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Very interesting : The 40 mpg Cars of 2013


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The major problem with this list is that it relies on EPA Window Sticker ratings, and right now there are numerous lawsuits (Ford's in particular) which prove beyond any doubt that those window stickers are, many times, wishful thinking.


One can and should research this issue, and discover some pretty depressing facts. That the EPA tests less than 15% of new cars, relying instead on "self reporting" by manufacturers. That the tests they conduct are over 50 years old, and tend to favor hybrids (due to the driving cycles of the tests) which rarely perform up to those numbers in "real world" driving conditions. Csaba Csere has an excellent piece in this month's Car & Driver (April) which I encourage everyone interested to read - nobody does a better job of explaining it than he does.


The bottom line is as follows:


1) Most, if not all, of the standard ICE cars which are claiming 40mpg (highway) don't get ANYWHERE near that in highway, never mind mixed cycle or city driving. Hyundai and Kia are paying out many millions for false claims, and other lawsuits are pending against other manufacturers.


If you're serious about over 40MPG, that leaves hybrids and EVs.


2) Hybrids and EVs, also, need to be looked at closely. Prius is a tried and true player, and owners regularly exceed its EPA rating. Ford's C-Max and Fusion are under lawsuit right now - NOBODY is getting over 40MPG with them, even though they're rated to almost 50. Not Automobile, not Car & Driver, not Motor Trend.. Nobody is achieving that window sticker rating, and now angry customers are calling BS on the rating - same as happened with Honda's Civic Hybrid a few years ago. Hyundai and Kia again are in trouble here too, for inflated claims. So are others.


3) EREVs like Volt and Prius Plug In can achieve 40MPG in their sleep. In fact, they would rarely do worse than 40MPG. That is not a high benchmark for them. Most owners report 100+ MPG in typical real world commuting applications. My own lifetime is 130MPG so far, whereas my Prius was 44MPG - same exact commute. So if you want economy, there ARE a few good choices out there, but nowhere near the number KBB lists if we're talking "real world" figures.


Which brings me to my final point: Given its ancient tests, and the fact that it actually tests so few vehicles (relying instead on an "honor system" and the scrutiny of competitors to keep each other in line,) I think we should phase the EPA out of ratings altogether.


Before you howl, think about this: Many hybrids calculate MPGs on a lifetime and average basis. My Volt, for example, can give me real-time daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and lifetime averages on an app on my I-phone. I gave permission to the car to upload this data continually to a Volt enthusiast website ( http://www.voltstats.net/ ), which tallies all this data from all owners who agree. The result? We see what these cars get in REAL LIFE.


The technology is there, right now. In time, most if not all cars will contain these tabulators. So why do we need the EPA to do it with 50 year old, obsolete tests, and give the manufacturers a free pass on 85% of the new models sold, no less? That's not efficient, or useful, or accurate. Why don't we allow owners to simply upload the data as they see fit? Potential customers visit these sites for any model they're interested in, and see what's REALLY going on with MPGs when real people drive the real cars on real roads? I'd bet it would be a whole helluva lot more accurate than the pipe dreams we see today on many window stickers.



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Moshe, it is you and I...only, again :) , that are excited about the coming of electric vehicles.


Agree with you on the EPA mileage thing.

Almost all cars trucks I have owned were underachivers in regards to the EPA rating, with the exception s of two:

2000( I think) grad prix with a 3.8L V6 got 32 on the hwy. Should have kept that car.

Also had a grad prix GTP supercharged, but can't remember the year. If i recall it got 30 mpg on the hwy.


and of course... have to mention it.(Diesel lovers unite!) both of our Jetta TDI get / got(the sports wagon TDI with a manual trans got 50 hwy.) above the EPA 42 on the hwy. rating.


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Yes. There are many tricks on getting ICE cars to achieve better highway ratings. Manufacturers are going all out - gaming the system, yes, but also good advancements technologically.


The trick is in town, where they get murdered by hybrids and EVs in economy. Most people drive most of the time in town / city. And so depending on your mix, you will find what works for you.


