What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

Discussion in 'Articles' started by xcel, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. da9dad

    da9dad .68 Caliber player

    I've been involved with Honda automobiles for a good 10years. I have gone through 5 models. I've just recently or about a year and half ago finally broke down and bought an 1990 Acura Integra LS (Auto). Now I don't believe in modifying the car to where it becomes illegal to drive on city streets. What I have learned though is that Honda motors are at the least the most intelligently developed engines in the world (again this my opinion...I'm sure those of you who are reading have a different angle on this...) They take the least amount of fuel and bring about the most amount of HP to bring about a great deal of FE. I've also learned that if your the only person driving the car is to make the car as light as possible. I'm not talking removing stuff from your trunk I'm talking. removing material from the inside. When you think about it the interior adds further weight. So at the very least removing the rear seat and trunk panels including the carpet would help in saving weight of 20-60#'s. I've even considered purchasing a Carbon Fiber Hood and Trunk. The stock hood for my car car is approx 80#'s and about the same for the trunk so that's nearly 200# is weight saving increasing the FE a great deal. However, this modificaition comes at a cost ($400-500 for the hood and $600-800 for the trunk. If lucky, can even find Carbon fiber front fenders). Now I don't like fancy looking hoods and gills so I'd stick with the stock look. Then there's the Wheels. Honda Civic hatch back wheels such as the HX (96-97) all have a light alloy wheel that weighs in approx 11.75# each. getting your engine to turn these wheels should also add to fuel savings as there is less mass to torque. However, these wheels are only 14" but if you increase the size say to 16" and finding a forged wheel that weighs in at 13-15# your increasing FE and decreasing rolling diameter (remember this is the wheel only, you have to account for tire weight).
    So for those of you who have bigger wheels, with chromed feature. Try removing that wheel and putting it on a scale. If you have a wheel that weighs in at 30-40# especially when your using the stock steel wheel, the operative word here is STEEL then your definitely making your engine work harder.
  2. sessegolo

    sessegolo Member

    From a hypermiling perspective it seems that some cars allow better mileage gains (over EPA) than others... Is that right? If so, what would be a good bet as far as a small, second-hand sedan? It seems that would be the Civic, based on what I read on other threads...???

  3. Vooch

    Vooch Well-Known Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    Here is what I'd look for in a small used car (aside from the obvious used car stuff)

    1) 5 speed manual

    2) engine with the most torque (not HP) check out original specs - for DWL & P&G

    3) best original EPA MPG (go to the EPA MPG site - you can find cars EPA rating from waaaay back)

    4) If you want to get really technical , I'd compare weight, CD's and gear ratios, but most of that is already incorporated into the EPA rating.

    5) Highest Max sidewall pressure of Tires
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Italo:

    ___The Civic of any era is about the best available for FE from a compact.

    ___As Vooch said, a stick can really do wonders if you want to hypermile as it has the ability to do so much more including better performance and in some cases, even better Fe on the highway. Negatives, lower resale which you should be able to take advantage of since you are buying used yourself :)

    ___Good Luck

  5. guajero

    guajero Member

    I highly recomend the Chevrolet Prizm, I have driven four of them and great mileage can be easily coaxed out of them. The prizm is a poor man's corolla and is much cheaper on the used market.
  6. brucepick

    brucepick Well-Known Member

    Wayne, I want to thank you for this article.

    This is where I first learned of the Honda Civic HX - a car with near-hybrid FE that can be bought at maybe 15% of the price of a new Prius or Civic Hybrid. It took me a while but I finally acquired one.

    Last week I became the owner of a '97 Civic HX with 5-speed. Early results are between 41-53 mpg. Yesterday I had the thermostat changed (was running too cool) and had four new tires installed - so I think now we'll see what FE it produces when properly set up.

    Thank you again, Wayne.
  7. peacefrog_0521

    peacefrog_0521 Raj Against The Machine

    It struck me as curious several months ago when I was trying to find a used VW Jetta TDI, that they were few in number, overpriced, and still usually sold before I could inquire. Same for the Golf. The New Beetle TDI, however - plenty of those to go around...
  8. COMP

    COMP Active Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    look at it ,,thats why :D
  9. Electrify

    Electrify Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    Echo FTW!!!

