Are cushy cars boring?


akboss
12-11-2009, 10:01 AM
I have a pretty long commute - about 45 Km each way, takes me about an hour. Most of the driving is on sideroads at between 60-80 km/h, not much highway. I drive a Mazda Protege5 which I love because of the nicely weighted steering, the competent handling and I enjoy shifting gears myself. But I would be lying if I didn't say the few times I have borrowed my wife's Toyota Camry I enjoyed the luxurious bump-soaking ride. Compared to my car, it felt like I was driving a limousine - the little Mazda doesn't like bumpy roads.

I'm asking car enthusiasts to see if you think comfortable, luxury-biased cars get boring, or is it still fun? I'm looking at used Buick LeSabre's, very reliable, very comfortable, very safe...but boring? Quite possibly. Am I going to fall asleep on my commute if I get one of these tanks, or are there drivers out there that enjoy the drive of a bigger, more comfortable car?

MagicRat
12-11-2009, 11:56 PM
I would agree with you.... a comfy car becomes a big asset on a daily commute.
Usually, work wears and stresses you out. A quiet, comfy car is a way of unwinding from it all.

IMO, for commuting, boring is good. Exciting is bad; exciting requires too much mental energy and too much discomfort.

Exciting is good for the week end, booting up Airport Rd to the cottage, or smoking it around the Caledon Hills.

Over the years, I have driven many cars, and I keep the exciting cars for weekend use, and drive boring during the week.

Shpuker
12-11-2009, 11:56 PM
Meh I think theres a fine line between a bad car a fun car and a just plain boring car. Though this fine line looks more like a spiders web. A great car needs enough power to be fun and a good smooth ride, but not to much so that is feels like your floating on the road. A LeSabre is a good car from what I hear, I've never personally known someone with one though.

akboss
12-12-2009, 01:17 PM
So MagicRat, any suggestions as to what kinds of used comfy cars I can get into for <$15K that still get decent mileage? Like I said I was looking at something like a Buick LeSabre, but I've heard the seat cushions are kind of...well, flat. Ideally I'd like something with a little seat bolstering, at the largest a 3.8L V6 (25 mpg highway) and not too big. Ever driven a Ford Five-Hundred? Or an early-model Caddy CTS?

PS I like the note about the Caledon Hills, I live close to there and the Halton area has some awesome backroads. My Father In Law has a '66 Cadillac convertible, we've taken some nice cruises in those roads.

MagicRat
12-12-2009, 01:41 PM
<$15k will get you an awesome cushy car.
Yes, Buick seats are really are too squashy, even for me.

IMO go all the way and get a Lincoln or Cadillac.
The depreciation curve on these cars is unbelievably steep. You can get a perfect one, only 5 years old within your budget. An 8-year old one can be had for about $8k or less. People often will ask more, but its rare they get their asking price.

You may have to look around for one that has been maintained properly and is in excellent condition... because excellent condition does not increase resale value much.

The Caddys seem to perform better.... the Deville is better for a traditional luxury feel and the Seville STS (not SLS) is smaller and sportier. The Northstar V8's are really fast, yet get respectible mileage.

The only problem with the Caddy is the Northstar has a cylinder head bolt problem, which tends to cause blown head gaskets in about half the engines out there.
The fix is to install a "TimeSert" kit. This is about $2500. But, everyone knows this, so used Caddys are priced accordingly. I have seen the odd-perfect Caddy with blown HG's going for $2k. Repair it for 2.5K and you have a car worth $8k.

The Lincolns are more reliable than the Caddy yet still cheap to buy. The Town Car is like a rock.... this is why all airport limos are Town Cars, they seem to last forever, although I like the Caddy independent rear suspension more.
The Touring Sedan package is the hot set-up - like a Lincoln police car - but they are pretty rare.

Otherwise, the smaller Lincoln LS is a great car, very good handling with excellent all-around performance. . The V8 model is a bit faster and more reliable than the V6.

