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Ford Fiesta

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    But the engine has to have enough torque to pull 6th gear. The Yaris could never pull 6th gear except maybe down hill. You can't do it with these small displacement engines. Torque requires displacement. (per cylinder--it doesn't matter how many cylinders--each cylinder produces optimal torque the bigger it is). I'd think you'd need at least a 2.0 or 2.2 liter 4 cylinder.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,683
    Yeah, I didn't think of that. 4K+ rpm for highway cruising doesn't sound good though, unless the engine is super smooth. Of course, the car isn't really intended to be a long distance highway cruiser anyway, so maybe it's kind of moot.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    Any 1.5L car is not a very good long distance vehicle--I mean, sure, you can do it, and Europeans often do, but they have an entirely different road structure than we do--not these 1000s of mile stretches of highway. Yaris and cars like that are really "metro" cars---and they can be fun to drive. They dart in and out of traffic, have short turning radiuses, and carry quite a bit of cargo. But just try and pass a semi at 75 mph---it's white knuckles all the way.

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    But the engine has to have enough torque to pull 6th gear.

    I assume this really means that there has to be enough torque to handle a high gear ratio. But on many cars the gear ratio in the top gear of the auto is significantly higher than the top gear in the manual (I have no idea if this is or is not the case with the Fiesta).

    In my car, which has a 2.3 L engine, 4th gear in the (5 speed) auto is nearly the same ratio as 5th in the manual.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    that's always been the case, hasn't it. They gear the automatic differently for fuel economy, and because the transmission will automatically take you out of a gear that is too high for the situation.

    Nothing...I mean NOTHING...will strain and break an engine faster than lugging it in too high a gear with a manual transmission. In the same way, towing a heavy load in OD with an automatic will overheat the transmission.

    This is why on many new cars, the electronics won't allow you to shift into OD in an automatic until engine temperature is sufficient.

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    that's always been the case, hasn't it.

    Well, no, actually. Once upon a time the choice was often 3 speed auto vs. 5 speed manual. Then it became 4 speed auto vs. 5 speed manual. In those cases, at least in my experience, the top gear in the manual had a higher ratio than top gear in the auto. There was also a significant mpg advantage for the manual in those days.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    I guess I was thinking of American cars with V-8s. They always offered the economy rear end ratio with the automatic. I can't imagine how much gas a Ford 460 in a T-Bird would have swallowed with a 4:10 !!!

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  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I can :) My old Toyota has roughly 1/3 the displacement and the same gearing almost. So about 18/3 = 6mpg... :P
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    The 1.6 liter engine in my MINI loved cruising at 75 mph on the highway.

    I think it turned pretty close to 4,000 rpms at that speed too. I think 60 mph was right around 3,000 rpms so 75mph had to be close to 4,000. Its been so long since I drove it I can't remember exactly. I did get used to using the tach to figure out speed since the speedo was in the center of the car.

    Of course that engine had the positive displacement roots type supercharger on it so its actually displacement was maybe 2.3 liters. That supercharger is an M45 eaton so about .75 liters of displacement.
  • gregagrega Posts: 31
    If Ford continues their development of EcoBoost engines and a family of I4's (1.6, 2.0 and 2.5L) the 1.6L could produce upwards of 200 HP and 200 ft-lbs torque at only 1500 RPM. That should solve any concern with having enough torque...

    Maybe use Fords exclusive "RevoKnuckle" suspension setup to handle any FWD torque steer that they use on the Euro Fiesta RS... doesn't need AWD and handles well...

    That would be a joy in the Fiesta, bring it on Ford...!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    turbos can certainly overcome a lot of deficiences in small displacement engines.

    You have to be careful though, about a 4 cylinder in-lilne engine that exceeds 2.5L--without some complex internal balancing devices, a 2.5L four cylinder in-line is approaching unacceptable vibration levels.

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  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Like the 2.7 liter four cylinder in the later Tacomas and 4Runners.

    Not a smooth running engine at all. Managed to be buzzy and lumpy at the same time.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Shoot, that's nothing compared to the vibration from the suspension and howl from the tires...

    You don't need a sewing machine engine in a SUV or truck, after all.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,559
    True, but they're using it in Camrys, etc. - it's their new big 4.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Really the new four cylinder in the Camry is a 2.7?

    Yikes.... :surprise:
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,559
    My mistake, they just went to 2.5 l on the Camry... :blush:
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Ok that makes more sense.

