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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?



  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    A co-worker of mine just bought a brand new '08 Corvette. He said he's already gotten 30 MPG with it. It seems to defy all laws of physics that a fire breathing, 430 HP V-8 sports car can achieve 30 MPG, and yet little dinky cars like the Yaris and Fit only get high 30's to low 40's. Compared to numbers the 'Vette achieves, these little econo-boxes should easily be getting 50-60 MPG. What's wrong with this picture?
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    Recent Vettes are good at highway mpgs: low Cd + light weight (relatively) + super high gearing = decent cruising mpgs. Now ask him what he gets around town when he's having fun with it!
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    I'm sure his mileage drops considerably when he's honkin' on it, but still you'd think if a performance car can get 30, these econo-boxes should get much better than they do.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    The Vette has enough torque to cruise at 70 mph with the RPMs under 2,000. A little 4 cylinder just can't do that. The 4 cylinder doesn't make enough torque in the low RPMs to maintain a 70ish mph cruising speed so it has to be geared to pull RPMs in the upper 2,000 to low 3,000 rpm range.

    Now throw a small turbo diesel 4 cylinder into the equation and then the situation changes. Now that motor can make decent torque right off idle and pull in high gear at low rpms.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    survey a large group of Corvette owners, and you will get a representative group of driving patterns as well. Someone doing most of their driving on the highway and energetically limiting short trips (as well as watching speed and that sort of thing) will get near the highway rating, which for the Vette is around 30 as mentioned.

    Very few people have those driving patterns and habits, and the rest will get much closer to 20 mpg in the Vette. In-town use, especially for short trips, is where that big honkin' V-8 will hurt you no matter HOW lazily it operates in the rev range.

    Under those conditions, the Yaris drivers will still be getting 35 or better and using half the gas.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You are comparing a 2 seater to a 5 seater, also.

    Compare the 'vette to a Honda Insight, perhaps, and you'd have comparable interior space.

    The Insight would meet your target MPG, too.

    Having said that, making engines smaller has diminishing returns. Even with a tiny 1.5 liters of displacement, they have to push the same number of airbags and mandatory safety equipment that the Corvette does with 6+ liters.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    The other thing the Vette has going for it is (relatively) light weight, about 3200 pounds, pretty good when a Civic EX 4-dr is 2800 lbs.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    The European Yaris has a 1.4 D-4D engine option with a whopping 89bhp/140lbft. Yaris range starts with the 1.0 VVT-i gasser @ 68bhp/69lbft and tops out with the 1.8 VVT-i gasser @ 131bhp/127lbft There's a 1.3 VVT-i in the mix also.

    As I've said before - if you don't have a diesel in your range; your European range is incomplete.

    My nearest neighbours have the following diesels : Saab 9-5, Ford Focus, Ford Galaxy (MPV), Renault Laguna, Audi A8, Mercedes E and C, old Land Rover and Toyota RAV4 plus my Volvo S60. The other cars are smaller gassers : Citroen Aygo, Peugeot 206, 2 x Honda Jazz (Fit) and an old Renault Clio. Oh and a 20 year old Mercedes S500 which is wonderfully inappropriate.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The Corvette demonstrates what one can do with a lighweight aerodynamic body and really tall gearing. That same drivetrain won't fare anywhere near as well in the Pontiac G8 GXP next year.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,848
    That same drivetrain won't fare anywhere near as well in the Pontiac G8 GXP next year.

    Is the GXP going to get the 7.0 liter V-8? That sounds like it would be a wild ride!

    Actually, given the size of the engine, I think the G8's pretty impressive. The EPA has it rated at 15/24, with the 6.0/automatic. In comparison, a Corvette with the 6.2/automatic is rated at 15/25. It's rated at 16/26 with the 6.2/manual, and the 7.0/manual is rated at 15/24.

    I'm sure those figures drop pretty quickly once you start having some fun with all that power, though.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Naah, it gets the new 6.2 fron the base Corvette, although rumor is that the 7L will make its way into some HSV models.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    editorial in Automotive News today mentions that sales of what they call their "budget class" - consisting of Aveo, Rio, Accent, Yaris, and ForTwo - were up a whopping 33% for the first quarter of the year. Way to go subcompacts!!!

    Unfortunately, AN classifies cars by starting price range, not by size, so the Fit gets thrown in with the larger compact cars (Cobalt, Focus, Sentra, Elantra, Corolla/Matrix, etc). But the Fit was up by the same % as the other subs from what I remember reading from Honda.

    The article also mentions that among what it calls "sporty cars", the Mini Cooper was one of only three (out of 33 models in that group) to be up in sales. They call it a sporty car, I call it a subcompact! ;-)

    Compact and midsize cars? Down by about 2.5% each. And as we know, large car sales TANKED. As did SUVs (down 24%), pick-ups (down another 15% even from 2007's dismal performance), and minivans (down 20% - Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler now dominate this segment with 80% of all minivan sales between them).

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The minivan segment is down because GM and Ford now sell them by another name - Crossovers.

    How did the Sienna and Ody do compared to their own sales last year? I doubt they were really down 20% model by model.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Oh no, sorry if I implied that, as I didn't mean to.

    Odyssey sales have dropped by single-digit percentages for the first quarter, if my fuzzy memory is serving me well. I know Honda just put a lease incentive on Odyssey because of dropping sales. Sienna sales are strong enough that Toyota is considering giving Sienna production more factory space, taking up some now being used to build Tundras that nobody is buying...

    The 20% drop in minivan sales can be attributed almost solely to the fact that Dodge isn't dumping half a million SWB Caravans per year into the rental fleets any 1-1-07, Ford and GM minivan sales were pretty much bust already, so they had very little effect on the YTD comparisons between this year and last.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point about Dodge - they replaced the SWB minivan with the Dodge crossover thingy, why do I always have trouble remembering the name? :confuse:

    Honda has lowered prices on the Ody, I know because they're much lower now than they were in May 2007 when I was minivan shopping.

    The lower prices have helped them gain market share within the segment, though.
  • Sienna sales are basically flat but Odyssey sales are down 10% year over year.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Good point about Dodge - they replaced the SWB minivan with the Dodge crossover thingy, why do I always have trouble remembering the name?

    Dodge Journey

    Subcompacts anyone? Anyone?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's just bizarre.

    Sienna prices are about on par with last year. Ody prices are down.

    I can't tell you why Ody sales are down and Sienna's are not. It should be the other way around. :confuse:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Fit sales are up 50% over last year at this time.

    Yaris sales are more than TWICE what Toyota forecast when it introduced that model. ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    thing about all of these new sub compacts coming out is that the price of a new car is getting to where It is almost reasonable. The Toyota dealers are all advertising Yaris for $12,095. I assume the Fit is maybe $1k more and an Aveo maybe $1k less. I am almost a strickly used car buyer but the sub compact pricing is making me take a look at a new car for myself (wife always gets new) the first time in 25 years.

    I think I will wait until next year when the Ford Fiesta comes over. If it stays true to the pictures I have seen and the price is in the ball park of the other sub-compacts I think Ford may have a winner. I just have to make sure 3 kids fit in the back with reasonable comfort.
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