A coworker showed up yesterday with one of the first Honda Accord Hybrids on the East Coast. His battery range is barely 15 miles - my Volt is closer to 40. Yet his Honda's ICE gets him mid-40s MPG, and my Volt only mid-30s MPG. He does alot of highway long trips, so for him the Accord will get higher overall MPGs than the Volt, because the Volt's advantage in battery range is eaten away by its ICE's lower efficiency vs. the Honda ICE. Around town or shorter trips, I beat his Accord easily.


So it's really a case by case basis, to see what works best for you. One thing is for sure though - when you see a plain jane ICE car advertising 40MPG, don't believe the hype. None of 'em get that in real life.



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Well, as a result of this thread I went to Toy auto

and sat in Prius models.


REgular Prius don't fit because of the strang bridge

from the dash to the console.

What is up w/that?

Big loaded Prius no bridge, but not what I'm looking for.


Prius C?

I can at least sit in it but not happy w/amgle of seat to gas pedal for my build.


It© is in the running for now.

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I think the way the smaller cars with smaller engines try to achieve 40+ is by gearing it with 5-6 speed auto trannies and try to over drive it on the hwy. to get into the high mpg numbers. 35 mpg seems easy to achieve, but 40s need a bit of overdrive and a flat road. gasoline -non diesel.


The down side is ( my neighbor tells me - with his civic)that as soon as there is a bit of a load or a hill, he will get 1,2 or ever 3 downshift on the hills, same on the hwy. He is annoyed by it greatly.



One thing I can tell you about the Prius. It is getting darn popular.

The other day I counted 6 prius(es) in a parking lot row as I walked to the store entrance, not the entire parking lot just one row- left and right parking rows.


Lastly, how do you get 40 mpg and enjoy driving it? as in make it fun and exhilarating! Pushed back in the seat here and there!

FOr that, I think you need to pay the gas station attendant more frequently. Or in the case of a Tesla S, you need to be in terms with your banker or investment manager :)

Or ride a motorcycle!

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Your last paragraph is a key point.


Any ICE car that gets anywhere near 40mpg is always a penalty box that offers little or no driving excitement. The Prius' driving dynamics, also, are "appliance-like."


Upmarket hybrids and EREVs - obviously the Tesla - and to a lesser extent some others (Lexus, Volt, et. al.) offer at least some "fun to drive" factor. Recall that one of the top 3 cars most traded in for Volt is the BMW 3-Series. I'm not at all saying the Volt is a BMW 3-Series to drive, but it keeps those former owners happy enough. And that says alot. Coming to the Volt from a Prius is like going from an outhouse to the Taj Mahal in terms of chassis dynamics.


You CAN cross the threshold from econobox misery to something fun to drive and still get good MPGs.



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Gary in Aus

Quote "any ICE car that gets anywhere near 40mpg is always a penalty box that offers little or no driving excitement"


In what universe???


I found the original article strange in that it has a very limited number of vehicles , I may be missing something , surely the enormous US vehicle market would have a greater range of product available?


Vehicle fuels seem to polarise opinions and we often slide into the role of zealots too easily.


I have become a diesel junkie!!!


In Australia we use litres per hundred kilometres as the standard measure of fuel consumption .


We used to use miles per gallon {also note our gallon was the Imperial gallon of 4.55 litres not the US gallon of 4 litres}


My recent experiences over the past 2 to 3 years with diesel has been very rewarding .


The Audi vehicles I own have trip computers that have recorded fuel consumption from zero kilometres to ranginging from 6,000 klms to 18,000 klms. Subaru 30,000. My figures are from the cars computers and I don't have any reason to doubt their accuracy.


This is not controlled data just my experiences as the vehicles are used for different things and different driving they all don't have the same usage patterns


Vehicle 1 - 40.75 mpg

2011 Audi A7 3litre TDI =18,000 klms at 6.1 litres per 100 klms

100klms x.621=62.1 miles . 6.1 litres divided by 4= 1.525 so


62.1 divided by 1.525 = 40.75 miles per gallon.


