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Old 01-15-2008, 10:21 PM   #1
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MPG at 80MPH

Last weekend I noticed that my old 97 Mercury Sable (156K) sucks gas like no other on my 96 mile round trip daily commute (83 miles are highway) and that it might be more economical for me to have a smaller 4cyl car that gets better Highway MPG. I am driving 23000 miles a year just to get to work

The 4 spd with Over drive Sable DD gets an abysmal 23mpg. Part of that is due to the fact that traffic on the turnpike cruises between 70-80mph.

My 'budget' for a gas friendly alternative is rather low at $3k. I've been able to find a few early gen stick shift Foci that are local and online for that price.

So my question for those Foci owners with a SPI or a Zetec what is your MPG for traveling distances at the speed of 75-80mph. Please note which engine you do have when you give an answer :D


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Old 01-15-2008, 10:36 PM   #2
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i got really good milege at those speeds.... svt Zetec with a getrag tho.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:41 PM   #3
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id say 25-30 mpg with winter fuel. i know how the pa driving is. im down in the west chester area. i drive about 20 miles a day. i have an spi
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:47 PM   #4
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Best I ever got in my Zetec was honestly 40 mpg...it was in the summer right after I lowered the thing--made a joke about how lowering increases mpg a lot haha. When I was doing straight freeway in the SVTF I got...I think 35 was the best I got.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:52 PM   #5
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I've heard the SPI's get a bit better mileage than the Zetec.

I do 100 miles round trip, 3 or 4 days a week. Half the distance is at 65mph, the other half is at 75mph. In summer, I'll average about 33mpg, in the winter anywhere between 26 and 30mpg. Winter time warrants fewer restrictions on gasoline here, so it definitely helps reduce the mileage. I don't warm my car up either outside of a minute or so.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:02 PM   #6
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before cams, every 2-3 mph above 65 lost me a mpg. so from an avg of about 34mpg at 65mph, that would put you at 28-29 going 80mph. This was with an automatic trans, so I imagine the manual would be better.

That was also with intake and exhaust mods.

With the FR2's, more air equals more fuel, but I also raised compression, so my motor is more efficient. I only lose a mpg per 4 mph above 65, and at 65 I get about 30mpg.

and to number_twelve, you rock. "warming up the car" is totally useless, in fact its bad for the engine (anti-drainback valve in the oil filter stays closed longer) and a bigtime waste of gas. so to you, spread the word!
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:07 PM   #7
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I've noticed my mpg drops drastically drops off past 70mph. Usually I'll set my cruise at 70mph, if traffic is minimal 75mph. In heavy traffic I just go with the flow. My personal best was 36 but now, even with the blower I get like 28-30.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:24 PM   #8
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23mpg is decent, you won't save any significant amount of money by buying a 4cy. The far better options would be to either find a job closer to where you live, or just drive slower on the highway. My first car would get nearly 50mpg at 60mph, but it would tank to about 20mpg if I kept it pinned on the highway. My example is a little extreme, but the extra speed does make a huge difference.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #9
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It the owner's manual it says driving 65 mph versus 55 mph uses 15% more gas.

Does anyone know any other stats like this? Like driving 75 mph versus 65mph.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frizzle86 View Post
Last weekend I noticed that my old 97 Mercury Sable (156K) sucks gas like no other on my 96 mile round trip daily commute (83 miles are highway) and that it might be more economical for me to have a smaller 4cyl car that gets better Highway MPG. I am driving 23000 miles a year just to get to work

The 4 spd with Over drive Sable DD gets an abysmal 23mpg. Part of that is due to the fact that traffic on the turnpike cruises between 70-80mph.

My 'budget' for a gas friendly alternative is rather low at $3k. I've been able to find a few early gen stick shift Foci that are local and online for that price.

So my question for those Foci owners with a SPI or a Zetec what is your MPG for traveling distances at the speed of 75-80mph. Please note which engine you do have when you give an answer :D
23 mpg with a Mercury Sable automatic? At 75-80 mph? Were you towing it or was it sitting on a flatbed? Seriously, that's not really too bad for a heavy car with 6 cylinders and a slush box. Try driving a V8-powered wheeled brick like an Explorer or Expedition, sucking up gas at the rate of 14-15mpg, and then dropping $75-80 every time you stop for a refill!

I have a 2 liter Duratec with 5-speed manual. I have driven the Seattle, WA to Madison, WI run on I-90 (about 2200 miles) with the cruise control set between 80-85 mph. The most recent trip was in September. When the winds weren't too bad I was able to squeak out 30mpg. When the wind was at its worst (driving into head winds gusting up to 50 mph) it got as bad as 24mpg.

If you really are driving that many miles, you might want to consider a used VW Jetta or Golf TDI (turbo-diesel). Not too much horsepower but gobs of torque; they feel quite peppy in city driving. They take a while to get up to freeway speed (about 10 seconds 0-60) but cruise smoothly and easily at 85mph. Best yet, they will return 50+ mpg. Driving sanely at 60-65mph, these diesels can return better than 60mpg! On top of that, VWs are very pleasant to drive. If you like the road manners of a Focus, you will like a VW Jetta or Golf. They are similar in size and both feature German designed chassis - agile, but solid and stable.

The resale value of VWs is on the high side and in this market the turbodiesels are especially prized because people who own them are tending to keep them. But if you are really driving that much, the fuel savings can be enough over time to compensate for the extra purchase cost. On the road, diesels are much more efficient than gas/electric hybrids and while diesel costs more on a per gallon basis, you use a hell of a lot less of it. Get a kit installed to adapt it for bio-diesel compatibility and the fuel (reprocessed used cooking oil) is nearly free if you know where to look.
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