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Old 03-07-2006, 07:05 PM   #41
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I like using 87. 91 octane

I like using 87. 91 octane is too expensive.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:21 PM   #42
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RPM -- who cares?

What I think we're forgetting here isn't how high the engine can rev, but the power and economy it delivers. The Golf TDi (Diesel) redlines at something like 4500 RPM, but you don't need to run it that high -- all of its power is down low. The Si was a 1.6L, naturally aspirated VTEC with 100 horsepower per liter, which was the best bang for the buck in '99. The Altima has a huge 2.5L 4-banger, so of course the redline will be lower -- more rotational mass to fly apart, BUT you have torque. Use it to your advantage. C-888, are you trying to race, or get good fuel economy? No offense, but sometimes I can't tell. If you're looking for good MPGs, then redline runs should be something of an emergency like merging, or getting to the airport on time. Keep the R's down around 2000-2500 by lifting the gas pedal when the engine reaches that speed -- that way, the car will shift to the next gear, and repeat until you reach your cruise speed.

RH77
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:27 PM   #43
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Quote:C-888, are you trying

Quote:
C-888, are you trying to race, or get good fuel economy? No offense, but sometimes I can't tell.
Haha, indeed. For me I think I'll start autocrossing, all the fun of racing and none of the need for a fast car.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:46 PM   #44
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Re: Quote:C-888, are you trying

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Originally Posted by SVOboy
Haha, indeed. For me I think I'll start autocrossing, all the fun of racing and none of the need for a fast car.
Roger that -- when I auto-X'd there were many CRXs there that tore things up. In fact, back in '02, I believe the National Champion drove a modified CRX. Just like any racing, it's not the car, it's the driver. Get some seat time, practice, learn the lines and the course, and just get better over time. I learned more when I had an instructor ride with me than I could by myself. If you have a spare vid-cam, hook that up too (it has to meet fitment standards, though) and review your driving. I think I'll get back in it, just for fun -- the LS auto won't do squat, especially with the modified intake and thermostat for eco and not power. I might develop a diverter that sucks in cold air for racing and hot air for cruisin (like a vacuum-driven device). At any rate, it'll bump me out of stock class since the air silencer is history and the intake's been modified. They're pretty strict on that. But, you really get a feel for the limits of your car. Take a friend in the car with you -- they'll respect the hell out of your driving after the run, even months later (get an approved helmet or borrow one of the club's). The season's about to get started...

RH77
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:49 PM   #45
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Re: RPM -- who cares?

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Originally Posted by rh77
What I think we're forgetting here isn't how high the engine can rev, but the power and economy it delivers. The Golf TDi (Diesel) redlines at something like 4500 RPM, but you don't need to run it that high -- all of its power is down low. The Si was a 1.6L, naturally aspirated VTEC with 100 horsepower per liter, which was the best bang for the buck in '99. The Altima has a huge 2.5L 4-banger, so of course the redline will be lower -- more rotational mass to fly apart, BUT you have torque. Use it to your advantage. C-888, are you trying to race, or get good fuel economy? No offense, but sometimes I can't tell. If you're looking for good MPGs, then redline runs should be something of an emergency like merging, or getting to the airport on time. Keep the R's down around 2000-2500 by lifting the gas pedal when the engine reaches that speed -- that way, the car will shift to the next gear, and repeat until you reach your cruise speed.

RH77
I never redline in fact I haven't even touched 2500rpm for months. On the streets I'm at 1250-1650rpm, on the freeway 2000-2150rpm.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:53 PM   #46
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I really wanna but 30 is out

I really wanna but 30 is out of my price range, , I suck. Mehbe one day though, mehbe one day.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:50 PM   #47
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2006 Nissan Altima 2.5 S (SCANGAUGE!)