Vehicle 2 = 42.83 mpg

2011 Audi A6 3litre TDI = 12,000 klms at 5.8 litres per 100 klms


100 klms =62.1 miles 5.8 litres = 1.45 gallons


62.1 divided by 1.45 = 42.83 mpg


Vehicle 3 = 33 mpg

2012 Audi Q7 3litre TDI =6,000 klms at 7.5 litres per100klms


100 klms =62.1 miles ,7.5 litres = 1.875 gallons


62.1 divided by 1.875= 33mpg



Vehicle 4 =27.30 mpg

2010 Subaru Forester 2.5 litre XT =30,000 klms at 9.1 litres per 100 klms


100 klms =62.1 miles ,9,1 litres = 2.275 gallons


62.1 divided by 2.275 = 27.30 mpg


I suggest that fuel consumption data from manufacturers may or maay NOT equate to reality !!


A major factor has to be the actual operation of the vehicle with so many variables .


The A7 continally amazes me with it's fuel consumption. Most of it's kilometres are covered with usually only 1 or 2 people, minimal luggage , freeway conditions , using cruise control and minmal elevation changes{flattish country} While just cruising on freeway I will often see around 5 litres per 100klms which is nearly 50 mpg. This vehicle is always travelling between 110 to 120 kilometres per hour .


The A6 is used by family (daughters} and some employees with a lot of city/town kilometres with the odd country trip.


The Q7 is always carrying something be it surfboards /surf ski on roof{appalling wind resistance} , towing a trailer taking things to farm which involves crossing the Blue Mountains there and back and is a general utility vehicle .However our previous Q7 on a trip to Mildura and back with just 2 of us and a couple of suitcases returned around 5.5 litres per 100 klms for the round trip of over 2,600 klms.


Lastly the Forester or the "go kart" as it is referred to .


This is the prefferred choice of everyone to flog the living daylights out of. Everyone who drives it instantly thinks they are Mark Weber , this poor little thing just keeps taking what ever it is dealt . I am surprised that it's fuel consumption is not higher as every start is a like a gangster getaway. I have kept this vehicle longer than we normally keep our cars , it is a great little machine for what it has to do. ( looking to replace it possibly with Q5 or try the diesel Forester }


I first went to diesels about 3 years , and to justify my purchase {diesels were that much dearer than petrol but this gap is closing} I became the annoying disciple on fuel consumption , green house gas etc and would religiously repeat fuel consumption figures to 10 decimal places.


I hope I have grown out of this and people will make up there own minds.


For the distances I travel , the road and climate conditions {we have a lot of very, very ordinary roads}, availabilty of service stations/opening times etc , diesels suit me.


I like the Audis and for me purchase influences were diesel , relatively large and comfortable cars {the A7 and Q7 are around 5 metres and the A6 is just under 5 metres} , all my vehicles now are AWD {would never go back to 2wd}, all vehicles have full size spare , 3 years unlimited klms warranty , fixed price servicing , reasonable dealer network {considering} , a really good dealer {no fuss/no sales crap}.


Any way back to the original reason for starting this reply about any ICE vehicle that get s near 40 mpg is always a penalty box that offers little or no driving excitement" I would suggest that you try some diferent vevicles .


The Q7 is a bit of a barge but can hustle when pushed , the A6 is a real sleeper and is such a balanced machine while the A7 is a rocket.


The higher levels of performance in real world driving delivered by so much torque and power at real world revs keeps me happy .


Being a dickhead and turning of traction control on A6 and A7 , you can usually "smoke" all 4 wheels . { mind you with tyres at $400 each it's not something to be done often}


You will often read that petrol cars kilowatts {horsepower} and newton metres {poundsfeet?} are always given as maximums and at unsustainable revolutions which are rarely if ever reached by most drivers. Diesels usually deliver at more practical levels.


It might be my inability to research properly ,however I have been looking through some US automobile websites and there seems to be not that many reviews/articles on diesels. ??


There also seems to be far fewer brands and models available in the US than we have available here ?


I wonder why this is the case ?


I have driven extensively over a lot of the US and Canada and with your road systems I don't understand why 9.5 out of every 10 cars isn't a diesel!!!!!!!




