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Old 09-04-2014, 01:57 PM   #11
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I've found generaly Americans hate change, but like the rest of us, they will have to. To be honest, ive been to America lots of times, and even the large cars have no more room or comfort that the best europe has, and with advances in safety and technology now, small cars are, like you say just as safe if not safer than big ones. Even performance wise, a big engine is not needed, some large cars now have engines less that 1 litre, that's about 7 times smaller than a Corvette for example. Way too over the top.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:12 AM   #12
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i'm shocked by the poor mpg figures on this site.
I'm right there with you. If the numbers were for the general population, I might not be shocked. But I thought the type of person who is likely to be interested in the MPG and therefore sign up for a site like this would put some effort into pushing their MPG up a bit. The combined numbers on the current generation of Mazda 3 that I've been looking at seem okay, but I don't think most of the people driving them have tapped their potential.

I get the impression that while people want to save some money on fuel they're not ready to change their driving habits. I've been trying to re-learn from the ground up how to drive my Mazda 3 from a fuel efficiency angle. I have the advantage of using my car almost exclusively for my commute loop which is almost all freeway. Nine months in and I'm still playing with a few variables but I think I'm near the maximum since the weather won't get any better.

I suppose fuel prices would have to rise substantially in the US before people seriously look at how to get more out of what they drive. More likely they'll just go out and buy a car with a higher MPG rating, then wonder why they don't get the rated MPG while still driving like lunatics.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:43 AM   #13
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I think you've nailed it there, it's the cost. Yes we all have a slight environmentel concern, we all like to feel like we can save the planet, reduce emissions etc etc, but we like doing this if it saves money even more, and like you say, fuel is still dirt cheap in the states.

Hit the people hard where it hurts and you'll see a big change. I loved my old car, but spending 200 a month of fuel was breaking me. Easiest way is to change cars, now I have a diesel I go at least twice, if not 3 times the distance for the same cost in my old car. No brainer.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #14
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A lot of it has to do with driving conditions also.

I have a 2015 Fiat 500 Sport (it says 2014 here because Fuelly hasn't updated yet), and only manage 33 mpg with a lot of highway driving. However, in Texas, highway driving means the SPEED LIMIT is 75mph in many places. At 75MPH gas mileage drops precipitously. If I could drive at 55mph all day long my gas mileage would be significantly better. If I did that though, the rednecks in jacked up trucks would roll over me.

The 33mpg US I get converts to 39.6mpg UK.

EDIT 1:
Keep in mind we also:
Typically do not have the option of a Diesel (people hate them, don't know why)
Typically have automatic transmissions (though my Fiat is a 5 speed)
Typically do not have the choice of smaller engines available elsewhere.

So even on the "same" car, averages will be lower for these reasons. Fiat 500, for example, is only available with 1.4 litre multiair and 1.4 litre turbo. The Twinair version is not available.

EDIT 2:
Oh one more thing. The USA has this stupid thing called the "CORN LOBBY"... which is essentially a bunch of midwest farmers who got tanked up on Moonshine, and decided to get Washington to subsidize their giant factory farms. So we are REQUIRED to have at least 10% ethanol in our gasoline for the last 5 or 10 years (I forget how many). That has two net effects: It reduces gas mileage by around 10% (seriously) and on top of that, it has caused world food prices to increase. Go USA?
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:03 AM   #15
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Ha I enjoyed your post. Interesting as I used to have the tuned version of the Fiat 500, the Abarth. Great car. I think I averaged only 34 MPG for the 60,000 miles I did in it, which is probably high 20's US MPG. But the Abarth is one of those cars you just have to drive with attitude! On saying that, I could easily average over 50 MPG on a steady trip. I think with the new CAFE standards I keep hearing about, you will start to see more diesels in the US, whether people like them or not. Google Aston Martin Cygnet, do you think Aston wanted to sell them? No, but to get their "average" emissions down for all their cars combined, they had to do it.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:12 AM   #16
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Typically do not have the option of a Diesel (people hate them, don't know why)
It's due to long term memory and obliviousness around them. GM and VW thought they could cut corners on diesels in the early '80s by using the lower end of a gasoline engine in VW's case, and the entire gas engine block in GM's. This of course lead to bad reliability.

