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Old 09-24-2010, 03:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ovid MI
Posts: 45

Niner_xA - '05 Scion xA
90 day: 35.82 mpg (US)

Horse Hauler - '95 Ford F-250 XLT
90 day: 13.47 mpg (US)

Butterkup - '02 Mazda Miata
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New modder - Scion xA

Hey all, joined in the last month or so and finally getting around to introducing myself.

Back in '07 I bought a Toyota Yaris sedan MT. I have a 35 mile one-way drive to work, but it's mostly fast country roads and a few sparsely populated highways in rural Michigan and Lansing. I really got addicted to the 40 MPG I was regularly getting with the Yaris. Then I lost it in a garage fire, and replaced it with a Dodge Caliber CVT (long story, but one was available used and my employer is part of the build process, so I wanted to "eat my own dogfood" as it were). That car was a lot harder to manage, because the computer managed the gear ratio directly. I finally got tired of it and found a Scion xA to trade for it. I'm happy with the setup of the xA, except that the gearing is very "sporty" so not very good at the high speed end - not good, when highway speeds are 70mph here.

Anyways, I'm slowly raising my MPG. No permanent mods to the car yet, but I had the tires raised to 40 PSI (sidewall says 44 max, they came 30). Just before the last tank I installed a MPGuino, which right away got me 2MPG from improved awareness of my fuel consumption. Also adding to the benefit on that tank were my experiments with pulse and glide, and engine-off coasting (which this car does very nicely; I'm thinking about adding an injector kill switch soon)

Planned car mods:
upper grill block, possibly a new fiberglass solid "grill"
lower grill & fog lamp opening blocks
wheel covers
rear wheel skirts
next oil change - 5W20 - got me a few MPG on my old Ford Ranger
better MPGuino location - it's currently in front of the defroster so I can watch it well without looking away from the road. I'd like to add a mirror to get a HUD, and if that works, maybe embed it in the dashboard.

Maybe mods:
kammback - the downward sweep of the rear is not very aggressive, but the inward sweep from the sides is.
final drive swap - the engine and transmission is shared with the Toyota Yaris, but the Yaris has a 4.3 final drive and the xA has 3.7. Nice snappy acceleration, but 3500 RPM at 70mph - no good.
suspension drop - or -
underbody pan (yes, the latter is technically better, but the former is much more plug & play)

How I got here - saw a post on a Scion board about getting better MPG that linked to NeilBlanchard's Mica Blue. Many thanks to him for all the work he's done testing different things on his xA. I hope to take some of his results and make more factory-appearance mods, and share back some of the results.


Last edited by Niner; 09-24-2010 at 05:43 PM..
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Mexico
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Welcome Henry,

I'm driving a 09' Yaris sedan AT... love it sofar


Aero Hubcaps
Upper Grill Block
Seal gaps at hood and trunk
Vortex generators
Lowered front air damm

That forward facing trunk gap was ugly but tuft testing showed why toyota wasn't worried about it .... big separation bubble there (at the base of the rear window). Vortex generators took care of that! I love this car on the highway... Does 64 at 55mph.

I test drove a used XA before settling on the Yaris sedan and came to the same conclusion.... sporty as heck and would be fun around town but I needed a highway fuel sipper.

Last edited by nmgolfer; 09-24-2010 at 07:17 PM.. Reason: forgot a mod
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
Posts: 7,782

Mica Blue - '05 Scion xA RS 2.0
Team Toyota
90 day: 42.48 mpg (US)

Forest - '15 Nissan Leaf S
Team Nissan
90 day: 156.46 mpg (US)

Number 7 - '15 VW e-Golf SEL
90 day: 155.81 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,238
Thanked 2,799 Times in 1,757 Posts
Welcome to EM, Henry!

A few of us around here drive xA's; myself included. Your 90 day average is almost exactly what I was averaging before I started doing mods and ecodriving, so you should be seeing a higher average as you make similar changes.

Sincerely, Neil

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