Beware of the 'active suspension' options. Shock and struts get very expensive to replace, although you can substitute 'passive' regular shocks and struts for much less money.

Finally, take a look for a used late-90's Eldorado or, especially a Lincoln Mark VIII. They, especially the Lincoln were astounding cars...... the trick is, finding a really good one because even the newest ones are 10 years old. But they are still cheap to buy, are awesome and will only increase in value as they become more collectible.

akboss
12-12-2009, 04:08 PM
That's a great list. I've always liked the look of the Lincoln LS cars, and apparently the later the model the better the car - I think they got a significant refresh in 2002. I'll have to have a look around at what's out there. I have to keep the cushy car cheap so I can save up for that weekender :cool:

NotoriousPhil
12-14-2009, 01:17 PM
You guys obviously seem to be more on the side of american cars even thou akboss drives a mazda5. Have you considered a camry with 3.0l v6, comfy ride like your wife's but with a little kick. Also the maxima 3.5 v6 is a very comfy ride and does have some balls also, no race car by any means but pretty fun ride. If i had to choose between the maxima and camry i would choose the camry just because maintenance wise it is almost unbeatable but like i said the maxima is much quicker. Only way to really know is for you to test drive them, cars are like movies I may love a movie and you may hate it but the only way to know is to watch it. To each their own opinion.

Good Luck
Phil

akboss
12-14-2009, 03:29 PM
I was keeping options open, but it seems to me when it comes to luxury cars the American's have soft and cushy down to a tea :) That's not to say that Japanese luxury cars, or even cars like the Camry/Maxima aren't good, they are just different. I don't think I would get the same feeling driving down the road in a Camry as I would in a DeVille...just two different worlds.

Mind you today I was looking up the Toyota Avalon, that seems to be a rock-solid luxury barge...but so big! Also checked out the late-90's Lexus ES300, which is basically a Camry but a little better looking. Both very nice cars.

NotoriousPhil
12-14-2009, 05:27 PM
Avalon is a nice car but sometimes hard to find parts (doesnt exist anymore) but i think your best bet would maybe be a used lexus, pretty dependable and very comfy.

Anton7
12-29-2009, 03:15 PM
Agree with most of what MagicRat said.
Currently drive a 2000 Deville, bought it 2 yrs ago, it was like a brand new car with 18k miles on it. Paid just over $12K for it.
Rides great and the mileage is fantastic on my nearly 60 mile round trip commute. If I drive at 55mph, it'll give you 32mpg in return. Did this when gas got high in price.
Nowadays I drive about 65mph and it gives me 28mpg at that speed. YMMV

The headgasket issue was more common on pre-2000 models. At least that is the feedback I've seen on the caddy forums.
Also the 2000+ models run on regular unleaded instead of premium which was req'd of the Northstars from years ago. They do have their quirks, like the crankshaft position sensors and window regulators. But I have done the repairs myself for a fraction of what the dealer charges.
The 2000-05 models also have the diagnostic system accessible for the owner to use, not so from 06 onward.

Before the Caddy, we had a Town Car. Also a good car on the highway, but the Caddy drives like a Vette compared to the Lincoln!
The long overhangs of the vehicle dates the Lincoln, as well as scraped the bottom of our driveway or most driveways. Not the Caddy.
Personally, I don't care for the LS. Had a friend that had one with lotsa problems. His cooling fan was powered hydraulicly, which failed and created a huge mess.
They may have switched to an electric fan since his model.

A used Lexus LS is also a nice cushy car if you're looking for something smaller.

