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A race to use less gas in the long haul

Corporate Troll (537873) writes | about 6 years ago

User Journal 7

A race to use less gas in the long haul

"In the 1970s, '80s and '90s, carmakers all offered super-high-efficiency cars," says Eric Noble, president of the Car Lab, an auto industry research and consulting group. "Now that consumers are clamoring for them, those cars are pretty much all gone."

A race to use less gas in the long haul

"In the 1970s, '80s and '90s, carmakers all offered super-high-efficiency cars," says Eric Noble, president of the Car Lab, an auto industry research and consulting group. "Now that consumers are clamoring for them, those cars are pretty much all gone."

With demand for efficiency surging, carmakers are racing to improve their lineups. General Motors Corp., which currently doesn't have any cars that top 30 mpg combined, said last month that it would spend $500 million to produce a new compact car for 2011, the Cruze, that would reach 45 mpg on the highway. That's about 13 mpg below the rating for its most fuel-efficient Geo Metro 14 years ago.

I'm laughing..... However, I to take offense on one phrase in the article: "Tarman's love affair with a slow, undersized Civic shows the tremendous effect soaring gas prices ".... Undersized for what, exactly? For him commuting along to his work?!? WTF?!? A Honda Civic is often used as a family car here when the kids are still small. Get some perspective, mmmmkay?

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Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24945237)

EPA estimation process changed to "better reflect" actual performance of the car a couple of years back.

http://shuhhuquareview.blogspot.com/2007/10/epa-mileage-estimate-changes.html [blogspot.com]

And having driven a Geo Metro for nearly a decade (ending several years back), I can believe that the change was needed. At its finest, I was getting 40mpg on the long haul highway with AC and radio off (needed to get the damn thing to highway speeds, cry moar about your "slow" civic!). I'm not exactly clear on the old process for estimating fuel usage, I guess they must have found a highway with a 20mph speed limit somewhere, and driven it with all of the seats and other unnecessary weight thrown out.

Aside from the 55mpg lie, geo metros are actually a pleasure to work on. Mine was a 3 cylinder, aluminum block. One fit man could carry the engine alone (though I'd probably have thrown out my back if I had tried to lift it leaning over the car) and there's plenty of space. Speaking of space, at 6'3" it amazed everyone that I fit in the thing, but the secret is that there's a huge amount of room inside the car when the engine compartment is so tiny. Now, I had to have the seat all the way back (leaving just a few inches of space for the back seat passenger's legs) so it did cut down on the number of people it could fit, and there was a round stain on the ceiling where my greasy hair touched, but these days the subcompacts are tiny. I'm in an Accent now, after trying a few tiny cars like one Kia that for some reason had an oval-shaped console about 2 feet wide, taking up half the space under the steering wheel where my leg should have gone, I couldn't even put my foot on the gas pedal because the radio was where my knee should be.

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 6 years ago | (#24946297)

EPA estimation process changed to "better reflect" actual performance of the car a couple of years back.

Except, that if you had read the article, that's covered. Still 6mpg better than modern cars. I quote: (Last year, the government adjusted the way it calculated fuel economy, but even under the new rating system, the Geo beats the Cruze by 6 mpg.)

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 6 years ago | (#24948197)

One of my nephews just purchased an old Geo Storm (not that there are any others;-) and it gets 38mpg! Did we just lose the technology somehow?

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 6 years ago | (#24948583)

Well, there is more to it. They seem to talk about a specific model XVi or so, and do notice that the guys covered use the basic gas saving techniques (not the hypermiler techniques that are actually dangerous and often illegal). With my TT, I go from about 24mpg to 30mpg by driving reasonably. (110kmh highway, no sudden acceleration, coast - while in gear -, no sudden brakes, good maintenance, etc....) Since the metro of your nephew an old car, I can also imagine it had been maintained like crap the last 15 years, which isn't good for mileage either.

Here in Europe, 5.5l/100km to 7l/100km (43mpg to 33mpg) are pretty normal and common. Heck, my Audi 80, ran 7l/100km when I had it back in 1999 and it was already 14y old by then.

No, I don't think we lost any technology.... We seem still to have it ;-)

undersized (1)

turg (19864) | about 6 years ago | (#24949331)

Undersized for what, exactly?

For passing oversized vehicles with even more oversized engines who don't want to let you past.

Re:undersized (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 6 years ago | (#24958933)

What about going for "normal sized"? ;-)

Re:undersized (1)

SiliconJesus (1407) | about 6 years ago | (#24970633)

Minivans (people movers), full size sedans (Euro Accord is on the small side of 'standard' etc.

You also have to realize we as a whole drive a whole lot more here in the US. I solved the problem by having my commuter car (2005 Honda Civic base model) my family car (2007 Honda Odyssey EX) for moving around the 5 of us and my fun car, (2005 V8 Hemi-powered Dodge Magnum RT - similar to the European Chrysler 300C Touring).

The Civic is fine when its just me, and we drove to Knoxville, TN and back in her old Civic EX, but its much more comfortable to drive the long distances in the bigger more upright sitting cars. Your Audi is plenty comfortable, and would be fine, but its definitely on the small side of cars in this hemisphere. The smart four-two's here look absolutely insane.

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