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Ford Focus Gas Mileage: 2000 – 2013

The compact Ford Focus was introduced to America in 2001 and underwent a restyling in the 2008 and 2012 model years. The domestic 2013 Ford Focus is powered by a 2.0 liter inline four cylinder gasoline engine that produces 160 horsepower (a 20 HP bump over the previous model). The Focus SFE is the most fuel-efficient model in the 2013 line up, achieving gas mileage ratings of 28 city and 40 highway miles per gallon, as it benefits from improved aerodynamics and low-rolling-resistance tires. The Focus Electric first appeared in 2012 (albeit in limited quantities) and the performance oriented Focus ST was added in the 2013 model year.

2012 Ford Focus SE SFE Sedan with aerodynamic wheel covers.

We spent a week test driving a 2012 Ford Focus and were extremely impressed. Check out our Ford Focus review:


How to get more MPGs in the Focus

The fuel efficiency of an older Focus may be incrementally improved through the careful choice of components in routine maintenance. When it’s time to replace the tires, consider a set of high-quality low-rolling resistance tires (. There are a wide range of choices, including the Continental ContiProContact, Pirelli P6 Four Seasons Plus, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max, and Bridgestone Ecopia. When it’s time to replace the fluids (oil, transmission, differential), consider using synthetic fluids from Royal Purple, Red Line, Castrol, or Valvoline. It’s always a good idea to check with your mechanic and the Focus owners forums to see which brands are recommended.


Driving style and technique have a huge bearing on gas mileage. In order to get the most out of every gallon in an older Focus, consider adding an aftermarket Instant MPG gauge. Units like the ScanGaugeE and AutoMeter EcoMeter cost less than $100 and can be installed in ten minutes or so. These gauges provide the feedback you need to become an informed light-footed driver.

Typical maintenance issues that can cause poor mileage in the Focus include bad oxygen sensors (02), clogged fuel injectors, bad alignment, dragging brakes, and low tire pressure. Plastic shrouds and bits hanging below the undercarriage can have an effect on highway mileage due to increased aerodynamic drag.

