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Old 11-21-2014, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My wife's car

Hi all,

May last year we moved from our flat.
Before that, my wife used to go to work by bus, needing approximately 45 min to 1 hour each way.

Because of the new house and moving in the middle of school year, we chose not to remove our oldest kid from his school and to let the youngest in his current kindergarten.
This was the start of my wife's adventure of using a car daily and on her own.

She asked for an auto and since it is France, those are scarce.
I digged on the web and decided the best vehicle would a K11 Nissan Micra with a CVT.
Those can be either 1.0 or 1.2.
The 1.0 started at 55hp and electro magnetic powder clutch and was improved to 60hp and torque converter in 2000.

The 1.2 went from 75hp to 80hp.

There is also a 1.4 but it has a regular auto box but I ruled it out due to capacity and box performance.

The K11 is a tiny and light vehicle, designed back in the day where Nissan was losing money due to over-engineering.

I found a nice low mileage car that was quite far from Paris but since it is not that common a car, I went for it anyway.

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Old 11-21-2014, 05:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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la_voiture_de_courses - '03 Renault Megane Estate
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90 day: 44.34 mpg (US)

xiao lan - '01 Audi A2
90 day: 38.88 mpg (US)

Brit iron - '92 Mini Mini
90 day: 45.5 mpg (US)

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90 day: 47.37 mpg (US)

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The car was in good enough shape for a 13 y/o car so I bought it.

It did good performance wise for such a small car with the 60hp car willingly got up to almost the ton on the highway.

The fast trip back from Roubaix to Paris also returned 34 mpg.

She used it for several month with a best consumption of almost 38mpg in the summer, where traffic is low.

She is not so much in hypermiling, driving to posted speed limit, including a stretch at 83 mph and using the L for better acceleration

The car didn't have air con.

I quite liked driving it.

Mods done to the car were fancy plugs, air intake snorkel removal and tires pumped up to 3.0 atm.

One morning she missed a low speed turn and the car was totalled.
To be fair, those were the first rains of the year so it can get very slippery and she have a very short driving experience nor inclination.

So I was on the hunt for a replacement
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I assume she is okay?

What cars did you have in mind for a replacement?
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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it is the Audi, right?
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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la_voiture_de_courses - '03 Renault Megane Estate
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xiao lan - '01 Audi A2
90 day: 38.88 mpg (US)

Brit iron - '92 Mini Mini
90 day: 45.5 mpg (US)

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She got out with bruises to her reputation only
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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la_voiture_de_courses - '03 Renault Megane Estate
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90 day: 44.34 mpg (US)

xiao lan - '01 Audi A2
90 day: 38.88 mpg (US)

Brit iron - '92 Mini Mini
90 day: 45.5 mpg (US)

Prius - '09 Toyota PRIUS Lounge
90 day: 47.37 mpg (US)

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So I was on the look out for a replacement.

She was not willing to drive a K11 anymore and our price range did limit us to older cars.

In the meantime, she had to use my estate, which is a diesel manual, for at least 3 weeks.
It is a big car compared to the Micra and she was very much stressed up but didn't have trouble, let alone two to three stalling a day.

She got 44 mpg out of it on her quite difficult route.

She tried three vehicles along the search.
A Peugeot 206 manual gasoline, which was a 3 door and a little old (99)

A Renault Clio mark 2 with the famous 1.5 diesel engine from Renault (currently found in Nissan but also Mercedes CLA) but she couldn't drive it due to ergonomics (as a petite chinese, so has quite short legs), no need to mention I was very disapointed.

And last, the car of her dreams : an auto K12 Micra
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Old 11-29-2014, 04:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: France - Paris
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la_voiture_de_courses - '03 Renault Megane Estate
OldContinents
90 day: 44.34 mpg (US)

xiao lan - '01 Audi A2
90 day: 38.88 mpg (US)

Brit iron - '92 Mini Mini
90 day: 45.5 mpg (US)

Prius - '09 Toyota PRIUS Lounge
90 day: 47.37 mpg (US)

Beemer - '06 BMW F800 ST
90 day: 53.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 188
Thanked 33 Times in 30 Posts
The K12 Micra in Europe are no longer fitted with CVT, they have a normal 4 speed auto box.

