Cheap gasoline and Americans' insatiable appetite for big SUVs and trucks continue to wreak havoc on automakers' once-rosy plans for small cars in the U.S. Case in point: Ford will reportedly do away with its heralded 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine as an option in the 2018 Fiesta subcompact.

The tiny workhorse earned Autoblog's praises back in 2014 as a Technology of the Year finalist for its combination of power (123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque) and impressive fuel economy. It'll live on in other global markets but won't return as an option in the U.S. market based on low demand, the website CarsDirect reports. A Ford spokesman said the move away from the three-cylinder was based on customer demand.

As we've previously written, the Fiesta is a global car that's fared better in overseas markets than in the U.S., where cheap gas prices have helped nudge consumers back to SUVs and pickups. There have even been suggestions the subcompact might not be offered in the U.S. at all. For 2018, the Fiesta we get here is a continuation of the model built in Cuautitlan Assembly Plant, Mexico, with the deletion of the three-cylinder as the only big change. A next-generation Fiesta has been introduced in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but it remains to be seen if or when that car will make it to the U.S. market.

The decision to drop the three-cylinder EcoBoost as an option leaves the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder as the only option for U.S. Fiesta buyers. Yet the three-cylinder delivers 36 more pound-feet of torque and 3 more horses. It also outperforms on fuel economy, with an EPA rating of 31 mpg city and 43 on the highway, compared to 27/35.

Ford also offers a three-cylinder 1.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine for the 2018 Fiesta ST that delivers 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque.

The automaker still lists the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost as an option on the 2018 Focus sedan and hatch, which will be available domestically.


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