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Old 12-18-2013, 04:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
David Philips
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Delmar, NY
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Manual Shift Mileage

I'd like to hear more manual shift strategies that work to beat EPA numbers. I have a 2000 Miata 6 speed that pretty easily beats the EPA numbers, at least in city/suburban driving in the 30-45mph range. Miatas are not optimized for mileage. The don't pull well at low RPM, they have hair trigger throttles, and they have very low gearing and in particular no long highway gear even in the 6 speed. I use a Scan Guage II and in town what helps me a lot is the ability to run along in a very high gear for the speed and periodically lift the trottle in gear to get the fuel to shut off. I can get 33-36MPG in suburban driving doing this and short shifting. EPA is 24 city/29hwy. At higher speeds with the low gearing the rapid deceleration from the low gearing makes this less useful because you lose too much speed compared to coasting.
A peculiar thing I notice at highway speed is that it gets better mileage around 70MPH than in the 55-65MPH range and this is despite turning 3,500 rpm at 70MPH. Long trips at 70 yield 32-35MPG while trips at 55-65 are typically in the 29-31MPG range. I had an earlier manual shift 626 that behaved the same way at highway speeds.
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