RahX
12-29-2009, 10:46 PM
The only problem with a Caddy is the cost of repair at a shop. Caddy parts tend to be a bit exclusive to Caddy. Lincoln tends to be more Ford than proprietary. As far as the car itself, they both are extremely nice vehicles. Really though, what it come down to is the car. Make a list, do some internet poking around at local places and make a list of cars to look at and go look at em. You will know when you find the car for you :) And a GM 3.8 gets better mileage then what it is rated for. The 3.8 is one of the best engines i've come across as far as reliability and ease of maintenance.

akboss
01-04-2010, 01:00 PM
One last thing. So I've got a lot of people defending a relaxed-driving, cushy car, and I'm pretty sure that would suit my lifestyle. Now because I have a long drive, I need something that gets good gas mileage - are their any small cars that drive like big cars for ride quality? Typically when you get into a small hatchback like my Protege5, the short wheelbase and sport-oriented drive makes the ride choppy and harsh over bumps. I know the Toyota Camry is a smooth driver, but is there anything smaller that still gives a bit of the comfort of a bigger, cushier car that still has tidy dimensions and a 4-cylinder? What's the new Ford Focus like? Or Nissan Sentra?

Oldengineer
01-05-2010, 12:09 AM
Don't assume that tidy size and a 4 cylinder engine will always get you gas mileage. I had an 08 Saturn Aura with the 229HP 3.5 V6 and the 4 speed OD tranny. The thing got better fuel economy (30+ MPG) traveling interstates than most 4 cylinder cars I've ever owned. I recently traded the Aura for a 2010 Honda CRV 2 WD with the 180 HP 4 cylinder. The best the little Honda has done so far is 24 - 25 MPG on trips - even with its sophisticated I-VTEC engine and 5 speed OD tranny. Its stablemate, my "cushy" car, is an 06 Jaguar S-Type with the 4.2 300 HP V8. It'll smoke the Honda on long trip fuel economy as well - but it uses premium gas. We took the Jag on a 1600 mile trip this summer - she averaged 28.5 MPG with the AC running, and, she sure ain't boring to drive.

Regards:
Oldengineer

Shpuker
01-05-2010, 12:55 AM
Don't assume that tidy size and a 4 cylinder engine will always get you gas mileage. I had an 08 Saturn Aura with the 229HP 3.5 V6 and the 4 speed OD tranny. The thing got better fuel economy (30+ MPG) traveling interstates than most 4 cylinder cars I've ever owned. I recently traded the Aura for a 2010 Honda CRV 2 WD with the 180 HP 4 cylinder. The best the little Honda has done so far is 24 - 25 MPG on trips - even with its sophisticated I-VTEC engine and 5 speed OD tranny. Its stablemate, my "cushy" car, is an 06 Jaguar S-Type with the 4.2 300 HP V8. It'll smoke the Honda on long trip fuel economy as well - but it uses premium gas. We took the Jag on a 1600 mile trip this summer - she averaged 28.5 MPG with the AC running, and, she sure ain't boring to drive.

Regards:
Oldengineer

Theres another VTEC fail for ya ;) but Jags for the win, other than the intensely pathetic resale :P

akboss
01-05-2010, 09:11 AM
Sweet Jag! To be fair though, you're comparing the fuel economy in an SUV to that of a car. Even if the Honda CR-V is based on a car, the revised gearing, added weight and even the shape of the vehicle all contribute to poor fuel economy. If you had driven an Accord you would have seen a marked difference in mileage. EPA for the CR-V 2WD is 27 highway, Accord gets 31 with a slightly more powerful motor.

I totally agree with what you're saying about bigger cars getting decent economy - especially on the highway - but overall a smaller motor requires less fuel in a similar vehicle. My wife's 4-cyl Camry is an excellent car but too big, I want that mileage (or better, 25+ mpg combined) and that ride, but smaller.

drunken monkey
01-05-2010, 11:17 AM
Sweet Jag! To be fair though, you're comparing the fuel economy in an SUV to that of a car. Even if the Honda CR-V is based on a car, the revised gearing, added weight and even the shape of the vehicle all contribute to poor fuel economy. If you had driven an Accord you would have seen a marked difference in mileage. EPA for the CR-V 2WD is 27 highway, Accord gets 31 with a slightly more powerful motor.

