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Old 02-15-2011, 06:59 PM   #1
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Best car for mountain FE?

I live in north GA in the mountains and regularly drive in elevations up to maybe 3600 feet(north GA to western NC). The terrain is hilly and twisty but not much stopping. Right now I am looking at buying a new car and was considering the Honda Civic VX 92-95, however I am starting to wonder if the lean burn would be advantageous to my driving conditions or not. If I understand correctly the point with that vehicle is to try and keep it in lean burn which seems like it might be difficult given the terrain.

Would I be better off with a Cx model or perhaps a Geo Metro Xfi? The only requirements I have for a vehicle would be four seats and not expensive. Any insight will be appreciated!
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

Sounds like your on the right path with the geo metro or cx, alot of your driving you should be using DFCO or EOC which you will greatly benefit from...now you just need to find the ride...good luck
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:39 AM   #3
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

IMO you may need something with decent torque to do best in that kind of driving...and it should be something with good DFCO behavior (which is tough to find out without owning the car ).
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:18 AM   #4
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

I think that you are on the right track- you would likely have trouble taking advantage of the FED VX lean burn in the mountains while alternating between heavy load and coasting.

You may be able to set up your own DFCO (an injector kill switch on the shifter) if you buy and a car and discover that it is not factory equipped with this feature.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #5
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

Did the Metro Xfi and Civic Cx both have DFCO?

Also crunching some numbers here...

Metro Xfi
Curb weight: 1621 lbs. HP: 49 @4700 rpm Torque: 58 ft-lbs. @3300 rpm
Combined FE: 55

Civic Cx
Curb weight: 2108 lbs. HP: 70 @5000 rpm Torque: 91 ft-lbs. @2000 rpm
Combined FE: 51

The percentage difference between weight and HP are pretty close, the Cx has 30% more weight and 40% more power and an 8% loss in FE. However the torque is nearly a 57% gain at a lower rpm. And since the difference in FE is only 8% and I am going to be putting the engine under a hard load repeatedly while going up the hills and mountains would it make sense to go with the Cx?
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:04 AM   #6
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

Personally I would choose the Civic in that situation, as the Civic is heavier, and will maintain DFCO longer going down hills. The extra torque will also help in getting up the hills.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #7
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

From a vx owner-
You need to find out if the metro has DFCO and if it happens immediately. Some vehicles may take many seconds to engage and would not help you without modification. The vx does it instantaneously. The cx probably does too.
What will you be hauling, other than yourself?
If it's primarily you and sometimes one passenger, I'd go metro. If you need to haul more weight frequently, go CX.

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Old 02-16-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

ive always been told turbos are the way to go in the mountains. it makes its own air so thinning at alltitude and steep grades are no issue. just look for a smallish turbo car.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:04 PM   #9
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Re: Best car for mountain FE?

right out of the rocky mountains...http://www.gassavers.org/garage/view/239
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