It's been a while, but hey life gets busy. I'm skipping ahead of a few models since of the introduction of a new and exciting device. Expect a new format for vehicle testing reports! With the introduction of the ScanGauge Trip Computer, specific variables can be determined without the guesswork of a simple fill-up, or relying on the tank to be full on Delivery. Here are the parameters:

* Gallons of Fuel Used
* Time Spent Operating the Vehicle
* Maximum RPM Recorded
* Maximum Speed Recorded
* Miles Driven
* Average Speed, and
* Average Fuel Economy

To get to know the device, the author practiced using the ScanGauge on personal vehicles until comfortable operating it for the purpose of data collection. Upon delivery of the rental car, the OBD-II port was located (basically standardized to be located under the driver's side dash in most/all later vehicles), and the device connected. With the key in the "On" position, engine off, the current stats were cleared for the use of the new vehicle. Furthermore, if known immediately, the vehicle's engine size was also inputted. The author would then drive the car as normal (meaning not efficient as with personal vehicles, but as the driving public would). OK, let's get down to some data.

As a trial-run, a short-duration, short-mileage trip was used to establish the viability of the new device. The day's rental vehicle was chosen and would be described as usual, with the "Test Loop" and "Max Cruise Speed" removed from estimates like before. Driving style was further complimented by the "Maximum RPM" and "Maximum Speed" variables (Compaq888, this one's for you).



2006 Nissan Altima
Trim Level: 2.5 S
EPA Vehicle Class: Midsize Sedan
Engine: 2.5L, Inline 4-Cylinder rated at 175 Horsepower / 180 lb-ft torque
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic with Torque Converter
EPA Mileage Estimates (City/Highway/Combined Cycle): 23/29/26
Weather Conditions: Warm and Mild. Temp range: around 85F
Driving Style: Average (Max RPM 3800)
Location Test: Little Rock, Arkansas

* Gallons of Fuel Used = 0.4
* Time Spent Operating the Vehicle = 0.2 Hours
* Maximum Speed Recorded = 72 MPH
* Average Speed = 42 MPH
* Average Fuel Economy = 25.6 MPG
* Miles Driven = 9.1

Conclusion: With a mixed loop, Average FE was close to EPA estimates.

Editor's Notes: Although this was a short trip, I've rented the Altima many times before. I've always enjoyed it's torque and handling, and it seems like the build quality on the interior is better than the Maxima. The seats were comfortable and supportive, and the steering-wheel controls were convenient. The biggest problem: FE. 2.5 Liters are a lot for a 4-cylinder, but it provides the torque America demands. Really, Nissan needs to revamp this car -- it's built on the Maxima platform, so it's really too big. The Sentra, also needs a huge re-design as the entry compact. I think the Sentra and Altima should merge into a smaller car, and introduce a smaller, entry level economy car. The Maxima can compete with the mid-sized segment. Expected reliability is good.

RH77

Stay tuned for the Chevy Aveo, Infiniti FX35, PT Cruiser Convertible, and MORE!
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:09 PM   #48
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2006 Infiniti FX35 Premium



2006 Infiniti FX35
Trim Level: Premium
EPA Vehicle Class: Specialty-Purpose Vehicle / SUV-4WD
Engine: DOHC 3.5L, V-6 rated at 280 Horsepower / 270 lb-ft torque
Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic with Auto-Stick and Variable RWD/AWD/4WD-

Mode and Torque Converter
EPA Mileage Estimates (City/Highway/Combined Cycle): 20/25/22
Test Loop: 75% City, 25% Highway
Max Cruise Speed = 60 mph
Weather Conditions over 3-days: Heavy Rain/Sleet, rain, and cold. Temp range: 28-40F
Driving Style: Average
Location Test: Urban Indianapolis

Vehicle Calculated Average MPG = 19.9 (Pre-ScanGuage)

Conclusion: Fairly close to EPA estimates, but should be higher

Editor's Notes: Finding one of these on Rental Row for no up-charge is rare, so I had to bite. Being the "Ivy League" brother to the Nissan Murano, the FX is designed to appeal to Luxo-Crossover segment. When released, Nissan called it the "Pouncing Tiger" design. The looks are certainly up to the viewer, but I've always joked that looked like a big shoe. The 18-inch wheels made the vehicle look even more aggressive, handle well, but sacrificed economy. Any ill-feelings about the vehicle melted away once you took your place behind the wheel. Opening the driver's door moved the seat back and the entire steering wheel and instrument cluster upward for ease of entry. Close the door, and you're back to your pre-set location. Heated seats, HID headlamps, leather, and the "100-way" adjustable driver's seat made for a comfy space. That was until you started moving.

