Guide to Green Cars > The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide > Ford

2012 Green Car Buyer’s Guide, Ford

2012 model year highlights from Ford: the Fiesta, Focus, Focus Electric and Fusion Hybrid. 


Compiled by Megan E. Phelps, John Rockhold,
Hannah Kincaid, Emily Glover,
Bradley Berman and Zach McDonald

See "What the Numbers Mean" in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012 for a full description of the metrics we collected for each model.

Ford Fiesta

Gasoline, Compact or Hatchback 

Green-Ford-FiestaPrice Range: $14,000 – $19,100
City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 29/39/33
Annual Fuel Cost: $1,700
Air Pollution Score: 6
Greenhouse Gas Score: 8
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: 49/Superior
Safety Ratings: IIHS Top Safety Pick; 4-star NHTSA rating
Space: 85.1 cu. ft. p.v./seats 5
Drive Score: 4.5
Similar Used: 2011

Good to Know: 

  • In 2010, the Fiesta returned to the American market after a 30-year absence. Within a year, it became the best-selling compact in the United States.
  • In the crowded compact sector, the Fiesta stands out thanks to dramatic styling, highly praised handling and ride, and upscale features.
  • The base-level Fiesta achieves impressive efficiency numbers in its own right, but the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) option boosts highway gas mileage further — to 40 mpg.

What the Press Says: 

  • “The Ford Fiesta is a winner. Even if you never thought you’d find yourself considering a compact car, it may be time to reconsider.” — 
  • “You won’t get anywhere quickly, but you also won’t use much fuel.” — Car and Driver 
  • “Most front seat occupants won’t feel claustrophobic or even cheated of space (although visibility isn’t particularly great), but there’s no denying that competitors offer far superior second-row space and greater cargo capacity.” — Autoblog 

What Drivers Say: 

  • Many readers love the combination of low price and great gas mileage they get with the Fiesta. “It gets great mileage even though I drive it like I stole it. In fact, I did steal it — it was less than $16,000 brand new,” says Kevin Howerton of Montesano, Wash.
  • Jeanne-Marie Bakehouse of Franktown, Colo., says she’s extremely satisfied with her hatchback Fiesta, especially its versatility. “We took out the back seats to make a giant trunk space. Because there are just the two of us, this works great,” she says.

Ford Focus

Gasoline, Compact or Hatchback 

Red-Ford-FocusPrice Range: $17,300 – $23,200
City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 28/38/31
Annual Fuel Cost: $1,800
Air Pollution Score: 7
Greenhouse Gas Score: 7
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: 48/Above Average
Safety Ratings: IIHS Top Safety Pick (4 door version); 4-star NHTSA rating
Space: 90.7 cu. ft. p.v./seats 5
Drive Score: 4
Similar Used: Redesigned for 2012

Good to Know: 

  • Ford has launched the third generation of its Focus, introducing its 2.0-liter, direct-injected EcoBoost engine to the popular model.
  • An optional Super Fuel Economy trim raises the car’s highway fuel efficiency to 40 mpg.
  • Available technologies include MyKey, a system that allows parents to limit stereo volume and top speed when their teenagers drive. Another option is MyFord, a voice-activated integrated entertainment and navigation console.

What the Press Says: 

  • “Sporty handling, a supple and controlled ride, relatively low noise levels, and a solid interior make the redesigned Focus sophisticated and refined.” — Consumer Reports 
  • “The Focus’ supple but certain chassis provides both the best ride and the best handling of any compact car out there.” — Automobile 
  • “With better styling than the Chevrolet Cruze and better handling than the Hyundai Elantra, the 2012 Ford Focus is the most complete package in the compact car market.” — 

What Drivers Say: 

  • We heard from quite a few Focus owners who told us they chose this car because of the mpg and the price, but have also been pleased with the car’s handling.
  • Jeanine Davis of Hendersonville, N.C., loves her Focus on her daily drive of 25 miles through winding mountain roads. “It is fun, sporty, cute, made in the United States, gets great gas mileage, and didn’t cost me an arm and a leg,” Davis says. “For the money, I don’t think this can be beat.”

Ford Focus Electric

Electric, Compact Hatchback 

Silver-Ford-Focus-ElectricBase Price: $40,000
Combined MPGe: 100
Annual Fuel Cost: N/A
Air Pollution Score: N/A
Greenhouse Gas Score: N/A
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: N/A
Safety Ratings: N/A
Space: N/A/seats 5
Drive Score: 4.5
Similar Used: New for 2012

Good to Know: 

  • The Ford Focus Electric has an estimated battery range of 100 miles and takes three to four hours to fully charge using a 240-volt outlet.
  • Ford’s strategy is to make an electric car using the already successful Focus platform. Reviewers debate whether that’s a smart way to reduce cost, or whether it compromises the electric vehicle design.
  • The cargo space in the hatch has been reduced to make room for a battery pack.
  • A fast, 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger makes quick electric top-offs more practical, but a DC quick charger is not yet available.
  • Rollout in early 2012 is limited to a dozen or so select markets, expanding to 19 cities by the end of the year.
  • Best Buy sells home charging stations for the Focus Electric for about $1,500.
  • Ford has a promotion with SunPower through which it offers enough solar panels for a typical daily charge of the car.

What the Press Says: 

  • “The Ford Focus Electric was designed from the ground up to be efficient, attractively packaged, and meet the needs of the mass market with the safety, comfort and stylish features expected of the brand’s conventional models.” — Green Car Journal 
  • “Ford’s newly electrified Focus is poised to bring some style to the Kilowatt Wars.” — Automobile 
  • “The new Focus Electric is packed full of green touches — from the EV-driver-in-training dash to soy-based foam in the seat cushions to something called Lignotock, the car is designed to be eco-friendly inside and out.” — AutoblogGreen 

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Hybrid, Sedan 

Ford-Fusion-HybridBase Price: $29,600 
City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 41/36/39
Annual Fuel Cost: $1,450
Air Pollution Score: 7
Greenhouse Gas Score: 9
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: 47/Above Average
Safety Ratings: IIHS Top Safety Pick; N/A
Space: 99.8 cu. ft. p.v./seats 5
Drive Score: 4
Similar Used: 2010, 2011

Good to Know: 

  • The 2012 Fusion Hybrid gets an impressive combined 39 mpg, but the redesigned 2013 model to be released later this year is expected to jump to 47 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway.
  • The Fusion Hybrid is currently slightly behind other mid-size hybrids in overall fuel economy, but many critics prefer its smooth transitions between gas and electric driving.
  • Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide system helps drivers learn how to drive more efficiently.
  • The Fusion Hybrid was named 2010 North American Car of the Year.

What the Press Says: 

  • “If you’re shopping for a hybrid-powered sedan, the Fusion Hybrid should definitely be near the top of your list. Its combination of solid driving dynamics and superior fuel economy makes it a must-drive in this burgeoning segment.” — 
  • “The most standout behavior of the Fusion Hybrid is that nothing really stands out. As we drove, there were no hiccups, no stumbles and no shuddering when the engine started and stopped. ... It was also remarkably quiet.” — AutoblogGreen 

What Drivers Say: 

  • Several Fusion Hybrid owners told us they do not get the real-world fuel economy they expected to with this hybrid. But many are generally satisfied with the car, telling us that it is comfortable, quiet and fun to drive, and that it has plenty of space, holding five comfortably and offering ample trunk room.

More 2012 green cars: Find details about many more green cars from other automakers in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012.

Photos from Ford and Transtock 

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