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Thread: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    People talk a lot about gas mileage and fuel efficiency, but how important is it to you, really - not as an abstract "talking point," but in terms of how it affects your buying decisions?

    For example: Would you next new vehicle have to get at least 30 mpg? Or could you live with 25 mpg - if the vehicle delivered more power or capability?

    And: Is there a "minimum MPG" your next vehicle would have to achieve? Or is that just something you'd take into account - but which would not necessarily kibosh the deal?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    DonTom
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    For example: Would you next new vehicle have to get at least 30 mpg? Or could you live with 25 mpg - if the vehicle delivered more power or capability?
    And: Is there a "minimum MPG" your next vehicle would have to achieve? Or is that just something you'd take into account - but which would not necessarily kibosh the deal?
    Thoughts?

    When shopping for a vehicle, the MPG is the last thing I would look at. Other stuff is more important. I would not buy any vehicle just for its MPG. In some cases, I would rather have the poorer MPG, if the difference is a timing belt on an interference engine versus noninterference engine. Usually the interference engine will give better MPG. But how much gasoline can you buy for the price of an engine?

    It used to be all Toyota's had noninterference engines and all Hondas were interference. No wonder Honda could brag about having the most fuel efficient engines in America. But I would look at Toyotas first just for that reason alone.

    But I guess because of the increased demand for MPG and better efficiency needed for the tougher smog requirements, I noticed that Toyota is now also using interference engines in many of their newer vehicles.

    -Don-



  3. #3
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    I get 24-25mpg now.
    A goal for the next car is 30mpg (highway) and increased safety.

    Which are contradictory goals, from an engineering standpoint. But it's what I want.


    The MX-5 Miata almost makes it. The Honda Fit does handily, and the Saturn Aura almost makes it, too.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    "When shopping for a vehicle, the MPG is the last thing I would look at. Other stuff is more important. I would not buy any vehicle just for its MPG. In some cases, I would rather have the poorer MPG, if the difference is a timing belt on an interference engine versus noninterference engine. Usually the interference engine will give better MPG. But how much gasoline can you buy for the price of an engine?

    It used to be all Toyota's had noninterference engines and all Hondas were interference. No wonder Honda could brag about having the most fuel efficient engines in America. But I would look at Toyotas first just for that reason alone.

    But I guess because of the increased demand for MPG and better efficiency needed for the tougher smog requirements, I noticed that Toyota is now also using interference engines in many of their newer vehicles."

    Great minds....!

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    I get 24-25mpg now.
    A goal for the next car is 30mpg (highway) and increased safety.

    Which are contradictory goals, from an engineering standpoint. But it's what I want.


    The MX-5 Miata almost makes it. The Honda Fit does handily, and the Saturn Aura almost makes it, too.

    Chip H.
    That Aura's a nice ride; much nicer than a Camry - and more fun to drive, too!

  6. #6
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Importance of mpg in a buying decision? Not an easy question.

    I had a 73 Olds 98 which got about 8 in the city and barely 11 on the road with very careful driving. Gas was cheap and available when I bought the thing but that still seemed a gross excess. After the embargo when rationing started (thank you Richard Nixon you lying old SOB) it was a horror.

    Right now, mpg is simply one of the lesser considerations. If one needs a 400 hp truckish sort of vehicle then mpg will not be so good.

    Most vehicle classes appear to have similar mpg ratings among the various makes so a big worry about that is not worth it.

    Personally I think that if money is a big issue, one should look at 5+ year old used with a manual transmission. Several years ago my daughter bought an excellent base Saturn of that sort and ir was super economical to operate.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    "Personally I think that if money is a big issue, one should look at 5+ year old used with a manual transmission. Several years ago my daughter bought an excellent base Saturn of that sort and ir was super economical to operate."

    Very good advice!

    And on Nixon... don't you miss him?

    His corruption was so much more... well, classy.

    "I am not a crook!" is almost elegant compared with "I am the decider!"

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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    I have that 5 year old Saturn with the 5 speed!!

    My next car will be capable of achieving 30 mpg on the highway.

    Fuel efficiency, performance, handling, and styling (interior and exterior) are my deciding factors.

    I haven't driven a car that got less than 20 mpg on the highway since around 1981. Since then, all of my cars have gotten around 30 mpg at 80 mph. Thats my criteria. Zero to sixty is less important, although I won't accept a car that does it in more than 9 seconds. My current car takes 9 to get there.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Worrying about timing belts on interference engines is silly, if you're buying a new car. If you change the belt at the recommended interval, you'll be fine. If you do, and it breaks anyway, you'll be under warranty.

    If you buy a used car, and you don't know if the previous owner had it changed, budget for a timing belt job and have it done as soon as you buy the car.

    Compare Honda, a maker who uses belts on interference engines, to BMW, who use timing chains (I don't know their interference/non-interference status...); I bet that, on average, Honda's fleet experiences a lower number of engine failures per mile travelled than BMW does. You have to consider the whole picture, not become fixated on one specification.

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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Worrying about timing belts on interference engines is silly, if you're buying a new car. If you change the belt at the recommended interval, you'll be fine. If you do, and it breaks anyway, you'll be under warranty.
    Well, maybe - the timing belt on my wife's 04 Accord V6 is rated for a 100k miles or 7 years except continued operation in very low or very high temps when it is lowered to 60k. Both of these numbers are well past warranty coverage.