the power to weight is also a major factor.
the CR-V clocks in at about 120BHP/ton whereas the Jaguar is at about 160BHP/ton.
That points to the Jaguar having to work less to maintain a similar speed to the Honda.
Then there's also that the VTEC systems are not about efficiency of fuel consumption but of efficiency of use of engine volume.
Honda = 90 BHP/Litre
Jaguar = 71 BHP/Litre

Unfortunately, the nature of the high output per liter engines is that torque suffers and as a result, the engines need to work harder to achieve the pace of a bigger "torqueier" engine.

akboss
01-05-2010, 12:06 PM
True, that's why the high output motors use the RPM of the engine to compensate for lack of torque. Typically a VTEC revv's a grand higher in the RPM range than the lazy domestics. It's a bit buzzy to listen to, but for enthusiastic driving the power is there.

drunken monkey
01-05-2010, 12:47 PM
also, not all VTEC is the same.

Some applications are indeed for optimising the top end of the power band to make up for low torque but some are for beefing up the low/mid torque range while keeping a (relatively) low-rev top end.
i.e not all VTECs rev to 9000rpm.

Besides, the current single cam switch type VTECs are at the end of their life.
I keep hearing about their new continuously variable valve/lift/phase but as of yet, it is still not in production.

akboss
01-05-2010, 01:00 PM
also, not all VTEC is the same.

Some applications are indeed for optimising the top end of the power band to make up for low torque but some are for beefing up the low/mid torque range while keeping a (relatively) low-rev top end.
i.e not all VTECs rev to 9000rpm.

Besides, the current single cam switch type VTECs are at the end of their life.
I keep hearing about their new continuously variable valve/lift/phase but as of yet, it is still not in production.

I'll take your word for it, you're over my head at this point! All I know is 'no replacement for displacement' is BS, it all depends on the engine design and application.

Shpuker
01-05-2010, 01:32 PM
I'll take your word for it, you're over my head at this point! All I know is 'no replacement for displacement' is BS, it all depends on the engine design and application.

I think we may have reached a unanimous agreement.... :iceslolan

Shpuker
01-05-2010, 02:19 PM
Yea my iPod just spazed a double post

drunken monkey
01-05-2010, 02:41 PM
Yea my iPod just spazed a double post

so why are the times for the posts 06:32 PM and 07:19 PM?

All I know is 'no replacement for displacement' is BS, it all depends on the engine design and application.

Well, that's not entirely true either.
Take any naturally aspirated engine and assuming it's at its designed peak of efficiency, the only way to improve power other than forced induction is to increase swept volume (also ignoreing chances to characteristics by changing bore and stroke...)

Simplest illustration of the effect of increased displacement is the 1966 Le Mans race where the MK2 GT40s took 1-2-3 with their 7 litre engines.
What people don't seem to talk about is that right behind them from fourth to seventh were Porsche 906s with their iddy biddy 220bhp 2.0 litre engines.
Behind these were a whole slew of of 1.2 litre Alpine A210s dotted with the occasional 3.2 litre Ferrari.
My point is, as good as the 906 was, there was no way in hell it could hope to beat the 480+bhp 7.2 litre beast.

Another example would be the evolution of the Porsche flat 6.
In virtually every car since the 3.2 Carrera, the basic engine block has been the same, so much so that you can pretty much bolt on the old 3.2 engine straight onto the gearbox of every 911 up to the 993.
What they've done since is gradually increase the bore of the cylinders until they got to a point where they don't have any more material that they can remove before the cylinder walls are too thin.

What is true, is that you don't need 7.2 litres for 480bhp these days (Ferrari 430 Scuderia anyone?).

