21st century and our cars only get 30 MPG?

Most people are still concerned about their image, so a small econobox doesn’t suit their image, nor does the “anemic” engine.
I can kinda see DVD players if you haul little kids regularly over long distance, give them something to distract them instead of fighting with their siblings. I like my AC and don’t really want a sunroof for my next car, but with so many cars having packages only, if you want something like leather seats, the package leather seats is in comes with a sunroof, and no way to add just one item over the rest.

For some time we have been living with cars designed for low emissions. It may seem like a contradiction, but that compromises fuel efficiency. We don’t currently have a way to deal with NOx in the absence of unburned HCs so the engines cycle between rich and lean. If they could be run lean, we would have significantly higher fuel efficiency, We could have it right now, but we would have to accept NOx and the photochemical smog it produces.

To try to answer the question, a pound of gasoline contains about 20,000 BTUs of energy and any car that will meet current safety/emissions standards at a reasonable cost will weigh over 2000 pounds and have a reasonably large frontal area. Working within those parameters and providing a reasonable level of comfort and performance, 200 mpg is very unlikely. The highest mileage obtained by current “real” cars are in the 50 mpg range. I can see that increasing incrementally to 70-80 mpg with increased cost, but I think it will be a while before we see a gasoline/diesel 100 mpg street legal passenger car that will carry four people in reasonable comfort.

… which is one of the reasons why diesel engines have higher efficiency and have more NOX issues. Running a gasoline engine lean enough to affect fuel efficiency will result in other design issues due to the higher operating temperatures.

Until recently, fuel economy wasn’t a big enough priority to a big enough number of buyers. Therefore, the manufacturers placed their priorities elsewhere. That’s an oversimplification, but not by much.

we will have that,only when they let us have that.


its already here.


ENJOY the man games.

silly isn’t it

200 MPG with fuel at $2.00/gallon just a few years back is not worth the effort. I concur that it should be better but things take time to change and they will, albeit slowly.

When I purchased my 23MPG car a four years back fuel mileage I could absolutely care less about and loved the 227HP in a small car. Now that its paid for I still don’t think much MPG except I do combine trips a little more.

No improvement?? Cars in the 1970’s that got 30mpg often had less than 100hp…Nowadays, we can expect 30mpg out of a 200hp engine propelling a decently sized vehicle. Sounds like improvement to me.

How is this excess? Sounds like an extremely efficient piece of machinery to me. To have those capabilities, and get the same gas mileage as a minivan or a pickup truck…whats the difference? I’m sure you can’t wait for the government to step in and put a stop the production of evil Corvettes, and every other excess our evil free market system produces…

“I neither need nor appreciate arrogant, self-righteous, would-be tyrants telling me I shouldn’t enjoy it.”

Right on! Mash the gas pedal once for me! Thanks.

I have a few questions for you. Since you’re using Ford and Chevy SUVs are the whipping boy for enviromental destruction, what are your thoughts on the Nissan Armada, Toyota Tundra, Honda Ridgeline, 4Runner, etc.?
Have you compared size/weight and fuel economy on these vehicles against the Ford/Chevy?

Fuel economy? Subarus are considered to be a tree-huggers dream. My overweight (4000 lbs.+ rear drive Lincoln with a V-8 gets 27 MPG on the open road and at times has hit 30 MPG. Log on to the EPA site and compare my car to a Subaru’s mileage rating.

My opinion is that resale values could be more a matter of perception than reliability issues. While I’m not for one second saying that Honda, Nissan, Toyota, etc. make bad cars (on the contrary they make great cars) they have more problems than they’re credited for.

Let a Chevy have a ball joint and steering rack problem and it’s “See, told you Chevy builds junk”. Let a Subaru or Nissan have the same problem and it’s don the rose colored glasses while giving out a free hall pass.
(And speaking as a life long tech whose work has predominantly been with the “foreign” makes I can assure you from my time spent at Nissan, Honda, and Subaru they do have their share of problems. If you think the Asian cars are trouble free then simply pick a make, model, and year and log on to ALLDATA. Look through the TSB titles, some of which are irrelevant, and ask yourself WHY those TSBs are on file.)