So we found a very low mileage car with a 80hp 1.2 liter engine and went to see it one evening.

The car was below average as far as cosmetics are concerned but we wanted to try it anyway.

Around town, it was very smooth but my wife has this 83 mph stretch so we needed to see the highway capability of the car.
We went for a spin on the highway and it was proper nightmare : acceleration lane took us in at a lame 50 mph despite a double downshift
Then the car was downshifting every time I pressed the pedal, not even managing to take us to 60 mph in a smooth way, at least as smooth as the model she was replacing ...

We told the guy we weren't interested then headed back to the meeting point.
At this moment, I had the impulse to check the on board computer and found 18 mpg average

I told my wife every auto would pretty much return the same MPG and she was shocked.

Then we checked the trunk just to know if we should try and find manuals K12 only to find it is fairly smaller than a K11's !!!

This was a very good day though since it helped my wife to rule out autos.
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Old 11-29-2014, 04:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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la_voiture_de_courses - '03 Renault Megane Estate
OldContinents
90 day: 44.34 mpg (US)

xiao lan - '01 Audi A2
90 day: 38.88 mpg (US)

Brit iron - '92 Mini Mini
90 day: 45.5 mpg (US)

Prius - '09 Toyota PRIUS Lounge
90 day: 47.37 mpg (US)

Beemer - '06 BMW F800 ST
90 day: 53.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 188
Thanked 33 Times in 30 Posts
I then found the A2.

It had 60K on the clock, it is a 1.4 petrol and is from 2001.

We only saw it at night but bought it for 2800€ wich is 1500 than usual prices here in France for this particular model.

First tank was 36 mpg and second was 35.
I know it is not too much impressive but again, it is my wife driving it and it is her very crowdy route.

If I factor in the less than ideal driving conditions (more time with lights on) and the extra HP available, I think it is a good deal, MPG wise, not to mention safety.

Funny thing is there was an article in a car magasine the month after telling the car is a collector and the usual prices (which I stated above).
My colleagues were impressed (I work for Renault).

Now is time to start thinking about mods.
Obviously they should not detract car's usability for my wife.

I think I have to change oil soon so will consider a lower grade and fully synthetic oil.
Then a set of tires (those are cracked up) and maybe a set of rear wheel bearings (but it is said worn tires can give the same noise on the A2).

Then there is underbody fairings to look at.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I guess many of the aero parts of the Audi A2 1.2 TDI 3L version would also fit on the 1.4...
It is a remarkable car, in any spec. Good find!
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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la_voiture_de_courses - '03 Renault Megane Estate
OldContinents
90 day: 44.34 mpg (US)

xiao lan - '01 Audi A2
90 day: 38.88 mpg (US)

Brit iron - '92 Mini Mini
90 day: 45.5 mpg (US)

Prius - '09 Toyota PRIUS Lounge
90 day: 47.37 mpg (US)

Beemer - '06 BMW F800 ST
90 day: 53.06 mpg (US)
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Ok, sorry I did not update for a while because I was not really happy with MPG potential of the car ... until today !

Friday she came home telling me the fuel gauge might not work since it was only a tad under half and already at 420 kms.

I thought the gauge was stuck so I filled it today, only to find it was indeed accurate and that for some reason it went from all time worst to all time best (31.14 to 43.74 mpg).

And then I can only wonder why.

There is two things i have in mind.

First, she didn't use the usual fuel pump and assuming they set the click of te gun quite late to make a good impression (Shell)

Two, she said she just stopped using the heater and I wonder if Audi used a powerful CTP (electric heater) wich would mean a high load on the alternator.

Or a combination of both ?

I doubt the traffic just got better to the point of having the fuel consumption of a diesel all of a sudden ...

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