What’s this then?
Europe’s best selling car through most of 2013. It’s also known as the Ford Fiesta.
Just the gearbox – Ford has decided to equip its award-winning EcoBoost engine with a PowerShift dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
EcoBoost? PowerShift? Sounds like a beast…
Don’t let the Aston Martin-style grille deceive you. That award-winning unit displaces just one litre among three cylinders, but you do get a turbocharger and in this application, it develops 100 PS. There’s a more powerful 125 PS EcoBoost available too, but you’re denied the auto option with that one.
You shouldn’t be too put-out though. The 100 PS car doesn’t sound quick on paper – its 11.2 second sprint to 60 and 112 mph top end are identical to the manual – but it’s among the most satisfying cars carwow has driven. Ford deserves plenty of credit for the way the Fiesta EcoBoost rides, handles and drives.
Yes – economy. The PowerShift car can hardly be called a gas-guzzler with its 57.7 mpg combined figure and thirty quid car tax bill, but the manual bumps that up to 65.7 mpg and drops the tax to zero.
You may see real-world gains – the auto will change up at the ideal times whereas the manual can encourage “sporty” driving – but the manual is such a nice ‘box to use, we’d have to think twice.
How much will it cost me?
That’s the other problem. PowerShift EcoBoost Fiestas start at 15,145, 1,250 more than the manual. It’d be a boon around town and great if you can’t drive a manual for any reason, but it’s a hefty sum on a small car.
There must be alternatives…
For the Fiesta? Dozens. For the EcoBoost? Several – Renault, Peugeot and Citroen all offer small three-cylinder engines (in the Clio, 208 and DS3). Throw some money Fiat’s way and they’ll lop off a cylinder for an even more characterful drive.
But as far as tiddly petrol cars with dual-clutch automatics go, the market is a bit slim. Most only offer that sort of gearbox on higher-end models, so in that respect Ford has the market to itself.
And in a line?
Sweet-driving hatch gets a slick new gearbox…for a price.