI has aided in this area with the gasoline engine by allowing for the delivery of fuel to be deliver closer to TDC, along with ignition.

            GCI has allowed for the compression/ignition cycle to be retarded improving FE efficiency, not power.

            High compression pressure affects diesel by increasing NOx, which is bad. That’s why EU diesel is better than US diesel. It allows for lower compression in a diesel engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        Not in my experience. The diesel engine is more efficient than a comparable gasoline engine in every part of the BSFC map that is normally used, including under load.

    • 0 avatar
      3800FAN

      Diesel schmeasel compare the vw 1.8 gas motor to the TDI and you’ll see its right on target. The fusions problem isn’t the engine but the fact that it’s too heavy. 200 lbs too heavy. Weight is the reason the fusion gets crappy mpg.

      As for the vw TDI its a waste. The tubo gas 1.8 beats it in all ways.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        … except torque and fuel consumption. The 1.8 TSI is getting close – a lot closer than the old 2.5 was – but it will still not match the TDI for real world fuel consumption.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          I think if you correct for the higher energy content of the diesel fuel (135,000 btu/gal) vs today’s oxygenated gasoline (114,000 btu/gal) you’ll find that a small turbo gasoline engine matches pretty well to a diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I want a luxury, but a new Passat (SE, most likely) is also on my radar (you know, just in case I get some sense and decide not to blow $45K on a Quattro Audi). I would have picked the TDI hands-down over the old 2.5-liter, but the 1.8-liter TSI feels premium and gets respectable fuel economy. I do a lot of highway driving, but it would take some serious distance to make up the $5K difference between the TSI and the TDI…even when you take into account the higher resale values of TDI models.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “As for the vw TDI its a waste. The tubo gas 1.8 beats it in all ways.”

        Welcome to planet Earth. Now tell me all about your alternate universe.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Derek,

    Last Saturday, I test drove the 1.5L Ecoboost and 2.5L NA Fusions back to back. The 2.5 L base engine has no low end torque. EPA sticker city mileage was higher for the 1.5L Ecoboost. My driving is mostly highway so I have been focusing on those numbers. All the new mid sizers I looked at report highway mileage in the 36-38 mpg range.
    Generally, I liked the Fusion, but cannot tolerate real highway mpg below the advertised number. Any one out there with a new Fusion care to comment on the real world highway mileage of 2014 a Fusion, Accord, Altima or Mazda6?

    • 0 avatar
      carrya1911

      The real-world mileage on my 2.4L Accord has been right in line with advertised numbers assuming I resist the temptation to use the lower gears. I bought the manual so I row my own and I have no trouble exceeding 25 MPG in mostly city driving by making liberal use of 5th and 6th gears.

      Highway varies more depending on conditions. If I’m on a nice stretch of open road without having to contend with traffic and I can do a reasonably leisurely pace (70 MPH) without having to do too much hill climbing I can get in excess of 40 MPG. The last such extended trip I did was over 45 MPG. At worst I never got below 36 MPG in highway driving. On a typical town-to-interstate-to-town trip the average for the whole lot is usually over 30 mpg…and all that is without use of the “eco” button, which I think is probably counter-productive.

      Sample of 1 and all that, but looking on the Accord forum it seems like most owners are pretty close to advertised mileage in normal driving, and exceed it slightly with relative ease. The Accord has a green halo around the speedometer when you’re driving in the engine’s mileage happy place that goes paler as you get outside of it. It also has a dynamic MPG bar that you can have up in front of you in the LCD display inside the speedo. Both of those things help keep you mindful of what you’re doing with the right foot, at least in my experience.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        What kind of city driving are you doing that lets you get into fifth or sixth gear? I always considered the kind of driving I do to be suburban, and when I had my Focus, I spent most of my drive in third and fourth gears.

        • 0 avatar
          carrya1911

          You can be in 5th or 6th gear at 25 MPH. Then you can downshift to 2nd or 3rd as necessary if you need a burst of torque.

        • 0 avatar
          Demetri

          In the 3 cars I’ve owned that had a 5-speed and 1.8-2.0L 4-cylinder, 35mph was the lowest speed you could drive in 5th without lugging it, which is right in line with city speed limits, at least around here.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Accord’s Earth Dreams has a few examples the low 20′s mpg range:

      http://www.fuelly.com/car/honda/accord/2013

      Derek will have to refuel 10-20 times to get a better average than reading the trip computer or a single fuel up. Forgetting about what connects the engine to the roads does’t help as tire pressures, excessive idling, and transmission programming play a big role fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      I_S

      Rented a 2014 Fusion SE with the 2.0T AWD for a weekend trip from Toronto, ON to Ann Arbour, MI. Virtually all highway driving, averaging 80 or so mph, resulted in a 23 mpg (US gallons). It is a heavy car, but the engine is more than a match for it. Terrible all-around visibility though.

    • 0 avatar
      CapVandal

      The 2.0 Eco is quite pleasant to drive. It is plenty of engine for the Fusion. Gas milage? Don’t really care as long as it isn’t below 20 MPG. Or much below 20 MPG.

      The ‘problem’ is that the 2.0 is theoretically available on the SE model, but there don’t seem to be any in real life. Which leaves you with the Titanium.

      I think Ford would do well to put out a sport model with modest trim and the 2.0T. As a modest $ upgrade from the standard 2.4. At the Titanium price (about $30) there is strong competition. It looks like this is available, but they don’t seem to option them like this.

      Regardless, the 2.0T is a great engine.

    • 0 avatar

      My Fusion with 2.0T gets 27.7 mpg during commute with 7 miles in city and 16 miles on freeway. On freeway I drive 40-85 mph depending on traffic.

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    I have constantly exceeded 22 mpg with my 2009 Genesis V-8 on regular gas in mixed driving, mostly rural over the 5+ years I have owned it. I just ordered a 3.8 2015 Genesis which promises even better mileage, again on regular gas. There is nothing wrong with some displacement on a well designed engine. Both cars are utterly quiet while delivering great performance..

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The 2015 Genesis has definitely piqued my interest. Please do submit it for a “Reader Ride” review when you get it so that we can get a real account of what it’s like to live with. I hear it’s a lot better than the outgoing model (which itself is pretty nice).

  • avatar
    dwford

    I never had a problem heated the 28mpg combined on my 2011 Sonata, but struggled with my 2012 Accent and 2013 Elantra GT. The right size motor with appropriate torque makes all the difference.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yeah, 28-29 MPG is about average for our non-turbo 2012 Sonata.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It’s also complicated by aerodynamics. There’s more drag in the Accent and Elantra versus the Sonata, which makes a world of difference at highway speeds.

      This is a common issue with compacts: they don’t return great highway mileage because they’re shaped to maximize interior volume, which increases drag. Midsize sedans have the opposite issue: in the city, their mileage suffers because of weight.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        For city driving, weight is the problem, and aero doesn’t matter much.
        For hwy driving, aero is the problem, and weight doesn’t matter much.

