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Old 06-26-2019, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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Brother got a 2012 Scion/Toyota Xb 5-speed. Saw 37 mpg city in it.






My brother just replaced his trashed 2005 Nissan X-trail 5-speed (predecessor to the Rogue, not sold in the States) with this Xb.

The X-trail had 317k km (197k miles), was facing multiple big repairs, was starting to rust out, and had terrible battle scars from a winter-time incident with a innocouos-looking small tree on the side of his road:




He originally got the X-trail because he wanted a boxy utility hatchback for his part-time HVAC jobs, and "needed" AWD on his sometimes un-plowed and/or icy road.

But after seeing how many of the neighbours manage just fine in the winter with FWD cars and good winter tires, he dropped the AWD "requirement". Thus the Xb, and other cars like it, became an option.

The change in vehicles is a decent fuel economy improvement:

The Nissan's NRCAN (post-2008 EPA similar) ratings are:
  • city: 12.2 L/100 km = 19 mpg
  • highway: 9.5 L/100 km = 25 mpg
The Scion's EPA ratings are:
  • city: 10.7 L/100 km = 22 mpg
  • highway: 8.7 L/100 km = 27 mpg
(Interestingly, the manual and automatic Xb have identical city/hwy ratings. Regardless, we all know the manual will trounce the automatic in the real world.)

Mods & ecomods

This Xb has aftermarket steamroller tires on air-blender wheels, likely hurting MPG. But it's also lowered and has a warm air intake, which is probably helping a little.

What's definitely NOT helping are the fashion-statement roof racks! My brother agrees with me in theory, but hasn't yet found the 2 minutes of free time to remove them. I told him they'll probably cost him 1-2 extra tanks of fuel a year in his typical usage (mostly highway) to project that faux-sporty lifestyle.

MPG potential:




I ran the Xb through my ecodriving coaching city loop and saw 6.4 L/100 km = 37 mpg US reported on the factory gauge... in pretty ideal conditions. (Mild weather, warmed-up drivetrain, light traffic.)

No especially fancy driving techniques used: just avoiding rushing into avoidable stops/slowdowns, upshifting to top gear as soon as practical, neutral coasting and DFCO where appropriate. I shut the engine off at 2 long stop lights.


When we took his 2005 X-trail through the same loop in 2014, I squeezed 31 mpg from it with similar (normal) ecodriving techniques. (34 MPG when repeated with some engine-off coasting.)



On the highway he saw a reported 6.6 = 36 mpg by setting the cruise on his typical commute (80 km/h = 50 mph rural roads).



What's it like to drive?

It feels like the height of automotive refinement, coming from my irksome Metro!

The shift quality sucks though. Shifter feel is very clicky-plasticky. I've seen this in several other manual Toyota cars (Matrix) of this era. The clutch pedal seems to have an especially long travel, but maybe that's just me, used to the Metro.

TONS of rear seat room. I can't remember the last car I sat in with this much leg room.

From an eco-driving perspective, the engine seems very content to tool around in 5th gear at as low as 25 mph on the level.

It's got the same engine as our dad's Camry; essentially this is a Camry in a box. It should serve my brother well for many more hundreds of thousands of km, provided he can avoid the trees jumping out at him!

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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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Old 06-27-2019, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

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Surprisingly good economy.

My experience with fuel economy in an auto vs manual Fit is similar - the manual trounces the auto.

Incidentally, this is on MrMoneyMustache's list of recommended cars.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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Yay, my brother accidentally did something financially responsible!
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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Old 06-29-2019, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
The shift quality sucks though. Shifter feel is very clicky-plasticky. I've seen this in several other manual Toyota cars (Matrix) of this era. The clutch pedal seems to have an especially long travel, but maybe that's just me, used to the Metro.
This has been my experience in manually-equipped Toyota cars as well. I bought the Civic over a Corolla GT-S in part because the shift feel and clutch engagement felt so much less vague.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
(Interestingly, the manual and automatic Xb have identical city/hwy ratings. Regardless, we all know....the manual will trounce the automatic in the real world.......The shift quality sucks though. Shifter feel is very clicky-plasticky.
We have two Hyundai Elantras (same color), one automatic & one manual, also with the same EPA rated MPG. However, the manual is geared 6% lower than the automatic. Still, the manual "trounces" the automatic at lower speeds (but still maintaining high gear) & in the mountains. Along with the superior MPG, of course, the lower geared manual buries the automatic in performance. The manual transmission is so smooth that you feel lost between the gears. But I would never have a different manual transmission "feel" now.

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