For anyone old enough to remember the ’70s, the concept of a lowered van brings about images of groovy decals and Cheech & Chong, not fuel economy. But Ford Europe has other ideas.

The US automaker’s Ford Fiesta “van” (OK, it’s “car-derived” from a really small car) starts sales in Europe this month, and features some fuel economy figures far better suited for a Honda Civic than an Econoline.

Ford, which will start selling the model across the Pond this month, says its Fiesta Van variants all get at least 76.4 miles per gallon, per the slightly more optimistic European driving cycle, with the Fiesta ECOnetic topping out at 85.6 mpg. That version features stop-start technology, hardcore aerodynamics and, yes, a lowered suspension. Overall, the Fiesta Van will have two diesel variants and one petrol version, all in the 1.25-to-1.6-liter engine-size range.

The model also features a payload capacity of about 1,100 pounds and steel bulkhead, lest we forget that it’s, well, a van. Check out Ford Europe’s press release below.

By Danny King

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