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Old 12-20-2007, 12:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Article: 57 mpg? That's so 20 years ago

Link: http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/17/auto...ion=2007121916

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Car makers are confident they can meet new government rules calling for a national fleet average of 35 miles per gallon. But it will take a big technological push, they say.

You might wonder why, since twenty years ago the car that got the best mileage in the nation was a real techno-wimp compared to what's on the road today. It wasn't even a hybrid. But it got better fuel economy than any car sold now - even the Toyota Prius.

Looking back at the 1987 Honda Civic CRX shows us why cars use so much more gas today and about the trade-offs we've had to make.

The CRX HF got an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 57 mpg gallon in highway driving. Today, the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid Civic you can buy gets an EPA-estimated 34 mpg on the highway. Even today's Honda Civic Hybrid can't match it, achieving EPA-estimated highway mileage of just 45 mpg. The Toyota Prius, today's fuel mileage champ, gets 46 mpg on the highway.
Mad props for the crx.

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Old 12-20-2007, 09:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Got to like those numbers. Nowadays people are so lazy they want power everything, it really affects the weight/complexity of the new cars. And the bigger SUVs and Minivans are just unreal, power everything. All those motors add a lot of weight.....
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, and boo on the writer for perpetuating two worn out myths:

1) "Light cars are unsafe - crash protection means today's cars must be heavier."

See yesterday's thread: Article: Mazda demonstrates that small lightweight cars be safe too

Also, Fiat's new 500 (4 seater) weighs between 1907-2161 lbs depending on model, and got a 5-star crash rating (Euro NCAP).

The new Daimler smart has a 4-star rating and weighs 1800 lbs.

2) "The only way to get good fuel economy is with a hybrid system."

See above 2 vehicles.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This is something that I've never figured out. Does adding a 1000 pounds to a car reduce FE by 1/2? Engine are cleaner and more fuel efficient then ever. It appears that they have more than double the HP thus the big decrease in FE. Seem to me that they could lower the HP and work with the gearing and get the numbers back where they should be.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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But North Americans demand power! At least that's what the car companies keep telling us.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Yeah, and boo on the writer for perpetuating two worn out myths:

[B]1) "Light cars are unsafe - crash protection means today's cars must be heavier."
Well, they are... when everyone else is driving a Canyonero.

Notice that crash tests are all about slamming into a barrier. None of them simulate running head on into a 3000kg SUV, and your resulting rapid change in momentum. SUVs don't tend to do that well in collisions with trains either, I don't believe that they even feel the bump as the SUV gets punted into the blue yonder.

Which is why SUVs (especially city bound) used as commuting vehicles annoy me - everyone is using more fuel as a result, and it could be solved with government regulation. We already have the big government, if it's here it at least ought to be used for good.
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think it is all inaccurate data, Just like what I was looking at 20 minutes ago at a chart for oil temp breakdown.

Castrol pitted their oil against other leading 5w-30 oils and their chart clearly tells that their oils breakdown at a higher temp than the others. But what they are comparing is their Syntec Oil to leading blends and conventional oils. Woah, big mistake.. That's like comparing apples and oranges. Not one of the other oils they used as competition was a full synthetic oil, but theirs was..

Same goes for the MPG rating above. It shows that the CRX Gets an EPA rating much better than any of today's cars, but it also is comparing The Rating of the CRX's EPA rating, and Today's EPA rating, which are totally different.

Now your talking about what the EPA thought it would get with todays ratings and achieve a 51. I wanna see actual tests! Do the math all you want, but the only real way to know is do real tests. You can talk about what you've calculated the removal of your roof racks, new Cam, Or Kammback, grille block, or even pizza cutter wheel covers will make your fuel economy jump, but without real tests, you can't say it's totally logical. Those mods may only make half of what you calculated.

Not bagging in anyway on the CRX HF, it's an amazing vehicle that I wished I owned. But It just seems like these people were trying to make it seem worse than it is.

My mom owns a 2007 Dodge Caliber R/T and It's a decently sized vehicle with a wheelbase of 103.7. It scored an NHTSA 5 star crash test rating ALL ACROSS THE BOARD except roll over resistance, which achieved 4 stars, and standard features such as anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags, smart passenger airbag, fog lights and the Manual tranny version gets 31 mpg (old EPA) with a 2.4L I4. The 1.8L I4 could probably boast some higher MPG's with a Manual Tranny if you eco-drive and not Ameri-drive.


http://consumerguideauto.howstuffwor...-caliber-3.htm
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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On the subject of weight and crash test ratings... IIHS and NHTSA (US) give their ratings for comparison between SIMILAR WEIGHT CLASSES. Getting 5 stars in a light car is simply a factor of design, not so much weight. I can't speak for the testing standards in Europe - I don't know their methodology

That doesn't mean lighter cars can't be safe... Engineers KNOW that large heavy monsters are on the road - knowing that, they can design for that. Geometry is a big deal when you don't weigh too much, which is why I'm wary of a small car with frame damage or damage that has been "fixed" :/


OH, I almost forgot... IIHS does a side impact test... Which, if I recall, can be compared across classes.


Quote:
Same goes for the MPG rating above. It shows that the CRX Gets an EPA rating much better than any of today's cars, but it also is comparing The Rating of the CRX's EPA rating, and Today's EPA rating, which are totally different.
I can agree to that... Even so, we're not talking about a difference of a few mpg's - we're talking 29.5mpg over the old CAFE law (27.5mpg). I didn't see any cars drop nearly 30mpg on the EPA switch So with the new EPA standard - it's not that bad... It's just bad
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
I can agree to that... Even so, we're not talking about a difference of a few mpg's - we're talking 29.5mpg over the old CAFE law (27.5mpg). I didn't see any cars drop nearly 30mpg on the EPA switch So with the new EPA standard - it's not that bad... It's just bad
Yea, the Toyota Prius did drop a huge mpg difference from last year to this year. But not so bad that it's gotta be "that bad"
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There's a video on youtube where they show a Smart Fortwo being crash tested at highway speed into a brick wall. If I remember correctly it was a British car show and the host was amazed when he could actually open and close the doors of the Smart car. All goes to show that small cars can be designed so that they are crashworthy.

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