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Smart cars are looking better all the time.....

Post in 'The Green Room' started by hemlock, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The onboard computer can be fooled by a stretch of deacceleration. I can get our Prius to report 99mpg pretty easily. More important is the actual math based on the refill gallons of the tank divided into the miles driven.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Last tank, my MINI's computer read 46 mpg for the tak but it actually got 43 mpg. It's usually optimistic.
  4. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    I have a VW jetta sportwagen TDI and absolutely love it. Turned in my old '98 jeep cherokee (RIP, still miss that car) as a "cash for clunkers" so i got $4500 for a vehicle with a blue book of $900.

    Clean diesel tax credit was nice... not sure if it's still going.

    I avg about 38-39 MPG/tank. Mainly hwy but the hills of NW CT hurt a little bit. I was more like 41-42 mpg/tank when i lived in michigan.

    Diesel price: yes, it runs about 20-25 cents more than 87 octane which is a bit ridiculous. Gov't needs to drop some of the excess taxes on diesel but that's neither here nor there. The 7% difference in price is nothing compared to the mileage advantage.

    Diesel longevity: Treated well, i'm hoping to get 250-300K minimum out of this vehicle. Not sure the same can be said of equivalent gas engines. Oil changes every 10K miles saves on maintenance, too.

    Lastly, nice to have some extra "oomph" and power when pushing the pedal down. Test drove the toyota yaris and that little 105 HP four banger STRUGGLED to accelerate on the hwy on ramp.

    Still can't believe american automakers haven't embraced clean diesel... Ford would make a killing by dropping it in the Ranger, Escape, fusion, and focus. I am also interested to see if anybody can pull off a diesel/electric hybrid. I don't do much/any city driving so the electric vehicles have never appealed to me but interesting if a diesel prius or fusion hybrid would offer even better mileage over a gas version.
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Yeah same results here. My 2500 Ram gets around 15-16mpg. Though for a while I drove a Ram 1500 with the 5.9L and I only got 12-13mpg with that. That mileage is what I get towing a fairly heavy trailer in my truck.


  6. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    "Upper 20s" for an F250 stretches credulity beyond the breaking point. My company has two of the last F250 7.3 diesels, one standard cab and one extended cab, (both 2wd) and neither will get quite 20 mpg running empty at highway speeds. I have an 04 Chevy K2500 4X4 and have frequently gotten just over 20 mpg on the highway, running unloaded. I think that is amazing for a four wheel drive four door 3/4 ton truck that weighs just short of 7,000 lbs.

    My uncle drives a 2000 model F350 crew cab 4X4 diesel (not a dually) that gets almost 25 mpg unloaded on the highway, but he has a performance chip tuned to improve mileage and, more importantly, a Gear Vendors overdrive. At 70 mph he is only turning 1400 rpm or so.

    The important thing about diesels is that efficiency drops dramatically once you pass the peak of the torque curve. So, I can get 21 mpg at 60 mph (1800 rpm) on my Chevy diesel, but at 70 mph (2100 rpm) I get maybe 18.5. At 75 I drop to perhaps 17 mpg. Also, city driving is really bad on mileage - the fuel burned to get that heavy truck up to speed is just dreadful.

    On the other hand, where they really shine is in hauling loads. We use our trucks to haul what are essentially 34' fifth wheel trailers - much like a travel trailer. By keeping the speeds reasonable we can get 10 to 12 mpg (prevailing winds are a major factor), where a gas engine truck would get not more than 7 mpg. And before anyone notes that is only "three to five more miles per gallon" do the math: that is 43 to 71 percent less fuel burned.

    I would really love to see something like a 2 liter turbo diesel in a Chevy Equinox.

    By the way, US low sulfur diesel is considerably lower in sulfur than European lsd.
  7. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    496 miles driven, 17 gallons to fill up =29.176
    490 miles driven, 16.95 gallons to fill up= 28.908
    499 miles driven 17.23 gallons to fill up= 28.960

    95% highway miles at 70-75

    I'd say for a 4 thousand pound car thats awd is fairly impressive... yey FORD...

    enjoy
  8. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Right now Ford is pretty much on the cutting edge of efficiency. The Fiesta and Focus both get 40mpg, the Hybrid Escape and Hybrid Fusion get best in class 34 and 41mpg respectively. The Focus Electric is suppose to be super efficient and coming out later this year. The only thing they are missing compared to the competition is a 50+ mpg small-car hybrid. I'd like to see a hybrid Fiesta or Focus that gets 55-60 mpg. What I really want to see though nobody has right now in the US and that is a small pickup that gets mid 30's for mpg. Europe has diesel Rangers that get that mpg and Mexico has gasoline Ford Couriers that hit that mark. Bring one of those here. I'll buy one.
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You all do realize that nearly all of our favorite small economy cars and trucks are available with diesel engines already, right? In other countries. So the question is not, why can't Ford (or chevy or toyota) do it, but why aren't they sold in the US.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Our '94 Ranger 4 cyl. gets about 33 on the highway. It isn't fast, but it's frugal.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Bingo - I have been asking myself that same question for quite a few years.

    Also, I am a fan of Jeep Grand Cherokees. They just so happen to have the qualities that I use frequently (proper tow capacity, seating for 4 adults, 4 or all wheel drive, interior storage, etc). When Mercedes was part of the deal, they put a diesel in the grand Cherokee - they screwed up. That sucker was tuned to rock and roll with hemi performance and got low 20's for mileage. They would have had a real peach if they would have had a detuned version with the performance of my small v8 (very capable little engine) and hit mid or high 20's with it. But no - everybody has to have a race jeep??? Stupid.