    Unbeatable mileage, great space, maneuverable, top of the line reliability, and under $10,000!!! If you are in the market for a used car, I cannot recommend this vehicle enough.

    (Unless you live in Europe, where you have a wide selection of superminis and city cars)
  10. KrazyDawg

    KrazyDawg Well-Known Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    I disagree. The 95 Civic EX that I have is in the middle in terms of years but towards the lowest end for fuel efficiency. Combined MPG is 26 by the new EPA. Older and newer civics alike have a higher combined MPG. The VX is a different model and because my engine is a 1.6L VTEC it's not the most efficient compared to other models in the same year. All the other models of 95 with the exception of EX receives better MPG. I drove a 94 Civic LX as a loaner car that had better MPG. In short, one has to do research still even on Civics but they are reliable.
  11. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    The statement was not saying civics are the best for fuel economy regardless. There are civics that are more performance oriented, hence losing fuel economy. 26 on the new epa is decent for that time period as my 1999 avenger is worth 21 combined on the new epa 27hwy on old epa.

    Wrt my epa ratings, the 95 civic is comparably better as far as economy goes, maybe a few more detailed specs would provide me the info I need to make a better comparison, but time is not really in my favor at this time.
  12. mnarwold

    mnarwold Newb

    Any chance one of you MPG guru's would be able to do an updated version on this same article? I'm hoping to buy a fuel sipper in the next 12 months or so and would find an updated list very helpful. I can go through and look at autotrader.com for some cars, but it seems like some vehicles can be hypermiled way better than others, so you can't really just look at epa estimates.
  13. 44 mpg by 2010

    44 mpg by 2010 Active Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    Have any of you looked at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ lately?

    It has undergone MAJOR CHANGES since October 2011.

    Pay special attention to ....

    POWER SEARCH http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/powerSearch.jsp
    This allows one step search 1984 to present on multiple parameters like ... year range, MSRP (Edmunds 2011 to present), Make, Market Class, Fuel type, Drive, Transmission, Cylinders, and MPG (city, combined, and/or Highway ≥).

    Also ... Shared MPG Estimates http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=browseList

    I have found these to be VERY POWERFUL resources when considering any NEW ... or ... USED vehicle purchase.

    These are very powerful research tools!

    My special thanks to those that use My Garage http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do or Tracking Your MPG Just Got Easier
    Now you can enter "Your MPG" data at the pump from your mobile device at www.fueleconomy.gov/m!

    Particularly when you allow your fuel consumption rate data to be shared with OUR ... NATIONAL KNOWLEDGE BASE of "experienced mpg" ... even if you folks ARE hypermiling.
  14. FXSTi

    FXSTi Well-Known Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    I made it to the top of the 2011 Fiesta list on Fueleconomy.gov, but I'm several tanks behind in logging there. I don't like that you can't view individual logs and log comments.

  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    I hadn't noticed the main site's changes. I tend to use www.fueleconomy.gov/m (the mobile site) if I'm just getting information about one car because it's simple to use and doesn't use JavaScript. It's particularly annoying that the www.fueleconomy.gov site uses external JavaScript APIs.
  16. OriEri

    OriEri David

    Re: What if you cannot afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    My Jetta was in an accident last night and I think it iwll be totaled by my insurance company. :( I will miss it, but this also creates a quandary. I was planning on getting a CODA 150mi range car when they come out in the fall. So, is there a way to do a short term lease, like less than one year?
  17. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I'm sorry to hear that. :(

    I've heard of people selling leases to other people when they want to get out of it early. Possibly you could find one with a year left or you could sell your lease after a year.
  18. OriEri

    OriEri David

    I am in a rental Leaf at the moment. Thought I would give a shorter range EV a try as I psych myself up to buy a CODA.
  19. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    How do you like it?
  20. bill14224

    bill14224 New Member

    Economy is complex. I once had a Honda Civic 1.5L hatchback that averaged 38mpg. My family grew so my next car was a Mercury Sable wagon with a 3L V-6 which only got 22mpg. I had each car 5 years. Both cars overall cost me the same to own and operate. Guess which car was nicer?

Share This Page