Let's take the LS1 as another example.
You don't need 5.7 litres to get 350bhp.
For comparison, Audi's 4.2l V8 gets 339 bhp in S4 form and in RS4 form, it puts out 414bhp.
However, the LS1 has 365lb/ft but the Audi only manages 317lb/ft.

akboss
01-05-2010, 03:33 PM
OK, and I'm not trying to go back on you here but just working it out in my own head. So you say Porsche was making a 2.0L motor, and figuratively (you may know the real specs, I don't) let's say it's making 500 horsepower. If the Ford GT40 used a 7L motor and generated similar or slightly greater power (say 550 hp), wouldn't a Porsche 7L motor make like 1000 hp? The Ford didn't win because it was a bigger displacement than the Porsche if they were making similar horsepower, it would have won because the engine was better suited to the track or the race. More torque is better if you have wide open straights as it doesn't run out of steam as early as a wound-up small-displacement engine. Today's F1 Indy cars use a 2.4L V8, but they make 700 horsepower and nobody would say they are a slouch. In fact, most Ferrari's use a small displacement V8 engine wound up to high revvs for maximum horsepower. The torque number isn't impressive, but they will smoke past many cars with bigger engines.

And as far as the last example about the Audi, most of those cars are better performers than LS1 cars, despite the smaller displacement of the 4.2L V8.

drunken monkey
01-05-2010, 03:51 PM
The 2.0 litres were only pushing out 220 bhp compared to the 7.2 and 485bhp.
Part of the fact that the Porsche took the remaining places so convincingly is that they were nigh on bulletproof.
That year, the lack of Ferrari at the top was because they just didn't last compared to the top finishing cars.

Again, my point is, in that race, displacement decided the winner because let's be honest, with 7.2 litres and 485 BHP, if you didn't win, something must be wrong, no?
As I mentioned, most of the cars that followed the Porsches were Alpine A210s that had about 115bhp.

The race finish order pretty much shows that it's a no brainer that the bigger the engine with the higher bhp will win.

Y'know, I've lost track of my original line of thought when I brought up the Le Mans race...

Blue)(Fusion
01-05-2010, 03:55 PM
If I may jump into the discussion regarding the original post...

I had a 1995 Buick LeSabre as my second car (during the high school days) and it was somewhat of a bore. I was content with it though with the V-6 engine that was by no means lacking in power. I do not think I would enjoy it today, however.

Now I have a big, comfy Grand Marquis now and although at face value it's dull and boring it does have the same base powerplant as a 4.6L Mustang. I get a kick out of driving it around. I threw about $1,500 in performance parts and a higher octane computer tune and I zip around town quite well. That's not bad considering it can be had for $5,000 or less, too. It even corners well for stock suspension on a big 3,500 pound car. With that said, when I'm just cruising on the highway or in the city in no hurry it's smooth and comfortable. Absorbs the bumps like nothing. And I get 21-23MPG city and 28-30MPG highway. Check out the info in my signature if you care to see what I've done to it.

akboss
01-05-2010, 03:55 PM
I think you were contradicting my opinion that 'no replacement for displacement' is BS. I should clarify. If you have an engine and you make it bigger, it will make more power, no doubt. But there are many, many ways to make an engine perform better, and only one of which is larger displacement.

My quest for an economical, cushy car continues, and because EPA ratings unanimously support smaller engines being more efficient overall, I'm steering towards a 4-cylinder car.

Blue)(Fusion
01-05-2010, 04:02 PM
My quest for an economical, cushy car continues, and because EPA ratings unanimously support smaller engines being more efficient overall, I'm steering towards a 4-cylinder car.

Nonsense! My V8 gets only 1-2MPG worse in city and the same MPG on the highway than my girlfriend's I4 Toyota Camry. And that's with both of us trying to drive "economically" for that tank of gas.

By the way, look at it this way. A smaller I4 vs. a V6 in the same car might need to turn several hundred RPMs more to produce the same amount of power and because the gears are configured for the lower power. So at speed, a V6 may get the same economy as an I4 in the same vehicle.