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I think the way the smaller cars with smaller engines try to achieve 40+ is by gearing it with 5-6 speed auto trannies and try to over drive it on the hwy. to get into the high mpg numbers. 35 mpg seems easy to achieve, but 40s need a bit of overdrive and a flat road. gasoline -non diesel.


The down side is ( my neighbor tells me - with his civic)that as soon as there is a bit of a load or a hill, he will get 1,2 or ever 3 downshift on the hills, same on the hwy. He is annoyed by it greatly.

The Honda Fit Sport with AT is geared to turn about 1000 rpm lower at 70 mph than the MT version. However, the Fit Sport also has a "Sport" mode that basically puts you in control of shift points, using paddle shifters. In the mountains, and on the interstates, I always put it into Sport mode. Floor it 5th, and there is a slight downshift as the transmission unlocks, but it never drops out of 5th unless I slow down below 35 mph or I manually downshift. Depending on wind direction, 38-40 mpg is pretty easy to achieve at 65-70-mph. But, as Moshe reports, in-town gas mileage sucks ~27 mpg.


The Fit engine uses VTEC, and has power characteristics more like those of a motorcycle engine; wind it past 5000 rpm, and it becomes surprisingly lively, even with an AT. In fact, I got a little carried away going uphill from on highway 129 from Turner's Corner to Neels gap, and found myself going sideways a little more than anticipated.

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Gary, We excluded the diesels from this comparison.

The USA is quiet bit different compared to Europe and AUstralia for example.

As of now diesels here a bit of an odd child. Hopefully will come around but as of now EPA is steering the manufacturer in a different direction. For the diesel car market in the USA it is pretty much German vehicles that dominate the market, namely VW has golf jetta , bug, and passat, Mercedes, BMW and Audi has some as well. Mazda is hinting bringing diesel o the USA but yet to be seen.

BMW had the 3 series with the diesel, 335D but no longer offer it. again EPA certification makes it expensive. Jeep has some but compact SUVs, but it Daimler-benz = German again. We also have some cross overs and SUVs in Diesel.


Diesels get phenomenal mileage, My family personnaly had tow jettas, (now only one), and love it dearly.

As you know our diesel per gallon is more expensive than gasoline, it can vary by state, here in Texas right now about 30-40 cent different, but other states can be as high as $1 more /gallon for the diesel. Further more, some cars like BMW, Passat and so on, requires the added expense of Blue Exhaust fluid additive which further makes the diesel experience a wash/equal in some cases compared to gasoline cars. Initial purchase cost of diesels vehicles are also higher.

I could go on for pages about the diesel argument, but here (USA) it is just not as catchy as in Europe or AU. for the car market. It seems we are are focusing on the hybrids and the up coming electric vehicles.

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first, I am glad you enjoyed a little lively driving and side way sliding.



I wish I could agree with you.

I drove (have not owned)a honda fit, but had several generation of Honda civics including a hybrid.

The fit is even more anemic than civic.


VTEC is just variable valve timing. "For maximum engine performance at low engine speeds, the valves need to open and close differently than they do at higher engine speeds. If you put in a good low-speed camshaft, it hurts the engine's performance at high speeds, and if you put in a good high-speed camshaft it hurts the engine's performance at low speeds"


it usually kicks in at 3500-4000 RPM.

But if are enjoying the new found power of VTEC then you are in the 3500-5000+ RPM zone and there is no good gas mileage there.


Yes, you can force an auto trans to stay in 5th down to 35 mph, just like keeping the manual trans in 5th, but it won't be happy there at that speed. And accelerating out from 35mph in 5th gear may take a while.


The FIT is 1.5L engine if I am not mistaking, Will do ok with 1 person, flat road, no A/C. no headwind.


I am not bashing the little fuel sippers, I also understand that not everybody is a "little racer wanna be", I am a wannabe.


But lets be realistic... by sticking with Moshe's statement:

"Any ICE car that gets anywhere near 40mpg is always a penalty box that offers little or no driving excitement"

again, exclude the diesels.


PS: drove the new subaru BRZ today,

2.0 liter, 4 cylinder boxer. manual trans, rear wheel drive.