Soon you realized that the center stack was cut-and-pasted from the Maxima, with small, hard to manage buttons. A trip computer and all kinds of features were buried in the big orange screen. Luckily, calculated MPG was available with one button push. The ride was pretty harsh for a luxury vehicle, and handling didn't seem to improve for the sacrifice -- although skidpad-type cornering yielded some decent grip -- once you started on uneven surfaces or off-camber road angles, the top-heaviness and mass pushed the vehicle into "loss of grip" and the Stability Control took over.

The engine is the renowned VQ DOHC 3.5L V-6 that powers much of the Nissan lineup (350Z, Maxima, Murano/FX, G35). The FX has a tuned dual exhaust that sounded great in parking garages, but you know you're sucking down the gas at this expense.

Some blind spots were noted in maneuvering around. Furthermore, usable space was sacrificed by squeezing the passenger compartment into this "shoe" with little space between the roof and floor. As standard on many SUV-like vehicles these days, stability-control was standard (but could be switched-off for some limited-traction fun, especially with this kind of torque). But in the wet or mushy stuff, the stability control took over and prevented the pretend emminent disaster.

Well, the black-tie affair was over, and it was time to pay the piper. FE was 19.9 - disappointing, really. For a vehicle designed on car's frame, the mileage was just not there. But as a luxury car, there's nary a quibble from this buying audience (nor for the required Premium fuel).

It's too bad that the Nissan variant doesn't offer a 4-cylinder in their Murano like Toyota's Highlander (which also has a Hybrid available). The bottom line is that this vehicle is reserved for the luxury segment who doesn't really care about mileage. The same goes for its cousins with the same engine -- they're just too thirsty.

There's a whole backlog of good and crappy cars to report!
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Old 05-11-2006, 05:52 AM   #49
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2006 PT Cruiser Turbo Convertible



2006 PT Cruiser Convertible
Trim Level: 2.4L Turbo
EPA Vehicle Class: Specialty-Purpose Vehicle / SUV-2WD (FWD)
Engine: DOHC 2.4L, Turbocharged Inline-4 Cylinder rated at 230 Horsepower / 245 lb-ft torque
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic with torque converter
EPA Mileage Estimates (City/Highway/Combined Cycle): 19/26/23
Test Loop: 95% City, 05% Highway
Max Cruise Speed = 75 mph
Weather Conditions over 3-days: Tornadic turning to Windy and Mild. Temp range 55-80F
Driving Style: Average
Location Test: Kansas City to Tulsa to Kansas City

MPG = 20.3 (pre-ScanGauge)

Conclusion: WAY off the mark -- what car was the EPA testing?

Editor's Notes: At the last minute, I needed to rent from a different agency, so I reserved a base-level, "Economy" car to see what was out there in the world of inexpensive, fuel efficient vehicles. Meanwhile, all day long, severe storms ripped through the area with tornadoes, microbursts/straight-line winds, up to baseball-sized hail and heavy rain. Each wave of storms brought destruction to somewhere in the Metro-area. At the counter, "You're in luck! We're out of econo-cars, so we upgraded you!". I ran outside in the pouring rain past a sea of PT Cruiser convertibles to see what my vehicle would be, and there it was: my purple PT. "Oh Crap" basically summed it up. Let's do some analogy exercises: Dodge Ram 3500 with the Cummins Diesel is to "Manly Vehicle" as Volkswagen New Beetle is to "Chick Car" (I don't mean to gender-biased the car-world, but statistics and demographics back me up on this one). I think we know where this vehicle falls. Speaking of falling, another line of storms was about to hit, so I took off quickly -- all I needed was to get pummled with baseball-sized hail, have it tear through the soft top, knock me out, and I end up in the Missouri River. From the PT's that I've rented before, I noticed a little more power, but nothing earth shattering -- I just figured that it had a larger engine this year. When I get to my destination, I can see in the light "2.4L Turbo" on the liftgate (by the way, I've seen bigger cargo capacities in Porsches than this thing). Turbo? The turbo I'm used to is the kind that kicks in, and you have to hang on. Clearly, the boost was low and could be detected in the mid-to-high rev bands after I took it out again. But, let's consider the average buyer and how often that tach needle goes past "3".

