The question of how many cylinders are actually needed for a car, especially one that is then compact car category raises the question of fuel efficiency to a new level. The car I am talking about is the Ford Fusion for 2015 and the smallest engine that has ever been offered in this car, which is the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. As crazy as that might sound, let’s take a look at what this tiny engine is capable of in order to understand why Ford stuck a hamster on a wheel so to speak under the hood of one of their best-selling sedans.
Since we are talking about this tiny engine let’s see what it actually is. This engine showed up first in the Fiesta in 2014 in order to see if it was actually worthy of being put into the Focus which it obviously passed the test and performed well enough to do so. This small engine has a displacement of only 61 cubic inches and can be spoken in motorcycle terms as a 999 cc displacement total. Even with that small size, this engine offers better power than many larger ones found in other cars due to the turbocharging that is present.
With the turbo added in along with the direct injection, Ford has found a way to pull as much horsepower from this engine as possible and brings in 123 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission attached to it is a six-speed manual and this is the offering for the mid-level SE model of the Focus. To improve the overall fuel mileage Ford added the stop-start fuel saving feature as standard fare when this engine is aboard, making it almost not fair to have this engine under the hood.
With the increase of 350 pounds from the Fiesta to the Focus, this engine strains to keep up and is hard pressed to set any kind of zero to sixty time that is worth mentioning, but the Focus with this engine does perform well and makes a nice drive that almost feels as if you are driving a car with a larger engine of at least four cylinders. We haven’t gotten to the best part about this little engine yet, the fuel mileage, which is exactly what this tiny power plant is built for in the first place.
The mileage this car can achieve is an amazing 29 city/40 hwy or combined 33 mpg in order to give you a great fuel mileage to enjoy. In this class, this was the top performer for fuel mileage and was actually better than the Fiesta because of the start-stop technology which in this case is actually much better than on some luxury cars that are much more expensive. Even though the three-cylinder engine might not be for everyone if you are simply looking for a car that will give you great fuel mileage and comes at a reasonable price, the three-cylinder Focus makes an excellent choice.