        Another problem small cars have with hwy driving is that their engines are typically small enough that they don’t have enough torque to drive a tall gearset to cruise at low rpm. Thus, their peak efficiency occurs at a lower speed and drops off more quickly with increasing speed. Conversely, vehicles with more powerful engines will have worse peak mpg, but that peak will occur at a higher speed and will be less sensitive to speed, meaning a slower drop-off in efficiency at ever-higher speeds.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      I have a 2013 Hyundai Gt 6spd manual. I cannot get less the 30mpg when ragging the crap out of the engine. If I try it will average over 40,mpg and at 70mpg on cruise control it will get 46mpg on flat land no hills. I’m really impressed with the numbers and my local dealer just says I must have gotten a good one. Not sure what means. But it has over 27k miles on it with absolutely no issues.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The idea that the US market isn’t big enough to sustain a few engine programs is silly. We’re getting Chinese market engines because the destroyer in chief inflated CAFE requirements. Last time we made this particular mistake, we became a nation of truck drivers while our domestic producers gave away the retail car market. The stupidest people still think they’re smarter than free markets. Unfortunately, said stupidity has hit critical mass.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I wouldn`t generalise Ford’s ecoboost engines to the rest of the industry. The US market is big enough (even with the impact of CAFE) to sustain decent engine design – Honda is a great example of this. Both Honda and Mazda with their NA engines get both great EPA fuel figures and real world fuel economy. Ford made a mistake with their turbo charged engines (and excess weight) but other companies have not.
      Nothing to do with CAFE.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I disagree, he actually has a point. Between the bailouts and a near bankruptcy by Ford, some of the automakers were caught with their pants down when our overlords decided to hike CAFE. Their solution is tiny engines in oversized platforms. Some automakers were not caught off guard and chose to refine already established technology as you point out, which was the safer and probably cheaper move.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Respectfully you make my point for me – Ford was caught with its pants down. GM hasn`t gone anywhere near the same extent as Ford with turbo charging. The standard engine in the Malibu is a NA engine for example.

          Manufacturers, those with foresight, were improving fuel economy even if CAFE had not changed. After the $4 gallon price point was broken in 2007/2008 fuel economy became a greater concern to US residents. Manufacturers were also responding to other markets like Europe where fuel economy is important. CAFE didn`t drive this, sure it formalised it but this shift was happening anyway.
          Turbo charging is not required at the moment to get class leading fuel economy (EPA and real world) – look at Honda and Mazda.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I contend GM was in turmoil the entire decade leading up the its bankruptcy and was too disorganized to properly focus on turbo technology en masse. Chrysler sounds like it was in similar straits with Daimler but I don’t know enough about the infighting to tell you its why Chrysler did not go headlong into turbo. Ford although it came close to bankruptcy was not nearly as mismanaged as GM and possibly Chrysler, as far as I can tell (their financial issues the result of PAG). Ford in my view consciously chose the turbo direction for two reasons: their international operations and CAFE. Without CAFE the investment becomes less attractive because given the choice Americans do not want small cars or small motors. Your comment about turbo not being required to achieve class leasing fuel economy reiterates this point. Every Asian marque -save Toyota- is not beholden to CAFE in the US because they do not build gaz guzzling BOF trucks and SUVs, and the guzzling cars they do build are not sold in large quantities. The Detriot 3′s lifeblood is in the pickup truck and derivatives, thus they have to come up with ever creative ways to build product to keep them under the CAFE “cap” as it were, instead of building cars which Americans want and can stay fuel efficient in the real world. Their Asian competitors by and large do not have this issue and can essentially build the product of their choosing.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            “Ford in my view consciously chose the turbo direction for two reasons: their international operations and CAFE. ”

            I agree, but lets take the case of Mazda who have to comply with CAFE and have international operations and sell “world cars” which Ford is doing with the One Ford mantra.

            Mazda showed it was possible to meet CAFE, meet European customer requirements and all other global requirements without going the turbo route. They did the harder thing of re-engineering their entire cars (Skyactiv) instead of just plumping for 9 speed transmissions (Chrysler) or turbo charging (Ford). Another route was open but Ford chose turbo charging. Nothing to do with the current administration which is what the original poster was inferring.

            CAFE standards for trucks is different to CAFE standards for cars and I thought a manufacturer still had to meet the car CAFE standards irrespective of their SUV or truck standards.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            @Mike978

            But again, look at Mazda’s lineup. The CX-9 is their only large SUV, and they don’t sell many. And the new 6 is woefully underpowered for its size — down to 185HP from 272 for the 2013 V6 (and 220hp for the more reasonable 1st-gen 3L V6).

            Those are the tradeoffs they make for not going turbo.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I agree about the CX9. As for the Mazda 6 it is not underpowered compared to its direct competitors i.e. the base engined Accord or Camry. True it doesn`t have a V6 competitor (or Ford 2.0 turbo) but they made the decision to write off 20% of the market. Doesn`t invalidate it for the remaining 80%.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            @mike978 Since when is the 6 only supposed to be competitive with a base Accord or Camry? That makes no sense. If anything it’s historically been shopped by more premium/enthusiast buyers.

            Every other car in the 6′s segment — Camry, Accord, Altima, Fusion, 200, Malibu, Legacy, Jetta — offers either a V6 or a turbo 4 with horsepower in the mid-200s.

            The current model is almost the same weight as the first-gen (which I own, in 6s trim). I can’t imagine being happy with it minus 35hp.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            dtremit, you are mistaken about the 6. The 6i is priced competitively with those cars. It is comparably powered. They are its competition.

            The prior 6 weighed more than the current 6, and with the I4, it only had ~170 hp. That’s something to think about when you consider what’s underpowered.

            Very few midsize sedans are sold with V6s. That means that no, the high-power version is not the one that really matters. In the prior years’ 6, the V6 was only available as an option with the top trim, so don’t think it was a volume option. Also, since the vast majority of midsize cars are sold with ~35 hp less than your car, that’s clearly not a problem for the majority of buyers, so your preferences are not representative.

            The diesel was supposed to be the replacement for the V6 in the 6. When it finally launches, that will be the 6 s, and it will only be available in the top trim (just like prior years).

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            @redav Circular logic. The current 6 competes only with the base models of those cars *because* it isn’t powertrain competitive. The previous two generations of 6 competed at both the high and low end. By not releasing a full range of powertrains, Mazda has walked away from that (rather profitable) segment of the market. I think that’s rather unfortunate for a company that markets heavily to enthusiasts.

            Accord and Camry V6 sales have always been a pretty small percentage, because they’re only offered on fully optioned models. The mix has been much higher for domestics, though — people buy V6 models when they’re fairly priced. Either way, it’s a big enough segment that every other manufacturer sees profit in filling it — again, Mazda is the lone exception.

            As for weight, my comparison was between the current (third-gen) 6 to the first-gen (2003-2008) model. The third-gen 4cyl weighs 30lb more than the first-gen 4cyl sedan. I’ve rented both the first-gen and second-gen with 4 cylinder engines. They were both underpowered, in my opinion — took all the fun out of them.

            I wish Mazda luck with the diesel — if they ever get around to bringing it to the US. I think they’ll need it. My suspicion is that it’ll go the way of the 6 wagon and 6 hatch, both excellent cars Mazda couldn’t convince anyone here to want.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            dtremit – I agree it is odd that a company like Mazda with its sporty image doesn`t have a higher powered version of the 6. But as others have said for the 80% of people who buy an I4 midsize sedan the Mazda is price and feature competitive with those models. True it has no answer to the V6 Accord, but neither does it have an answer to the Honda Ridgeline, so.

            If it was a very profitable part of the mix then I would expect a higher powered model. I am interested to see what powers the CX9 since that is likely to be 250hp or greater and would provide an engine for both the Speed3 and a higher powered 6. Mazda has a limited R&D budget so they went for the biggest marker (I4) they could. Especially since that engine is also used in the CX5 and Mazda 3.

            Back to the point I was addressing at the start of this comment chain. Just because CAFE standards went up didn`t mean Ford had to go the turbo charging route (or Chinese engines are dismissively said in the original post). Ford chose that and didn`t go for the more thorough re-engineering required to get good fuel economy. Mazda did, so has Honda.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Mazda saw EPA numbers making one hundred plus horsepower weaklings. Most of their cars making one150 hp with even less torque. So much for Zoom-zoom.

  • avatar
    shaker

    “The Ecoboost engines are like the high school classmate who got infuriatingly good grades, but you always knew you were smarter than. They simply happened to be really good at standardized tests and repeating back information, even if their critical thinking and “streets smarts” were lacking.”

    That struck me as being the best literary summation of the tiny-turbo-in-big-car trend to date.