Cool little car! good road dynamics.

But if you are under 4-5K RPM it is a sleeper. at 5K RPM, it is a noisy little bugger.

Waiting for the 2014 BRZ STI hopefully with turbo of supercharger.it needs a 2.5 subaru engine.


BRZ is 22mpg city 30 mpg hwy, eats premium gasoline.

My point is if you want fun, you got to pay the fuel fairy.

motorcycles and diesels excluded.





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Gary in Aus

Quote "we excluded diesels from this comparison"


May I suggest the title to your post could have been


"Very Interesting: The 40 mpg cars of 2013 but we decided to exclude all diesel cars that do !! "


Achieving over 40 mpg in this context is a bit like being pregnant , you either are or you aren't . or you can or you can't. A range of VW and Audi {A3 eg} which are available in the USA currently exceed 40 mpg.


Dejavu !!!!!!!


Your reply reads as if you had "cut and pasted" it out of a late 1970s to early 1980 Australian newspaper!!!!!!!!


What you describe is a situation we were in over 30 years ago but we didn't have access to the cleaner electric motor technologies.


We currently are growing our wind/solar electrical production which means we still have plenty of dirty electricity to power cars , just means that the pollution at the moment is somewhere else.


Is EPA that you mention,the Environmental Protection Agency or the Energy Policy Act of 2005 ?


The EPA offers tax incentives to hybrids aka taxpayer subsidies for hybrids and the list of vehicles in the list is eclectic to say the least. Not going near the politics or self interest groups around this grenade!!! Government funds propping up private industries usually ends in tears!! and usually the taxpayers tears!


Is the reason diesel is more expensive because of taxes and political will/lobbying as apparently diesel is cheaper to produce/distribute in most markets ?


At my local service station diesel and petrol are similar prices but this can vary at other fuel suppliers. Swings and roundabouts.


My Audi' are all 3 litre models due to the fact that there is a reduction in the luxury car tax for fuel efficient cars achieving certain mileage figures , which for example makes a similar equiped 3 litre diesel up to $13,000 cheaper than the 4.2 litre petrol V8. I like the extra torque characteristics of the diesel over the petrol. Only 10 years ago this cost difference was reversed with diesel vehicles being dearer than petrol. Market forces ?


30 years ago we probably had similar ratio of petrol to diesel that you currently have ,however I had a look at a major car sales website and while not scientific some interesting information comes up.


That BMW only had one diesel model inthe USA has denied you access to some great cars, the 730D in particlar.


On an AUS website there are currently 7,300 BMW cars for sale with around 2,000 of them being diesel. If you want cars made after 2010 the number of BMW they offer drops to 2,300 yet the number of diesel cars is 1,300 . A substantial and interesting change in the ratio of diesel to petrol cars. Similar ratios from Audi and Mercedes.


General Motors and Ford have higher ratios of diesels in the newer /smaller car or SUV than mid to large passenger cars which has only occured in recent times.


Holden has recently released the Volt which is a petrol/electric hydbrid similar in concept to the diesel electric locomotive /mining units that have been around for years .


I vaguely remember in the 1980s during the "oil crisis" a european car manufacture trialling and testing a large sedan diesel electric hybrid {same concept as Volt but diesel} in far north western New South Wales but apparently nothing came of it???? Citroen or Peugot ??


Quote "but here in the USA it is just not as catchy as in Europe or Aus. It seems we are focusing on the hybrids and the upcoming electric vehicles"


This may change.


I have no idea how reliable a source this is , I just found it on the interweb.





Take a spin in a Volt and then a A7 3 litre diesel quattro.

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In my statement, as George said, I excluded diesels, simply because there are so few of them available in this country.


You are correct in that red tape is a primary reason why diesels have not "caught on" here - actually, at least when I was in school a few years ago a wrote a thesis on this situation, Ford was (and likely still is) the world's largest producer of diesel engines. Good old American Ford, which doesn't offer a single small diesel to us Americans.