Ford Focus Gas Mileage – 2000-2013

Year Manf. Model Engine Disp. Trans. City Hwy. Comb. Fuel
2013 Ford Focus SFE FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM6) 28 40 33 FlexFuel
2013 Ford Focus FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM6) 27 38 31 FlexFuel
2013 Ford Focus FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto (S6) 27 38 31 FlexFuel
2013 Ford Focus FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 26 36 30 FlexFuel
2013 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM6) 27 38 31 Regular
2013 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto (S6) 27 38 31 Regular
2013 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 26 36 30 Regular
2013 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 6-spd 23 32 26 Regular
2013 Ford Focus Electric - cyl. EV Auto (A1) 110 99 105 Electricity
2012 Ford Focus SFE FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM6) 28 40 33 FlexFuel
2012 Ford Focus SFE FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM6) 28 40 33 Regular
2012 Ford Focus FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 26 36 30 FlexFuel
2012 Ford Focus FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM6) 28 38 31 FlexFuel
2012 Ford Focus FWD FFV 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM-S6) 28 38 31 FlexFuel
2012 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM6) 28 38 31 Regular
2012 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto(AM-S6) 27 37 31 Regular
2012 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 26 36 30 Regular
2012 Ford Focus BEV FWD EV - liter Auto (CVT) 110 99 105 Electricity
2011 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 25 34 28 Regular
2011 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 25 35 29 Regular
2010 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 24 34 28 Regular
2010 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 35 28 Regular
2009 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 35 28 Regular
2009 Ford Focus FWD 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 24 33 27 Regular
2008 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 24 33 28 Regular
2008 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 35 28 Regular
2007 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 31 26 Regular
2007 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 33 27 Regular
2007 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Manual 5-spd 20 29 23 Regular
2007 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 31 26 Regular
2007 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 33 27 Regular
2006 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 29 25 Regular
2006 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 23 31 26 Regular
2006 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Manual 5-spd 20 28 23 Regular
2006 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 29 25 Regular
2006 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 23 31 26 Regular
2005 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 29 25 Regular
2005 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 32 26 Regular
2005 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Manual 5-spd 20 28 23 Regular
2005 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 29 25 Regular
2005 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 32 26 Regular
2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Auto 4-spd 21 28 24 Regular
2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 28 24 Regular
2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 23 32 26 Regular
2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2004 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Auto 4-spd 21 28 24 Regular
2004 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2004 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 30 25 Regular
2004 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 28 24 Regular
2004 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 32 27 Regular
2004 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2004 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 6-spd 18 26 21 Premium
2003 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Auto 4-spd 21 27 23 Regular
2003 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2003 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 24 30 26 Regular
2003 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 28 24 Regular
2003 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 32 27 Regular
2003 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 29 24 Regular
2003 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Auto 4-spd 21 27 23 Regular
2003 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2.3 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2003 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 24 30 26 Regular
2003 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 28 24 Regular
2003 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 32 27 Regular
2003 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 29 24 Regular
2003 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 6-spd 18 23 20 Regular
2002 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 29 25 Regular
2002 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 29 25 Regular
2002 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 25 32 28 Regular
2002 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 31 25 Regular
2002 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 29 25 Regular
2002 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 29 25 Regular
2002 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 6-spd 18 23 20 Premium
2002 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 25 32 28 Regular
2002 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 31 25 Regular
2001 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2001 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 29 24 Regular
2001 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 25 32 28 Regular
2001 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2001 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2001 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 29 24 Regular
2001 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 25 32 28 Regular
2001 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 30 25 Regular
2000 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 30 26 Regular
2000 Ford Focus Station Wagon 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 29 25 Regular
2000 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 23 30 26 Regular
2000 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Auto 4-spd 22 28 24 Regular
2000 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 24 32 27 Regular
2000 Ford Focus 4 cyl. 2 liter Manual 5-spd 22 31 25 Regular

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58 comments ↓

#1 Observer on 11.14.07 at 2:10 am

Diesel engines always get better mileage than gasoline counterparts. The problem has to do with the sales of diesel powered cars in the states. The Audi A2 gets 78mpg – http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9803EED7173CF934A15756C0A9679C8B63&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

This does kind of divert away from the real problem which is dependence on fossil fuels in general. Both Toyota and Chevy will be coming out with plug-in hybrids next year which will mean upwards of 400mpg for people who only drive 40-50 miles a day.

#2 Perkoff on 11.14.07 at 2:11 am

This is BS, they should have laws that force the auto makers to make the cars get at least 100 MPG.

#3 Jake on 11.14.07 at 2:13 am

Ford should go hydro along with the rest of our energy… Someday.

#4 Fuel meiser on 11.14.07 at 2:18 am

Until very recently, diesel passenger cars were not 50 state legal due to excess emissions (pollution). Comparing to European diesels is apples and oranges.

And also, 90%+ of Americans would not accept a dog slow car powered by an 1.6L engine. I use an instantaneous mileage gauge (scangauge II), and know I can get much better mileage if I accelerate gradually on the highway. Most people honk at me for getting on the freeway too slowly if I do that.

We Americans want a big, powerful car. And so far cheap gas let us enjoy this luxury. Good luck convincing them it’s not good for them.

#5 ChickenMcTest on 11.14.07 at 2:19 am

It is my understanding that even though the diesel powered cars get MUCH better fuel efficiency they pollute more the gas powered vehicles. So… whatever

Also wtf the station wagon version gets better milage than the hatchback? How is that

#6 the truth on 11.14.07 at 2:24 am

People in America care much more about power. In order to be competitive in American markets, ford must release cars that sacrifice mpg for mph.

#7 yessuz on 11.14.07 at 2:29 am

well, you shouldn’t compare Diesel with Gasoline engine…

It’s not comparable, since Diesel Engines, especially all the tdi’s, tdci etc, use much less petrol to drive the same distance. But maintenance costs are much higher for diesel, as well as the starting price.