    I was seriously considering a Fusion, but chose a Malibu because the nicer trims of the Fusion netted the turbo (which I knew would get shitty mileage in my type of driving in hilly PA), and the reliability concerns of an overworked motor.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “So, these engines perform really well on the EPA fuel economy tests, but utterly fall apart in the real world. Driving them as one normally would means dipping into the boost of the turbo engine, and subsequently consuming lots of fuel”

    This is not new, and it’s not really that bad, but it’s an issue of expectations, namely that power isn’t free. You need fuel to generate it. If you don’t want to use lots of fuel, don’t request that the engine generate a lot of power.

    There is no free lunch, here*

    Turbocharging a small engine isn’t a bad thing: you get a car that doesn’t have to haul around a heavier engine block and gets better fuel economy when unstressed. When I had a Saab with a 210hp 2.0L turbo four, if I drove it unambitiously, it would return naturally-aspirated-2.0L-four-at-idle fuel economy numbers; if I drove it in such a way that I used V6-at-full-whack power, I’d get V6-at-full-whack fuel economy.

    It’s like cylinder-deactivation, over-eager torque-converter lockups or the 1-4 skip-shift in that sense.

    The issue is that it’s a lot harder to drive a modern, near-lag-free turbo in a fuel-efficient. It’s a lot harder to keep them off-boost. Rather like the way we have CVTs that “shift” and don’t peg revs, we have turbos that spin up very quickly because journalists and reviewers complained, even if it’s a less efficient overall design.

    I could, without much effort, keep my Saab off-boost, but I’d have to put up with lag. I personally didn’t mind, but the people who reviewed Saabs (and older Subarus, and blown Chryslers from the 1980s).

    * except, possibly, parallel hybrids. They manage and balance the inputs and behaviour of the whole powertrain such that you use the least resources for the most performance.

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      I truly wonder if the “problem” with these small, turbocharged motors is that the journalists who drive them are enthusiasts who keep putting their foot into it because it otherwise “accelerates too slow.”

      If you’re driving a car and trying to get good fuel economy, you should drive like there’s an egg behind the accelerator.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        That’s a good simile. The way I always think about it is, “Pretend you just got into the car, the gauge is at E, the low fuel light is on, and you don’t know how long it’s been that way. The closest gas station is ten miles away. Good luck.”

        I don’t hypermile much, but when I do, I treat the EPA mileage (18/22) like the high score to beat.

        • 0 avatar
          Silence

          That’s funny, because that’s how I learned how to drive economically. Not because I was green, but because I was a poor college student.

          My orange low fuel light stayed on so often that I could maintain a tan with it.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That’s me right now. And not just with gas–all my clothing as well. “I can get another week out of these boots,” I say, as I put overshoes on to keep the soles together.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        If you have to feather it then I would just as soon get a V6 or V8.

      • 0 avatar
        Nicholas Weaver

        Not necessarily.

        On a normally aspirated engine or a hybrid, the initial acceleration (aka, going like a bat outta hell when the light turns green) isn’t what kills you, what kills your mileage is not cruising at an even and reasonable speed on the highway, not putting it into top gear as soon as you are off the throttle, and not anticipating traffic in the city and just letting up on the throttle to do most of your slowing.

        As some other poster said, “the accelerator uses fuel. The brakes waste fuel”.

        E.g. I don’t think I’ve ever not exceeded my S2000′s EPA highway in top-up driving, and I’m usually beating it by 10%+. I’m not gentle on the right foot to get up to speed, but once up to speed its top-gear cruising at the 65-70 MPH of the rest of the traffic around me on my commute.

        It sounds like these small turbos are more sensitive, especially in cruising, to anything less-than-perfect driving. Which is why I think 1-pedal hybrids/electrics are really the way to go: its a lot harder to drive a 1-pedal hybrid wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          I agree. What hurts with hard acceleration isn’t pushing down the gas pedal but rather staying in lower gears longer. Faster upshifts save fuel. Also, not braking is where the real gains in efficiency lie. In the newer engines with better fuel cut-off management, coasting before turns & stops seem to make up to 20% difference in real-world mpg.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Top down on my Sky convertible lowners highway fuel economy about 1.5-2.0 mpg. Even with a tonneau cover my highway fuel economy was not as good as top up. And the Solstice/Sky have the aerodynamics of a Scion xB.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Really now how many cars do you have? I know there was a magical 99mpg Saab which was taken away by the Men in Black. Then I know there was an equally whimsical Verano, which I thought was replaced by a Sonic, er, Encore which at 88 miles per hour travels back to 1955 or some such. Now there’s a roadster?

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            Actually, your Verano Turbot would do well to get low 20′s mpg. C&D got 21, like Consumer Reports.

            C&D, with aggressive driving, averaged close to 30 overall in their LT manual Accord Sport, which is their gold standard for gold standards:
            http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-honda-accord-sport-24-long-term-update-review

          • 0 avatar
            afedaken

            Tonneau cover over what? Were you covering the passenger side or something?

            I can confirm Norm’s numbers though. I can manage 24 highway with the top up, maybe 21-22 down. City is best described as “Miserable, but better than the 12MPG the YJ gets me.”

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Driving with10 mph over the speed limit across country is not driving aggressively. The Verano at 29/30 highway for automatic/manual transmissions has seen 29 mpg by TTAC and Edmunds.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        >the journalists who drive them are enthusiasts who keep putting
        >their foot into it because it otherwise “accelerates too slow.”

        Yes, this. These engines are highly sensitive to driving style (in fairness, so is the naturally aspirated LS3 in my G8). They’re not like a K24 which gets the same mileage whether you baby it or put your foot in it. Journalists almost always get terrible mileage, and the worse an engine responds to an absurdly heavy foot the worse mileage they get.

        That can be compounded by CUV height, too. My turbocharged Forester gets 25 mpg at a steady 60 mph (one more than the EPA highway rating) but only 20 mpg at a steady 80 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        Demetri

        True if you’re driving automatic, but with a manual, use full throttle and shift as soon as possible (without lugging it) until you get to cruising speed. That may only be for NA though; with a turbo maybe you should use less throttle to stay off the boost, but that certainly sucks a lot of the fun out of driving efficiently.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        In some situations, NO! Every driver in Ohio seems to have a Grade-A XXX-Large egg under their right foot trying to enter a freeway full of 70+mph traffic, with ME the person at the end of the line who will get punted into next year if the oncoming idiot on the right lane shaving/reading/talking/texting/etc. isn’t paying attention enough to see that a full-ABS anchor-drop is mere moments away!!

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      This is a good point. I drove a lot of Ford platforms for 4 years straight. I was only track certified, not trained in these calibration test drives, but I could exceed EPA ratings on the 1.6L. The 2.0L (in the Escape) I struggled and hovered a few mpg’s lower on both highway and city driving. I could nail the 3.5L (both the Lima and Cleveland) EPA ratings. The 5.0L? I smoke EPA ratings all day long in it. It’s why it’s in my personal vehicle. My 4×4 F150 getting mixed driving economy that is only 1-2 mpg’s less than I would in a 2.0L Escape. For some reason, my foot is calibrated for this machine.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        I find that the V8′s fuel EPA highway fuelrating could be exceeded by about 20% and the I-4 ‘s could see close to 40%. Granted this is all highway mostly cruise controlled driving with a two way average or with a fuel tank fill up computed by hand.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        For me, it also really depends on the platform/engine combo. I can’t beat EPA to save my life on the 2.0T Escape but have no issue with the 2.0T in the Fusion, Focus ST, or Edge. I agree that the Coyote is the easiest Ford engine to beat EPA ratings, especially in the F150. The noise and fury of the 6.2L Boss makes that engine the most difficult for me to hit posted ratings. That is 100% my fault though.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I keep coming back to these same points when considering a turbo-four. Too many compromises and not enough return to justify them over a V6. At some point I will have to drive a four again with the V6 becoming ever more scarce in the types of cars I want to drive, but until then I will stick with the V6s as long as I can

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The problem as I see it is that this is the wave of the future and we, Americans, are having our choices of what we are allowed to drive, severely limited into gutless sardine cans and pregnant roller skates with tiny squirrel-engines to match.