Essentially the comparison is a bit apples to oranges though. The Holy Grail of marketing is currently 40mpg, but this figure is limited (in most cases) to highway only, and as I said MANY of the cars so advertised simply do not make the figure unless it's the base model, you're going downhill, and the wind is at your back. That's why Hyundai, Kia, Ford, et. al. are all currently under lawsuits for fraudulent advertising (and losing them, I might add). When you're not on the highway, going downhill, with the wind at your back, most of these cars can't crack even 30mpg, realistically.


Diesels offer tremendous fuel economy advantages on the highway, but they, too, fall short around town. When you start looking at a "mixed cycle" - namely, a cycle that includes both city and highway driving, the ICE cars fall through the floor, diesel does a little better, and both get killed in "real life" efficiency by hybrids and EREVs. Hybrids do BETTER in stop and go than they do on the highway (think city taxis - which is why nearby New York City switched over to an all-hybrid fleet, saving untold millions of gallons per year). For people who don't spend alot of time on the highway, there is really no serious comparison whatsoever. But if you're on the highway all day, a diesel might make more sense than a hybrid (sometimes).


We are now watching as EVs & hybrids themselves go from penalty boxes (Prius) to somewhat dynamically fun (Volt) to downright fantastic to drive and look at (Tesla). Which to pick - ICE, diesel, hybrid, EREV, or EV (or whatever else is coming out) really depends on YOUR individual commute and needs.


Diesel does have its place, yes. It's not a big place in the USA at the moment, though. So our comparison articles show what we CAN buy here. And my main point was, when you're looking at an ad telling you some crappy econobox ICE car can achieve 40mpg, do yourself a favor and visit some owner forums first - see what real life shows before buying into the EPA's numbers. More than likely, you will find the numbers vastly overinflated.




PS - With weather warming up, my Volt's battery range is picking up again. My lifetime average, with a mostly highway commute of 106 miles, is now 131MPG. My dad, who drives mostly around town, is over 550MPG and buys gas one a year. We get our electricity from the sun, so there is no pollution associated with "filling up." Try getting those sorts of numbers and emissions with an ICE, a diesel, or anything else that doesn't have a little help from AC and DC. There's a reason why the industry is headed this way. :-)




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...Just my opinion...

Being 65 years old, I have seen us go from the 289/327/5.0/7 and even 8 liter engines that were prevalent when I was in my 20s to the current 3.0/2.0/1.8 engines. They have gone from where 10 mpg was the norm to the current 20+ for most vehicles today. Diesel has never been a big seller in the states, but during the OPEC fiasco of the mid-70s, GM tried to get America interested in the diesel with their Oldsmobiles and their Buicks. Two things killed them off, and soured the American public on diesels: 1) no one liked the diesel smell, the mess that diesel caused to their shoes when the owners stepped in spilled fuel and then tracked into their car interiors, and; 2) them cars was just plain ugly. My brother was a mechanic at a VW dealership, and none of the mechanics wanted to work near the bays where those smelly, nasty, slippery diesels got worked on. The dealership had one diesel guy and he was a pariah on the work floor. Nice guy, but you wouldn't want him marrying your sister. GM did a poor job of marketing the diesel and supporting the early adopters, and many of the owners (who would be my age now) would never own another diesel, nor would they want anyone in their family, neighborhood, church or county owning one.

Unless GM gets behind the diesel again, and produces a desireable car, I think the USA will continue to shun diesels in the mainstream, in spite of what Audi and VW (and Mercedes to a small extent due to their being seen as an 'expensive luxury car driven by lawyers and other rich people' ) have accomplished with diesels. And in spite of the success Ford has in Europe and Australia with their diesels. I would personally love to have a TDI or a Volt or a diesel Ford, but my current cars and bikes are still good, fun reliable transportation, so I probably won't have to buy another car for at least another 5-7 years.

BTW - I have been repeatedly passed on the interstate by Priuseses flying by at 90 mph, and have twice been passed by Volts doing the same thing. One of the Volts and I played leap frog on I16 East of Macon for over an hour - I stayed at 75 and would catch and pass him, then a few miles later he would come flying past again. That actually impressed me. I didn't know they could do that.

