2013 NAIAS: 2014 Ford Fiesta Ecoboost Rides High

2013 NAIAS: 2014 Ford Fiesta Ecoboost drove from LAX to Las Vegas on half a tank of gas.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

While sampling our great nation's flu virus, this automotive editor covered the 2013 Consumer Electronic Show in cold, windy Las Vegas – before heading directly to colder and windier Detroit to cover the 2013 North America International Auto Show.

So, despite battling a bug that would kill lesser men, I had to do a lot of traveling. Part of that journey took me from Los Angeles to Las Vegas across the California desert for CES. That trek along I-15 gave me an opportunity to try out the 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0 Liter Ecoboost over a long haul.

It’s a rare moment when NAIAS Detroit and CES Vegas cross over – since Ford and its Fiesta are obviously on prominent display here in Michigan.

I tested the car on a shorter run during a Ford press event in late 2012. At the time, I wrote that it was a surprisingly fun car to drive, considering that it’s powered by a 3 cylinder, 1.0 liter engine (below). After putting the through its paces during both road and track testing, I defied any average driver to tell the difference between the Fiesta Ecoboost model and the any little four cylinder car.

I found the pep of Ecoboost engine (…We call it 1.0, but it’s 1.6 – give or take…) adequate. It doesn’t jerk your head back, but the little 3 cylinder power-plant provides everything the car needs for city or highway driving – including a long drive through a lonely desert. And it’s the “long” part of the drive that highlighted the new Fiesta’s prime feature.

2013 NAIAS: 2014 Ford Fiesta Ecoboost Rides High

By shrinking the engine, adding the Ecoboost turbocharger and reducing weight, the Fiesta scores a projected average mileage of 47 mpg from a gasoline driven car. On the Vegas run, with its sea level to 4,000 foot climbs to the high desert, I was unable to replicate that 47 mpg. However, I did squeeze out 40+ for much of the drive.

The real bottom line is I was able to drive from LAX near the ocean to the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas on half a tank of gas. That’s roughly 300 miles logged with half a tank to spare as I ran around CES events.

At about $15,500, the 2014 Ford Fiesta Ecoboost offers an excellent alternative to a hybrid likely to cost as much as $10,000 more – whether viva’ing in Las Vegas or motown’ing to Detroit.

Check out all of Crave Online's coverage from NAIAS 2013 here!