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Ford Bumps Up the Fuel Efficiency of the 2007 Focus by 7%

Changes to the engine management software along with new low-rolling resistance tires have netted a 3-mpg increase in highway mileage for the 2007 Ford Focus 2.0-liter with a manual transmission.

The Focus now will deliver 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (31 mpg combined). The 2.0-liter automatic delivers 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway (30 mpg combined). For 2007, the base Focus models come equipped with 14-inch Hankook tires that offer better rolling resistance than the 2006 model.

Ford Focus Fuel Economy (2.0L)
(EPA-rated mpg US)
ModelCity Hwy.Comb.
2006 Man. 26 34 29
2007 Man. 27 37 31
% Change in 2007 Man. +4% +9% +7%
2006 Auto. 26 32 28
2007 Auto. 27 34 30
% Change in 2007 Auto. +4% +6% +7%

The 2006 Ford Focus with the 2.0-liter engine and a manual transmission was EPA-rated at 26 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. The change in the 2007 model thus represents a 7% increase in combined cycle fuel efficiency.

The 2006 Focus with an automatic transmission had a rating of 26 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, 28 mpg combined. The corresponding 2007 model also provides a 7% boost in efficiency.

The Focus engine was originally calibrated for emissions. We noticed during testing that we could get a lot better fuel mileage by making some adjustments to the calibration while still meeting emissions.

—Nicholas Schubeck, supervisor, Powertrain Calibration for Ford Motor Company

The engineering team increased the engine’s spark and revised the exhaust-gas recirculation and intake manifold runner control (IMRC) schedules. The IMRC is a device on the intake manifold that increases the velocity of the air going into the cylinder at low speeds. Increasing air velocity helps in the proper air-fuel ratios.

The issue is that the system also creates a lot of pumping losses, which reduce fuel mileage. By opening up the IMRC a lot earlier to reduce pumping losses, fuel mileage was increased.

—Nicholas Schubeck

The extra engine spark also improves acceleration, and the refinements to the engine have eliminated the hesitation that normally occurs when the air conditioning is in operation, according to Ford.



Big deal, I get 33mpg combined on my 2000 Zx3 with an automatic.

Bike Commuter Dude

By god, they're learning! 7% here, 5% there, and pretty soon you're starting to post up Honda numbers. For the tiny little elements they had to tweak to get the incremental gain, it is well worth it, and will not cost a penny extra to manufacture!

hampden wireless

Durson, that is a big deal, the car is most certainly cleaner then yours even after the change and its also heavier.


Hmm, I wonder...

It would be great if Ford could make fleet wide changes similar to this. Ford could really catch up to Toyota and Honda wrt fuel efficiency by posting a 5% increase in efficiency across the entire model lineup.

That being said, the Focus still lags considerably behind other B class vehicles. Anyone know what the MPG are for the European model?


Lou Grinzo

Let me be clear about this, up front: I want Ford, GM, and Chrysler all to succeed and give the imports all the competition they can take, and then some.

But in reading this new I had to ask myself--they just now "noticed" that there was a quick tweak they could make to get this fuel consumption improvement??? They weren't looking at every aspect of the engine and overall car design for every little efficiency boost possible until now???

Holy cow.


Wow all I can say is what a POS. My Prius got 51 mpg last tank and Ford thinks they are doing good at 27 city. I am NOT impressed.

The Scion xA is rated at 32 city and the Yaris is rated at 34 city.

Does anyone wonder why Toyota makes money and Ford loses money hand over fist?

Kyle Dansie

hampden wireless

The Ford Focus 2007 is around 10% bigger then the xA and gets the same highway mpg and while the city # is not great its not out of line either. Its 20% worse then the xA but its 10% more mass.

I would like to see Ford go through its whole line and do the same.


I have a 1996 Honda Civic, with 330,000 km (205,000 miles) on it. Just took it last week on a trip of 1960 km (1220 miles) and averaged 5.53 L/100 km, or 42.6 miles/US gallon. This was with my wife, five year old and our luggage, and use of the AC 75% of the time.

Gerald Shields

I say 30/35! Getting just 27 mpg in the city? come on man.

shaun mann

did any of you even read the article?

it says they increased fuel efficiency by making emissions worse. they still meet requirements, but they are worse now.

so, they decreased CO2 (b/c they increased fuel efficiency), but increased CO, NOx, etc. reduced contribution to the greenhouse, increased contribution to lungs and smog.

low rolling resistance tires just represent a decrease in vehicle performance in exchange for fuel efficiency. these tires are usually louder or less grippy or more expensive or make other sacrifices as part of being stiffer and smoother.

Kip Munro

Shaun, the Hankook tires do respresent a technical breakthrough. (See their website for an explanation). Hankook has managed to develop a superior tire while maintaining ride quality. Even if these new tires have some compromises built in, we are just going to have to get used to it. We don't have the luxury. Todays tire technology will soon go the way of bias ply tires.

I'm glad to see Ford take the innitiative.

