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Old 06-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NISSAN (eco) CUBE

Here is a "new" thread for the "Cube".

After joining ecomodder with some questions about potential vehicles to purchase....

I ended up buying the LEAST aerodynamic car I could find.....


So, after 296 miles I just filled up. The computer read about 30 MPG average... I put in 10.2 gallons. Which according to my "math" is 29 MPG.

Good baseline.

The tires are TOYO... 195/55/16 fronts have 30.5 psi and the valve caps say: "N2"...so maybe filled with nitrogen? Rears are 30 exactly.

Looking at the top grille and it does NOTHING... the radiator is at the bottom. the Top grille is for looks. Also, being the "Krom" model..there is no provision for fog lights and the front fascia is pretty round and smooth (other than the grill).

I am 100 miles into the 2nd tank of gas and the computer reads 32.7 MPG. This is ALL driving around town (one 40 miles round trip on the hiway with mixed stop and go)...otherwise I drive every morning coasting 3 miles down a steep hill to another 2 miles of stop and go traffic light warfare....then back up the STEEP HILL.


Overall, the Cube drives okay. Kinda like a cross between an old CJ jeep, a minivan and a little eco-box japanese car. The driving position is like a minivan with a good 2-3 feet (seems like it) above my head. The short wheelbase feels like and old jeep or maybe a Smart car. Finally... she wheezes and winds up like a blender on puree when I stomp on the gas. She sits low and hold a fair amount of "stuff" so far....quite pleased.

BUT, Fuel Economy is the name of the game here and she performs well. By feathering the gas, I can get the computer to read 60 mpg quite a bit of the time. The more I stay in the 60 mpg "zone" on the computer, the better the overall gas mileage (genius). With all of the short distance driving, I will be pleased to see 35mpg!

The plan was to BUY something for less than $14k. It had to seat 5 and poten tially be NEWER than the 2004 VW Passat is replaced. It also needed to be a wagon style vehicle (or van). By wagon, I mean tall rear cargo area like station wagons, vans and SUV's. I also wanted to see 40 mpg. **Cue Music** (mission impossible)!

The Cube fits the bill pretty well. Obviously a Subaru wagon that gets 40 mpg would have been the ultimate "FIT"... but sadly....they don't make those...... and an "R" class Mercedes Diesel or and Audi all road/ suv/ whatever... is 4 times my budget!!!!! I have my doubts about ever seeing 40MPG with the cube... but I would be happy with 30-35 MPG average over a year or two.

Simple mods planned in the very near future include: upping the tire pressure. A full synthetic oil change in 1200 miles, maybe block the top grille, possible gap and fit/ finish attention, also possibly a "pan" under the engine like my VW has.

At the end of Summer we will take a 10 day trip from Seattle to SoCal (estimated 2500 miles round trip). We will see what kind of mileage i can accomplish overall.................

That's about it for now.





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Old 06-08-2012, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pump up the tires to (close) to the sidewall max -- that is a no-brainer, and it will help it roll better. The upper grill block, for sure, as well. Seal the hood gap at the front with some soft self-adhering foam gasket from your local home center, will also help a bit. Too bad for the open alloy wheels -- they churn the air quite a bit more than steel wheels. Have you considered rear wheel skirts; possible made out of clear polycarbonate?

I'd highly recommend a ScanGauge or an Ultraguage, for that "instant feedback" of how you are driving moment to moment.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.D.D. View Post
The tires are TOYO... 195/55/16 fronts have 30.5 psi and the valve caps say: "N2"...so maybe filled with nitrogen? Rears are 30 exactly.
What's the use of N2 when your tyres are flat

They use green caps to indicate N2 in the tyres on this side of the Atlantic.

Quote:
Looking at the top grille and it does NOTHING... the radiator is at the bottom. the Top grille is for looks.
Block it !

Quote:
I also wanted to see 40 mpg. **Cue Music** (mission impossible)!
I wouldn't call it impossible
Looks like you have your goal set now
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmmmm.......

still at 1/2 a tank... gonna have to wait until i fill up to post fuel mileage. The computer says 32 right now........
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well....... I finally burned up the last bit of gas in the last tankfull.
Gassed up at Costco for $3.71 a gallon. 11.3 gallons...... with 361 miles on the computer. That comes out to 32.23 MPG!
That was with NO MODS.
Pumped the tires up to 40 psi and drove up to see the Father in law. 168 miles round trip and the computer reads 38 MPG! WooHoo!!!!!!


So far so good!
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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38 mpg is a piece of cake. I averaged that over 20k miles with my thirsty SE-R Spec V. Look at my signature for what you should be aiming for with a boxy, non-aerodynamic vehicle.

Air your tires up, keep your speeds down, and keep your momentum up.

Code:
>date           miles     gal.     mpg
4/29/2012	212.7	5.199	40.91171379
4/29/2012	328.1	5.823	56.34552636
4/30/2012	428.8	8.448	50.75757576
5/1/2012	335.3	6.576	50.98844282
5/16/2012	499.9	9.996	50.010004
5/23/2012	388.8	8.184	47.50733138
5/25/2012	242.8	4.321	56.1906966
5/29/2012	497	9.518	52.21685228
5/30/2012	247.3	5.051	48.96060186
5/30/2012	291.5	5.939	49.08233709
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49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg

Last edited by SentraSE-R; 06-17-2012 at 12:45 PM..
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well...........


3rd tankfull. After the trip to Father in law's netted 38mpg..... things went downhill from there.

Ran late a few time requiring heavy throttle jockeying, also my wife ran the A/C on a couple of hot days.

Stopped off at Costco this evening.

Good news? $3.54 a gallon.

Bad news?

273.2 miles. She took 9.582 gallons. That, unfortunately comes out to: 28.51 MPG.

Better luck next time.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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A.D.D. -

Rats (no pun intended). In any case it's still good baseline data.

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Old 06-23-2012, 07:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You should consider a rear Kammback for the car. I messed around with different front end blocks on my Sentra and found that there was little difference between making the front completely smooth and simply blocking the front. I have a coworker who drives a VW Transporter and he saw a huge improvement from doing a Kammback. Boxy vehicles are fine so long as you can fix the airflow at the back.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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PM me when your end-of-summer trip is closer to happening. We can meet in the Bay Area & do a hypermiling clinic. I'll bet I can show you how to top 40 mpg in your Cube.

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Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
Mean Green Toaster Machine
49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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