        Disgusting!

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Are you sure?

          These gutless sardine cans are more comfortable, faster and safer than the Manly Man cars of a half-century ago, all while using less fuel and polluting less at WOT than something for 1962 would just sitting parked and not running.

          They might be a little less expansive inside, but when the top selling _car_ is the Ford F-150 even that’s in doubt.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            psar, I have no problem with the F150. In fact, the F250, the F250, will be the truck I will fall back on if Tundra no longer offers their magnificent 5.7-liter for my next Tundra (2015/2016).

            My automotive religion is based in the conviction that “There’s no replacement for displacement”.

            I got started rebuilding my dad’s 426 Hemi Dragster engines under his supervision, at the tender age of 12 years old. With those engines you rarely did anything WOT for fear of balding your tires prematurely.

            In his case it was Slicks that would be prematurely balding and he burned the equivalent of 30 gallons per mile of NitroMethane. So mpg was never a concern for me, growing up, or even today.

            I had serious doubts when buying my wife’s 2012 Grand Cherokee with a V6! Turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She only got one speeding ticket in all this time, going downhill on US70, west of White Sands Missile Range (90mph in a 65mph stretch — $367 for the Great State of New Mexico)

            I suppose there’s something to be said for tiny gutless engines with a blow job, but I also believe that a great many auto enthusiasts would prefer something potent with ego.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I have no problem with the cars themselves what we drive today is far superior then anything we drove 30 years ago. What I don’t understand is the push for the smaller engines which original were designed for better fuel economy, if they’re not achieving that goal why the push?

          • 0 avatar
            Silence

            Because they achieve that goal on paper, and that please CAFE regs.

            The only problem with this is that people don’t drive on paper.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Silence, I think you are right. It’s all about achieving government mandated CAFEs and keeping the government happy.

            Like Lie2me, I also think that even today’s American cars are better engineered than anything we drove 30 years ago.

            But I also believe that the V6, V8, V10 and V12 ICE should not be dropped in favor of these nervous little rice grinders.

            But if the US government has its way, we’d all be driving sardine cans on wheels and pregnant roller skates like the old Deux Chevaux of French notoriety.

            That’s where we’re headed; a turbocharged 2-cylinder, twin-opposed watercooled engine in America’s version of the Kei car.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        When it comes to merge or pass a V6 Beige mobile, you’ll the torque the turbo-4.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Hopefully they’ll start coming to their senses, realize not everything needs to be replaced with a turbo 4, and start offering a turbo 6 instead.

        Or you could forget about all that nonsense and just get a turbo V8. Coming from a NA V6, it’s a nice upgrade.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The Accord four ain’t too shabby and the CVT is the best of the bunch. As I told my dealer’s Service Manager last week, if Honda does axe the Accord V6 at some point, but does some sort of Hybrid arrangement which would give equivalent giddyup when I stomp on it, I’d be all over it! Couple compromises that the new Accord Hybrid makes which make it a deal-breaker as it sits:

        1. They need to figure out how to slim the battery down. The trunk space is cut by a third, and the rear seatback doesn’t drop!
        2. There’s some kind of NACA duct mounted in one of the foglight wells for cooling of some part of the hybrid system! Move the ACC radar behind the “H” on the hood, put that duct in its place, and add the foglights back!
        3. Punch out the 2.0 Atkinson four to 2.4 liters.

        Still and all, as the saying goes, “no replacement for displacement!”

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “… it’s an issue of expectations, namely that power isn’t free. You need fuel to generate it. If you don’t want to use lots of fuel, don’t request that the engine generate a lot of power.

      There is no free lunch, here*”

      This. A thousand times this.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      In my experience, I would add that turbocharging a smaller motor with its inherent less fuel consuming lower internal friction compared to a larger motor, AND enabling that smaller motor to generate power without revving it up, further reduces the internal frictional losses incurred at higher RPM’s.
      My old turbo was offered with the same motor turbo’ed (190hp)or non turbo’ed(135 hp), I would love to do a precise comparison of the identical cars making the same climb out of Denver on I-70 from 5200 feet elevation to the 11,000 foot peak, and see which one does better. I am betting my turbo, which does the whole route in top gear, would use less fuel than the NA version which certainly would have to drop to lower gears on the steep grades.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Derek, get the keys to that Fusion Energi that Winston was driving, it works very well.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    That’s pretty poor results for real world combined.
    “back in the day” I used to pull down 23 mpg with a turbo 3.1 V6 and would easily get between 22 and 24 in a 2000 T/A with an automatic, and that wasn’t highway driving.

    I typically get between 41 and 45 in my Cruze, but that is 95% highway doing 80mph. I did have a loaner Cruze with the 1.8 for 2 days and I couldn’t do any better than 34mpg even when I was trying.

    My gut feeling is that little turbo engines with automatics won’t do as well as little turbo engines with manual transmissions. It isn’t a happy combo.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The 1.8-liter engine in the Cruze LS is crap because you actually *have* to flog it in order to get anywhere. And, I’m curious, do you have the Cruze Eco?

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        Yes, Eco with the manual.

        I didn’t test drive any other configuration before purchasing, and that is a good thing because there is no way in hell I would have bought one if I had.

        The 1.8 wasn’t horrible, even at highway speeds the fuel economy wasn’t impressive, although in the big picture 30+ mpg isn’t really bad at all.

        I later test drove a LTZ with my (elderly) parents when they were looking. It was a short drive to say the least. They ended up with a Regal GS instead.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The big difference is that most automatics just will not let you use the turbo to best advantage. What you want to do is accelerate in a tall gear at low rpm using the turbo to boost the torque. But because an automatic that won’t downshift gets slammed as “unresponsive” when you try to do this they usually just downshift and your rpms spin up and fuel goes to waste. The only automatic I have driven recently that allowed this to a decent extent was a rental MB C250 in eco mode. It was BRILLIANT, pretty much drove the way I would drive a manual, and it got nearly 40mpg tootling around the Detroit burbs for a couple days. But I would bet that 99% of jounalists, and probably 50% of normal drivers would hate the way it drives in eco mode. Upshifts early and often, and it won’t downshift unless you absolutely floor it. Perfect for economy though.

      And ultimately, this is most of the reason why automatics do so well on the test these days, but in many cases a manual would beat them on the road. At least until you get to the crazy 9-10 speeders that have gears that don’t even get used until 80+.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Encore does this. Won’t go into 6th until about 41 mph in light throttle where I could shift into 6th under 40 MPH.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        The nice thing about a manual is that you can anticipate upshifting when approaching a downhill grade, and time your downshifts when approaching an uphill grade; both to keep either an NA or turbo motor in its most efficient operating range. Try the same with modern autoboxes, and they’ll hold the higher gear for too long when going uphill, then a gradual loss of velocity and a sudden downshift (sometimes even 2 gears in a six-speed) which sucks gas.
        Even a small hill that you can predict flummoxes an autobox, because it’s “blind”.
        Some high-end marque (I forget who – Jaguar?) is offering autos that use GPS info that has the grade info sent to the transmission to do exactly what a manual driver would do – it would be a godsend in hilly areas.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Not surprising. Toronto traffic is a mileage killer.

  • avatar
    Loki

    I’ve had very little trouble holding on to 27 mpg in my Focus ST in mixed driving (2.0L turbo, combined rating is 26). The big secret is to not constantly romp on the damn thing. Small turbo engines are akin to high-risk/high-reward. You CAN get good mileage, as long as you’re not constantly on boost. I think that’s what many, many dissatisfied turbo engine owners don’t understand, possibly because they’re used to flogging some naturally aspirated I4 most of their life.

