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Old 03-18-2013, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
5 Gears of Fury
War_Wagon's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver B.C., Canada
Posts: 1,230

Spunky - '90 Honda Civic CX
90 day: 35.56 mpg (US)
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Worst factory gear ratios for highway F.E. you have ever driven?

I realize that some vehicles are produced with the intention of just being used around town, or geared for a purpose like trailer towing, but sometimes you come across a factory setup that just seems so unbalanced that it's hard to imagine that it went into production. My old standby for worst factory gearing for highway travel ever was my friend's 1987 Toyota Tercel 4wd wagon with an automatic. These cars didn't have overdrive, had a 4:10 final drive gearset, and rolled on stubby little 155/80/13s. That car didn't have a tach, so I can't say for sure what RPM it was running at on the highway, but at 100 KM/H it was buzzing so high that you felt sorry for it and would slow down lol. But I think I found a new contender:

1998 Chevrolet Tracker, 16v 1.6L, 5 speed, 4x4. It runs 215/75/15 tires. At 2000 RPM in 5th gear, it turns a whopping 58 KM/H (36 MPH)! The Toyota at least had the excuse of being 10 years older, having no overdrive, and 22.8 inch tall tires, but the Tracker has an overdrive and 27.7 inch tall tires, and it is still this sickly for highway driving! My mom wanted to see it the last time I drove up through the mountains to visit them, but man I couldn't get more than an hour away from my place before I turned around and took something else up there! And this truck is stock, so those are the gears it came from the dealer with.

So what's the worst stock car you have found gearing wise when it comes to highway F.E.?

"Don't look for one place to lose 100 pounds, look for 1600 places to lose an ounce." - Tony DeFeo
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