I bought my CRX HF because of this site. Before 2007, I had no idea little cars like this could achieve excellent fuel mileage, and with out all the extra junk found in comparable high MPG autos today.
Why is it that way?
I have my own theories, but I guess that story is for a different day.
I have owned my HF for over 5 years, and love driving the car. We own other cars, but the sportiness and great MPG cant be beat in my opinion.
I also want to hopefully venture in to other things by joining this site. My ideas wonder around turning gasoline in to a vapor, then injecting it in to the engine.
Anyways, thanks for having this site, and I am available for any questions.
The issues with newer cars include strict emissions standards, strict safety standards (resulting in more weight), and market demands for size, power, and aesthetic styles that add aerodyamic drag (big gaping grilles, for example) and maybe rolling resistance (big rims with low profile tires). You can't sell a 62hp 1967lb car these days...nor can you convince people to drive a manual transmission, especially if you have to downshift that .694:1 5th to pass or climb (heaven forbid you have to shift!).
^^What he said. The emissions regs did away with the Honda lean-burn engine, and Mazda and Toyota's efforts were stillborn for the same reason.
Today, a Toyota Yaris with no power windows, locks, or mirrors weighs about 2300 lbs. A Honda Civic VX weighed about 250 lbs less, and was a slightly larger car. Safety regulations are the culprit here. Side airbags, curtain airbags, impact beams, and seatbelt pretensioners all add weight, more than offsetting the weight savings by lighter materials in construction. An overall increase in equipment for most vehicles (A/C, power windows, locks, mirrors, seat(s), sunroof, huge wheels, etc.) hurts even more.
There are other changes brought on by market conditions: The first-generation Scion xB was a handy runabout that had 109 hp and weighed 2500 lbs. The 2nd generation weighed almost 700 lbs more, and had roughly the same interior space. In order to make it perform, Toyota gave it a 160-hp engine (as the only option). As you can imagine, gas mileage fell for the 2nd gen models, but not as much as you would think.
Sorry for the rant. it is 3:00 am and I can't sleep.