    It might also be something physically wrong with the car. Under-inflated tires, gummed up engine, who knows. I ran a bottle of Isoheet through a tank of gas after ~10k miles on the clock and noticed a marked improvement in my mileage as well.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    21 MPG?!?! My wife get better in our MKT Ecoboost. Since we purchased the car in last year, it has averaged 21.8 MPG. That isn’t much better, but has almost has double the HP and Torque of the Fusion plus 2000 more lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Whenever I took the MkT across country, I’d average that same figure in mixed driving. Sometimes I would eek out 22-23 if I babied it on the highway. After driving one of those from Michigan to Nebraska, I fell in love with it.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I really liked the MkT up until we drove from the Detroit area to Traverse City/Suttons Bay and back last weekend. Now I love it too. It eats up freeway miles like no other vehicle I’ve ever driven. If I keep it at 75 MPH, it will get the 23 MPG you are talking about. That is sometimes difficult for me, but I’m working on it.

  • avatar
    EMedPA

    To paraphrase someone at Car and Driver, you can have Eco, or you can have Boost. You can’t have ‘em both at the same time, though. That said, my Escape (2.0T) returned about 28mpg on a trip from Albany to Boston. That’s one better than the EPA highway estimate, so I don’t feel like I can complain about that.

  • avatar
    Pantherlove

    I’ve averaged 30.5 over MPG over 24k miles with my 2014 Mazda6 in about 65/35 highway/city driving. I could definitely see getting 32 or 33 if I were easier on the go pedal. While its not boosted a lot of its power is available low in the rev range (a product of its high compression rate?).

  • avatar
    NN

    Thankfully, Ford offers the hybrid Fusion as well for those who really do care about real world fuel economy results.

    Small displacement and heavy weight don’t go together well, and turbocharging doesn’t fix the issue. I’ve got a 2010 Malibu 4cyl that has never come close to hitting it’s 33mpg hwy rating. The 169 horses are simply working too hard. Ford’s Ecoboost motors are similarly disappointing in the real world, and Hyundai doesn’t seem to be really doing much better. The Japanese manufacturers are having more success with achieving real world mpg improvements. Nissan’s CVT’s achieve excellent real world mpg results, and hopefully for them durability has improved. Mazda’s skyactiv gets good real world results, too, but I’d wager the real difference is in the weight of the vehicle–same goes for Honda and Toyota. Ford seems to be learning with their aluminum experiments, and the F-150 will likely have great real world gains after shedding those 700lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “Small displacement and heavy weight don’t go together well”

      Exactly, a stressed engine is a lose/lose in every application

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I don’t understand why people think that a small engine in steady-state cruising is in any way stressed. It takes very little horsepower to roll along at 75mph in an aerodynamic car. Whether you get that hp out of 1.5l, 2.0l, 3.0, or 5.0L is largely irrelevant. If you USE all the hp you have to get up to speed, your gas mileage is going to suck. Less weight would pay huge dividends of course, but since Americans want cheap cars that can survive an impact with an M1 tank, while being Rolls/Royce quiet, weight is the price you pay.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          ” If you USE all the hp you have to get up to speed…”

          That’s just it, with a smaller engine you’re always using “all the hp” to do a lot of things that a larger engine can do with less effort. Add a turbo and not only are you demanding everything it’s got you’re goosing it to get it. Over time this just can’t be good

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        I could still see 23.5 mpg in the the 2000 SAAB 9-5 towing a 3500 lbs car on top of a 500 lbs car dolly. Not bad for around 7500 lbs.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “So, these engines perform really well on the EPA fuel economy tests, but utterly fall apart in the real world.”

    …and the truth shall set you free!

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Lets see here. My Avenger has over 100hp more and gets better than 24 mixed according to my calculations even though I don’t baby the throttle. It looks like just about every car out there that size with similar power levels gets better mileage regardless of aspiration.

  • avatar
    redav

    This reminds me of discussions of hybrids ten years ago. People couldn’t figure out why they weren’t getting the advertised mpg figures. I know a couple car companies held clinics for new hybrid owners where they taught them to drive them properly, and their efficiency shot up by 20%-30%.

    As someone noted, to get such high numbers, the cars become more sensitive. In math terms, you could think of it as increase the mean, you also have to accept a larger variance. Keep control of the inputs, and yes, you will get those high numbers, but if you don’t, then you will miss them by much more than another car.

    Perhaps there’s another solution for these turbo’d engines. If it is too difficult to stay off of boost in normal driving, perhaps there should be a switch or mode that simply locks the blow-off valve open.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    The Ford Ecoboost motors are pretty much disappointments across the board regarding their real world mileage. Even the 3.5 liter V-6 Ford puts in its 1/2 ton truck sucks more fuel than a V-8 if you’re using it to tow at rated capacity.

    There seems to be a lot of art in the management of turbo engines for fuel economy. A conspicuous failure was the first generation Acura RDX, with a turbocharged 4. IIRC when the magazines tested it, they got some of the worst fuel economy numbers ever for that type of vehicle. And I know, from having driven one that achieving a normal take-off from a stoplight (keeping up with other traffic) the engine bogged down unless you used a little more throttle. Then the boost came on and you were accelerating too much.

    As some others noted in a different thread, say what you will about the Swedes, but the Saab folks had turbocharging down really well. My 9-5 with a 250 hp boosted 2.2 liter 4 did not bog starting off from a dead stop and really did achieve its EPA rated 31 mpg at 70 mph. It was a 5-speed automatic. I noticed a couple of things about the programming of the management system. One was that the car basically freewheeled at speeds below about 40 mph. The second was that upshifting was aggressive and the system favored lots of boost over lots of engine speed. The transmission had a “sport mode” that would allow the engine to redline before upshifting in full-throttle acceleration, delayed upshifting even in part throttle operation and tightened up the torque converter. I used that mode infrequently, but my guess is that there would have been a mileage penalty.

    • 0 avatar
      ant

      A while back I did a search in the acura forums for long term reliability of the RDX turbo chargers.

      Sure enough, there were threads of people needing new turbos around the 100k mark. Repair costs were in the thousands.

      I have no idea of what percentage of the RDX’s needed turbo replacements, but indeed, it is another thing to go wrong on a car as it ages.

      My dad had a 80-something New Yorker that had a turbo that crapped out at 80k way back when, and I’ve looked down my nose at the technology ever since.

      No thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Trouble that happens at 100k often reflects on the owner as much as the car. Did they use good synthetics and OEM filters? Did they stretch the change intervals?

        Not saying Honda didn’t f-up that particular implementation, but turbos in diesels last essentially forever, and they work a lot harder.

        • 0 avatar
          AMC_CJ

          Turbo’s do not last essentially forever in a diesel; I’ve replaced a few myself, and have seen many more come through the shop. Correct though, that they do work harder (good job!).

          It’s a mechanical part, it will go wrong, and when a turbo goes, it goes. There’s also the other bits and pieces that goes along with them; the wastegate, the CAC, the plumbing, oil lines, EGR coolers, etc. And then sometimes the damn thing just comes apart.

          Still, I love the feel of a turbo diesel. Such practical engines, kind of reminds me of the high-torque low HP big engines of yesteryear, with a little bit of a surprise surge on the top-end to make things fun.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The Acura RDX is on the short list of vehicles for my next daily driver. The big reason is Honda dropped the turbo-four for the V6 which produces 33 more hp and 3mpg better fuel economy

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The V8 vs EB .TT debate looks like a draw in the fuel economy when towing similar loads.

      http://www.f150forum.com/f82/ecoboost-towing-260121/

      If your in the hills no normally asiprated V8 can match the torque at higher elevations.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Cleanimpg saw EPA beating 11 + mpg F-150 3.5l Ecoboost with the bed full.

      http://m.green.autoblog.com/2011/05/12/ride-along-as-cleanmpg-teaches-us-how-to-hypermile-a-ford-f-150/

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Get ya’ a big 6 or a V8 while you can boys. Nothing in my fleet less than 3.7 liters right now and my choices top out at 4.7 V8. Smooth torque-y power rules.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Smaller turbocharged engines are pretty torquey. Witness the power curve of a modern turbo four versus a six: there’s more torque at a lower RPM. They’re pretty smooth, too, at least versus unbalanced older fours.

