Do new cars really get better mileage? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-28-2007, 02:35 PM   #1
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Do new cars really get better mileage?

Ok there are some real standouts.

And in general in town fe has gone up some.

But a lot of car really old cars got some pretty good fe.

I used to drive a 1979 Ford F150 with a 351 Automatic.

It had good power and towing ability and got 12.5 mpg with mosly intown driving.

My wife drives a 2000 Expedition and on the weeks that it never sees the freeway it averages 13.5 mpg. It has a lot fewer miles on it than my old truck had. So fuel injection, overdrive and 8 coil ignition and all it gets is 1 mpg better.

I thought it was interesting.


I had a Pont T1000 (chevette) back in 81. It you drove it real easy it would get 38 in town. It got a little less on the highway, I guess because of 3.73 gear and no overdrive.

a Chevy Vega would get 30+ on the highway if it was running good.

My 66 oldsmobile would get 21 on the highway running 65 to 70.

Which is about the same as my 2004 crown vic.

I guess I am a little amazed at the lack of progress in FE.

Cars are a lot faster!!!

Just a little venting. What older cars do you guys remember that got good mileage?

I had a Fiat 131 and it ran good but it did not get very good FE.

see the links below

http://www.adclassix.com/ads2/76datsunb210.htm


http://datsun1200.com/modules/myalbu...o.php?lid=1661

There were a lot of really FE cars up to about 10 years ago.

Remember when the CRX cam out.

The new CRX was basically the Civic chassis under a sporty body. Two models were offered: the base CRX and the CRX 1.5. The chief difference between the two was that the base CRX had a 1.3-liter engine (which allowed the car to score amazing fuel economy ratings of 51 in the city and on the 67 highway) and the CRX 1.5 had the 1.5-liter engine. All CRXs had a two-tone paint scheme, comprised of White, Blue or Red with a Silver lower bodyside and bumper treatment.

Now I really fear Manufacturers do not want to give you a super high mileage choice that is cheap they would rather move you to an expensive hybrid.

It seams you will have to spend money to save it.

What do you guys think?

A Datsun B210 would get better mileage than a new Kia or Hyndai or Fit or Aveo?
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
It seems that is what the customer is demanding, or, that is what the OEMs thought the customer was demanding.

or what the OEM's want to believe the customers are demanding because it's more cost effective for them to rehash the old "What wins on Sunday , sells on Monday" adage . We *need* more FE competitions on Sundays ....
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:28 PM   #3
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as an owner of a 1980 chevette i get about 32 mpg but i drive mostly highway and use E10 fuel. whats interesting is that the chevette was designed for 55mph. meaning it would handle be quiet and get excelent gas milleage at 55mph. which i must say it does.

i have also wondered well econo cars have been around since the first cars were made. (some cars of the 20's could get 25mpg or sometimes better) but yea i still wonder why and how chevy screwed up the aveo so bad. its smaller than a chevette, smaller engine, way lighter (plastic galore and fwd) so how the hell does it get less than a chevette?!?!? i agree that thier trying to market small cars with alot of oompf unlike the chevette which only has 70 hp @5200 rpm, and only 82 ft lbs of torque @ 2400...but hey it gets me from point A to point B on once piece, comforitable ride and 4 6'0 adults can ride comforitably in it which is somehting i cant say for some of todays econo cars
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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Your 80 Chevette would have no hope of meeting any of todays standards. I agree with theclencher we have gone towards performance.

If you want to have some fun compare the weights of todays cars to yersteryear. You'll be shocked. Geo 2dr weighed 1650, Aveo which is a 5dr. weighs in at 2343! You can't add that kind of weight with out it adversaly affectiing MPG. It claims it has the best frontal impact rating in it's class. I've always thought you should avoid those!!! lOl
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:19 PM   #5
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I guess I am a little amazed at the lack of progress in FE.

Lets compare the chevette to my 2000 merc sable
My car weighs 3600 pounds has 200 hp has way more interior space, and is capable of over 30 mpg hwy. even in the hands of a non GS type driver.

so in that comparison you can see some improvement in the newer cars I think.

For older cars that got great mpg its hard to beat the old VW rabbit diesel.
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:50 PM   #6
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My 1969 SAAB got 30 mpg ,in town, on regular leaded . It had a Ford V4 and 3 on the tree! It also had a wierd switched clutch that would allow shifting without depressing the pedal . It could hold many 16's in the trunk too LOL
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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Many efficiency gains will give you either power + acceleration OR fuel economy, depending on how the car is set up and how you drive it. Improved ignition + fuel injection and aerodynamics are examples.

However we want to drive 70-75 mph instead of 50-60, and we want rapid acceleration too. My '89 Volvo has a 2.3 l engine, 115 hp, weighs 3000 lb. You can't sell a car like that today; it would have a 175-200 hp engine. And many smaller cars now weigh 2600-3000 lb whereas old gas sippers often were closer to 2000 lb. And the big vehicles? Probably 4000-5000 lb.

So that's where we're using efficiency gains: heavier cars that accelerate faster with more powerful engines. And gearing to support that. They're not geared for FE because people expect a kick in the butt when they step on the gas.

Not to mention four wheel drive which so many people think they need + want. All that extra rotating mass and gearing has a FE hit.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:46 PM   #8
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One area that stands out with the newer cars is the amounts of pollutants coming from the tailpipes.

There are BIG differences between 1980 and 2008 for HC, CO and NoX.

Heck...there have been people that have tried to kill themselves by shutting the garage door and running the engine recently and just gotten a headache.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:36 AM   #9
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The fact of the matter is that better fuel efficiency costs money to those producing the car. Until there is a public outcry demanding such vehicles, business will continue as usual. Yeah, there are more choices now if you're willing to compromise and drive a micro/mini car, but for those who prefer a larger vehicle, you're going to get roughly the same mileage you did 30 years ago. Demand has been maintained for cars getting 25 MPG, and as the old saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

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Old 05-29-2007, 10:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
How/why is that?
Actually, I would say better FE at the current and future EPA emissions regs is what really costs quite a bit. If you didn't care as much about pollution, it is a lot easier to get more mpg from a given car...not to mention you would have less weight and complexity.
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