I've been driving my hybrid with Bridgestone LRR tires for 4 years. Count on LRR tires outlasting regular tires too. Less internal heating makes for longer treadwear.


Ford claiming credits for a decision to equip Focus with better tires? Awesome achievement.


Shaun. Good catch. It was an artful phrase Ford used but not artful enough to catch your eye. Still, I wonder how much better gas mileage is available out there with a tweak here and a tweak there.

And further, if Americans weren't so obsessed with speed and size, and we went back to the performance parameters of the 70s, the increase in mileage would be massive. Do we really need to go from 0 to 60 in six seconds? Do we really need to go 120 mph and surround ourselves with tons of steel? Apparently, we do.

Lou Grinzo

Hampden: Nope, the xA does better than that. With an automatic the xA is 31/38 (figures I match with my new xA), while even the tweaked Focus with an automatic gets 27/34.

I think part of the outrage directed at Ford and GM is caused by their lack of even a single good, safe, high-mileage car offering. The Corolla, a non-hybrid, gets 32/41 manual, 30/38 automatic, and is a very nice car. Where is Ford's or GM's Corolla beater?


Some people will complain about anything. I can't believe all the hatred being spewed here. The Scion xA is smaller than the Focus, has an engine that's 25% smaller, and it weighs about 350lbs less than the Focus, give or take. Given all this, the fuel economy numbers of the Focus are right where they should be. 27/37 is pretty darn good for a non-hybrid 2.0 4-cyl automobile. Do some other cars get better mileage? Sure they do, but so what? Not everyone *wants* a tiny car like the xA.

Bashing a car that gets fuel economy in the 30s is just rude.


Great! I have been wondering when the US automakers will finally get decent fuel economy numbers...they have always lagged behind the Corolla and Civic. Now atleast they are much closer even though they still fall behind.

BTW- other than the Supra (RIP), MR2/MRS (RIP) and post 2000 Celica (RIP) Toyota's vehicles have poor handling compared to their competition (Civic, Mazda3/Protege, etc).

So now instead of being SULEV it might be ULEV? Or is the Focus moving from ULEV to LEV? The marginal increase in pollution is worth it in this case...(and it could be that it still falls under the same classification for emissions staying ULEV or SULEV...whatever a Focus is). Many automakers use lower rolling resistance tires and I have heard of quite a few Prius owners who change the tires at the first opportunity to get stickier rubber slightly lowering fuel economy.

Since this is an engine management change to their 2.0L motor they should allow any current owners to go into the dealership for a flash upgrade (not sure on Fords but many post 2000 vehicles have flash programmable EEPROMs in their ECUs as they were preparing for the possibility of an OBD-III set of standards).

Ron Fischer

'The Thin Edge of a Long Wedge' as they say. Ford is floating an idea with the public: trade emissions for better mileage. If the public buys it, then diesels, which are the poster child of this tradeoff, will get a strong marketing push.


"Many automakers use lower rolling resistance tires and I have heard of quite a few Prius owners who change the tires at the first opportunity to get stickier rubber slightly lowering fuel economy."

The Prius (2004-07) does not use LLR tires, they use the Goodyear Integrity. Crappy tires if you ask me. Actually, I guess I'll look into the Hankook tires when I need to replace my OEM tires.



Anyone know which Hankook tire the Focus will be using?


allen Z

Heres one thing Ford can do, go microhybrid across their fleet. That should bump up city gas milage 5-10%. It would also turn all their vehicles into self propelled electric generators. Also, add in multiple driving profiles, to increase mileage when power is not needed (empty pickup going to pickup construction equiptment, or cruising down the highway on cruise control), and use it when you do (towing a work site lighting trailer, or merging with highway traffic). That may get you anywhere from 5-50%.


Does anyone know if an older focus car can have there software updated? Could I get a new chip or have the dealer upgrade me? I get good mpg's from my focus, but better is better!


Jon- call up the dealer and start asking questions. They may be able to do a "flash" update if the ECU uses flash memory and if the engine & ECU are essentially the same between what you have and what the 2007 will have (same other than the tweaking for fuel economy).


I bet the same modification of the dual runner intake manifold could be applied to the Mazda 2.0L engine as well. Those get terrible fuel economy in the Protege and moderate economy in the Mazda3.


Allen Z,

I agree with you one hundred percent. I've said for years now that if GM, Ford, or Chrysler were smart, they would at least offer a micro hybrid option across the entire fleet. That type of inovation could reduce fuel use by 10% for minimal cost to the consumer, with absolutely no impact on driving performance. The effect would be even greater on 6-8 cylinder engines. A fairly efficient 6 banger will get close to or over 30 highway, it's the city MPG that stinks. An idle/stop system on a V6 could probably constitute at least a 10% improvement, if not more.


Mark R. W. Jr.

I don't think it's fair to compare the Focus to the Yaris, Fit, or Prius. You're comparing apples to oranges.

At least you gotta give credit to Ford for improving a vehicle's mileage.

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