I've done a lot of reading, and a lot of research, I've been eyeing the VX as an upgrade, and some items aren't adding up very well for me.
I presently own and drive a 1991 DX civic hatchback. I've been trying hard to improve my mileage. Most of my efforts are in driving style, the only physical aspect of my car I have changed is that I've got my tires up to max sidewall pressure.
My vehicle EPAs at 31/35 adjusted EPA. Before I started my efforts I was getting 40-42 mpg typical - I was already somewhat conservative. Now that I've put some effort in it I can get 50 mpg ave and my best tank is 55 mpg. My typical commute is a 9 mile drive 80% of which is highway travel.
Now, the EPA numbers on the VX are very impressive. I have a document here (taken from this board) with the adjusted composites of both vehicles and it runs at 32.7 vs 50.9, a whopping 56% difference and even breaks down the improvements contrasting the two models and showing the VX's technical improvements on a variety of points. I've looked at various VX driver mpg logs and I just don't see a large gap between the level I've reached and what they are reaching. I don't see myself as an especially astute hyper miler so I try and look at average scores rather than the high end outliers. It seems like typical logs for someone using similar efforts should be regularly clocking high 60s to 70 mpg and I just don't see it, only one or two cars in the range I might expect to be typical. Is there something I'm missing? Is there a wall somewhere on the higher end that is hard to pass or did the VX just score unusually high on the EPA test that the % EPA improvement is harder to achieve?
It has lean-burn, which is hard to tell when you're in it until you've driven the car for a long time. It's easy to tell when you come out of lean-burn (by the burst of speed), but going into it, and when you're in it is hard to feel until you really know the car.
For me, it took a while for me to care about my non-highway MPG, and now that I do, it took me a while to really understand how the deceleration fuel cut-off helps with MPG and how hard it is to stay in lean-burn on hills and going through different gears. Now that I "THINK" I have the feel of the VX down finally, I think my daily, non-highway, MPG should be in the 50s soon.
My guess is the EPA ratings are for people who could stay in lean-burn often.
I think the main advantage of the VX over the older civics is comfort and safety. I don't think it would be worth buying a VX over an older civic right now since the prices of the VX are higher than they should be. If safety and comfort is what you're looking for, than yes, I'd take a VX over an 88-91 civic.
I do like both of these generations of civics, but the newer ones just feel more "solid" to me and feel a whole lot more modern. For a daily driver, this is something I like.
Just my two-cents. Take it or leave it.
On the never-ending quest for better gas mileage...
I here what you are saying. I just bought a HX and am starting to regret it. Yes the HX has VTEC-E and all but I am already at 45 mpg and don't try too hard except DFCO. Once you factor in the cost to keep up a OBDI or OBDII I think in the end you may come out with a 4th gen.
I've had two different EF hatchbacks, an 89 standard and a 91 standard, and without trying they both got around 34-36mpg stock. In my 90 hatch with the vx engine and hf transmission, driving exactly the same way I was getting about 44mpg, so I figure the swap was worth 8-10 mpg. I have no idea how you're getting 50 out of a stock DX, nice work by the way, but you should do at least 10 better with the vx. You can't really compare what you see on the board for a VX with what you're actually getting, because nobody else is doing that well with a stock EF DX. However I also agree, if you're just doing it to save money, it probably isn't worth it because of the inflated vx prices right now.
Check pale Melanasian's garage. He gets better than 60 in a 96 DX 4 dr.
The VX is not an easy car to hypermile to a 100% inprovement over EPA. In fact I would say it was impossible.
I think the DX may be the right combination for real improvement (percentage wise) over EPA ratings. My del Sol best was 47 without DFCO. Probably could get close to 50 now.
This is not shutting the engine off when coasting, too dangerous here.
The VX gets great mileage when driven normally, because its designed to do that. When you build one that way its hard to change driving style (hypermile) and get the same large increase, as you would in a DX, which is not so carefully tuned for mileage (by tuning I mean the whole system, not just the engine).
I enjoy the VX since I can drive normally and get great mileage without hypermiling...but if you put the efforts out you can probably increase upon your mpg...Driving my VX daily I could "just drive it" and be getting 43mpg pretty consistent...I think vtec-e might be a negative for it since if you actually go into vtec your fuel economy will be worse then not it...with the DX you will always be in non-vtec...I don't know I personally like having an airbag in my DD and the comforts of the car...with my VX swapped Del Sol I can't say I'd ask for anything else, comfort, targa top, and good mpg
If you are doing that well with the DX keep it until you stumble upon a great deal for a VX...
BackBlast - comparing MPG numbers across members of this board is meaningless, too many uncontrolled variables - e.g. local traffic condition, variations in terrain, fuel blends (e.g ethanol), temperature and climate differences, length of commute, carrying passengers/luggage, driving techniques, vehicle condition - they will all affect millage, and you situation will most likely be different.
I've been tracking mpg in many cars over the years, I've seen some variation, undoubtedly due to some of the factors I listed above, but generally found EPA numbers to be consistent, and when I got a VX - it's MPG was right where I expected it to be.
So, if you are getting 50MPG out of 35MPG car, I can't promise that you will get 65MPG from VX, but I'm pretty sure I'd be getting 30-35 MPG if I got a DX.Ross
I have three recent tankfuls at 48MPG. Every driver is different and roads & traffic will have a significant impact on gas millage.
My car is used for rush hour commuting from Annapolis, MD; thru Washington, DC to Arlington, VA. Rush hour routes in Northern, VA and DC are an experience that includes highly aggressive driving tactics by the vast majority of drivers. It would be downright dangerous and rude to attempt hypermiling in these conditions. Thus, I drive 65-70 MPH on the open highway, although the 40-mile trip still takes from 60-90 minutes due to stop-n-go and traffic congestion on parts of the drive. Certainly, not ideal MPG conditions and I am very pleased with 45-48 MPG. I am confident better driving conditions would yield low 50's in this car.