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Old 06-29-2011, 09:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Does it frustrate you too?

....when you see new SUVs that have factory MPG ratings as good as older compact cars?

My current car:

98 Grand AM GT, 5spd manual, 2.4L - 20/30/24

Previous car:

94 Galant GS, 5spd manual, 2.4L - 19/27/22


Both of these cars would be considered compacts or smaller midsize cars (my Grand AM is a coupe, so it is very small), and I have certainly sacrificed trunk space and interior space for the sake of MPGs by owning both of these vehicles...

Now, take a look at just a couple of the new SUVs on the market....

2012 Hyundai Tucson 2WD, 6spd AUTO, 2.4L - 22/32/25
2011 JEEP Compass 2WD, 5spd manual, 2.5L - 23/28/25
2011 Chevy Equinox FWD, 6spd auto, 2.4L - 22/32/26

Why is it that some of these newer SUVs are getting better FE than older model compact cars? Is a 6 speed slushbox really better than a 5spd manual? Obviously I only listed 2wd SUVs, but even the 4wd SUVs are basically on par with the cars I've owned. I would call it mildly irritating at the LEAST, when I am cruising along at 10 under the speed limit on the highway in my compact car without A/C and a new SUV flies by me at 70 MPH ++ and is probably getting equivalent if not better MPG than I am.

What do you guys think is the main reason these SUVs are getting so much better MPGs? They still look like an aerodynamic drag and I couldn't imagine them very light, either. What am I missing?

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Old 06-29-2011, 09:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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...just goes to illustrate that the car manufacturers COULD have produced cars with much better MPG numbers years ago, if they'd just wanted to do so!
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They are doing so now; only because of being forced by their owners(the government!) to get sales.

The car mags., have been saying for a while now that the future will have plenty of 1/4 ton PU's in the future; as per Rampage (dodge in 80's), and of course; the VW Rabbit trucks!

There always will be something more expensive that brings slight improvements, but do you really want to spend most of your life paying for depreciation just to keep up w the Jone's??

If you have the RIGHT type of diesel; in the future, you have more do it yourself options when many so called modern cars are parked while you are still rolling!
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old Tele man -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...just goes to illustrate that the car manufacturers COULD have produced cars with much better MPG numbers years ago, if they'd just wanted to do so!
Yeah. When I look at SUVs getting good MPGs I imagine how much *better* the MPG would be if the same drivetrain was in a smaller+lighter+more aero car.

It's like SUVs with stability control. Put the same system in a car with a low COG (center of gravity) and it should perform even *better* than the SUV.

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Old 06-30-2011, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Does it annoy you that a toyota prius gets about the same gas mileage as an 1990 Geo Metro?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes it does, but look at the lovely current price difference between the two. Here in unsalted country; there are still many early Metro's in fine overall shape for sale!

I almost wish I could run a delivery service bringing you eastern guys some nice cars. I certainly don't have Gouge in mind; but I'd look for any excuse to do a road trip. Hmmmm!!
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd like a nice eastern diesel though.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Could just be that in the real world the small cars are better at beating the rating than the SUVs.

That said, I wouldn't turn down a little two seater convertible with the drive line from a Highlander Hybrid
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Don't forget technology. Engine computers have gotten "smarter;" compression is up, direct injection is being used; taller gearing in a transmission; more efficient torque converters/auto trannies, etc.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that the average speed during the EPA highway test is 48.3mph.

Then consider the fact that:
A: Most vehicles are traveling significantly faster than that (sometimes over 70)
B: Many of them have higher Cd than your coupe, and
C: Aero drag is a substantial factor at high speeds,

While some vehicles may be geared to be efficient at higher speeds, the consensus around EM is that high speeds usually result in increased consumption; I imagine that to be true of trucks and SUVs.

The high speed test would likely be a better real-world indicator.

But hey; it's about how you drive the vehicle you already own.

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