Does anyone have any advice for another nice, light-weight, fuel-efficient family car that can pack 5 people comfortably and still have strength to pull out 40-45 mpg on city streets?
Nope. You have too many conditions, starting with "nice".
Maybe a stretched Smart limo is in order... but then you said "strength".
The 40~45 mpg city is higher than any 5 passenger vehicle I know. Make it 30~35 city and the Mazda5 comes to mind. That and the Matrix/Vibe are the two near the top of my list of candidates for replacing her 2000Odyssey.
I'm pretty sure I didn't run as high as 2300 at 60mph, but it has been a few months since I drove the car. I always tried to spend as little time over 2000rpms as possible.
I do remember the 0-20 synthetic oil made a difference. I'd get that SGII fixed. I actually have a dead spot in mine now, it doesn't sit in exactly direct sunlight, but I guess enough to hurt it.
Originally Posted by pyramid_head
i just went for a spin and i ran about 2300 rpm at 60mph on a minimal-hilled highway with OD on. i'm guessing my OD is 4th gear, OD off is 3rd, 2L is 2nd, L is 1st... I learned something new... lol j/k. i ran 2000-2100 rpm at 54-56mph.
LOL... i like the word nice, especially when now-a-days peoples' hearts grow colder than ice and become hard a rock. LOL. Anyways, a Mazda5 has an mpg rating of 22/27... and it is very heavy. I've also read the reviews and most people don't like the mpg at all. I might just get a Corolla CE 5-speed and teach the wife how to drive it. As for the SGII... forget about it. It's gone. I'm gonna have to buy another one . If the wife protests (which i think she will), then i might have to be forced to trade it in for a 5-speed xR and reduce its weight somehow. It sucks that this summer might be the summer that we see $4+ of gas per gallon.... yikes.... I gotta finish my crx quick!
As for my rpm's..... it reads about 2250rpm-2.3k max @ 60mph. The needle lies in the middle of 2k and 2.5k rpms.
Does anyone have any advice for another nice, light-weight, fuel-efficient family car that can pack 5 people comfortably and still have strength to pull out 40-45 mpg on city streets? Lots of people pointed out the prius and the civic hybrids, but they're just too small . OMG... i like your idea. i would like to find a tall geared transmission after i pay off my Matrix and experiment on the mpg it can get.
I don't know if you've considered it, but the Scion xA can fit 5 people (if they know each other real well) not particularly comfortably, and get in the mid 30's mileage wise...I've gotten as much as 38 mpg (automatic), and although it's not real peppy it does get you there, eventually. Plus it's like a shrunken Matrix, so the appearance is already familiar, and with the rear seats folded down you can haul a surprising amount of stuff. I can't figure out why it wasn't more popular than it was...I love mine, and the new xD that's replacing it is so ugly you should have to wear a blindfold when the dealer takes you to look at it.
it's where i live (IMO). i live in a basin, so where ever i go, i have to drive on steep hills. The 2700 + 150 pounds + ridiculously steep hills = crappy gas mileage. I never floor it/ i have a gutted air intake box which i forgot to mention (maybe i shouldn't have done that), DIY ground wires, and 45 psi tires on my stock 16 inch rims. I can't find a 00-03 Golf tdi 4door 5speed anywhere here in Cali... I'm royally screwed.
hmmm, mid 30's mpg with a manual tranny. Seems a bit low.
I'm driving at '06 Corolla with an Auto and average around 42 mpg (tracked via Excel). Stock tires are at 42 psi, blocked off the grill a bit and have a piece of cardboard on top of the engine to keep the heat in. Daily commute is 80 miles round trip @ 65. No hills here at all. I pretty much drive like an old fart too.
Not sure what to tell you, maybe I just got lucky... Good luck!
The mileage on my '95 Metro jumped from 41.5 to 47mpg when I moved from Seattle to North Carolina. The reason? Far less traffic here, and no hills at all. It could easily be the hills in your area that's giving the bad fuel economy, esp with an automatic since the torque converter will unlock. According to the ScanGuage in my Protege, my FE drops below 15mpg when going up a gentle incline with the cruise control engaged at 45mph. Imagine what it would be with a steep hill.
As an aside, I'm shocked by how low my FE goes with even gentle acceleration. Starting out from a dead stop absolutely kills overall FE.
You may want to get some gas from out of your area also. Hills are not so bad if you get to coast down them but if you are engine braking and braking all the time then that is where your gas is going. Best thing to do is get out of town and run on the highway for a trip and see what it gets, then you will know if it is the car or not. Chances are that everything you drive there will be lower than expected - ask your neighbors too to see what they get. From a guy down the hall, the new Camry hybrid does NOT get great mileage and it is big on the outside and not to big on the inside. You can check my gas log on my xB but if you have hills forgetabobutit! Hybrid is going to be the only thing that will help you if you have a lot of hills and really steep ones will not work that well anyway since they can't accept charging the battery on regen braking that quickly you will only get some of the hill energy back. Next choice would be something really light - maybe a Yaris and then deal with the smaller engine size.