For further entertainment, check this out (skip ahead to about 0:55 to skip the boring stuff) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKTOyiKLARk

akboss
01-05-2010, 04:20 PM
OK, I'm tired of defending this because I know I'm right. Let the numbers talk.
City/Hwy, 2005 model cars:

2005 Buick LeSabre V6 - 20/29 vs 2005 Honda Accord 4 cyl. - 26/34
2005 Chrysler 300 V6 - 19/27 vs 2005 Nissan Altima 4 cyl. - 24/31
2005 Ford Five Hundred V6 - 21/29 vs 2005 Toyota Camry 4 cyl. - 24/33

So looking at this 'data', the average is about 5 mpg better city, 4 mpg better highway. Per year I drive about 17,000 miles, so saving 5 mpg means about $900/year in my pocket, plus less pollution in the air. This is why I want a comfy car with four cylinders. It makes sense - who needs a V6 or V8 for most of their driving anyways? I mean, sure, if it's a weekend backroad bomber then absolutely, but for a daily driver (if you drive a lot) it just doesn't make economic sense...

That's why I'm jealous of European cars - you guys get all the models we do but with more appropriate motors. Just now we are starting to get some TDI's, but they're all German and expensive.

Blue)(Fusion
01-05-2010, 04:38 PM
Well I was just stating what I experienced with real world conditions. I do agree that Europeans get all the best cars. I want a powerful, efficient diesel in my next car!

akboss
01-05-2010, 05:05 PM
You're doing pretty well if you're getting that mileage in a V8, maybe most drivers are heavy on the go-pedal. I have heard drivers of Crown Vics and Grands comment that they get decent mileage...haven't driven one myself so I can't say.

Unfortunately our pricing system puts diesels at the top of the model chain because of all the mods they have to make to import them into North America, or that's the best I can guess. So sure we get a diesel BMW 3-series, but it's the highest model under the M3 and it costs nigh on $50K! Same with the X5, the Audi Q7, etc. Glad to see an Audi A3 is here as a TDI <$30K, other than that it's VW all the way.

Blue)(Fusion
01-05-2010, 05:09 PM
I'm hoping that by the time I buy a new car Ford comes out with some diesel cars here. Would be very interested in a TDI Taurus.

And the mileage on my car is thanks to the standard 2.73 rear end gears. The police interceptors have 3.27 or 3.55s which are nice to get going quickly, but gets quite bit lower mileage.

drunken monkey
01-05-2010, 05:25 PM
I think you were contradicting my opinion that 'no replacement for displacement' is BS. I should clarify. If you have an engine and you make it bigger, it will make more power, no doubt. But there are many, many ways to make an engine perform better, and only one of which is larger displacement.

nonono, not contradict....
That's why I specifically talked about a situation where an engine is at its peak in terms of design and opened with "not entirely true".
The short of it is that these days, there is a replacement for displacement (it's called forced induction...) but you can't deny/ignore that a bigger engine has benefits.

Incidentally, since you mentioned pollution, one thing Honda vtec engines are good at as a by-product of their high power output per litre is that they tend to be much cleaner than most other similar engines.
As an example (because I remember it) the old 1998 Honda Accord Type-R's engine was so efficient in it's fuel burning that it was compliant with 2002 Euro emmisions standards.
Admittedly it isn't actually that hot at about 230g/kg but it was still much better than nearly any other 4 cylinder in production at the time.

Also, some numbers for you.
2.2L
207bhp
0-60: 6.9
31mpg urban
36.2mpg extra urban
29.4mpg combined.

Not the highest output 4 cylinder Type-R VTEC but this is supposed to be a family saloon after all.
While we're also talking diesels, the Accord 2.2L diesel is possibly one of the finest 4 cylinder diesel engines in production being both ultra refined (for a diesel) and stupidly clean at 153g/kg (or there-abouts).
Yes, that's better than the old 1998 VTEC engine.
It isn't a sports car but then no sports car I know has these numbers
42.2mpg urban
61.4mpg extra urban
52.3mpg combined.

