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Gas Mileage Hasn't Really Improved in 10 years.......
Old 08-14-2008, 01:54 PM   #1
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Gas Mileage Hasn't Really Improved in 10 years.......

I was thinking about this last night when EVERY car company is trumpeting 30 mpg on the highway. It seems like cars got that 10 YEARS ago, so I did some checking on the EPA website on fuel economy. All models I used have an AUTOMATIC transmission........

V-6 Models

1998

Chrysler Concorde 28/18
Buick park Avenue 26/17
Ford taurus 26/17
Honda Accord V-6 26/18
Camry V-6 25/17

2008

300C (replaced Concorde) 26/18
Buick Lucerne 25/16
Ford taurus 28/18
Honda Accord V-6 29/19
Camry V-6 28/19

Four-Cylinder Models (econoboxes)

1998

Cavalier 30/20
Escort 31/22
Cirrus 28/18
Civic 33/25
Corolla 33/25

2008

Cobalt 31/22
Focus 33/24
Sebring 30/21
Civic 36/25
Corolla 35/26

Bottom line, other than hybrids like the Prius, gas mileage hasn't gotten any better for the most part. City mileage hasn;t really improved at all.............

Find a way for a "normal" car to get 30 mpg city, and you have something...........
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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You do have to be careful with the comparison. You aren't comparing the same standards. The EPA did 2 revisions to how they calculate mpg, one of which kicks in next year and one of which kicked in a decade or so ago.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caoineag View Post
You do have to be careful with the comparison. You aren't comparing the same standards. The EPA did 2 revisions to how they calculate mpg, one of which kicks in next year and one of which kicked in a decade or so ago.
The EPA website had cars from 1985 on up adjusted to the NEW standards, as of 2008............

I thought the same thing, but they are ALL adjusted on the site now............

Many, many cars get nearly 30 mpg on the highway, which makes driving a tiny car, unless it's a hybrid, not that big of a dollar saving deal........
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:20 PM   #4
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I watched a Nova on -- I think I have this right -- Click and Clack, the two radio car guys -- the other night. In there I think they actually said that the US auto fleet averages have actually dropped slightly over a recent decade (perhaps early 90's to 2005 or so?). The show asserted this was due to Congress not requiring higher standards by law and the (formerly) rising popularity of SUV's and trucks, which are in a separate class of standard and can get lower MPG's.

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:08 PM   #5
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I think fuel economy has improved, but has been negated by cars and trucks getting larger/heavier.

My previous vehicle was a 1992 Chevy p/u, with a 4.3L V6, TBI, rated about 160hp. My current Chevy p/u has a 4.8L V8, MPI, pushing 270hp. Yet about the same mpg.

However, look at a Corolla from the 80s vs. a new Corolla.
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:35 PM   #6
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We've got a 2002 VW Beetle Turbo Diesel, which gets 45 city and 50 highway. A pretty good solution, even with the premium on diesel. So what does VW do? Stops producing it, of course.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:30 PM   #7
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I will say they have gotten better... because of more power...

My 85 Cougar was a 3.8 liter engine... and I believe 135 HP... got 17 or so MPG..

My 95 Monte Carlo has a 3.4 liter and I think 210 or 215 HP... and 17 MPG..

My 04 Acura has a 3.2 liter with 270 (old method) and I am getting about 24 to 25...

Now... the Cougar was a 3 speed... Monte a 4 and Acura a 6 (manual)...

So, more power and the same mileage... so better
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:31 AM   #8
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Just wait a few years.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:03 AM   #9
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Just wait a few years.
Until what? The average MPG drops even lower??
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:30 AM   #10
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Until what? The average MPG drops even lower??
Unless gas prices drop below $3 and stay there, that won't happen.

The oil glut and $10 per barrel crude in the mid 1980s is what killed production of all the late 1970s/early 1980s econoboxes, and at this point it would take another sustained bout of cheap gas to kill off the current trend. I don't know that anyone sees such a sharp oil crash coming, my investing in USO right at the top notwithstanding.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:00 AM   #11
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Just wait a few years.
Sorry, I meant that the government has been totally ineffective, but now, with the market pressures of high gas prices, we'll see some significant increases in gas mileage in just a few years.

Driving our 44 MPG non-hybrid Echo, I'm confident that the automakers can have some higher MPG cars out very soon.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by FinanceDude View Post
The EPA website had cars from 1985 on up adjusted to the NEW standards, as of 2008............

I thought the same thing, but they are ALL adjusted on the site now............

Many, many cars get nearly 30 mpg on the highway, which makes driving a tiny car, unless it's a hybrid, not that big of a dollar saving deal........
Yeeck. That is really sad. I know that there hasn't been much improvement thanks to trucks and suv's being permitted to have such bad mpg but the rest is just pathetic.

