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New car MPG

I have a question that no one has been able to answer. I have a 1980 Chevrolet Monza that I bought brand new. The car is a standard shift, carburated, engine, 4 cylinder, NO computer, it weighs 2,800 pounds, it’s been driven 150,000 miles and is still in excellent shape. It has consistantly gotten 25 to 30MPG city and 36 to 38 MPH highway. At work I drive a 2008 Cobalt, 4 cylinder, fuel injected fully computerized car, but it only gets 22 to 27 city and 32 to 34 highway. Tell me with all of the technology in this car why does my older, heavier, car without all of the modern technology get better gas milage? It seems to me that the newer cars should be able to do much better.

The Cobalt probably outweighs your Monza by a good 300-500 pounds. That doesn’t help.

Its largely b/c lots of new technology in the form of bells & whistles has been added over time, but almost none of that engineering energy has gone explicitly to improving fuel economy. Instead, it goes to things that use more fuel (e.g. A/C systems, power everything…)

Several factors:

  1. weight
  2. emissions requirements
  3. safety requirements
  4. comfort bells and whistles

The 1980’s Honda CRX HF got up to 50 MPG, but was not built to 2011 standards.

What does that tell you about how much we are being “skewed” if it’s true. The big difference is the Cobalt will get that mileage with just oil changes for 100K miles and little else. Try and see how long your Monza performs well without that kind of attention. Over the life of a car, the newer models are much more efficient if you include all the required maintenance.

With modern 4cyl cars we can get up to highway speeds by the time we get from the entrance ramp to the freeway, instead of AFTER we get there. We also won’t have a 500lb+ kap partner in the event of a head on collision(engine being pushed back into passenger cabin). nd, with most modern engines, the air coming out of the tailpipe is most likely CLEANER than the air it’s sucking in.

Is clean air and safety worth a couple MPGs?
For what it’s worth, my old '99 Civic weighed 2300lbs and was rated 24/32