    If they would come out with a small fuel efficient diesel that still had towing torque to fit into the Jeep or even the dakota, they would sell a pile of them. Not everybody has a need to tow 10,000 pounds.

    Side note: you wanna see a race jeep, check out the Grand Cherokee SRT8 - holy crap.

    Hehe - did a little looking: 2010 Chrysler Grand Voyager van - 2.8 liter common rail diesel - gets 30 MPG - not available in US. Go figure.
  12. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    The perception still exists in this country that diesels are rattly, smelly, dirty etc. The domestic OEMs seem unwilling to campaign for clean diesel in any significant way, despite great success with diesel light trucks.

    VW (and to a lesser extent MB) has demonstrated that modern diesel car tech is clean, efficient and hardly perceptible to the driver. In such, they have developed a staunch following. But for cars at least, it still appears that domestic OEMs cling to the market model that Americans will only buy large, high power, gasoline vehicles and moreover that these cars are integral to the sense of American identity. The new Volt is obviously counter to that model, but electric will only power small cars for some time yet.

    So if high power gasoline is still acceptable, despite the stigma of fossil fuel, it is unfortunate that competent European type diesel is likely to only be a niche player.
  13. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Agree that Ford is really making progress on fuel economy -- I like to think its because my old boss from Boeing now runs the company :)

    But, its interesting to look at the numbers from www.fueleconomy.gov

    Prius: 50 mpg combined, midsize, 94 cf passenger compartment, 22 cf luggage space for total of 116 cf inside space.

    Fusion: 25 mpg combined, midsize, 100 cf of passenger compartment, 16 cf luggage space for total of 116 cf inside space.

    So, about the same size and the Prius uses half the fuel -- seems like Ford still has some room for improvement.

    Gary
  14. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    Totally agree. I'd buy a 4.0L turbo diesel Dakota in a minute. I have a Hemi 300C. Drops to 4 cyl on the highway, I can squeeze 25MPG out of it and pass just about anything. 4100 lbs.
    The wife's 98 Subie forrester, 2.5L non turbo 160 hp. will almost match it in mileage. Not even close in performance.
  15. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Is it 4wd? If not it doesn't work for me. Also, Ford hasn't made a 4cyl 4wd for 10+ years - a real mistake in my eyes. Now you can only get the 4.0 V6 automatic for a 4wd. How stupid!
  16. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    You must have looked at the non hybrid version, which isn't fair because the Prius is a hybrid. According to the website you listed, the Fusion Hybrid gets 39mpg combined. The Prius still wins (albeit with a much smaller margin than you said) as far as carrying capacity vs MPG, but it loses on "creature comforts." The Fusion is really a posh little car.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    10 MPG is 25% better average gas mileage. The Prius is pretty tricked out, though they are careful to not pile on accessories that add a lot of weight. What extra creature comforts does the Fusion have and are they weight adders? Also, the Fusion Hybrid's base price is $6K higher than the Prius and has a dash board that looks like a game arcade. But it does have better rear visibility.
  18. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    This I'm not entirely sure on as I've not ever driven either car - I was going by what I've read online etc. The Fusion is a physically larger car as far as wheelbase etc, and from what I've read it drives quite well, sporty even. I've not ever head reviews about the Prius calling it sporty in any way.

    Regardless I think it's great that there are a handful of companies now embracing a higher mpg stance than what they use to.
  19. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Missed the hybrid -- should have known better since we test drove one a while back.
    We just traded in our old Prius on a new Prius -- its seems pretty posh to me -- heated leather seats, auto dimming rear view mirror, big screen navigation ...
    Gary
  20. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    The (hybrid) Fusion, Prius match-up looks like a pretty good one. I'll be advising my mother-in-law soon on another car. This would be her opportunity to greatly improve her fuel economy (Buick Lucerne). These two are priced competitively with most nice family sedans. I am leaning toward the Fusion for the driving dynamics mentioned above and also she will appreciate the lower "green" profile of the Fusion styling.

    It will be fun to test drive and evaluate them both.

    ps, just to stay with the topic: Is there anyone out there who agrees with the title of this thread??
  21. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Keep us posted as to what your mother in law gets.

    As to the question about the thread title, I doubt it. For a whole bunch of reasons, smart cars aren't that smart. At least not in the US.
  22. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    Yeah, but Smarts are very cost-efficient. After they are crushed by an F-150, they will fit neatly in a standard burial plot -- thereby eliminating the expense of one of those highly polished brass and oak boxes.
  23. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    From what I've been reading, Subaru may be the next contender in the North American clean diesel market and they'll be making a strong play. Give me an outback or forester with AWD and 35-40 MPG... i'd seriously consider trading in my VW TDI jetta wagon for that. They have a diesel boxer engine internationally, just need to get it cleaned up enough for US emissions. I think it'll be the first real diesel challenge to VW/Audi.
  24. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    Driving a Prius is okay as long as noone sees you, kind of like the mo-ped thing its fun to do as long as no one sees you and then there is the fat chick one well you know the story.......................
  25. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Pretty poor MPG for a phone booth on wheels,you could do much better with a VW jetta with a TDI diesel , my sister claims 55MPG on a trip with hers.

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