: bad mileage out of a compact car?



mhamilton
08-17-10, 07:30 PM
My friend drives an '08 Cobalt 2.2L auto. He was in my car recently, and saw my average mileage was 27 mpg (which I told him was mostly highway). He said he didn't even get 30 mpg highway in his little car. I was shocked... I know the N* gets exceptional mileage for a V8 in a very heavy car, but for a car as small as a Focus or Civic and a ton lighter gets hardly 3 mpg better? Even the EPA ratings for his car are only about 32 mpg!

Now, the Civic is rated close to 40 mpg, with a smaller engine, but wow! I'm sorry to say I can now see why most people think GM cars aren't as good as the imports (though I do think the Cobalt interior is one of the nicest I've seen in small cars). Even the Buick 3.8L gets 30 mpg in the mid size cars. Did they try to get economy that low out of 2.2L?

orconn
08-17-10, 08:13 PM
Driving a 1997 Regal GS to Illinois and back to Virginia I averaged 34 mpg mostly interstate driving. The Sevilles seem to get around 27-8 on the Interstates.

mhamilton
08-17-10, 08:27 PM
I know... that's what's so I'm so baffled as to why the EcoTec is so poor. I've even gotten 30 mpg on the highway in my Eldo, easily get 27/28 with just normal driving.

My friend was just telling me he wants to get a Grand Prix with the V6 (I suggested a Bonneville with the N* lol). It looks like he would get the same or better mileage with the 3800, certainly more power. Even on the EPA web site, the Cobalt is listed in the low 30s hwy. I can see why it only gets 25 city with its 4 speed (another surprise to me, I thought it would have at least 5). Really a shame because the car is pretty nice otherwise (for its price point).

ben.gators
08-17-10, 09:00 PM
My friend has a Scion tC, and that 4 cylinder clown car has a gas millage near to my V8 luxury STS!

ga_etc
08-17-10, 09:39 PM
How does he drive the car? I have a friend who has one as well. His is a base model with auto and averages like 26 around town.

mhamilton
08-17-10, 09:51 PM
How does he drive the car? I have a friend who has one as well. His is a base model with auto and averages like 26 around town.

He's not too bad with the right foot, but I'm sure if he went all-out to drive for economy that it would go up some. I think he gets around 25 mpg city, but he's also taken some long drives and said he never really got more than 30 mpg hwy (it has the same IPC trip computer as Cads).

On the up side, I was googling this EcoTec and although mileage is nothing spectacular, apparently they are bulletproof engines lasting 250k+ miles.

Seems like GM definitely needs to do some catching up, because the Civic/Corolla are getting 30 city/40 highway (with VVT, 5 speed autos). The General certainly has that technology available.


My friend has a Scion tC, and that 4 cylinder clown car has a gas millage near to my V8 luxury STS!

Is that the square SUV one?

V-Eight
08-17-10, 10:20 PM
^ I think the tC is the little coupe.

ga_etc
08-17-10, 10:22 PM
tC is the 2 door hatchback car. The square SUV looking one is the xB.

I'm not sure what my friend gets with his on the interstate. I'll have to ask him.

ben.gators
08-17-10, 10:53 PM
yes, tC is the sport coupe!

Here is a link to the car and EPA rating!

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/noframes/20647.shtml

yes, your eyes are reading correct numbers!
MPG (city)
20

MPG (highway)
27

MPG (combined)
23

Jesda
08-17-10, 11:01 PM
23 combined? In a car thats as much as "sport" coupe as my bicycle? Pathetic.

What the heck happened to Japanese economy cars that got 50mpg

V-Eight
08-17-10, 11:02 PM
Doesn't a V get mileage close to that?

ben.gators
08-17-10, 11:14 PM
23 combined? In a car thats as much as "sport" coupe as my bicycle? Pathetic.

What the heck happened to Japanese economy cars that got 50mpg

The same thing that happened to the Japanese high quality cars! New Toyotas are just a pile of crap!

The funny part is the same friend used to have a Camry V6 with 3.0L engine (1997), and the MPG of that car was way better than this 4 cylinder light car!

ben.gators
08-17-10, 11:15 PM
Doesn't a V get mileage close to that?

highway and combined should be very near!

Jesda
08-18-10, 12:17 AM
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/506/94_Civic_VX.jpg

My dad owned one of these for seven years, a 1992 Honda Civic Vx. He paid $4000 in 2000 and sold it for $4000 in 2007. The VX version that he had used a VTEC system tuned for fuel economy. Combined with a manual transmission, I got 50mpg on the highway driving from Spokane to Portland (EPA rating was 39/49). Most importantly, it was quiet, comfortable, and smooth once you got up to speed. It didn't feel like a poverty wagon.

