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Old 11-15-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
JonathanGennick
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Mileage, then and now

Was reminiscing down memory lane yesterday. Remembered back to my first-ever, new car:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find....ion=sbs&id=300

39 mpg highway. Yep. Better than today's Focus. It was a great first-car for a newly-married couple on a budget. I had the very base model -- 1985 1/2 model year, 1.9 liter engine, zero options. It was exciting enough to us at the time, and the fuel economy really did make a difference, enabling us to travel and make trips we otherwise would have had to forego.


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Old 11-15-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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remember cars back then had a lot lett emissions crap on them and the weight was a lot lower too. made a big difference. the new vehicles need to be safer and have more gizmos and that's hurting in other areas.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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My first car was my 1972 Skylark. 350ci with a 4 barrel carb, th350 3 speed auto and 2.56 rear gears. still averaged less than 10mpg but I was in highschool and gas was about 1.50 a gallon lol

mustang has been averaging 28/29mpg on my mixed commute, the same as both my 01 zetec/mtx focus and my 07 duratec/mtx focus. The neon i just picked up averages 35 on the same commute so thats cool. a light, simple car is a great thing. look at all the tech we need now to offset how much heavier cars have gotten
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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I had not thought about cars getting heavier. Is safety driving that weight gain?
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
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If you could find a diesel escort of the same year,your mpgs would be close to 50!! but good luck,when i was looking for one a couple years ago,I could only find one in six months on ebay and it was in pretty rough shape. I would imagine parts would be hard to come by now,especially for the diesel which wasn't that popular of an engine choice.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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The gas was better back then too, no mandated oxygenates reducing the energy content of the fuel.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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I have had four Geo metro's over the years, all 3 cyl 5 speeds. Couldn't beat them for milage, but could not keep them together up here in the rust belt. Almost always got low 40's with them, with the exception of my XFI model, which I could hit 50 mpg without trying real hard. Still have one sitting in my driveway with a bad motor.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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In addition to the increased weight (and yes; safety is a large part of that) and horsepower to compensate, the EPA has changed mileage test procedures since then. Current procedures produce ratings about 10% less than the previous ones -- on average. Cars designed for high mileage with small engines often suffered more. (The Prius, for instance, dropped from 60 MPG to 48 with the new tests.)

For a couple of examples, the old tests had an average city speed of 22 mph, while the highway estimate was based on 48 mph. Speed has a major effect on mileage. Or, the old tests used accelerations equivalent to a 0-60 time of 18 seconds. The new tests are more realistic; hence the lower numbers.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpalz View Post
I have had four Geo metro's over the years, all 3 cyl 5 speeds. Couldn't beat them for milage, but could not keep them together up here in the rust belt.
Yep. Had a three-cylinder Metro hatchback that used to deliver close to 50 mpg highway. Drove it into the ground and replaced it with a four-cylinder sedan. Drove that into the ground too.

Liking the Focus though. Not really wanting to go back to a Metro. But! But I can see myself adding, say, a Fiesta in a year or two. Those look like fun little cars these days.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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yeah, i think so, The gas was better back then too, no mandated oxygenates reducing the energy content of the fuel.good luck.
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