#8 topgearenthusiast on 11.14.07 at 2:44 am

you forgot to mention that tougher emissions standards in states like california have prevented turbo diesels from being sold in america as they expel more polutants in their exhaust. Recent TDIs have done better and are close to their gas counterparts so who knows, maybe soon we will see that diesel focus here.

#9 MAllen on 11.14.07 at 2:48 am

1) Diesel have never done well in the US

2) Lack of uniform worldwide testing

For instance, US government testing is based on 47mph
on the highway. If you truely drove like that you would be
pushed into a ditch.

#10 Bob Tulloch on 11.14.07 at 2:49 am

Nice piece of research. I am sure you took into account that British gallons are larger than US ones, i.e. 8 pints per gallon, British pint = 20 fluid ounces, US pint = 16 fluid ounces.

#11 Robert on 11.14.07 at 3:01 am

But the usa is hardly set up for diesel cars. In Europe, diesel is available at every fuel station, so it is practical to own a diesel car. And both diesel and petrol are a different fuel than the diesel and gas sold in north america.

I’m driving a uk focus as a hire car right now. I love the Euro styling… muuuuuuuuch more attractive than the butt-ugly us version. Blech. The interior is the same though. The 5-speed manual tranny is very slick.

#12 amazed on 11.14.07 at 3:40 am

uh…you’re comparing apples to oranges. Its a 2.0 petrol engine vs a 1.6 diesel engine; diesels usually always have a higher MPG than petrol engines. Thanks for the info, captain obvious.

#13 Jeff on 11.14.07 at 4:04 am

I just rented a Ford Focus in New Zealand, and I got about 30 mpg…

#14 Andrew on 11.14.07 at 4:11 am

uhhh u’re comparing a diesel to a gasoline engine…… the diesel’s almost always gonna have better mileage on any car. and especially a smaller capacity diesel at that.
and british mpgs are different from american mpg? i thought we both use the same miles and gallons

#15 Rich on 11.14.07 at 4:19 am

I don’t get this “people in the US care more about power” thing. I’ve got a UK Ford Mondeo with a 2.0 Liter Petrol engine. It tops out at around 135 MPH, kicks out around 130 BHP and I easily get 35+ MPG.

#16 xico on 11.14.07 at 4:27 am

Diesel engines burn as much as 30 percent less fuel than gasoline engines of comparable size, AND THEY EMIT FAR LESS CARBON DIOXIDE AND OTHER GREENHOUSE GASES, which have been implicated in global warming.
And they have more power availability at low (normal) motor rotation than gasoline counterparts.

#17 Mark on 11.14.07 at 4:46 am

VW seems to be doing pretty well with diesel, why not release the car in the US and let buyers decide?

#18 Alex on 11.14.07 at 5:13 am

Shame that this has brought out the apologists.

You can, of course, get a petrol Duratec Focus in Europe. The worst consumption is 37MPG on a combined cycle, with the 1.6 auto, the 2.0 gets ~50. That’s still 30 MPG and 40MPG in US gallons.

Not sure about the comments about Americans needing powerful cars. Europe has higher speed limits, both posted and recorded.

#19 steve d. on 11.14.07 at 5:17 am

@ fuelmeiser:

“And also, 90%+ of Americans would not accept a dog slow car powered by an 1.6L engine.”

have you driven a turbodiesel lately? they are anything but dog slow. i moved to europe from the states in 2002 and everytime i drive a small car here it boggles my mind how much better they are than back home.

6-speed focus turbodiesel; top speed 126mph, 0-60 9.3 seconds, with that crazy mpg.

you should come out here and rent a focus for a spin on the autobahn or in the alps. the package you get makes the US-spec look like a bad joke.

#20 ja9ae on 11.14.07 at 5:53 am

Leaving out the diesel comparison if you look at Ford UK’s website and compare 2-litre petrol models the Euro Focus is still doing better comparing highway MPGs.

US 2.0: Power 140hp / 35MPG
UK 2.0: Power 145ps (143hp) / 52MPG (43MPG US)

What gives eh Ford?