      Of course, that’s the problem: all that power (and the consumption it implies) is available right away.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      Dan, what happened to the Vibe?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Belongs to the wife. I don’t count it. Her insurance and her gas in the tank. :) Although I still take it out from time to time to keep my manual transmission skills polished.

        The funny thing is now that I went and bought a family wagon (Highlander V6 AWD) we went from driving the Vibe everywhere to (quoting my wife): “Can we take the big comfy car?” (Highlander)

        You know what she really wants (like every woman)? A big old full size SUV/CUV. She is smart enough to know she could not afford the care and feeding right now.

    • 0 avatar
      frozenman

      Words of wisdom Dan, if i replace our 09 Accord with another it will be either the v6/6spd auto combo (classic and soon to be rare), or the new hybrid for effortless torque on demand. Any and all turbo engines for for pedestrian use are not gonna happen with me, recreational use is another story (where is the hatch WRX?)

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Easy enough solution to this dilemma: color-coded boost light in the cluster. Yellow for off-boost, green for lightly spooling the turbo, and blaring red for whomping on the go pedal.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      That’s almost the exact setup that my uncle’s 1980 Buick Regal Turbo had.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        http://tinyurl.com/ke3hab7

        It’s the late 70s/early 80s again!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Lets see, Middle East crisis, absurdly high oil, stagflation, diplomatic disputes with the Soviet Union, incompetent presidential administration, it really kind of is late 70s/early 80s again. A nice hostage crisis will be the icing on the cake.

          • 0 avatar
            Boff

            Let’s see…Middle East crisis? Welcome to the last 69 years. Absurdly high oil? Still 20% below late 70′s levels in inflation-adjusted terms. Stagflation? That’s absurd…the economy is growing albeit at not a great pace, but inflation is close to nil. Diplomatic disputes with the Soviet Union? What Soviet Union? Incompetent presidential administration? Better than the last one. Apart from that…great post!

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    As others have said, turbocharging and decent fuel economy are not mutually exclusive. My 2001 Saab 9-5 Aero returned outstanding highway fuel economy, largely because with all the torque it could cruise at low rpm, and yet it was a very powerful car (for its era) that weighed 3,600 pounds. In the city it wasn’t terribly efficient, but it was still better than the Fusion described here, and I used to get about 27 mpg overall. The new BMW turbo models get decent mileage too, and deliver strong performance. I’ve therefore come to believe Ford’s fuel management technology simply isn’t exactly state of the art. This should improve as Ford gains experience in this area, so hopefully the next generation will be more efficient. And while they’re at it, how about a Fusion ST with a manual transmission!

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      Fusion SHO, what they should have made instead of the current Taurus SHO.

      Fusion SHO, TT 3.5, AWD, 6 speed manual or auto. That would have been the true successor to the original 89-95 SHO’s.

      Come on Ford, you have the parts to do it, just slap them all into the same car already

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I don’t think they want to shoehorn the 3.5TT into the Fusion. It hasn’t gone into anything smaller than the D-platfrom vehicles. I’d welcome is the smaller 2.7TT or even the 2.3T.

        At the time the current Taurus SHO came out, there was a Fusion Sport. I’m suprised this current Fusion hasn’t been giving an ST, SHO, or Sport version.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          Is the 3.5TT any larger (dimensionally) than the 3.7NA in the MKZ?

          The part of me that remembers the head gaskets on the 3.8 Essex V6 is a bit nervous about the two-piece block on the 2.7TT…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 3.5TT block isn’t any larger than the 3.7L. Its the same block with a different bore. All the plumbing for the turbos takes up room though. I’m sure they could make it work if they really wanted to.

            I will wait a year to get something with the 2.7L. I think the engine has promise, but it is Ford’s first all new V6 since 2016. I really would like a Fusion with this engine.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Keep in mind, beauty has a price: the Fusion weighs 200 lbs. more than Accord and Camry.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I don’t know the intricacies of building a world engine, but so far we’ve been pleased with the 1.8TSI that VW is now using. So I don’t know what Ford’s problem is.

    We’re currently seeing an average of 27.7 MPG (8.5 L/100 kms) in a 2014 Jetta with the 6 speed automatic over 4000 miles since new. That’s about 75% city driving on average. So it’s right in line with what the EPA numbers claim since it’s rated at 25/36 with the automatic. We had it on the highway the other day and the instantaneous readout was showing ~37 over about 100 miles. I won’t know the real numbers for that tank until it’s time to refuel though. But so far so good with it. It has plenty of torque, runs on 87 octane happily and the fuel economy is not bad.

    For diesels – VW’s current 2.0 litre TDI is great in terms of power, but not as good as the old ALH engines from the early 2000s in terms of fuel economy because of their need to regen every 600 miles. The 2015 cars will probably get better fuel economy since they’ll all be using urea, but my non-urea 2012 Jetta wagon gets about 39-43 for steady highway driving. If it’s all city, it’s about 30-35 depending on how much I speed or how cold it is.

    https://www.fuelly.com/driver/brettc

    • 0 avatar
      Wraith

      Was going to ask if TTAC had gotten a chance to drive the new 1.8T in either the Jetta (25/36), Passat (24/34), or Golf (est. 26/36).

      By the numbers, at least, it offers a bit more horsepower and torque than the rest of the compact segment, without the premium fuel requirement or fuel economy hit of more sporting models. Only other option that comes to mind is the Mazda3 2.5L.

      In the Passat, its mpg figures aren’t that impressive, but sounds like it’d still do better than the higher-rated Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “For diesels – VW’s current 2.0 litre TDI is great in terms of power, but not as good as the old ALH engines from the early 2000s in terms of fuel economy because of their need to regen every 600 miles. The 2015 cars will probably get better fuel economy since they’ll all be using urea, but my non-urea 2012 Jetta wagon gets about 39-43 for steady highway driving. If it’s all city, it’s about 30-35 depending on how much I speed or how cold it is.”

      I’m getting high 40s – low 50s hwy mpg with my 2012 Golf without really trying too hard. The regens don’t use that much fuel in the big picture, remember that ~50% more HP in the CR TDIs isn’t free. Plus a lot of people forget that 2008 EPA revisions effectively knock 4-5 mpg off the old ALH rating, so the actual difference isn’t that much.

  • avatar
    cammark

    Derek, just a small correction. All ’96-’00 model year USDM Civics have 1.6l not 1.5l engines. Small difference, but it counts.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      and i had one, a 98 CX. oddly enough, it felt less powerful than the 1.5 in my scion xA, maybe because of the VVTi? the toyota manual/engine combo is just better than the honda one, imo.

  • avatar

    “Especially when you are publicly forced to revise your own fuel economy estimates.”

    The numbers that were revised were for Hybrid models, not the eco-boost, so not a fair attack. As everyone should know, a turbo varies radically with driver input. I have several customers that always beat the mileage, and just as many that complain that they never get what the stickers say. The above comment that “power isn’t free” is very true, the nice feature with the eco-boost is that you have the power, and if you tap it you’ll pay for it, but if you drive like grandma you’ll get great economy!

    Also, just to clarify, they are designed to run on 87, but epa test are performed with higher rated fuel.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    The problem with the fusion is weight. Its 200lbs above the Camry/accord/mazzda6. If the fusion could shead the pounds it would be right up there with the 6 in mpg and performance.

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    “According to the EPA, the same Fusion gets 23 mpg in town and 36 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined…”

    So in other words, the Fusion’s “Planet EPA” numbers are in line with the real-world performance of a port-injected, naturally aspirated 2.5L inline four-cylinder Camry with a traditional six-speed. And a tick below the real-world performance of the newer direct-injection fours running good CVTs.