So, it was time to fill up already. Geez louise, what crappy mileage! I got better mileage from my old Mitsu Lancer Evo that made nearly 300 horsepower and had at least 17-pounds of stock boost on tap (from a 2.0L!)... and AWD! What is wrong with this picture? Is Chrysler getting ready to dump the venerable Sebring Convertible and the PT is the unfortunate replacement? Honestly, I hope not! Turns out they haven't been selling, so that's why gobs ended up on the rental lot in bulk. The regular PT is versatile and stylish in 4-door form, and even has a decent capacity to haul schtuff. But this is a different animal.

If you've ever driven any PT, the experience is unlike any other vehicle (and I don't mean that in the friendliest of ways). The seating position is minivan-like, where the front passengers sit way too high, without a lowering adjustment. Then there's the oversized steering wheel, A/C vents that you blow right on you (unless you disable all but the far passenger side), an impossibly comfortable seating position, power window controls on the front of the dash, and that really annoying gear shift lever that goes from D to 3 to "L", shaped like a cue ball. What happened to second gear, one of the most important gears? Well, in L, just redline it in first and you're in 2nd without your permission -- but for how long? Back it down to around 3K RPMs and the tranny downshifts in a whiplash of deceleration, again unexpected and without the driver's permission. Honestly, how useful is this? It should just have 3 positions: "Stopped", "Backwards" and "Go". Or "S, B, G".

Well, what can I say that I liked about this car? It had 4-wheels and a seat. Honestly, though, it has a roll-bar that somewhat stiffens the ride, but rough roads just have the whole thing going willy-nilly. Auntie Em, it's a Twister! Otherwise, I guess it handled OK, and featured Daimler's newly implemented cruise control: if you start to gain speed beyond your speed setting while decending a hill, it automatically downshifts for you to get back to the intended speed. It had a decent stock stereo, with an input for an I-Pod, or in my case, the laptop hooked to an inverter in the cigarette lighter, and a cord running from the earphone jack "The Lap-Pod". It works well though and holds up to 50,000 songs, so that's a plus. Anyways, the car did have a Temp, Direction, and Stereo Selection indicator in the tach cluster. Power points were abundant, and if you plug something into the console outlet, a notch lets you close the console without crimping the cord (an overall Daimler intention on many models). Also, the turbo was better than nothing, but killed economy, as usual. Why not use a smaller displacement with a higher-boost turbo? I guess America is addicted to torque and wakes up in the middle of the night in a sweat from a turbo lag nightmare. "Honey, What is it?" (gasping for breath) "Oh, I just had a terrible nightmare -- I stepped on the gas pretty hard and the car went, but -- but after a second or 2, then it was like something kicked in and it went normally" The spouse replies "Oh hun, not the Turbo Lag dream again...it'll be okay, we have a HEMI". Sigh.

Anyways, all of the female co-workers I encountered commented about how cute the car was. I just sighed. At least it said "Turbo" on the back, or I'd have to hide my identity. Bottom line: if you want an efficient 4-seater convertible, look somewhere else.

Coming Up: Real Economy Cars...
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:20 AM   #50
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Re: I am not "dissing" the

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy
I am not "dissing" the subaru, just saying that awd drivetrain losses seem not worth it unless you're going ice racing or something.
A Consumer Reports article has the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited as worst in class at 18 mpg.

Your mileage may vary.
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