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Why isn't the mileage better on new non-hyb cars

  #1  
Old 10-14-2004, 03:50 PM
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I ran by the regional Toyota dealers to see how their Prius supply situation was coming along. Found that the Asheville, NC Toyota dealer had enough people on their waiting list to go through 2009 at their current delivery rate. At the Greenville, SC dealership they were subtly discouraging any inquiries about the Prius (they'd rather sell me a Corolla now then a Prius a year or two from now). At the Greenwood, SC dealer, they said they had only gotten in three '04 Prius and no '05's yet, but they would put me on a waiting list.

Because the Prius is still essentually unavailable in my region, I went and test drove the Scion Xa, one of the most similar vehicles to my 92 Civic hatch currently being sold. In comparing the two vehicles, the Xa has the same footprint, a little more headroom, roughly equivalent cornering and braking, but was much slower accelerating (they only had the automatic in stock) than my Civic hatch. The xa is only 200 lbs. heavier than my Civic, but its highway EPA mileage was 38 versis 48 for my '92 hatch. Why is the mileage so different between two essentually similar cars? I would have expected technology to have improved in the 12 years since my car was made, but here we have a similar sized, slower accelerating vehicle that gets 20% worse EPA mileage. And on-line reported real world mileage ranges from 29 to 42 for the Xa versis 41 to 55 for the '92-'95 Civic hatch, so the difference is not just a result of changes in EPA testing procedures through the years.
 
  #2  
Old 10-14-2004, 04:00 PM
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Well, as to your final point on the EPA testing, there HAS BEEN NO EPA test modifications since 1986, so that does not apply.

Get me more info on your 92 Civic and we can compare engines and torque and drivetrain and look at possible explanations....

( I'll post more later....)
 
  #3  
Old 10-15-2004, 06:57 PM
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The engine was replaced at 245,000 miles with a used engine from Japan. I am not sure which Honda engine it is, but suspect it is probably the engine used in the DX model (102hp, 98ft-lbs). But it could be the engine from the Si (125hp, 106ft-lbs), since its power output rises suddenly when it gets above 4000RPM (This RPM is a rough guesstimate since I have no tach). The 5 speed manual transmission is the stock CX transmission and I have no idea what its gear ratios are. Vehicle weight is 2.094 lbs. Cd is 0.32.
 
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:02 PM
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basjoos,
The xA engine is a 105 hp, (i think) 103 ft-lb engine strait from the echo along with the transmition. To keep the acceleration numbers decent, the lowered the final drive ratio. Match that w/ a higher CD and fuel economy suffers pretty badly. That and VVT-i is not as efficient for power to volume (little better on torque though). So at cruising speed w/ the same power engine, the engine is pumping more air......more air equals more gas, more gas equals worse economy. Thats my take on it anyway.
cheers,
Steven
 
  #5  
Old 10-17-2004, 05:56 PM
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Its too bad Honda stopped making those super fuel efficient 5th generation Civic hatchbacks and replaced them with the larger, heavier, thirstier Civic hatchback of today (30MPG highway). Those 92 through 95 Civic hatches certainly beat the Echo/Xa platform in both MPG's and acceleration. Hopefully the Honda Fit, whenever it gets over here, will prove more fuel efficient.
 
  #6  
Old 10-20-2004, 08:24 AM
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Ever thought of a diesel....

Last tank 55.3 mpg and 1384 miles....

You won't get that with a Jetta/Golf/NB TDI, but where there's a will, there's a way...
 
  #7  
Old 10-21-2004, 10:31 AM
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Please don't buy diesel.

They have much higher emissions.
 
  #8  
Old 10-21-2004, 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by kenny@Oct 21st 2004 @ 12:31 PM
Please don't buy diesel. They have much higher emissions.
True, but not only that - those diesel emissions are much more toxic than gasoline exhaust fumes. Three known carcinogens and more than 40 harmful toxins in diesel fumes.

And by the way: is the practice of 18 wheeler drivers just leaving their truck running all the dang time still a valid method of operation in today's world, where helping the environment and trying to clean the air is not just "hip" but is the means to avoid future catastrophe to the Earth?

(OK, I'm off the soapbox for now, but that stuff really peeves me !! )
 
  #9  
Old 10-22-2004, 11:00 PM
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Originally posted by kenny@Oct 21st 2004 @ 12:31 PM
Please don't buy diesel.

They have much higher emissions.
At least we get equal if not better fuel economy as hybrids do and our cars are drivable...

I'm able to accually pass someone if I want to...

200+ lb-ft of torque, that moves you baby!

New diesel running on ULSD are as clean as gas cars (and don't forget the 30-40% less CO2 ).

Not to mention the high tech catalytic converter (3 in a row) that make the new diesels "green" (I was going to write black...inside joke...).
 
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