    A “bigger” naturally aspirated four is about the perfect North American powertrain.

    RegulatorycomplianceBoost just doesn’t have the same marketing panache, I guess.

  • avatar
    patman

    It may be possible to get better MPG out of the Ecoboost but to realize it you’d have to use such a light foot to stay out of boost and/or shift so early to keep the RPMs down that the rate of acceleration would be unbearably slow. The engine is too small versus the weight of the vehicle – it may be just the thing for gaming the EPA tests but it’s appears it doesn’t really work in the real world.

    For comparison, we get a minimum of 22 MPG mixed in our 3.5L V6 propelled Impala which weighs at least a couple hundred pounds more than the Fusion and it has a dumb old port injected, 2 valve pushrod motor (well, it does have variable cam timing) with a dumb old 4 speed slushbox (well, with a computer controlled, variable slip lockup converter).

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      I’d bet your Impala is lighter than the Fusion.

      • 0 avatar
        patman

        Ford has TBA for the 1.5L but 3333lbs for the 1.6L manual and from looking at the 2.5L it appears that the FWD auto weighs 100lbs more than the manual so we’ll call the 1.5l 3450 – I can’t imagine there’s too much difference between the 1.5l and 1.6l other than a little bore and stroke difference.

        The curb weight for a 2007 3.5l Impala list at 3555 so we’ll call it 100 lbs heavier than a Fusion.

        edit: I’m actually kind of surprised by how relatively light both these cars are – relative to 4000lbs+ sedans that is.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          The 1.5L is the 2.0L (4cyl) with a cylinder lopped off. The 1.6L is a small displacement 4 cylinder. The 1.5L should be a bit lighter all things considered.

          3400lbs is still a couple hundred pounds heavier than CamCords.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I think you have this engine family confused with the BMW junk in the latest Mini Coopers. The 1.5L Ecoboost is an I4 according to all sources I’ve seen.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Ford 1.5T and 1.6T are both 4 cylinder engines. The 1.5T will eventually replace the 1.6T because cars with engines that have displacement of 1.5L or less receive larger tax incentives in China. The 1.5L, unlike the 1.6L, was built to be turbocharged from the start. It also has a lot in common with the 1.0T 3 cylinder.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Both the 1.5 and 1.6 EB are both 4 cylinder engines. CamCords weight in very close to 3400 LBS with the most popular mid price trim levels.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My new Optima Hybrid is getting a real 34 mpg in town, 45 mpg highway.

    It’s rated at 36/40, and moves along just fine when it needs to.

    Derek: To answer your question “who drives at 60 mph anyway?”, the answer is “I do”. Driving the speed limit has become my new normal. You never have to worry about getting a ticket, you save fuel along the way, it’s easier on the equipment, it lowers your blood pressure, and you don’t save much time by speeding.

    I believe that speeding is the #1 reason people don’t hit the EPA numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “I believe that speeding is the #1 reason people don’t hit the EPA numbers.”

      I would disagree in the slightest. Instead, I suggest: *Rushing* is the #1 reason…

      Frantic accelerating & braking to tailgate, trying to cut one car ahead, getting to the red light sooner, as well as speeding all ruin efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      If you’re driving your LEAF, 60mph HWY is a fairly prudent speed, as range suffers more with aerodynamic losses and lack of regen.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The move by Ford to adopt the EcoBoost line of engines was a compromise decision.

    Ford decided against a push towards diesels particularly with their small displacement engines back in 2004.

    Ford decided that the consumer was interested as the entry price to get into a vehicle vs the cost over life of a vehicle.

    Also the US has some rather unfriendly technical barriers hindering the diesel from becoming more mainstream (might have something to do with Detroit and the energy industry lobbying DC).

    The EcoBoost is a good engine and is and was designed to meet emissions and FE targets around the globe.

    The down side to any gasoline engine is horsepower costs irrespective of how that horsepower is gained. The EcoBoost in particular the V6 Cyclone in the F 150 can be a real pig on fuel when under load.

    Even at low rpm to produce the wonderful torque the 3.5 EcoBoost has consumes more fuel than an equivalent diesel producing the same torque at the same rpms.

    So, when driving an EcoBoost drive it like a diesel and short shift, because once you start using the horsepower and rpm to move you will chew up fuel.

    I don’t think the 2.7 will fair much better than the 3.5 and it has no chance of 30mpg, even in an aluminium F-150.

    Forever and a day you will pay to have that great surge in your ass when you put your foot down on the accelerator.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The 2.7T has no chance to get 30 MPG, on the EPA highway cycle, in the F150, until the 10 speed transmission comes out. It should beat the 23 MPG on the 3.7L by 3 or 4 MPG. The 10 speed may have a chance to get it the rest of the way there. I agree that a smaller diesel engine would get to 30 MPG highway with the new truck and current transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I don’t know that Ford is necessarily betting on the 2.7 F-150 to get 30 MPG, just to beat the Ram EcoDiesel (at least at first). Even getting the same MPG, Ford could advertise that it costs less with, say, $3.60 gasoline vs. $3.90 diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      frozenman

      would be willing to bet that the value of used higher mileage vehicles with normally aspirated engines will be higher in the coming years.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Derek – the problem actually is with the Ford engines. They are just not very good. However, that is no reason to write off forced induction as a marketing exercise as other manufacturers like BMW have managed to produce both 4 and 6 cylinder forced induction engines that deliver both power and economy.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    I’ve put nearly 70k miles on my 2011 Kia Optima SX turbo since May 2013, and average 32-24MPG every tankful, even if it is mostly highway driving. The lowest I have seen was about 24 in a full tankful of city driving.,.,.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    21 MPG from a modern turbo engine with all the goodies?

    Wow, my ’95 Thunderbird with a 4.6 V8 gets like 18.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      And that’s with a 4 speed automatic. The modern turbo has the advantage of having 6 or more gears.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Exactly.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        If I had a six-speed and drove a bit more sedately, I could probably break 20 mpg easily.

        Of course, I’d rather upgrade to PI heads and intake than swap a transmission, so guess my MPG would go down instead of up. =P

        • 0 avatar
          patman

          I did PI cams and intake on my Mustang and the temptation to touch a now usable 6K RPMs is indeed too great and your mileage will go down. Theoretically a PI swap should improve mileage but then theoretically it should take more than 3 licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop too.

          With cars of today’s power numbers, the old 2V 4.6′s bark may be worse than its bite (honestly, it always was) but the sound of a mod motor at high RPM and WOT is still glorious.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @patman, agreed. I have a 2004 F150 Heritage with 4.6 V8. It is a good thing I didn’t get the manual trans version because I’d be reving it way up just to hear it.

          • 0 avatar
            01 ZX3

            Love the sound of my ’96 GT. Definitely way more bark than bite though.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I’ve got true dual exhaust (from the headers back) and my T-Bird sounds AWESOME. Definitely could use some more bite though, especially since I turn on the AC (as you do when it’s 90 degrees in the middle of June) and the engine feels like it’s dying.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @NoGoYo

      In Toronto traffic? Driven by an enthusiastic 20-something? I very much doubt it.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I’ve rented all 3 US versions of the Fusion – the 2.5, the 1.6t, and the 2.0t. I got roughly equivalent mileage from the 2.5 and the 1.6, although that involved a lot of high speed driving (80 mph+), and the cars mileage seems to drop precipitously at that speed. Based on what I saw on brief slow speed cruises, 35ish mpg is possible at 55-60 mph with the 1.6. The 1.6 is worth buying, but I’d say due to its noticeable torque improvement, more rev happy nature, and sportier sound compared to the relatively utilitarian 2.5. Otherwise, if that’s not your priorty, save your $ and buy the nearly as efficient, less $ to buy, and inevitably more durable over the long run 2.5. The brilliant wonderful chassis is still there. I have had some good luck with turbo direct injection engines – I had a Jetta with the new 1.8t engine and the mileage was better than the epa numbers and the engine was a honey – smooth, rev happy, and an overachiever in its power.