You also asked about the Ford Focus.
It's a harder ride than you'd think but at the same time, it isn't affected by it.
What I mean is, while you are aware of bumps and ruts, you're never fighting it (or the wheel because of it). Car nerds will tell you that's because of the decent amount of lateral bump soak that the fancy schmancy "Control Blade" (Fordspeak for their 5 point multi-link/trailing arm rear) suspension has.
If you've ever read in a magazine about a car's steering constantly talking to you, this is it.
You can feel the car has gone over something as the steering wheel does twitch but it rights itself right away so you're not having to correct it.
Great car to throw around.
Body control is superb.
Lean is gradual and understeer can be corrected with a little lift and it doesn't dive hard under heavy braking but at the same time, it isn't as if the car is overly stiff.
Definitely a car to test drive with an understanding sales-rep.
Not driven any of the faster ones though or the newer ones either, just an old ST170.

Shpuker
01-05-2010, 07:50 PM
so why are the times for the posts 06:32 PM and 07:19 PM?



I went to make the post but when I unlocked my ipod after that class ended it hadn't posted yet do I hit post again, only to learn it had actually made the post :P

Shpuker
01-05-2010, 08:09 PM
OK, I'm tired of defending this because I know I'm right. Let the numbers talk.
City/Hwy, 2005 model cars:

2005 Buick LeSabre V6 - 20/29 vs 2005 Honda Accord 4 cyl. - 26/34
2005 Chrysler 300 V6 - 19/27 vs 2005 Nissan Altima 4 cyl. - 24/31
2005 Ford Five Hundred V6 - 21/29 vs 2005 Toyota Camry 4 cyl. - 24/33

So looking at this 'data', the average is about 5 mpg better city, 4 mpg better highway. Per year I drive about 17,000 miles, so saving 5 mpg means about $900/year in my pocket, plus less pollution in the air. This is why I want a comfy car with four cylinders. It makes sense - who needs a V6 or V8 for most of their driving anyways? I mean, sure, if it's a weekend backroad bomber then absolutely, but for a daily driver (if you drive a lot) it just doesn't make economic sense...

That's why I'm jealous of European cars - you guys get all the models we do but with more appropriate motors. Just now we are starting to get some TDI's, but they're all German and expensive.

well I'll pick the middle one to dig into,

Chrysler 300 V6-
21-28mpg
3,700lb curb weight

Nissan Altima 4 cyl.
24-31mpg
3,000lb curb weight

a better comparison for the Altima would've been something like a V6 impala
21-32mpg
3,465lb curb weight.

even though the Impala weighs a considerable about more and has more horsepower it gets better mileage with its V6

Oldengineer
01-05-2010, 11:14 PM
Actually highway EPA for the 2010 CRV 2WD is 28. Given that it weighs just over 3300 Lbs, has a 5 speed OD tranny (turns about 2100 RPM at 70), and its streamlining isn't that bad, I expected more fuel economy than I'm seeing. The last Honda Accord I owned was a new 91 model - a 4 cylinder w/5 speed manual. It never managed to get 30 MPG on trips. The Jag's best to date was on a business trip up into Ohio. With Ohio's lower speed limits, she averaged 32.5 for the trip.