Don’t see the 225ps (220hp) ST model on the US site – is it available in the US?

#21 A3 driver on 11.14.07 at 6:09 am

I’m driving a Audi A3 S-Line 2.0 140 hp diesel (320 NM torque) with the S-tronic (DSG “flappy paddle”) auto transmission, 0-60 in 9.0 and this car beats almost any normal cars hands down in acceleration and has lower emissions than it’s gasoline versions.
Now I’m in Europe, but if you can I suggest you try out any VW/Audi Turbo charged diesels – they have lots of power, and are easy to chiptune (when the factory warranty runs out…)

#22 grcore on 11.14.07 at 6:20 am

It is not just the difference between diesel and gasoline powered engines. Even gasoline powered engines get better mileage in EU.

Last time I was there I looked under the hood, and suprisingly, I saw the engine. Whereas in the US, all you see are a multitude of cables and hoses typically for emissions control.

And when driving that little 1.4L car around I was suprised by the amount of power it had for such a small engine. But compare the octane rating of the fuel between there and the US, and you will see a bug difference.

Sure, remove a lot of the emission controls and put 97 octane fuel in there, and it is going to get better MPG.

#23 Nacelle on 11.14.07 at 7:12 am

The problem with selling diesel engines in the US is the cold winters. After the car ages, it’s too hard to get them started. It’s hard enough to get a gas engine started. And diesel fuel gels up easier in artic weather. There’s nothing like getting down the road a few mile to have the engine stop because the fuel gelled up.

#24 Fooker on 11.14.07 at 7:20 am

This is BS. They should make a law that we have to use dilithium crystals by Christmas time! We should all switch to dilithium. Thats what Spock uses.

#25 chris key on 11.14.07 at 7:28 am

How can TDis be too polluted for the US when most grannies are driving 4.2L V8s?

The problem is fuel is cheap in the US, so they don’t have to worry about how much they’re using. In the UK we’re now at £1 per litre = $2 per litre = $9 per UK gallon.

Economy is far more important than speed at those prices!

#26 Teth on 11.14.07 at 7:39 am

Despite what alot of current media will tell you pollution is not just about “Greenhouse Gasses”. There are many other gases in the exhaust from an engine that don’t contribute to global warming but are poisonous to humans, animals and plants. The microscopic soot produced by diesel burning cars for example is very bad for your lungs and can lead to numerous respiratory conditions and lung cancer. Its why cyclists commuting regularly in european cities can often be seen wearing filters to breath through.

There are pros and cons to everything. Diesel isn’t a perfect answer neither is electric cars, at some point that electricity had to be generated and currently that means it was most likely generated from fossil fuels in a local power plant.

#27 Bob on 11.14.07 at 8:02 am

First off, we’re comparing diesel to gasoline. Two totally different engines. You might as well start complaining about why a gas powered car gets worse mileage than a hybrid. Diesel is not popular in America because, up until VERY recently 99% of diesels sold could not meet America’s EPA emissions requirements. Because of this very few gas stations even sell diesel. This makes it even harder for the now, mostly EPA legal diesel engines in Europe to come to America. I think diesels are great! I would take the gobs of low-end torque supplied by these relatively small engines over the gasoline counterparts any day. However, it just doesn’t make sense in the US at this time.

A second thing to consider, each country makes their own standards for determining MPG ratings. The procedures used by EDM, JDM and USDM are different. The same exact car, with the same exact engine using the same exact fuel will produce different MPG ratings in each market. Recently, as in a few months ago the EPA is starting to use a new system for determining MPG which will reflect lower MPG ratings in the US.

#28 A3 driver on 11.14.07 at 8:03 am

In Norway 95 octane is available for the petrol engines, and 98 octane is still alive but not many cars use it, why bother when cars made for EU all can run on 95.

As for Diesel Vs Petrol emissions, here in Norway the cartaxes are setup to severely punish the purchase of a car with high CO2 emissions.

So, I can buy a car with a High-power Diesel engine (with a Diesel Particulate exhaust Filter) that has much higher MPG, lover CO2 emissions, and is cheaper than it’s petrol counterpart.

