Loads of sav­ings

Ford’s eco-so­lu­tion is an efficient work­horse, writes James Stan­ford

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

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.

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