Regards:
Oldengineer

akboss
01-06-2010, 08:27 AM
Re: Shpuker,

A lot of extra weight comes with a bigger motor and heavier components to deal with the added torque. And when comparing the Impala V6 to the Altima 4-cyl (which uses a fairly large 2500cc unit) you say the Impala gets better mileage - how do you arrive at this? You mean the highway mileage being 1 mpg better, because if you're referring to the city the Altima still handily out-miles the Impala by a hefty 3 mpg. So if we were proper nerdy mathematicians here, we would combine the numbers and divide to arrive at averages, in which the Altima would still be ahead, even with the biggest 4-cylinder of the group. And as far as the weight, well, that only better explains the proper engineering of the Altima, there's no need for a family sedan to weigh nearly two tons...

akboss
01-06-2010, 08:50 AM
Re: DrunkenMonkey,

You're in England, no? You chaps on that side of the Ocean get a much better Focus than we do, at least for dynamics. I believe the Focus we get in North America is tuned for a cushier, lazier ride, which in this case appeals to me, but it is better suited to our long stretches of open road. While not as 'pretty' as the European car, the 2009 model isn't bad, and on the used market it's a heck of a bargain.

I can't speak on Honda diesels, we don't get any. And the Honda/Acura brand is all mixed up over there, where the cars we drive are labeled an Acura are called Honda's in Europe.

Your CO2 measurement is cool, the g/km rating. I think eventually we will hop on the bandwagon as fuel efficiency becomes more of a concern, but for now we just rate mileage. It all boils down to money here, to hell with the air quality.

But unless I'm mistaken, your congestion tax in London is pretty stupid as well. A V8 twin-turbo BMW 7-series 'hybrid' or Lexus SUV that struggle to get 20 mpg is exempt because of their hybrid status, whereas a 50 mpg gas car like a Mini Cooper must pay because it is not a hybrid...is that correct? Craziness.

drunken monkey
01-06-2010, 12:05 PM
couple of things just came to mind

i) we have a different gallon to you guys so the numbers I give are to Imperial Gallon which is about 1.2 of your gallons so any of my mpg figures will have to be multiplied by 1.2 to get it to your mpg.

ii) in the UK we hardly ever pay attention to the individual urban/extra urban rating for mpg, instead taking the combined cycle rating (not the average of the two) as the "typical".

with respect to the V6 Impala vs Nissan Altima, their combined mpg ratings are approx. 27mpg vs 31mpg.

iii) congestion charge.
vehicles that are exempt:

Alternative fuel vehicles (includes duel fuel/hybrids)
Electrically propelled vehicles
Vehicles with nine or more seats (i.e a minibus)
Motor tricycles
Roadside recovery vehicles

so yup but bear in mind that mpg isn't the primary concern whereas emmisions is.
We also have a co2 based taxing system on cars as well.

akboss
01-06-2010, 12:18 PM
Well, I'm from Canada so we use Litres, our maths are going to be way off! Since we use Metric (like the rest of the entire world other than the United States), our fuel economy is measured by litres per 100 Kilometres.

What do you think of the C02 based taxing system? Personally I think its a great idea but it could get complicated, especially if it applies to used cars. For example, people with lesser means usually buy older vehicles which generally use more gas. So if you can't afford a new car, I don't think you should be penalized for having to buy used. Assuming it only applies to new cars, it benefits in several ways by making cars more affordable at the entry level (economy cars), and if you want to cause more pollution buy buying an excessive vehicle, you pay your contributions to help offset it's CO2 production. This system still allows for exotic vehicles, you just have to be willing to pay to offset their impact. Is that about right?

drunken monkey
01-06-2010, 12:54 PM
It does only apply to new cars so older cars are still tax based on engine capacity.

In any case, taking all things into account, I still don't see why everyone don't just buy Lotus Elises.
Basic Lotus Elise S
1.8L
134 bhp
121 lb/ft
26.6 mpg urban
48.7 extra urban
37 mpg on the combined cycle
179 g/km
5.7 0-60
tops at 127ish mph

what more do you want/need?
apart from a working hip at 65...

akboss
01-06-2010, 02:04 PM
Hmm. Well, it would be a fun toy!

Shpuker
01-06-2010, 11:52 PM
So we're using 3 different measurements, in 3 different countries. :rofl:

I agree, everyone buy a Lotus! OR YOU DIE! :D

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