#29 A3 driver on 11.14.07 at 8:09 am

BTW: VW/Audi TDI’s survive the winter here in Norway just fine, and in the winter -30 degrees celcius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit)is nothing uncommon – no kidding.

The gas stations adds something in the diesel to prevent it from “geling up” when the temperatures drops.

#30 Ryan on 11.14.07 at 8:24 am

NY also does not currently allow diesel passenger cars to be sold new at a dealership. It’s terrible to find a decent used TDi in the state. I am told that a new catalytic converter made by Corning could change the output enough to change the law.

I drive a Fusion with the I4 engine and the 5-speed manual and I average 32mpg in the summer. I was going to buy the much smaller Focus, but 3mpg? That’s not big enough to sacrifice the space. By the way I hit a deer head-on recently with the Fusion at 75mph – the car held up amazingly well. In fact, so good that I’m going to get another one when the insurance money finally gets to me.

#31 hubbers on 11.14.07 at 8:25 am

The American consumers have a role to play in this. If they boycott low mileage cars then they won’t be made any more.

#32 Russ on 11.14.07 at 8:53 am

Another thing this doesn’t take into account is that the Euro Focus is a considerably bigger, heavier car than the (fugly) US model (which is still based on the older Focus Mk1 mechanicals), and it still gets better MPG. The Ford Duratorq TDCi engines are plenty powerful, have way more torque than their gas/petrol equivalents (in other words, they’re much quicker away from the lights), have lower CO2 emissions (but slightly higher NOx emissions) and have no reported cold weather reliability problems. The Top Gear boys took a diesel Toyota Hilux (Tacoma in the US) to the North Pole, and that makes a northern America winter look like a summer break in the Bahamas!

#33 Michael O'Brien on 11.14.07 at 8:58 am

To be fair to the American guys here, yer all completely misinformed about diesels; Modern Volkwagen Audi Group Diesels are about the most efficient diesels you can get on the market. With new Co2 Regs comming out in europe VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group) will achive targets ahead of schedule.

The Mercedes UniMogs in the North and South Polls both run on.. oh yeh Diesel! So cold really isnt an issue.

all you need to do is goto http://www.tdiclub.com and look at the amount of American owners there of VW & Audi TDi’s. They give real accounts of millage, power and Efficiency.

#34 Hubris on 11.14.07 at 9:11 am

VW hasn’t offered the TDI in North America for a couple years now, because the available diesel fuel was of poorer quality than what is in Europe. With better gas mandated for 08 they will return – but today you can go days or weeks at a time in North America and never see a diesel-powered vehicle that isn’t a truck.

#35 DieselDriver on 11.14.07 at 9:24 am

I own a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDi. I get an average of 45 mpg in combined city/highway driving from the 1.9l diesel motor, and I have seen as high as 51 mpg on road trips. In the summer, I use 100% biodiesel, and in the winter I run #1 diesel just like all the truckers. I have not had any problems with the car gelling up during the winter, here in Minnesota.

A similarly sized diesel engine produces less pollution than a gasoline powered counterpart, due to the higher thermal efficiency. I get about 30-40% more efficiency from my diesel because less of the energy is wasted as heat. In the winter, I have to run the seat heaters because the engine does not make enough heat to warm the cabin.

As to pollution, the new low sulfur diesel has made particulate emissions from diesels much better than they used to be. With biodiesel, I have no particulate emissions, and since the CO2 that I am putting into the atmosphere was reclaimed by the soybeans that my fuel came from, my car creates 78% less CO2 than a Prius!

I think many will agree that the difficulty with finding diesel powered cars in the US has more to do with GM’s behavior during the late 70s and early 80s and the oil crisis. They made diesel powered cars based on their gasoline powered 350 and it was awful. The reliability problems left a sour taste in America’s mouth for diesel. Until that time other overseas manufacturers offered diesel powered cars but found that they could no longer sell them to Americans. In fact Mercedes diesel sedans outsold it’s gasoline counterparts in the US by 75% until the 80s.