People remember that, and that per ULSD was smelly and diesels had poor emissions. When they see a commercial truck or bus that entered service over a decade ago puff some smoke, they believe that this is still true. Then the heavy duty pick ups with illegally modified emission systems actually lower this opinion.

Meanwhile the public doesn't notice the new, clean diesel cars around simply because they are clean.

Quote:
Oh one more thing. The USA has this stupid thing called the "CORN LOBBY"... which is essentially a bunch of midwest farmers who got tanked up on Moonshine, and decided to get Washington to subsidize their giant factory farms. So we are REQUIRED to have at least 10% ethanol in our gasoline for the last 5 or 10 years (I forget how many). That has two net effects: It reduces gas mileage by around 10% (seriously) and on top of that, it has caused world food prices to increase. Go USA?
I wouldn't call the people running huge corporations farmers.
Ethanol does have some pros, and Europe uses it to some extent too. It does lead to discrepancies because it isn't the test fuel for mpg ratings.

The US's bigger crime in regards to world food prices is buying grain from the same corporations for foreign. Feeding the starving is good, but simply giving them the money directly so that could buy grain and food from their own local farmers would keep those farms running, and eventually, get their economy to a place where they won't need all the foreign aid. Instead we flood the market there with, locally, free food that drives the farmer out of business, keeping the poor there stuck on our welfare. But it's corporate welfare, so that's all right.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:43 AM   #17
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Fuel prices in Europe are artificially high because EU governments arbitrarily impose very high taxes on fuels, AND because Europe (unwisely, IMHO) does not produce their own fuels, choosing to rely on (often unreliable) foreign sources. So you mostly drive tiny little cars with very "buzzy" engines.

And you don't drive very far (in comparison to the US.)

In the US, we have bigger, more comfortable vehicles because we drive a lot further than EU drivers. Fuel prices are generally much cheaper (than the EU), but still artificially high because of (misguided, IMHO) government policies. While we are still importing oil from foreign sources, we could be totally self sufficient were it not for out idiot government constantly imposing roadblocks to drilling.

As far as CO2 emissions causing global temperatures to rise -- that is liberal tommyrot -- none of it is true. If you want to get to the truth on the myths of "global warming," try a real scientific site: www.nipccreport.org
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Old 09-19-2014, 03:34 AM   #18
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Not sure I want to "get the truth" on global warming, but I would be interested to know how a Texan is dropping "tommyrot" into his post. With regard to CO2, globally I think we're on the "suck it and see" path.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:52 AM   #19
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C02 being harmful or not is not really important. The fact that oil is a non renewable fossil fuel with limited sources is, any oppurtunity to save it should be prioritised. Americans have always bought into this idea that they need a big engined heavy car for travelling large distances. In Europe, most people need 1 car to do everything, its too expensive to have 2 cars. They need it to be efficient butalso have good performance, and still be capable of transporting the whole family and luggage on big road trips. Now after decades of building to this criteria, we've nailed it, our small cars are just as quick, just as comfy, just as safe (in some cases safer) and much more efficient than the big cars in the US.

The US car manufacturers failed to develop cars, the engines are big, slow and inefficient, outdated in every aspect. Pre recesion, Europe was making twice as many cars as the US, its clear to see why they went broke. But its refreshing to see some Americans now finaly understanding the concept of small turbocharged technology, and the fact that a 5.0 litre to drive 1 guy 6 miles to work is probably excessive!
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:44 PM   #20
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...I would be interested to know how a Texan is dropping "tommyrot" into his post. ...
Texas is just where I ultimately landed, having lived worked and traveled extensively in the Middle East, Africa, Far East, and, yes even Europe -- with your "buzzy" little cars.
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