Honda made some impressive stuff back in the 90s. "Add lightness" should be adopted by more economy cars.

Playdrv4me
08-18-10, 03:43 AM
Del Sol VTEC kicks ass.

Aron9000
08-18-10, 03:57 AM
I'm more partial to the mid 90's Predule. The Del Sol was just too weird for me.
Its got that nice low and wide proportions I love. And its pretty damn fast, especially for the early 90's. Motorweek ran a 14.6@98, and those clowns usually get some pretty slow times in their tests.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueWQu_O5YYo

Playdrv4me
08-18-10, 04:01 AM
I'm more partial to the mid 90's Predule. The Del Sol was just too weird for me.
Its got that nice low and wide proportions I love. And its pretty damn fast, especially for the early 90's. Motorweek ran a 14.6@98, and those clowns usually get some pretty slow times in their tests.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueWQu_O5YYo

Yea, I was one of the few people I ever knew to like that weird mid-'90s Prelude. The sweeping spaceship dash was just too cool. The 1989 to 1991 Prelude was one sexy car for its time though.

Aron9000
08-18-10, 04:07 AM
Yea, I was one of the few people I ever knew to like that weird mid-'90s Prelude. The sweeping spaceship dash was just too cool. The 1989 to 1991 Prelude was one sexy car for its time though.

I agree. That has to be one of the coolest dash designs ever.

ga_etc
08-18-10, 04:35 AM
Couldn't you get a digital speedometer at one point?

Playdrv4me
08-18-10, 04:46 AM
Couldn't you get a digital speedometer at one point?

Not sure if the digital speedo was ever an option, but the fuel and temp gauges definitely were.

http://www.aiston.nl/Prelude/autoweek/dashboard.JPG

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-18-10, 09:01 AM
Usually Honda is pretty conservative when it comes to interiors, so to see them do something like that is really weird.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-18-10, 12:30 PM
Now, back on the original topic:

My dad just bought a '10 Malibu LS with the 2.4 Ecotec & four speed automatic, and he's got about 1500 miles on it now. He went on a road trip last weekend to Chippewa Falls Wisconsin, which is about 90-100 minutes one way. He filled up before and after the trip and showed an average of 32 MPG. So if he can get 32 MPG with his bigger Malibu, and your friend is only getting 28-29 with his Cobalt he's either gotta be driving it really hard or he's got dirty injectors or perhaps a dirty fuel filter. How many miles are on it?

OffThaHorseCEO
08-18-10, 01:01 PM
My friend has a Scion tC, and that 4 cylinder clown car has a gas millage near to my V8 luxury STS!

when those scions first debuted i remember reading an article that said the engine was way underpowered for the size and weight of the car. that could be why mileage is suffering

also, one of our customers has a SMART car, and when someone asked him about fuel economy, and he said its GREAT in town, but once you hit the highway and want to go faster than 50mph, not only does it lag, but economy suffers alot

and actually, JUST looked it up, how does a car as small as a Smart fourtwo get 36 MPG combined? Not very Smart to me...

I'll stick with my "gas guzzling" Cadillacs

drewsdeville
08-18-10, 02:01 PM
Speaking of fuel economy, what I find humorous is how all of the manufacturers want us to rave about the great advancements as of late...yet todays economy cars don't really excel in comparison to yesterdays.

My 1992 Ford Escort 2-door hatch with the 1.9L and a 5-speed, power nothing, cloth seats and just a plain AM/FM radio could do 35-38mpg on the highway. What do todays "economy" cars do for mileage? Around the same. Maybe a little better but relatively the same.

Along the same lines, my old '89 Cutlass Supreme with the 2.8L got relatively similar mileage to todays midsized.

How does that work. 20 year old cars competing with these brand new, high tech cars when it comes to fuel economy.

Economy cars are one area where we are lacking today. They kept getting heavier and more powerful until they ceased to exist. And with that, they were/are getting more expensive. How can you consider some of these small cars to be economy cars when the initial buy-in in so high? Sure, maybe the cost of ownership is low AFTER it's paid for, but who gives a rip when it costed too much to begin with.

Initial buy-in was one of the reasons I was looking forward to the intro of the new Fiesta.

With that, I guess my problem is that I consider the economy car market to be nearly non-existent. Some confuse compact car with economy car...they are not necessarily the same. There are a few examples of economy cars out there, but overall it seems like there isn't too much advancement in this area. Most are expensive fuel guzzling compacts like listed in this thread.