It should also be noted that VW has consistently offered a diesel powered options all through tht 70s, 80s, and 90s. This should indicate that it wasn’t emissions regulations that kept diesel out the Amercian marketplace, but more likely the fickle American consumer.

#36 Mark B on 11.14.07 at 9:30 am

So we don’t have any confusion between different size gallons lets use the liters measument for compairison (keeping in mind they are not the same car).

The European Focus 2.0 liter gets 9.8 liters per 100km or 5.4 Hwy

The American one is rated at 9.8 city and 6.72 hwy using 2008 EPA numbers. So it would have been a few MPG higher using the old EPA numbers.

Does anyone have a good idea of how the testing methods differ in the US and in Europe?

On the Diesel issue of course it gets better milage, everyone knows that. They also cost more and since gas is significantly cheaper in the US the cost savings advantage is much smaller.

#37 Beerden on 11.14.07 at 9:41 am

Diesel produces more heavy particulate emissions than gasoline engines. The heavy particulates stay close to the ground. Newer cars with diesel engines, particularly those manufactured in Europe have very good active emissions control compared to those manufactured in the US and Canada. Therefore, it is easy to infer that the propaganda fed to North Americans that diesel is more polluting than gasoline comes directly from oil companies, the US Government (oil bedfellow) and US automakers (also oil bedfellows). Also, diesel is closer to crude oil on the refinement stage, and is cheaper to produce. Diesel engines need no run on fossil fuels – I’ve run my car on used cooking oil.

#38 Arpa on 11.14.07 at 11:20 am

@Nacelle

the problem selling diesel cars in US is not because diesel itself or cold winters making old cars not to start.

Diesel cars work perfectly here in Finland, summer and wintertime.

#39 Me on 11.14.07 at 11:39 am

The EPA redid the certification methods for 08MY vehicles. I would expect the new Fukus to be 27/38 under the old method. Comparing 07MY to 08MY in the chart and failing to mention this little tidbit of info. means you are doing a dis-service to any readers of this blog.

Also, you might want to differentiate engine types…such as the 2001 Fukus wagon with an automatic…which row has the SPI engine and which has the Zetec?

Thanks,

An automotive engineer from Detroit.

#40 mpg-o-editor on 11.14.07 at 12:00 pm

@ An automotive engineer from Detroit

Excellent points … many thanks!

I’m adding notes to the tables regarding the change in the EPA testing procedure.

I’ll see if I can tickle the database into spitting out engine types.

#41 mpg-o-editor on 11.14.07 at 12:02 pm

@ Bob

Yep, I took the difference between UK and US gallons into account. Check the last sentence … :)

#42 Dave on 11.14.07 at 1:11 pm

I’m from the UK and one fact which nobody mentions is the fact that petrol (or gasoline) is more expensive than diesel on a per litre basis; which is why diesel cars are becoming more popular.

A gallon of diesel costs less and gives you more miles than petrol.

If this were the case in the US (diesel being cheaper and more readily available), then diesel cars would become more popular.

#43 Obvious on 11.14.07 at 1:47 pm

It’s obvious that a 2 liter engine won’t get good mileage. A Ford Focus has an efficiency, here, of up to 43 MPG with E20~E25 in highway, and E20 has always _worse_ consumption than gasoline. Why is that ? It has a 1.6 liter engine.

#44 TDI's Rock on 11.14.07 at 2:43 pm

I bought my 2003 VW Jetta TDI new and have been saving money ever since. I don’t know all the details about emissions etc., but I do know that I laugh at all the Gas Hogs I pass at the stations. I also have never had any problems finding a diesel station. I rather enjoy my 500 miles per tank city. Everyone else can keep their lower torque gassers .

