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Old 05-16-2008, 12:28 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by kickflipjr View Post
Ford Ka

Fuel Economy: 28/45 combined 37
Top Speed: 96 mph
0-60 mph: 14.7 seconds
Horsepower: 59
Drag Coefficient: -
Curb Weight: 1368 lbs
Seating Capacity: 4 adults
Classification: City Car

Ok, this car is fairly basic. It has a 1.3L engine and is too small and too slow to make it to america. I wouldn't call it "super high mpg" either (just around the yaris/fit group, but slower).
for weighing only 1368lbs, kinda pathetic compared to the European production cars mentioned. Put a VX motor in that baby, would do MUCH better performance and mpg. In fact, and no offense to your contribution, it is puzzling as to why the car does so poorly. Look at the size of it and the size of those tires. It must have a really dinky, low tech motor. Car is probably very inexpensive.

three stripes the charm!

Car mods are overrated. Just gotta adjust that nut behind the wheel for best mpg.

Forget about World Peace...Visualize using your turn signal.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #32
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I came across this thread while searching for the highest MPG production cars available currently. Here is some information that might be of interest to some of you.

Long ago I bought a new 1982 Honda Civic 1300FE. This was a standard, but very high MPG 2 door hatchback Civic with a very efficient gas engine using a carburetor, a 5 speed manual transmission and was not aerodynamic. It was well equipped for the time. It was rated by the EPA at the time for 58 MPG highway.

I owned this car for about 20,000 miles. In that time the absolutely lowest mileage I got was a partial tank of nothing but very bad traffic jams in the summer with the A/C on in Texas. That "poor" mileage was still 38.5 MPG. I typically got 44-46 MPG in town, and that was not even trying to drive efficiently. Frequently, I drove the car with passengers, or loaded with stuff.

Highway mileage was a true 50-52 MPG, usually cruising around 70. The worst highway mileage I got was a disappointing 48 MPG. The best was on a trip to Colorado. The high for a full tank was 55 MPG on that trip. The low was 52 MPG. I never really tried to drive this car efficiently, so I know that higher mileage was very possible.

Remember that this was a rather normal car using regular tires, a carb, no slick aerodynamics, had a standard weight rating (meaning it could really carry 4 adults and cargo), no lightweight bodywork, accelerated 0-60 in about 13.5 seconds (A contemporary road test said 11.8) and could do over 100 mph. At that time, those performance specs were not exciting, but it could get out of its own way. Even fast cars were typically turning 0-60 in around 8 to 9 seconds at that time due to no programmed EFI and strangling emission controls of the period. It was also the cleanest car of the period, rated at only 4.3 tons of CO2 per year. As I recall, a modern Civic hybrid is 4.4 tons per ton. Not a bad performance for a boxy 4 passenger car with a carb.

Imagine my surprise when I considered the Honda Insight in 2001. Here was a highly developed car with special tires, special lightweight bodywork, very aerodynamic, used an elaborate and highly efficient drive train, yet even with a very low rated weight capacity of about 350 pounds, it was still only rated at 70 MPG on the highway. This car's curb weight was 1850 pounds, which was about the same as my 1300FE, yet could could only carry 2 people with a GVWR of a very low 2200 pounds. If you put a full tank of gas of 10 gallons (62 lbs.), those two people better be very light indeed.

In comparison, the 1300FE can carry 4 people, and some cargo, and still turn in real world mileage of at least 50 mpg without even trying. I've seen reports from some owners of over 60 mpg driving at normal highway speeds in the old FE.

Frankly, I have been unimpressed by the lack of advancement in 25 years on these vehicles. Regular cars and trucks get far better mileage and performance than 1982. Many get twice the gas mileage while literally being able to blow the doors off their ancestors in a drag race.

And before anyone says I am comparing completely different vehicles, keep in mind that I am comparing cars of virtually the same weight, and rather close to the same power. Even if you compare test reports for acceleration between the old Civic 1300FE and the Insight, the FE at 11.8 sec to 60 is pretty close to the Insight's 11 seconds (and that is with the latter 61 city, 66 highway higher output 2005 model).

Frankly, Honda should even be able to do better with a gas only car and save the weight of the battery for extra cargo capacity.

Note: I even think less of the Prius/Corolla comparison. The 2005 Corolla was rated at 41 mpg on the highway. The new ones are only rated about 35 mpg, though. Still, even in a slushbox equipped 2008 rental Corolla, I got an average of 36 mpg driving nearly 600 miles on the poor roads (and traffic jams) of Puerto Rico. Frankly, that compares very well with the Prius's 46 combined mpg in a whole lot simpler car for a lot less money. It also makes the Mercedes Smart ForTwo at 40 mpg and over $20K just seem a bit silly.

