Ford's been taking a lot of heat lately, for all kinds of reasons. But one reason, cited by an environmental action group whose criticism of Ford comprises its charter, may not be completely on the level. The group, Jumpstart Ford, has been on the company's case of late for its poor performance in greenhouse gas emissions relative to its competitors and for ranking cold last in fleet fuel efficiency. But now, in a press statement released yesterday, Jumpstart calls out a few of Ford's European models as being extravagantly better on gas than their US counterparts. To wit:
Ford United Kingdom
Ford Focus: 49.6 urban/57.6 extra urban
Ford Fusion: 61.4 mpg combined
Ford Galaxy: 42.8 combined
Ford Ka: 32.1/51.4
Ford Mondeo: 34.5 urban/ 57.7 extra urban
Ford Focus: 26 City/34 hwy
Ford Fusion: 23 city/31 hwy
Ford Freestar: 18 city/24 hwy
Ford Escape Hybrid: 36 city/31 hwy
Ford Taurus: 20 city/27 hwy
The apples-to-footballs comparison starts with the organization failing to acknowledge that UK gallons are considerably larger than US gallons. Yes, it's true. In the UK, One US gallon equals 3.785 liters, while in the UK, an Imperial gallon totals 4.546 liters. That's a difference of (check our math, please) something like 18%. Add to that less-than-identical mileage tests. (As optimistic as the US's EPA ratings are, the Euro figures are, anecdotally, even more forgiving.)
In the case of the Fusion, the group's comparison is even more off base, as the two cars are entirely different. In the US, the Fusion is a midsize sedan based on the Mazda6; in Europe, it's an economy car (pictured) based on the far smaller Fiesta. Where the group may have a case is in available engine size. In Europe, exorbitant gas prices, compact geography and widely available public transport have spurred a much wider market for small, fuel efficient engines like the 1.4-liter Zetec offered in the European Focus. (Try to get across Montana in one of those suckers.) In the US, the smallest Ford's Duratec gets is 2.0 liters.
Sure, those numbers are shocking, but let's get a more relevant comparison. Oh wait, it's not about proper comparisons, it's about politics. Gotcha.
Ford Scraps Self-Conscious Everest Name for Supersized Expedition [internal]