#45 Chris Taylor Jr on 11.14.07 at 3:13 pm

Ehh Whats that? Harder to start Gels up? I have a 1976 Mercedes 300D DEFINITELY an “older” diesel and it has over 200,000 miles on the clock. I have NO problem starting up in the dead of winter (15 below freezing) You see I have this little KNOB on the dash it controls my idle speed. I turn it UP in the winter and down in the summer. I never have a problem starting or running my diesel and gelling is non existent anymore (fuel changes) The only difference winter makes for me is I have to let the glow plugs warm for an extra 10-12 seconds before starting. Starts up every time. gets 28-29mpg too :-)

#46 You've Been Manipulated on 11.14.07 at 5:47 pm

1) Diesel have never done well in the US

True, but do you know why? Because the US automakers wanted it that way- they didn’t really want to do it in the first place! Back in the 70′s, GM and company introduced the first mass-market diesel cars. This was in response to the gas crisis of the time.

However, the attempts at a diesel vehicle were really just a stalling tactic to satisfy the need for lower mileage vehicles. They did NOT want to put real dollars behind it or refine it because they were betting gas was going to stay in the future. Guess what- it has.

If they had actually been interested in doing diesel long-term, they would have developed what today’s diesels have become- very smooth, good power and amazing gas mileage.

That is the truth of todays diesel. It’s excellent- though the jury is out on the relative emissions. Too bad the perception still lies back in the 1970′s…

The End.

You’ve been manipulated.

#47 Kristan on 11.14.07 at 6:48 pm

Just for fun – some Norwegian prices, a numbers:

Petrol (95) – $8,4 pr US Gallon.
Diesel – $7,7 pr US Gallon.

Approx 70% of the price is taxes. The price for transportation with a car is approx the same as 10 years ago, since new cars use less fuel. So for the end user an crude oil price of $40/barrel or $100 is hardly noticed.

Cars with big engines are more expensive (all cars in Norway are expensive…) then cars with small engines.
E.g:
Audi A3 2.0 TDI, 170 hp = $65,600
Audi AS 3,2 V6 250 hp = $126,000
Chrystler 3,2 Aut = $119.000
Toyota Prius = $52,700
(2006 prices)

76,3% of all new cars have diesel engines. (July 2007)

The average car is 17,7 years old before it gets scraped.
The average scrap age for an Mercedes is 20,7 years vs 16 for a Chrysler. The average age of a car on the road is approx 10 years old. (2003 numbers). You will be given a $300 refund when you scrap a car. My previous car was a ’88 VW Polo. I bought the new one half a year ago, a 1.8 liter 2000 Nissan for approx $20.000.

Driving a car with a small engine here is not the same as in the US, since there are very few traffic lights. In one city they actually choose to keep the last one for training purposes, so the student drivers could have something to practice on. You very seldom need to reduce the speed to under 30 MPH, while driving inside city and not in rush traffic. There are close to no full stop signs, I think I can count the one I have seen while driving for 11 years on one hand. This makes driving a car with 50hp or 150hp almost the same.

On the freeway you only need to accelerate once, and if you consider the gas prices this becomes an easy choice between a big or a small engine….But of course driving a small high power car on small mountain roads is something completely different, and why many people choose a big engine if they can afford it =)

Highways in the EU are of a much higher quality then the ones I drove on in the US. I remember thinking that driving a VW Golf on a California freeway would have killed the car… After the taxi trip from the airport I rented the biggest car the agency had…

#48 30 MPG Cars on 01.08.08 at 8:18 am

[...] Ford [...]

#49 Ford Focus Review on 05.27.08 at 7:28 pm

[...] EPA gas mileage estimates for the 2008 Ford Focus come in at 24 city / 33 miles per gallon (MPG) highway, when equipped with the automatic [...]

#50 doug on 05.28.08 at 3:05 pm

The 1980 VW Diesel Rabbit I owned years ago got 48mpg city / 54 highway; but the poor construction took out the rings and it had ‘diesel runaway’…uncontrolled acceleration even if you turn the key off! Maintenance, lack of parts, lack of qualified mechanics, and overall poor quality has been the reputation of VW in the US with little trade in value. The Ford Focus is a much more reliable alternative; even my 2001 model delivered 32mpg combined mileage with no repairs in over 150,000 miles.