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Old 07-05-2008, 02:52 PM   #33
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One reason we will never see many of these cars can be wrapped up in one word in their specs: "turbodiesel."

Tier II has wrecked diesel efficiency in the US and made them sell at a hideous premium.
2000 Ford F-350 Super Cab Pickup
4x2, 6 speed manual
Regeared to 3.08:1
4 inch suspension slam
Aero mods: "Fastback" fairing and rugged air dam and side skirts
Stock MPG: 19
Summer MPG: 27.0
Winter MPG: 24
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:14 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by SAK510 View Post
It also makes the Mercedes Smart ForTwo at 40 mpg and over $20K just seem a bit silly.
They start at under $12 K and a loaded cabriolet will come in at well under $18.2 K, with heated leather and all the other stuff you can load them up with.

Don't assume that the EPA figures for the smart are comparable to what you saw in the good ole days with your Honda...I know owners of the new smart whose average FE figures are in the mid to high 40s.

Mine is over 60 but it's a diesel
2008 Mercedes-Benz B 200
2006 smart fortwo BRABUS Canada 1 cdi cabriolet
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:36 AM   #35
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The good old days with my Honda are today.

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Old 07-06-2008, 10:01 AM   #36
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Country: United States does not list a 1982 Honda Civic 1300FE, however it does list a 1985 Civic HF...slightly bigger engine (1.5 liter) and the highway mileage rating at the time the car was sold new was 54 mpg. Measuring by today's method, it is 48 mpg.

CO2 emissions per year are a direct function of the amount of gasoline consumed, or at least that is what I have inferred from the data shown on the EPA website. This does not take into account the other pollutants such as NOx, CO and unburned hydrocarbons from your '82 Honda and an '01 Insight. I've been hunting Google trying to find a comparison, so far I've not found one. Maybe someone knows what the differences are in pollution control specs?
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:56 AM   #37
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Honda made some FE models - precursor to the CRX HF, VX, etc.
Looking to trade for an early 1988 Honda CRX HF (Pillar mounted seat belts)
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #38
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id drive most of those cars except the ones that look like bannana slugs or other critters...

but yea im disapointed that cars in the late 70-80's got better mileage than the newest technology of today... cars back then had either a full carb that hasnt changed since the teens to crude computer thats about as smart as a calculator...

now we got hybrid/ obd2 system cars with a billion sensors and can barely break even MPG wise with less cargo space...
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:20 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Rstb88 View Post
Accelerated Composites Aptera
# Less than $20,000
# 12HP CARB certified Diesel engine
# 25HP DC Motor
# Regenerative braking control
# Automatic CVT transmission
# 64in front wheel track
# 173in length
# Weight of 850lbs
# 0-60mph in 11s
# 95mph top speed (electronically limited)
# 330 MPG at 65 MPH
Where are the little green men?
#47 on my way to #1
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:12 PM   #40
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My 2nd car was a 1980 Civic 1300DX 5-speed hatchback. I paid $40 for it in 1994 at an impound auction. The timing belt threw before I had it a day. But had I kept the car, I imagine I would have had it quite some time. Same auction I bought a 1986 Mercury Lynx L hatchback with a carb'd 1.9 and a 4-speed for $60. Had it for a few months, measuring anywhere from 34 to 40mpg, and keep in mind I was 16 then and it was the first standard I got to drive for more than a day. Basically, think flooring it to 30, clutching to shift directly to 3rd or 4th, listening to it backfire, and then driving normally to avoid local cop attention. I would slow down with the clutch and gas because the brakes were shot. Muffler was gone when I bought it. I still sold that bad boy for $350 before moving to Texas (it had no AC, no sense bringing it).

Show me a modern car that gets 34-40mpg in mediocre driving and I'll show you a $20K-$25K Prius or Civic Hybrid being wasted by someone who doesn't care about efficiency.

I'll stick to older cars. I may not have airbags, antilock brakes, Xenon headlights, or neat little LCD displays, but I'll get my mileage. When gas was $1.50 a gallon I was happy to get 15mpg out of whatever I had (78 Impala, 84 Diplomat, and a bunch of old big cars). 10 cents a mile is my fuel cost goal so 40+ is all I can look at anymore. 80-83 Civics, 1st gen Tercels, old Datsuns, whatever works.

But that Toyota ES3 is adorable. Looks like a 3/4ths size Focus ZX3-Matrix-Yaris mashup. I'd rock that all the way to the tune of 5 cents per mile fuel cost. He// yeah!

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