Loads of savings
Ford’s eco-solution is an efficient workhorse, writes James Stanford
YOU must have heard about the Fiesta Econetic, Australia’s most fuel-efficient car, by now. While Ford has been marketing its ultra-efficient baby car like crazy, not much has been said about the other Econetic model in the Ford range, the Transit Econetic.
This lean version of the working van has fuel-saving technology that won’t intrude on your daily drive.
Big Wheels took the big hauler, which is available only as a shortwheelbase model, for a test and found it to be a perfectly practical and efficient workhorse.
The key selling point to the Econetic model is its fuel efficiency and it uses an average of one litre per 100km less than the regular shortwheelbase Transit, which can add up if you do a fair few kilometres.
It is also 1.4 litres per 100km easier on fuel than the Hyundai iLoad. The average fuel economy figure is 7.2 litres per 100km, while the emissions rating is 189g/km.
The Econetic features include low rolling resistance tyres, smooth wheel covers, low friction oil and a display that indicates when to change gears for optimum efficiency.
It runs on a tweaked version of the 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, but still delivers the same power and torque 85kW and 300Nm.
The Transit Econetic drives just like any other front-drive Transit.
The engine is no fireball down low in the rev range, but gets going at about 1800rpm.
With so much torque on tap, you have no problem hooking along at a reasonable pace.
And it certainly doesn’t feel as if you are driving a watered-down eco-mobile.
The cargo capacity of 6.55m cubic and payload of 1172kg are no different to the standard model.
The special tyres weren’t the quietest around, but we’d need to do a back-to-back test to hear if they are louder than the standard rubber.
Ford could have saved more fuel with a stop-start system, which kills the engine at idle to save fuel, like the Fiesta Econetic, but I’m tipping it was trying to keep the production cost down.
The gear-change indicator is a good way to improve your economic driving, but surely a simple fuel economy calculator, with an instant reading, would be just as important.
Unfortunately, it is missing from the package. Still, the Transit Econetic is a good thing because you can save fuel without any hassles.
It costs $36,490, which is $500 more than the regular model.
Super saver: Transit Econetic uses less fuel than its rivals.