Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles of 2006 – Ford

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to review the year that was for each of the major car manufacturers and show which of their 2006 models were the most fuel efficient vehicles.  I’ll also take a look at what 2007 and beyond has in store for each manufacturer as well.

First up is Ford, which has had a fiscal year that it would probably like to forget.  The one bright spot for Ford was the fact it was the first American car maker to introduce a widely produced hybrid vehicle in its Escape Hybrid.

Here are Ford’s Top 5 Most Fuel Efficient Models for 2006:

  1. Escape Hybrid – 36 City / 31 Highway – Compact SUV
  2. Focus (Manual Transmission) – 26 City / 34 Highway – Compact Car
  3. Fusion (Automatic Transmission) – 24 City / 32 Highway - Mid-size Sedan
  4. Escape (Manual Transmission) – 24 City / 29 Highway – Compact SUV
  5. Five Hundred – 21 City / 29 Highway – Sedan 

For 2007, it doesn’t appear that there will be much of a change in Ford’s fleet.  Unfortunately for the company, it seems it is a bit hamstrung by the fact its best selling vehicles are its F-Series trucks, so as long as they remain as the company’s top sellers, it’s going to be hard for Ford to migrate away from trucks.

However, with the relative success of the Escape Hybrid, I’m sure Ford is looking at whether or not it is feasible to bring hybrid technology over to heavy duty trucks.  It might be difficult, but if truck owners are willing to sacrifice power and torque, it may be possible.

As was the case in the 1970s and early 1980s, it appears foreign manufacturers have beaten their American counterparts to the punch in mass producing fuel efficient vehicles.  In order for these American car makers to regain market share, I believe they are going to have to create more vehicles with hybrid technology – especially considering gas is much more likely to return to $3 per gallon than it is to $1 per gallon.

Although, with Ford’s introduction of the Escape Hybrid, it appears that it may be ahead of the curve with respect to the other American manufacturers.

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