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ISV-2K8Rondo 01-27-2019 05:53 PM

2017 Kia Forte5
 
I recently got a lightly-used 2017 Kia Forte5, as my trusty 2008 Kia Rondo had an impromptu meeting with Bambi that totaled the former and, well, the latter took one for the home team as well.

The Rondo was rated 19/22/26 in city/combined/highway mileage. I was regularly getting 22 mpg in combined driving until I started hypermiling, whereupon I reliably got 27-28 mpg in summer and 24-25 mpg in winter here in Ohio.

A LOT has changed in the automotive world since 2008. My base LX Rondo, if I recall correctly, only had a 4-speed transmission. The Forte 5 has a 6-speed transmission. It also has an overall as well as an instant fuel economy gauge.

The 2017 Forte5 base model (2.0L 4-cyl) is rated 25/28/34. So far, I'm beating the combined EPA rating, averaging about 33 mpg in combined driving (a mix of suburban, city and some highway driving). I've only had it for four weeks, and I'm averaging 20% better than the EPA combined rating.
Considering it's January in Ohio, I'm pleased...

...but I know it could be better. Heck, I KNOW it will get better once the weather warms up and the gas stations stop selling winter gas.

A few questions:

(1) I notice that the "instant" MPG gauge registers higher MPG during acceleration when the tach is <2,000 RPM. Am I still saving fuel because...if I accelerate ~2,500 RPM, I'll have lower fuel economy during acceleration, but a longer stretch of 6th-gear (higher FE) driving. Which one's better?

(2) Is it just me, or does having more gears hurt the ability to hypermile? On my old Rondo, there were many hills I could get up without downshifting. It's harder to do that with the Forte5. But could the extra gears be helping out on the lower-speed (acceleration) stretches?

(3) Anyone else have one o' these?

--Phil

Ecky 01-28-2019 06:55 AM

1) To me that would suggest "yes", if you can count on the instant mpg-o-meter to be really accurate. For some engines/cars, shifting at higher RPM can work out better. In mine personally, the lower the better, but peak BSFC comes in under 2000RPM which is unusual.

2) If you can get up a hill without downshifting, that suggests to me that your top gear wasn't tall enough. ;)

I can see gearboxes with more gears causing more drag (more moving parts) but they're probably a net win, up to a certain number of gears.

3) I dunno how big they are inside but the fuel economy numbers look a little underwhelming on paper. Civic hatch is rated 5mpg better in both city and highway, and it's a bigger car with a lot more horsepower. Having never sat in one it wouldn't have been my first choice based on that.

EDIT: I don't mean to disparage your car. Rather, these were just completely under my radar, and nothing drew my attention to them. I had to look up what they look like. 33mpg in winter is certainly not bad, and you might be looking at cresting 40 when the weather warms up perhaps? Would love some interior pictures and subjective thoughts on the car.

roosterk0031 01-28-2019 10:14 AM

I assume it's the same 2.0 and 6 speed in the 2017 Elantra I have. Very easy to exceed EPA, one of my daughters drives it so I haven't driven it a lot, But 45 mpg is as easy as setting the cruise at 55 mph.

The few partial tanks I calculated a little bit lower the car's indicated, I think one was 53 mpg indicated vs 49 calculated.

ISV-2K8Rondo 01-28-2019 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ecky (Post 589711)
3) I dunno how big they are inside but the fuel economy numbers look a little underwhelming on paper. Civic hatch is rated 5mpg better in both city and highway, and it's a bigger car with a lot more horsepower. Having never sat in one it wouldn't have been my first choice based on that.

EDIT: I don't mean to disparage your car. Rather, these were just completely under my radar, and nothing drew my attention to them. I had to look up what they look like. 33mpg in winter is certainly not bad, and you might be looking at cresting 40 when the weather warms up perhaps? Would love some interior pictures and subjective thoughts on the car.

No offense taken. It's a fair point. I had thought about either the Civic or Corolla hatchback. Actually, I'd have preferred both to the Forte5.

Why didn't I get either of the other two? I had to buy a car at a time that wasn't of my choosing, having totaled the Rondo in a deer collision. And I hate, HAAAAATE debt. So my parameters for buying the car were (a) 100% down, (b) $0/month, (c) reasonably fuel-efficient vehicle, and (d) <20,000 miles, if possible.

Hondas and Toyotas simply have insanely-high resale values, and for what I was looking for, I'd have to get a car with too many miles on them if I wanted to avoid a car payment. Kias, on the other hand, typically depreciate quicker, and someone was kind enough to absorb the initial depreciation hit on the Forte5 to put it within reach of scratching a check and being done with it.

Maybe it's because I'm half-Italian by blood, or I've seen too many mob flicks. But there's something about financial obligations that steers me away from them. I still don't consider myself a "home owner" because I still have a mortgage.

Yeah, I'm that paranoid about debt.

--Phil


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