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Some excellent points. Americans still haven't forgotten the abysmal GM diesels from the late 1970s and early 1980s. My uncle had a Seville diesel that single handedly destroyed his faith in American cars.


Of course any gearhead knows that comparing today's diesel's to yesteryear's is sheer folly and absurd on every level, especially functional and technological. Still, it is a hard rep to overcome.


We also have alot of red tape in this country re diesel fuel and its formulation, filling stations are less common than they should be, etc. etc.


Re your leapfrog games, it takes very little power to hold a car at speed. Getting there is the issue. Any Prius can easily hold 100mph, but it takes its sweet time getting there. The Volt by contrast get up there fairly quickly - in sport mode, it can hit 60 in the mid to high 8s, depending on whose test you believe. 273 lb/ft of torque never feels like it lacks get up and go - for something that can deliver triple digit MPGs.


Not long ago there was a thread comparing the Volt to a VW diesel, and in terms of acceleration, I would put my money on Volt for either 0 to any speed or roll on 30-50 or 50-70. The torque of electric - max from 0 rpm - has to be experienced to be understood. The Volt is an eco-car - those who want performance can look at the Model S Performance. That thing will trounce outright ultra high end sports cars in acceleration. Smoothly, and silently (not that diesels rough and noisy anymore, but it's not a serious comparison).





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the old mechanical "limited engine control" diesels are history.

Electronic controls and onboard computers revolutionized the diesels engines. It start easy, much less noisy, much cleaner, fuel is less stinky, black soot non existent, more powerful and more economical.


Moshe.....Haha! nice try. (before I begin, this is just a friendly bickering :) )

I would put on a $20 bet...with my TDI jetta vs. the volt in any of those challenges you mentioned.

Specially passing a semi truck on the interstate (with a depleted VOlt battery, running on the 1.4 liter engine trying to charge the battery and propelling the car at the same time.


I have been eager to race a VOLT with my TDI, but I only see maybe 1 VOlt per month in my my area , and it is usually parked ( maybe I should leave a note on the windshield.)


Moshe , do me a favor and post a map of where the most VOLTs located nationwide , just out of curiosity. I would assume it would be California. but I have been wrong before.


I am trying to like the VOLT (really), but not feeling the love.

IT needs to come into the main stream more. Chevy needs to do something to make it popular; to be seen more on the road.


But please, as informative this thread is, lets not turn it into a VOLT vs. DIesel :)


I am a gearhead so any info is good info. If I would have Jay Leno's money, I would be just like him, a garage with every make and model (or just about).

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Absent from the list, and an all-around great car--the 2013 Mazda 3, SkyActive G.


From Mazda's website, "- 28/40 city/HWY mpg (SKYACTIV-G 2.0L AT)†"


Here's the specs: (from Mazda's web site)

- 155-hp SKYACTIV-G 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with a choice of SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed Sport automatic transmission (i Sport, Touring and Grand Touring models)


Note: The 6 speed automatic is rated 1 mpg higher than the 6 speed manual. Mine has the 6 speed automatic.


My 2012 Mazda 3 just got a real-world 40+ on the last full tank. In winter--this will get better as the temps warm up!

Map: http://goo.gl/maps/Y1Cxu


Note: the map indicates less than 496 miles because it does not show all of the in-town driving.


That includes a small amount of city driving. Western ND is not flat. Two lane highways with rolling hills and 65 MPH. The longest stretch 75 MPH across the state.


When I stopped for gas, I was not near empty. The Mazda has a 14+ gallon tank--the fuel gauge still showed 1 bar (out of 10), and the estimated range was still 20+ miles. (I coulda made it back to Minnesota!)


No affiliation. Just a happy customer.

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The numbers break down as follows (from http://www.zeroto60times.com/ ):


2011 Volt ("normal" mode EV): 0-60 mph in 8.9 / Quarter Mile in 16.7


2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: 0-60 mph 8.7 / Quarter Mile 16.4


Now, on the Volt, you can shave another 0.3-0.5 seconds off these numbers by using "sport" mode in EV - enough to beat the Jetta. And undoubtedly, on gas, it's slower than on EV, so the Jetta would win there.