  11. #11
    DonTom
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    "Personally I think that if money is a big issue, one should look at 5+ year old used with a manual transmission. Several years ago my daughter bought an excellent base Saturn of that sort and ir was super economical to operate."

    My Saturn is a 1996 SL2, 1.9L, manual tranny, 4 door, FWD. Now about 80,000 miles. IMO, it's one of the best (and cheapest) cars I have owned. I bought it used several years ago for $4,000.00 cash. The only problem it's had since I owned it is a blown out alternator (which was a bit difficult to replace as it's on the very bottom of the serpentine belt). It's the car I use the most out of several.

    And this little engine uses a timing chain, not a belt.

    I have a coworker who has a newer Saturn (with an auto tranny) and he feels the same way about his.

    -Don-(Reno, NV)

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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom

    My Saturn is a 1996 SL2, 1.9L, manual tranny, 4 door, FWD. Now about 80,000 miles. IMO, it's one of the best (and cheapest) cars I have owned. I bought it used several years ago for $4,000.00 cash.
    -Don-(Reno, NV)
    Neat way to drive for about the cost of the insurance. I think a manual in a low powered car is the best used bargain because not that many people want that sort of car.

  13. #13
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "Personally I think that if money is a big issue, one should look at 5+ year old used with a manual transmission. Several years ago my daughter bought an excellent base Saturn of that sort and ir was super economical to operate."

    My Saturn is a 1996 SL2, 1.9L, manual tranny, 4 door, FWD. Now about 80,000 miles. IMO, it's one of the best (and cheapest) cars I have owned. I bought it used several years ago for $4,000.00 cash. The only problem it's had since I owned it is a blown out alternator (which was a bit difficult to replace as it's on the very bottom of the serpentine belt). It's the car I use the most out of several.

    And this little engine uses a timing chain, not a belt.

    I have a coworker who has a newer Saturn (with an auto tranny) and he feels the same way about his.

    -Don-(Reno, NV)
    Always liked these little things; they were mocked a lot at the time they were new - but I thought they were cool and wrote favorable things about them...

  14. #14
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    For an automotive appliance, the Saturns do about as well as anything else. There's just nothing compelling about them if you "like cars".

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    For an automotive appliance, the Saturns do about as well as anything else. There's just nothing compelling about them if you "like cars".
    The early models had a kind of slot car appeal; low to ground, buzzy - in their own way, fun. And definitely had more personality/character than most equivalent Japo stuff of the period!

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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Cars are often so anodyne these days I would not have one for transport so much as for pleasure,


    but if you need to have one vehicle, an E-series Merc.


    Practical and competent and well-designed, and I think at best around 25 mpg in general-use. Of course you could have an AMG55 but that would be hedonism. Irreligious, wicked.. and JDM has a RAV4 which he likes, especially the ergonomics, but then, he is over 70yrs and doesn't count.

    In the days of CServe JDM rode a Ducati 900 and drove an MX5 and Legend. Around 1995 I tried to get him into an 1950s XK-engined Jaguar, but, well, he just doen't understand...

  17. #17
    DonTom
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    "Always liked these little things; they were mocked a lot at the time they were new - "

    What were they mocking about?

    -Don-

  18. #18
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "Always liked these little things; they were mocked a lot at the time they were new - "

    What were they mocking about?

    -Don-
    There were some car salesman types who felt that the original fixed price rule would bring down the world so, like typical car salesmen, they knocked the product.

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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    d.. and JDM has a RAV4 which he likes, especially the ergonomics, but then, he is over 70yrs and doesn't count.
    But I do count, the RAV4 averaged 28.7 mpg on a 520 mile trip which included stop and go in the NYC area and Baltimore to Fredricksburg - the rest was 70+.

    The ergonomics are great and there is no need for as much as a 90^ knee bend upon entry or alighting.

  20. #20
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    Re: How do MPGs rank on your personal scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    For an automotive appliance, the Saturns do about as well as anything else. There's just nothing compelling about them if you "like cars".
    Well, that is true. I bought mine for very practical reasons at the time. The transmission on my Saab 9000T broke and wouldn't go into 5th gear. At that point, I had to get a new car. My price range had to be around 15k. There was a choice between a Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and this new Saturn L-Series. I liked the Civic okay, but it was a little small for my tastes. I was traveling around 30,000 miles per year at the time, so I needed something mid sized that could handle long highway rides. I said hell no to the Corolla and anything that Chevy was making at the time. The answer was the Saturn.

    The L-Series was and still is a very competent car with euro-style road manners. I was and still am able to drive 100 mph in the straights and cruise all day at 85-90 for the long distance trip, while getting (when new) 30-34 mpg. With 141,000 miles, I am still getting around 30 on the highway and around 25-27 on my mixed highway and city commutes.

    The ECOTEC 2.2 L has a nice growl to it, the trans still shifts, and the suspension on the car is still pretty tight.

    At 3000 lbs, the car is not too heavy nor too light. Just right. Boring, a little, but a likable car still the same.


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