    The 2.7 in the tacoma is a very, very tall engine. Even laying back on an angle like the older 4 cylinders in the camry I don't think it would fit.
  • roxy11roxy11 Posts: 27
    sorry, but i think that saying the cars in this segment are only suitable as city runabouts is a load of hoo ha. my manual yaris, at 3000 rpm's at 70 mph was perfectly fine at highway travel, and in fact more comfortable than some larger cars of 15-20 yrs ago. i would make that argument for the segment of cars that includes the smart car or iq, but not cars like the yaris, fit, and fiesta.

    and anyone who truly understands the joy of driving a stick DOES NOT need the final gear to be low. thats the point of driving a manual. you actually downshift to get the grunt you want. crusing at 70 mph isnt where i want grunt, its where i want the engine more relaxed. if i need acceleration, ill downshift.

    its a more convincing argument that the low geared manuals are not for the enthusiast who doesnt mind shifting, but for the lazy who dont want to downshift when they need an extra push. they are precicely the ones who should just get an auto.

    all a high final gear does is take away the need to downshift when you need a little boost of acceleration, but its at the cost of a more relaxed engine at cruise.

    ironically, this gearing is only good for the lazy, and their precisely the ones who should go buy an automatic. give us true enthusiasts a proper final gear for highway cruising, and we will gladly get off our lazy asses and downshift when needed.

    if the fiesta we get cruises at 3500+ at 70 mph, it will be off my list. if i wanted that id already be driving a fit.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Driving a manual does not make one an "automotive enthusiast".

    Driving a Toyota definitely makes one not an "automotive enthusiast".

    Therefore, it is not surprising that Toyota would actually have the rare manual that is designed for fuel economy, rather than for the enthusiast.

    The enthusiast would typically want a close ratio manual transmission. That is not to say the this would not also appeal to the lazy, who do not want to have to downshift. However, more likely would be that the truly lazy, such as myself, would just go to an automatic.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    Well I'm only basing my comments on my personal experience, having owned a Scion xA, which of course has the same basic drivetrain as the Yaris. It was a *great* car, and, once I got sway bars, strut bracing, good exhaust, short shift kit, better tires and better brake pads on it----(all the things Toyota forgot to do, or rather, undoing what they did, to "de-fun" it for mass consumption)---it was really enjoyable to drive. I have a great deal of respect for that car.

    Having said that, it pretty much ran out of steam at around 70 mph---the gearing matching the maximum HP right about there. One could verify that by the drastic drop in MPG after 75 mph. Sure you could go faster, but it got very busy in the interior, with all the noise, and the stability at those speeds above 75 mph was not confidence-building. I'm not sure if the car was lifting, or needed even wider tires and wheels, but I've driven enough around a track to get a rather bad feeling at high speeds in the xA.

    These small subcompacts are very good for urban and inter-urban use, but long-haulers they are not IMO.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    roxy 11: "sorry, but i think that saying the cars in this segment (Yaris, Fit, Fiesta.etc.) are only suitable as city runabouts is a load of hoo ha."

    I agree, but many Americans feel this way. I think that the notion that only large, heavy, powerful vehicles, or even only midsize ones, are suitable for long distance travel is outdated. While it's true that small cars of yesteryear ('40s through, say, mid '90s) weren't good highway cruisers, today's small cars are engineered incomparably better for ex-urban travel.

    On jeffyscott's message, I'd say that while there's some truth in what you say, I think your response is somewhat exaggerated.

    On the matter of manual vs. automatic, and tall vs. short final gearing, every choice requires significant compromises, which is precisely why there are so many choices available.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    I hadn't read your message regarding the use of subcompacts for long hauls when I wrote my message. It's possible that our differing conclusions are mostly about perspective. Whereas you focused on the driving dynamics of the xA, and perhaps similar models, at speeds over 70, I was thinking about how improved today's subcompacts are compared to those of yesteryear (think the European models, Crosley, Henry J and, later, the popular Japanese cars).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    oh no comparison to subcompacts of years ago. The ones today are miles ahead. But you know, 4200--4400 rpm for 3-6 hours and I'm ready to bail. It gets to you. And in California, you pretty much have to drive 70+ mph much of the time on freeways.