“US automakers are laughable. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have been eating their lunch for 20 years”

You must be young. Toyota, Honda and Nissan have only become respectable automakers in the past 25-30 years. Before that they made cars nobody wanted. It’s nice that these companies can look back at 90 years of GM and Ford history and avoid structural budgetary pitfalls that now plague our US automakers.

Suburbans and Excursions are only ecological disasters in your dogmatic global warming mind.

“Then Toyota, Honda, and Nissan produce even more economical cars”

Honda Fit is the new Civic, Toyota Yaris is the new Corolla, Nissan Versa is the new sentra…The Japanese automakers have been very busy fattening up their vehicles over the years. Honda now makes largish truck, Toyota makes a gigantic truck that is no more efficient than a Chevy or Ford. And Nissan, yup them too. Toyota Sequoya ring a bell? Nissan Armada?

Anyways, at least you can feel good about providing Al Gore with fabulous retirement income.

The very first new car I ever bought was a 1967 Chevy Biscayne straight six, 250hp. It had no emission controls and got 37mpg highway. Now cars are loaded with emission controls (which is why the Smart car which gets 80mpg here in Germany will be reduced by nearly half in fuel efficiency in the US). We want clean air, we want big comfy cars, we want lots of gadgets. Once we figure out what it is we want and the car makers can make a profit giving that to us, you will see it on the market (in time) Gas was too cheap over the last 60 years to encourage new technology. I am happy to be living currently in Germany where I have no need for car ownership. I ride a bike, take a train or street car and rent a car when needed. Gas here is over $8.00 a gallon but alternative transport is readily available. I wish those choices were available in the States for I will eventually return there and need to purchase a car once again. What will I find on the ‘car menu’ when I return?

That Biscayne must have been part of a science project. 250 hp? 37 mpg?

I agree with Rod. Barbie must be looking into her rear view mirror with an especially large pair of rose-colored glasses. The hp and mpg numbers that she mentions are wildly exaggerated.

The actual hp of a Chevy six-cylinder engine of that era was approximately HALF of what she recalls. And, the best gas mileage that could be achieved on that car, even with the most careful, light-footed driving was in the range of 17-20 mpg.

I had a '64 Chevy II with a 194 cubic inch six and Powerglide transmission and I could only milk about 21~22 mpg out of this 2700 pound car if I drove real carefully. I don’t remember the horsepower, most likely around 125 or so.

I think the most I ever got out of my 65 Malibu was 14 mpg. it had the 2bbl 283 v8 with a powerglide. This was mostly city driving with a good 5 to 10 minute idle to warm the car up before driving off. I’m not sure how much the vehicle weighed, but it did have a lot of new sheet metal(and the rust underneath probably saved me a few pounds. :stuck_out_tongue: ). However, if one is concerned about gas mileage of an older car like that, then they don’t need to own one.

I’d buy a scooter if I knew I could use it year round here in Ohio, and from what I hear, there’s a waiting list for buying new scooters.
I’d like to see a Civic or Accent with a small (>2L) diesel engine in them

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, 15 mpg was considered a gas saver. Some of the luxury cars of that era got single digit MPG. Today, I routinely get 40+ in a manual 5speed Yaris that has at least twice the horsepower and is at least 600 pounds heavier than the 28-32 mpg VW Beetles of that era. Those air-cooled Beetles usually needed a new engine at 40K miles. Today, even the 40+ MPG cars have engines that will go a quarter of a million miles if you maintain them and don’t let your testosterone poisoned teenage son borrow it.

Dear Xebadaih:
I’m actually getting sort of old. I’m at the age when I receive that letter from the Social Security Administration, I actually read it and, for a momment, dream about the far away exotic places those payments will take me when I retire (such as Walmart). For years I thought it was a form letter sent to everyone, and a few years ago I realized it was customized to me.

Perhaps I should have been more compendious in my prior entry. I think that there is a place and a need for the high-weight, low-MPH, road hogs. I doubt that there is as much need as we consumers actually use. If I were to need a road hog then I’d likely to to the Japanese makers to at least have a reliable road hog.

I do think that Al Gore is right. I also think that Michael Moore is right with his Sicko movie. And I also think that America has been sold out by many in leadership roles.

As old and decrepit as I have become, I still have an open mind. Do you have any thoughts that might add to or change the thinking?