Where are the true stripped down, cheap and efficient economy cars of yore like my old Escort? It's really hard to find something like that nowadays. Too many compacts with 200hp 4 cylinders, leather seats, disc changers, nav screens and 1000lbs of other miscellaneous equipment.

ga_etc
08-18-10, 03:23 PM
Speaking of fuel economy, what I find humorous is how all of the manufacturers want us to rave about the great advancements as of late...yet todays economy cars don't really excel in comparison to yesterdays.

My 1992 Ford Escort 2-door hatch with the 1.9L and a 5-speed, power nothing, cloth seats and just a plain AM/FM radio could do 35-38mpg on the highway. What do todays "economy" cars do for mileage? Around the same. Maybe a little better but relatively the same.

Along the same lines, my old '89 Cutlass Supreme with the 2.8L got relatively similar mileage to todays midsized.

How does that work. 20 year old cars competing with these brand new, high tech cars when it comes to fuel economy.

Economy cars are one area where we are lacking today. They kept getting heavier and more powerful until they ceased to exist. And with that, they were/are getting more expensive. How can you consider some of these small cars to be economy cars when the initial buy-in in so high? Sure, maybe the cost of ownership is low AFTER it's paid for, but who gives a rip when it costed too much to begin with.

Initial buy-in was one of the reasons I was looking forward to the intro of the new Fiesta.

With that, I guess my problem is that I consider the economy car market to be nearly non-existent. Some confuse compact car with economy car...they are not necessarily the same. There are a few examples of economy cars out there, but overall it seems like there isn't too much advancement in this area. Most are expensive fuel guzzling compacts like listed in this thread.

Where are the true stripped down, cheap and efficient economy cars of yore like my old Escort? It's really hard to find something like that nowadays. Too many compacts with 200hp 4 cylinders, leather seats, disc changers, nav screens and 1000lbs of other miscellaneous equipment.

http://newcarbuyingguide.com/images/articles/reviews/hyundai/2007HyundaiAccent01.jpg

drewsdeville
08-18-10, 03:30 PM
http://newcarbuyingguide.com/images/articles/reviews/hyundai/2007HyundaiAccent01.jpg

I spy alloy wheels, fog lamps and a satellite antenna of some sort.

Besides, the mileage further supports the argument. The Accent is rated at a best of 35mpg. Not only is that no better than my 20 year old 210,000 mile Escort, but I got 35mpg (34.8 to be exact) with my girlfriends 2.4L 6-speed Malibu on vacation last year...

Jesda
08-18-10, 03:42 PM
The Accent would have gotten 45mpg in 1990, though it would have started only 50% of the time.

ben.gators
08-18-10, 04:19 PM
when those scions first debuted i remember reading an article that said the engine was way underpowered for the size and weight of the car. that could be why mileage is suffering

also, one of our customers has a SMART car, and when someone asked him about fuel economy, and he said its GREAT in town, but once you hit the highway and want to go faster than 50mph, not only does it lag, but economy suffers alot

and actually, JUST looked it up, how does a car as small as a Smart fourtwo get 36 MPG combined? Not very Smart to me...

I'll stick with my "gas guzzling" Cadillacs

I have had driven this tC couple of times, and I should say that to get some decent acceleration (I am not speaking about tire spinning, just a moderate acceleration), you need to push the pedal too much and RPM will go too high. This can be an indicator of a weak engine and can describe the bad MPG too.

Playdrv4me
08-18-10, 04:53 PM
The Accent would have gotten 45mpg in 1990, though it would have started only 50% of the time.

My Mom had a '93 Excel. I'm sure it got at least that many MPGs, and it also ate a tranny at 36k, one day out of warranty. They eventually agreed to fix it.

mhamilton
08-18-10, 08:15 PM
Now, back on the original topic:

My dad just bought a '10 Malibu LS with the 2.4 Ecotec & four speed automatic, and he's got about 1500 miles on it now. He went on a road trip last weekend to Chippewa Falls Wisconsin, which is about 90-100 minutes one way. He filled up before and after the trip and showed an average of 32 MPG. So if he can get 32 MPG with his bigger Malibu, and your friend is only getting 28-29 with his Cobalt he's either gotta be driving it really hard or he's got dirty injectors or perhaps a dirty fuel filter. How many miles are on it?

Hmm... looks like your Malibu 2.4L has VVT. From the ratings I've found, his Cobalt has EPA hwy ratings of only 31 mpg. This is exactly what's so odd... how Chevy is selling a smaller car with a smaller engine that's getting the same or lower mpg than the bigger models. His is still practically new, 50k miles. IDK... this is why I was so surprised his car was getting such low economy.

Brizzal
08-19-10, 07:26 PM
Something is wrong with his cobalt, I have a Cobalt SS Supercharged and I got an average of 37 mpg driving today.