  • avatar
    joneill1955

    I suspect Mr. Kreindler has a leadfoot. Reviewer for TTAC’s sister publication, AutoGuide, averaged 28 MPG with same engine/transmission. http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/ford/2014-ford-fusion-se-review-3894.html

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s silly trying to make up for lost displacement with increased complexity, moving parts and added systems. And with a loss of reliability and longevity, just so you can end up with increased maintenance and even worse fuel economy than you started out with. More like stup!d actually.

  • avatar
    Short Bus

    Geez, my seven year old, 96k mile V-6 Camry gets better fuel economy. This can’t be the best they can do.

  • avatar
    arthurk45

    I discovered long ago that if you want a good estimate of (comparative) mileage, pay attention to vehicle weight, not engine size, not number of gears, not combustion technology (all engines are clean burning and attain very similar efficiencies). Driving cycles being equal, it’s a matter of moving a certain weight a certain distance, and that mostly means a certain amount of energy required,and that means a certain amount of fuel required, and that equals MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      For city driving, that’s pretty good. But then again, I think the EPA city rating is a better measurement than the hwy figure.

      I once started a project of plotting all the cars sold in the US to show weight v. efficiency to get the overall relationship between the two. What I found in my non-comprehensive work was that 1) there is absolutely a relationship, and 2) some cars truly do better than that relationship.

  • avatar
    Fred

    What I’ve seen is that the EPA ratings, the cars computer, what people “say” and actual milage are four different things. Using any of that data in a random manner to justify engine design is rather pointless, especially considering our personal agendas.

  • avatar

    I rented a Jetta a couple of weeks ago. It returned 31.8 mpg, which is not too hot, but better than Derek’s claims for Fusion. Acceleration was pathetic.

    Interestingly enough, for all of my cars I was matching or beating EPA numbers. My Jeep Wrangler with the pre-historic 3.8L v6 returns about 19 mpg in winter, 21 in summer. The EPA combined number is 17, city 15, highway 19. I was always suspicious of the blah blah blah EPA numbers suck talk.

    It’s possible that the turbo era changes all that. But equally likely is that Derek draws far-reaching conclusions from very little data. Maybe his rental Fusion was terminally broken.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    My 2013 Impala LT with a 3.6 DI 300 HP V6 and 3571 LBS of curb weight easily gets 21 MPG in all around town driving, 24-25 combined and well over 30 on the open road going 72-74 MPH. That and it’s a sleeper. Rental 2013 Fusion 2.5/automatic saw 21-22 in the same city driving and 33 on the open road so not much better than my 3.6. Recent 1.5 rental just as this car saw 20.5-21 around town and 31 on the open road going 72-74 MPH or about the same as my 300 HP Impala! Another rental was a 2013 Sonata 2.4/auto and it saw 24 around town and 34 on the open road going those same speeds. I’m very curious how the new 2015 Sonata does considering it’s new 37 highway rating.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    I am averaging about 19.3 mpg in my 2014 Wrangler Unlimited 6MT in mixed driving. And this is with the 32″ BFG KM mud tires that came stock plus brick level aerodynamics. I cant fathom only getting 21mpg in that Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I’m jealous. The best I’ve ever managed out of my ’06 Rubicon Unlimited 6MT on 33″ tires was 17mpg on the highway. When I drive it to work on a nice day, I get 15mpg at best. At least you have a curved windshield and a grille that is slightly leaned back. Mine really is a brick!

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “I am averaging about 19.3 mpg in my 2014 Wrangler Unlimited 6MT in mixed driving.”

      Yep, my sister does about that in her ’09 Sahara, and approaches 24 hwy (aftermarket intake, otherwise bone stock).

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “But who drives 60 mph on the highway, let alone in the Fiesta ST.”

    I usually do 60-63 on the highway … in my F250.

    Otherwise, not so much.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Yes, that is awful mileage on the Fusion.

    I have an 08 Legacy GT with 5 speed auto, a well-known gas pig. EPA revised ratings from their site today are 18/20/24. Curb weight 3515 lbs. 2.5 liter 243 hp turbo. Have kept gas mileage records since day one.

    Yesterday and today made a highway run to and from my old home town, just set the cruise at 118 km/hour 73mph and 2500rpm) and wait to get there. Results same as always. 8.0 l/100 klicks, a bit better than 29 mpg US. Went down in ECO (Intelligent), back in Sport (Normal) No difference. Bursts to 90 mph, which is a brief burst of the go-pedal to assure the people I caught up that yes, I do not expect you to speed up when I catch you on cruise. Most of journey is limited access two lane.

    Lifetime average though is 21mpg, including idling every winter morning to warm up because I’m a wuss. So, considering I always nail the old beast, and I wouldn’t even notice a 1.5t Fusion “trying” to accelerate, and yet my car gets better mileage with a low 8.5 CR and port fuel injection plus only 5 speeds, I’d have to say Ecoboost is a bit of an abject failure if it can’t beat a Subaru turbo gas hog.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I once sampled that exact configuration for the Legacy and couldn’t crack 20 MPG. But at least it’s a fun gas hog. And I like the stealthy styling of that Legacy generation far better than the two that have followed it.

  • avatar
    Discoman

    Turbos have come a long way, but there is still a major problem: low end torque. I have driven a turbo 4 for 6 years and recently replaced my ride with a 6 cylinder with comparable HP and torque. I am more satisfied with the way my new car performs–not because it is new, but because I don’t have to move my foot down as much to get the same results. I’m sure my mileage would suffer if I mashed my foot to the floor the way I used too. I actually get better MPG now than I did with the turbo, because I am not “asking” as much from the engine in revs to get the power.

    So, if the Ecoboosts are driven like larger engines with more cylinders (ie a lighter foot), the projected fuel economy may be achieved. In real driving application with turbos, I just don’t see this happening.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If Ford did not want consumers to have a desire for their V8s then maybe they should stop making their V8s so awesome.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    All hail natural aspiration! I’m still totally in love with the 3.5L V6 in my ’08 MKZ, and since the car has been dead reliable, I intend to keep it going for a good long time. IF I was in the market for a new MKZ, it would be with the 3.7L all the way.

    Just bought a 2014 F150, with my wife being the primary driver. I test drove both the 3.5L Ecoboost and the 5.0L V8, and found the V8 smoother in operation, and also had a much better sound. My wife is a bit of a lead foot, and knowing that turbo motors suffer with such habits, it was an easy decision to buy the 5.0L.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    So it gets worse mileage than a 3.7 Mkz. This makes no sense at all.

  • avatar

    how could you get such pathetic mileage with that wee mill? i thrash my ’13 focus st (cuz it’s so much fun) and have a current score of 25mpg. its computer could be lying, but given the frequency of refills, i don’t think so.

  • avatar
    Thill

    I am averaging 24mpg combined (hand computed, the computer says 26mpg) in a 2015 WRX 6MT with very spirited driving..

    Something seems off with this car…

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    so I just finished the first of two days with a VW Passat with the new 1.8t engine. Needless to say, turbocharging and direct injection can do more than just ace EPA tests. Maybe its the Le Mans winning (Audi R8) roots of VWs development of the technology, or just their near decade plus perfecting it, but they’ve got some black magic at work. The Passat is easily hitting its 24 mpg city number (I got 33 in some city/suburban driving). On the highway, at 60-65, it turns in a hybrid rivaling mid 40s, speed it up to 70 and that drops to low 40s, and at 75 it’s still showed a Fusion-humiliating high 30s, despite having a lower EPA highway rating of 34 mpg. My average for my round trip Orlando-Jax-Orlando drive was 38 mpg, whereas the Fusion 1.6 average around 32 or 33 for the same trip.


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