#51 norisy on 08.09.08 at 11:14 pm

i recently bought here in the philippines a 2.0 liter diesel focus. i’m very proud of buying one, instead of buying a petrol powered car. i get 35mpg, although the car is small, the engine is powerful. i am one satisfied customer.

#52 Focus Lover on 10.15.08 at 11:31 am

My 2008 FF Automatic is scoring 34+mpg on average. I’ve put 2,000 miles per month on it all summer and the hwy mileage keeps creeping up. Great car, great price.

#53 Chris on 02.03.09 at 2:04 pm

Who thinks 0-62 aka 0-100kph for u brits in 9 SECONDS is fast? You guys are just blessing us with your classic dead-pan humor right? In the States getting to 60 in under 8 is desirable, and getting there in under 7 is usually considered ‘quick’. Bottom line, you’re NOT fast otherwise. I’ll subscribe to ‘spirited’ at best.

Something most of you are missing is that while YOU THINK clean diesel is a reality that we’re being kept away from, the fact is that the US has the most strict PARTICULATES emissions standards in the world. This is something the .eu simply doesn’t regulate like we do which means that these ‘clean’ diesels are dirty in other ways that need to be reconfigured, tested, and certified for statewide consumption. If that’s not enough, consider that Diesel fuel in the states is typically $1/imperial gallon MORE expensive than regular fuel whereas most European nations it’s close to being on par if not cheaper. Add this all up and for most a featherweight diesel in a econobox doesn’t make sense for most American drivers.

I’ve rented a US-spec 08 focus and i was duly impressed. I averaged 34mpg driving 70+ in michigan. when i backed off on the go-pedal i was sporting as high as 38mpg. combine that with Sync and light, direct steering, and it’s a good choice for smaller car buyers. Word is that the eurofocus/mazda3 is heavier and more thirsty when spec’d similarly.

#54 mpg-o-editor on 02.03.09 at 2:34 pm

@Chris – many thanks for your thoughts. I’ve noticed a good bit of fluctuation recently in the price differential between gasoline and diesel fuel. Could this have something to do with the exit of the oil men in Washington? :)

Diesels, featherweight or not, make very good sense here in the States. If we want to achieve a 35 MPG average sooner rather than later, clean diesel plays a huge part. It’s time the oil companies start working for US, in every sense.

#55 Chris on 02.03.09 at 3:46 pm

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I think diesel engines are awesome. I’d personally like to see them being employed more in large cars and SUVs to reach that 30mpg threshold. Chrysler has a wonderful opportunity on their hands with the 3.0CRD in the Gr. Cherokee. I actually tried joining their “chrysler listens” forum to voice my desire to see that engine in their Jeep Commander, and possibly even the Durango. I believe right now the best their non-hybrids net is around 19mpg. the 3.0CRD which is already OK for stateside use could see as much as 25-28mpg in the Commander and Durango, which would easily offset that price per gallon. It would only see a true increase in sales though if they didn’t try stapling it onto an options package like the auto industry likes doing so much. just having a base-trim on these vehicles with a single tickbox for the engine could motivate many buyers!

#56 mpg-o-editor on 02.03.09 at 6:06 pm

@Chris – We had a Grand Cherokee CRD for two weeks last winter … it was wonderful to drive, with endless torque. If Chrysler bolted a modern automatic transmission (six-speed, perhaps?) into the truck the MPG numbers would climb.

The Commander looks to be headed for the door and production on the Durango is done, for now at least. All that having been said, if Chrysler is successful in their tie-up with Fiat, good things are ahead.

On the Ford front, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the Fiesta … although it’s not likely to get a diesel engine here in the states until we get our act together and implement a national energy policy that puts diesel fuel prices back on a par with gasoline.

#57 Alan on 05.15.11 at 2:39 pm

How can Ford honestly advertise the Focus achieving “up to” 43mpg when there is nothing over 37mpg since 2000? Just who are trying to fool???

#58 pilates biz on 11.23.11 at 5:44 am

I really dig your website design, did you do this all by yourself or hire someone else to create it?

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