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  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I guess it's all relative. 3-4 hours of my mud terrain tires howling on the freeway is music to my ears. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    Well at least those tires have a purpose. It's less apparent to buyers why the engine has to be so wound up. I can tell you how many times a day I reached for non-existant gear #6.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    Since this is the Classic Cars board, and we've meandered into how cars handle cruising long distances at highway speeds, I'm reminded of the early post WWII cars. Before the introduction of the Olds and Cadillac OHV, short stroke V8s in '49, all domestic cars were equipped with 1930s engines and gearing. The combination of long stroke engines, 3-speeds and short final gear ratios (4.11 and 3.90 were common) meant that the engines were loud at 60 mph, and roared at 70. Of the "low priced three", only Fords seemed able to cruise comfortably at 65, or maybe even 70, although that was kind of pushing it. Overdrive equipped cars were better. However, Chevy didn't offer overdrive before 1955.

    I imagine that the advent of the interstate highway system played an important role in improving cruising ability. It probably also spurred the horsepower race.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Since this is the Classic Cars board...

    I didn't even notice that. So this is supposed to be about the former Fiesta not the new (future) one, I guess.

    The three speeds you refer to manual transmissions, right? Because my first car was a 1969 Chevy with a 2 speed automatic.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    Yes, I was referring to the 3-on-the-tree manual transmissions - some with overdrive, but most without - that were common in early post WWII cars.

    Regarding the 2-speed Powerglide, your '69 Chevy started in first, and shifted automatically to second. Instead, the first Powerglides (model years '51 and '52) started in high (2nd) gear, making these cars very sluggish off the line. You could elect to start in first by moving the shift lever to "low", then manually shifting
    to "drive" to engage 2nd gear, but the transmission didn't do this automatically, as your '69 did. Buick's Dynaflow operated in a similar manner.

    Yeah, this discussion began and is mainly about the former Fiesta, but detouring to the future one is informative and interesting. If we're talking about small Fords that were imported into the U.S., there was also the British made Anglia of the late '40s-early '50s, and the Anglia with the reverse slant C pillar of the late '50s-early '60s, the Cortina, and the Mazda-designed, Korean built Festiva and Aspire of the late '80s-early '90s.

    The first generation Anglia was truly a crude POC, and many of the bodies were eventually used for dragsters. The second generation distinguished itself, style wise, with that strange roofline. Another distinguishing feature was an extremely oversquare (very short stroke) 4-cylinder engine. I have no idea how it drove, but it was interesting in theory. I also have no idea whether it was a decent car for its day. I imagine it was better than the Renault Dauphine (a low hurdle), but maybe not as good overall as the Beetle. Maybe Shifty can provide some insight on this Anglia.

    Regarding the Cortina, I've read that it was a fun-to-drive car, especially the hotter versions.

    The Festiva was considered a "throw-away" car by many, but, in fact, it must have been well built because it was reliable and durable. A surprising number of them went over 200,000 miles on the original engine. For whatever reason, though, the next generation Festiva, renamed the Aspire, was not as reliable or durable. It was probably better than the Korean built Pontiac LeMans, but that car defined POC. LeMon would have been a more appropriate name for this model. Surprisingly, though, I occasionally see one of those LeMans actually being driven. I also see Festivas once in a while, but I can't remember the last time I saw an Aspire. That makes me wonder whether the Korean LeMans was indeed worse than the Aspire.
  • roxy11roxy11 Posts: 27
    really, fiesta, corolla, yaris, fit etc...they are all slow anyway. gear the manual for optimal mpg's on the highway, then let downshifting take care of the need for (what little) speed that these cars can accomplish. ive never bought a car because it was fast. what little fun is to be had these segments, imo, is going to come more from handling characteristics.

    ive always gotten a manual in these types of cars because 1)it can add a little bit of texture to the driving experience, even in a slow car and 2) i still believe, regardless of epa estimates, that i can extract the best mileage by driving a manual.
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    It's often said that driving a slow car fast is more fun than driving a fast car slow. How often does any owner get to wring out a Corvette or Porsche near it's limits? My old boss had a Porsche 962 (whale tail turbo) and he told me about taking it to 120mph on a local interstate, and then backing off to 70 out of fear of losing his license. He commuted to work in the car after that. My first new car was a VW Scirocco, which had 71 HP and weighed 1900 lbs. It was like driving a go kart, and always fun. Not fast, but always fun. I think that's what the top-end "B" cars will be like (Fiesta, Fit, Polo). They won't weigh 1900 lbs. anymore, but they will be much lighter than most cars, and with today's electronics, will deliver much more HP. I can't wait to try a Fiesta with 118 HP and a curb weight of what - 2600 lbs?
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