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Old 11-06-2016, 05:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question for those of you who drive vehicles with "low power" engines

Hello everyone. I'm looking to buy a vehicle for fuel economy and I would like to hear some feedback When it comes to small displacement engines (1.3-1.5L), they make good city vehicles but what about highway driving? Is merging onto the highway safe? Can you merge on an uphill ramp?

I'm debating whether to buy a Civic CX with an 8 valve, 1.5L, 70HP engine or not. I wonder if this vehicle (and others like it, eg Geo Metro) requires a significant lifestyle shift, such as avoiding uphill ramps.

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Old 11-06-2016, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I owned a Civic CX, but the previous owner had installed a D16A6 (100 HP at the wheels) into it. So, I may not be the most qualified to answer. It still had the really long CX gears though.

I don't think you'd have to change your lifestyle, but you'll probably need to wring the engine out if you want to get up to speed in a reasonable amount of time.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My favorite car was a 25hp Subaru 360

Just requires an attitude adjustment
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Agree that there is no lifestyle change in driving a car with no guts.

What is needed is an adjustment to your expectations and this will follow through to your driving style. Overtaking and freeway merging needs anticipation and planning, especially where the car requires written notice to accelerate.



Many years ago I drove a Honda 360 (2 cyl air cooled with a 4 speed crash box) and the local buses could win a drag race on a good day with 1/4 mile times measured with an egg timer! It never stopped me driving it on the freeway because I planned the merge and wrung its neck to fit into a slot in the traffic.

Plan ahead, have a back-out plan and be conservative and you will not have a problem.

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Old 11-06-2016, 06:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiochOG View Post
I owned a Civic CX, but the previous owner had installed a D16A6 (100 HP at the wheels) into it. So, I may not be the most qualified to answer. It still had the really long CX gears though.

I don't think you'd have to change your lifestyle, but you'll probably need to wring the engine out if you want to get up to speed in a reasonable amount of time.
Yeah. Right now I own a Volvo 940 2.3L Turbo. I don't have to think about highway merging at all. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I mind going slow and people zooming by me on the highway. I do 60 MPH on the highway all day long. But I do find sometimes find it stressful to merge onto highways when a lot of traffic is coming. That's why I'm thinking of doing the 16 valve swap.

But I'd like to hear more opinions before making a decision.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janas19 View Post
Yeah. Right now I own a Volvo 940 2.3L Turbo. I don't have to think about highway merging at all. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I mind going slow and people zooming by me on the highway. I do 60 MPH on the highway all day long. But I do find sometimes find it stressful to merge onto highways when a lot of traffic is coming. That's why I'm thinking of doing the 16 valve swap.

But I'd like to hear more opinions before making a decision.
And at the time I drove the Honda as a road car, my other set of wheels was a 285HP 13B engined RX2 rally car.

Attitude and expectations are the key. Practice driving the Volvo with a block of foam rubber on the accelerator and see how you go.

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Old 11-06-2016, 07:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I drove a Metro for 8 years, I commuted 60 miles per day. I rarely had it on the freeway, my commute is on rural 2 lane highways. I went from searching for fuel mileage to having fun with the car. I went from 55 mpg pig to 45 mpg with the 1.3L. Either way you don't just pull out and pass a line of traffic. I was fun with the 1.3 to race people, they just couldn't get their head around a fairly quick Metro. I have a 150 hp Saturn L now and I can pass at will.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janas19 View Post
Yeah. Right now I own a Volvo 940 2.3L Turbo. I don't have to think about highway merging at all. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I mind going slow and people zooming by me on the highway. I do 60 MPH on the highway all day long. But I do find sometimes find it stressful to merge onto highways when a lot of traffic is coming. That's why I'm thinking of doing the 16 valve swap.

But I'd like to hear more opinions before making a decision.
They've got brakes.
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When driving a slug on the highway I always made sure that I had really bright lights on the back to make people see me from a bit further back. These new LEDs make lighting up the back a whole lot easier than back in the day!
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Old 11-07-2016, 01:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With cars built in the last 15 to 20 years, why compromise with sub-100hp engines? You can get nearly the same economy with a lot more fun factor.

Keep in mind i have only had 2 vehicles in 10 years of driving, the smallest engine was 3.2L and 220 hp.

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