Note the extreme absurdity of comparing acceleration times within 0.5 seconds of each other on cars which are simply (A) not fast performance cars to begin with and (B) have efficiency as their primary mission in life. It's silly. You don't buy these to tow or to drag race. The numbers show it's a wash, although if I can find roll-ons I would bet way more than $20 that the Volt would triumph.


As for popularity, the Volt in year 2 already outsells half of all other models available for sale in this country. A $40,000, compact car with new technology in a crappy economy. I'd say that's pretty damn good - judging by the Prius yardstick, the Volt handily outsells what Prius could do in its second year out, when it was new technology. It IS, by far, the best selling plug in hybrid in the world. And for my $40k, I get some exclusivity that I would not otherwise get. Park your similarly-priced 3 Series or C class (nevermind another vanilla VW) next to my Volt in a parking lot, and see which one gathers the curious onlookers. I kind of like not having the same thing as everyone else (hence, early adopter as I told you in the earlier thread).


In the end it's just an individual decision. I just uploaded my 8 month numbers.




I've got 7,082 miles. About 5,235 of those have been on electric, powered entirely by the sun. Only 54.8 gallons of gas have been burned during this time. That's 129MPG, if you're counting.


Here's February:




My WORST day was 61MPG, which you will never, ever, ever get close to in an ICE car or diesel available today. Not even close. The rest of the time I'm in the triple digit MPGs.


If you're counting and driving a typical 20MPG car...




You would see that by now, just 8 months in, I've saved about 250 gallons of gas. At $3.50, that's $875.00. In 8 months. Again, this is SEVERAL TIMES what you would be able to accomplish, with a diesel.


The Jetta is rated 30MPG in town, 42MPG on highway. You might get a little more than that, but you can dream of getting anywhere near even half my numbers. It's not even close. Those more technical people on the board will understand how difficult it is to get marginal improvements, nevermind exponential improvements. It's not something to gloss over lightly - this is a technological revolution. It's not even really a fair comparison - not on price, on standard features, or on economy. These cars are not seriously cross-shopped for that reason.


My point in getting my Volt was: I wanted to stop using gas to the highest extent I could, without compromising my lifestyle and my expectations. Not to save money, but because I believe it's the right thing to do for a host of reasons. I was, and am, willing to spend MORE for higher efficiency. Not looking to "break even" here, although obviously at 129MPG vs. 44MPG on my old Prius, I am saving quite a bit on the monthly gas bill. It's a smashing success, for me. (I haven't even purchased gas since January 8, come to think of it.)


For others, different types of cars might make more sense. Maybe a hybrid, maybe an EV, maybe a diesel. So many good choices are out there today. No matter what people wind up with, if it's more efficient, I'll be cheering them on.



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I hear ya ... the bet is still on!

the TDI also has a sport mode by the way, so when we race it will be in sport mode :)



I think they are coming after you Moshey, you can't get away just by not buying gasoline.


Quoting from today's news paper article.


"A proposal by state Representative Linda Harper, establishes a fee on electric vehicles based on the number of miles traveled on public roads in this state by those motor vehicles, The reason according to her office is that because such vehicles runoff less gasoline the state gets less gas tax from them. It is a user fee to drive on the roads. This way everybody pays their fair share".


I guess she meant road and bridge taxes, hwy up keep and such.

If you don't buy gasoline but use the same roads you are short cutting the state. So you got to pay up.



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It's not ideal, but given the choice between handing my money over to the state, or to the Middle Eastern for oil, I'll take the state any day. This doesn't change anything for me.



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Here's another reason Tesla outclasses everyone else in this field: I was poking around the website today - see http://www.teslamotors.com/charging#/calculator and scroll down. Look how easy they make figuring out what charging times and costs will be! Because it varies so much by individual driving habits, local electrical costs, and connections, the GM or Nissan Leaf owner is left to struggle with the calculations on his own. Tesla's figured out a way for anyone to figure out his own scenario within about 10 seconds, assuming you know your electrical utility rate. Pretty awesome calculator!



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