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Old 10-28-2012, 08:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Speed vs. MPG chart: 2002 Toyota Camry 2.4 auto (impressive highway MPG sleeper car?)



My parents have a 2002 Camry 2.4L 4-cylinder automatic.

I've never tested a car that gets such good highway MPG relative to its EPA rating. Can this car really beat its EPA highway rating at 75 mph?

Nearly 50 MPG when the torque converter locks in top gear? Amazing for such a big, gasoline car.




For reference, this car's EPA fuel economy ratings are:

EPA city: 21 mpg (US)
EPA highway: 29 mpg (US)
EPA combined: 24 mpg (US)

EPA "user average MPG" (22 users): 28.7 MPG

NRCan (Canadian) ratings:
City: 10.1 L/100 km (28 mpg Imp.)
Hwy: 6.9 L/100 km (41 mpg Imp.)

FYI, the ScanGauge was not calibrated to this car (by a fill-up), but I compared the SG to the car's onboard fuel economy display, and the SG read slightly worse than the factory gauge, which makes it more credible.

UPDATE: the SG was probably around 10% optimistic. See post #12 for details.

Weather conditions:

Oct 25, 2012
Sunny, 17 C
Wind SE 10 km/h (looked negligable at the test area on the water)
Pressure 101.7 kpa
Humidity 72%

Raw numbers:


km/h .... mph .... W MPGUS .... E MPGUS ... AVG. MPG (US) ... L/100 km

50 ... 31.1 ... 49 ... 51.1 ... 50.1 ... 4.7
60 ... 37.3 ... 48 ... 47.7 ... 47.9 ... 4.9
70 ... 43.5 ... 47.3 ... 51.9 ... 49.6 ... 4.7
80 ... 49.7 ... 47.4 ... 47 ... 47.2 ... 5.0
90 ... 55.9 ... 42.1 ... 41.8 ... 42.0 ... 5.6
100 .. 62.1 ... 37.1 ... 40.8 ... 39.0 ... 6.0
110 .. 68.4 ... 33.4 ... 33.5 ... 33.5 ... 7.0
120 .. 75 ......32.5 ... 32 ... 32.3 ... 7.3

Methodology:
Car was fully warmed up before the test.

Air conditioning was off, windows were up, headlights on.

Car was brought up to speed & leveled off before passing a "start" marker (road sign) where the computer was reset. Reading was taken after passing a "finish" marker.

Top gear/torque converter locks @ 70 km/h, so MPG reading taken at 72 km/h, to ensure it was locked.
Mods in place during test:
  • none
Route:
2 lane highway, straight, dry & level (follows river edge). The road runs SSW/NNE and can be found here: 1000 Islands Parkway - Google Maps . Test portion is 1.6 km / 1 mi in length.

Traffic conditions:
There was no traffic ahead in my lane; some traffic occasionally passed in the oncoming lane.
---

See also: Speed vs. MPG charts (post 'em if you got 'em)

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Old 10-28-2012, 11:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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49.6 @ 45 mph, wow! I'm impressed. Tires pumped up, grill block, anything?
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nada.

And that's with winter tires, mid-30's PSI. (Though we know winter tires don't necessarily have high rolling resistance.)
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, that's even more impressive. I always wondered what my Neon's instant as mileage was on the highway, instead of just tank-to-tank averages, and that's pretty close to were I figured it would be. It's surprising to think an even bigger car, with an even bigger motor and no aero mods could do the same. It's cool to see such an underrated car, it must "slip through the cracks" of the EPA test procedures and show worse than it really is. Although there are still probably people who only get 15 MPG out of them,

Looks like you lucked out doing it on the ONE nice fall day this year, If you're weather has been as brutal as it has here more towards Toronto/ KW area.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's really an eye-opener how different cars achieve their EPA highway rating at different cruising speeds. EG: with some, you can go well over 70 mph and still manage to get EPA MPG. With others, if you push past 60, you're already below EPA highway. (The Firefly is one of those, maddeningly: in stock form, if you cruise above 60 mph, you will not get the EPA highway MPG.)

---

Weather! Last Thurs/Fri we had two stunningly nice days. It was like late summer around here again! Temperature records broken. I went sailing
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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drag coefficient

Just looked this up:

2002 Camry drag coefficient = 0.28

That's decent.

According to 2 sources, including:
Toyota Camry 2.4 VVTi, 2002 technical specifications 141570
First Drive: 2002 Toyota Camry - Autos.ca
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
That's decent.
That's an understatement.

Whatever you feel about how Toyotas look, steer or accelerate, they have some amazingly good engines.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Top Gear did a review with the Corolla. They pit it against some of their favorite cars in the same class for handling, speed and comfort. the Corolla beat all of them in every category....except in looks.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
It's really an eye-opener how different cars achieve their EPA highway rating at different cruising speeds. EG: with some, you can go well over 70 mph and still manage to get EPA MPG. With others, if you push past 60, you're already below EPA highway.
The difference is whether they worked to build a good car, or a car with good test scores. This is an example of the former.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree, we have a 2002 2.4 auto as well. It doesn't really get used, but I was able to get to Cleveland on one tank and back home to Charlotte on one tank.

I did 5mph over the limit on the way up with one passenger, a couple dogs and around 100 pounds of cargo. Didn't air the tires up, so they were in the low 30s hot. It does have synthetic oil. The tires are cheaper General Tire all seasons in the stock size.

On the way back I aired the tired up to maximum, went the posted speed limit and had an additional 150lbs of cargo.

The result? Just under 16 gallons for 35mpg.
EPA ratings...

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