As to the tiny cars, I like them for easier parking but I have noticed that with regular use, they on average do better than the larger cars. (I rent cars pretty often so I end up driving a large variety). I am disappointed by the smart car though. When you go super tiny, there should be some improvement in gas mileage and there isn't.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Sorry, I meant that the government has been totally ineffective, but now, with the market pressures of high gas prices, we'll see some significant increases in gas mileage in just a few years.

Driving our 44 MPG non-hybrid Echo, I'm confident that the automakers can have some higher MPG cars out very soon.
I have to agree with this... Congress can gripe, bitch and moan all they want about standards and trying to force efficiency on the public... it may even work a little bit. But, the single largest and most effective deterrent to lower consumption and increase efficiency is simply higher prices. When the car companies adapt (they do that?) and the consumer reacts and gauges the effect $110 a barrel oil has on gas prices, car companies will compete to acommodate this. How long will it take? Not sure...
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Sorry, I meant that the government has been totally ineffective, but now, with the market pressures of high gas prices, we'll see some significant increases in gas mileage in just a few years.

Driving our 44 MPG non-hybrid Echo, I'm confident that the automakers can have some higher MPG cars out very soon.
I truly hope you're right, but this disappointing article from USA Today a few days ago suggests otherwise. Unfortunately I think most Americans may never "get it" unless gas just goes up constantly and at a rate significantly greater than inflation. The last two paragraphs confirm our ignorance IMHO...

As gasoline prices drop, interest in smaller cars falls off

By Sharon Silke Carty and Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

Car shoppers who panicked in June and July about gas prices are losing interest in small cars and hybrids as fuel prices have declined.

As gas prices topped $4 a gallon for about seven weeks this summer, truck and SUV sales plummeted, and small-car sales soared. But Edmunds.com, which attracts about 50% of people using the Internet to research their next car purchase, says research interest in compact crossover SUVs now is on the rise.

"In May, June and July, people were just stunned" by $4 gas, says Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com. Now, "It's kind of a return to rationality, where the singular fixation on fuel economy is gone. As people think things through clearly and a little more calmly, they'll make different decisions."

While still about $1 pricier than last year, the national average for regular gas is about $3.80.

In recent months, executives at General Motors and Ford Motor have said they believe a consumer shift from big SUVs and trucks may be permanent. Small-car sales are up 10.9% for the year, while SUV sales are down 16.2%, and trucks are down 23.4%.

Automakers have increased production of their smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, but they haven't been able to meet demand, so they've lost sales.

But the future of compact and smaller cars may not be as bright as some predict. In addition to Edmunds.com's report, a study by consulting group Acxiom found most buyers won't look to small cars for their next purchase but may downsize in the class of vehicle they drive. Owners of big SUVs, for instance, would more likely buy a smaller SUV or crossover, not skip to a small car just to save gas.

In June, 31.4% of recent new car buyers surveyed said the purchase was motivated by a desire for better gas mileage, Acxiom says. That's up from 21.1% in February, but still less than a third of buyers. There is "not this huge flood to one segment in the auto industry," says Tim Longnecker of Acxiom's automotive practice. "There's still going to be this huge desire for utility."

Anwyl of Edmunds agrees. While some experts have predicted that Americans will begin driving much smaller cars, as many folks do in Europe, where fuel is heavily taxed, Anwyl says Americans have built lives around larger vehicles that can carry lots of stuff, such as their children's sports gear.

"At the end of the day, people need space," he says. "There are unique needs in the United States. … The types of vehicles that resonate with consumers will be the ones that offer reasonable utility and pretty good fuel economy. Not the super-small ones with high fuel economy."
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Sorry, I meant that the government has been totally ineffective, but now, with the market pressures of high gas prices, we'll see some significant increases in gas mileage in just a few years.

Driving our 44 MPG non-hybrid Echo, I'm confident that the automakers can have some higher MPG cars out very soon.
I doubt it, Toyota quit making the Echo, and wants everyone to buy the Prius for $8000 more.........

Unless the "hybrid premium" of $4-$6000 goes away, I can't justify it for me, $5000 buys a LOT of gas.........
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:27 PM   #16
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I doubt it, Toyota quit making the Echo, and wants everyone to buy the Prius for $8000 more.........

Unless the "hybrid premium" of $4-$6000 goes away, I can't justify it for me, $5000 buys a LOT of gas.........
But but you wont be cool and driving a Prius..
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:34 PM   #17
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The Yaris is a pretty nice car, but only rated 36 mpg highway. I was thinking about the liftback version.
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