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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    has crossed the 2500-pound threshold, at 2520 with a manual, I believe. That's too bad, but in a 5-door that seats 4 real adults, it is acceptable I guess.

    I was glancing through the real-world fuel economy thread, and while there aren't that many posts on '09s yet, folks seem to be getting upper 30s, which is encouraging.

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I still think that's significant, not to mention you compared it to the heaviest of the other 3.

    It's nearly 300 lbs heavier than the Pilot.

    Knock off that weight and it would handle better, accelerate better, use less gas, brake better, do everything better.

    It's not just the Flex, compare the Edge to its 2-row only crossover competition.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    Knock off that weight and it would handle better, accelerate better, use less gas, brake better, do everything better.

    When you're dealing with vehicles that heavy already, I don't think an extra 200-300 lb makes that much difference in performance, unless the vehicle is really inadequate to begin with. One of my friends used to have a 1998 Tracker that performed just fine with just the driver on board. However, with the driver and a front seat passenger, you could definitely feel the strain. And put two more people in the back seat, and the sucker was downright dangerous!

    As for the Edge, isn't that mainly Mazda's creation? So if it comes across as too chunky, we can blame them! :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're such a muscle car guy, andre! :D

    Even in a subcompact thread? :P

    Did Mazda help with the Edge? No idea. I thought it was based on the Taurus X/Freestyle, but I don't really know. I'm sure the CX9 is related.

    I have the CX9 at 4528 lbs per Consumer Guide. Sort of heavy, but Ford's still the heavy weight in that segment.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    Even in a subcompact thread?

    Well in a lightweight, subcompact car that's designed for economy, every pound is going to count. I mean, take a 2000 lb car and pork it up to 2300 and you'd just added 15% to that car's weight. But taking something that's 4300 lb and designed for heavier payloads, and chunking it up to 4600, you're only talking about a 7% addition.

    I was under the impression that the Edge, whatever the Lincoln version is called, and the Mazda CX7 were the same basic vehicle and while the CX9 looks similar, it's a totally different beast?
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    It's nearly 300 lbs heavier than the Pilot.

    Knock off that weight and it would handle better, accelerate better, use less gas, brake better, do everything better.


    While I agree with the concept of the advantage of less weight, in real world driving and ownership, there is a Honda characteristic that prevails today. A characteristic that a new Honda owner finds out AFTER it's too late and they now own the vehicle. Then standing in line (while waiting for a service adviser) in the service drive of your local Honda dealer, often this topic comes up. It's the topic of how poorly Honda's perform in the fuel economy department.

    In 2006 I purchased a new Toyota Highlander, a Honda Pilot, and a Chevy Tahoe (5.3L V-8)

    Both Honda & Toyota SUV's identically equipped. The Highlander would consistently get 5 to 6 mpg better in mixed driving than the Pilot. In town driving only, the Highlander returned 7 miles per gallon better than the Pilot, on the Freeway the Highlander returned 10 mpg better than the Pilot. I was shocked until I compared notes with other owners. Still convinced that something was wrong I spent hours negotiating and got the dealer to take mine back and replace it with another new Pilot. Results... Identical.

    Pilot the gas hog. What a surprise! The worse part was overall I liked the Honda better, but just could not deal with getting worse mileage than I did in my Tahoe which offered much better all around performance in the snow, and the 25 mile rough dirt road to my winter cabin in the mountains.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I see what you mean about the % difference being lower, but I tend to like smaller, lighter cars, so every bit counts.

    Heck, I think the new A4 may have grown too much. :D

    I heard the CX7 is based on the Mazda5, which itself is derived from the Mazda3, which shares parts with the Euro Focus. Not sure how much Ford's left in it by then.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    Is the new A4 heavier?

    I do know that it is awfully pretty... :)

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, it felt that way when I drove it. It's bigger inside, but it didn't feel as light as the first A4 I drove, long ago.

    I guess they moved it up one size class since they now have the A3.

    It ain't no lightweight, though.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    If you pull up the specs here on Edmunds, there is no weight...

    If you pull up the specs on the Audi website, they have every single dimension, but weight...

    I'm betting it's a porker.. :P

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  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    Good grief. What kind of mileage did you get on the Highlander and the Pilot? On ours we get around 18 city and 23 highway very consistently, and I am a lead foot.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Good grief. What kind of mileage did you get on the Highlander and the Pilot? On ours we get around 18 city and 23 highway very consistently, and I am a lead foot.

    HIghlander.. 19 city, 29 Highway @ 72 mph
    Pilot............12 city, 19 Highway @ 72 mph

    The difference is largely attributed to Toyota's Variable Valve Timing System being 100% electronically controlled, as opposed to Hondas system being a combination of mechanical and electronically controlled. A much less efficient system, which is no where near as smooth, nor does it produce the linear power increase of the Toyota.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    Pilot............12 city, 19 Highway 72 mph

    That sounds like some kind of malfunction to me. I mean, I've had 70's battlecruisers that get similar fuel economy, with much larger, much less fuel efficient engines.

    Although I wouldn't be too surprised if the Pilot doesn't actually weigh MORE than a lot of those old 70's mastodons! :surprise:

    Or to use a more modern example, I've been able to get 20 mpg out of my buddy's '06 Xterra! It weighs about 4200 lb. This was on a trip with three people on board and a good deal of luggage, and there were times I was doing a bit more than 72 mph! :shades:
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Pilot............12 city, 19 Highway 72 mph

    That sounds like some kind of malfunction to me.


    Believe me, I was quite shocked myself, as when purchasing the Pilot the last thing I had in mind was mileage. I simply thought that perhaps since it was in the same class as each of the two new Highlanders which I had for two previous years, that the Pilot would be no different, at least of any consequence. It was not until I noticed that I was having to fill the gas tank quite frequently that I even began to calculate the mileage. What a shocker! After this experience, I began to poll my friends that also owned new Honda Cars of various models. And indeed it was an experience that they shared as well, to varying degrees. Our findings were that Honda's in general just do not return the fuel economy numbers would expect out of vehicles with such modest horsepower and torque numbers. At least as compared to their Toyota counterparts.

    An example is the new 2009 Camry SE V6 that I just purchased a month ago. It is rated at 19mpg city and 28 mpg hwy. I drove it from Central CA to Southern CA (600 miles round trip) this past weekend @ 72 mph it returned 32 mpg easily. And that is not a totally flat trip, nor did I keep it to 72, there were several times at 80+mph as that's the sweet spot. There is the grapevine to ascend at quite a grade. And yet this Camry exceeded the mpg ratings on the window sticker while developing serious power and acceleration. While driving in town I'm routinely getting 20 mpg no problems. An amazing display of engineering expertise. A surprisingly fast car.
  • Odyssey and Pilot are both 8-passenger, didn't check on the others.

    The Flex has a 'fridg where the middle row middle seat is. There is an 8-pass Sienna but not with AWD. The AWD XLE is within 100 lbs of the Flex. The Flex is also rated to tow 4500 lbs.
    With respect to passengers, the payload rating of the Ody would support 2 adults/6 kids but not 8 adults.
  • I still think that's significant, not to mention you compared it to the heaviest of the other 3.

    No, actually I didn't, I didn't even pick the EX-L or the XLE for the vans. Its just not that big a difference with the Flex. Also, the vans are 16/23 and the Flex is 16/22, again, not a real difference.
    It's not just the Flex, compare the Edge to its 2-row only crossover competition.

    I would say its not the Flex at all, its pretty competitive. I think with the Edge, you got me there, that thing is a porker. It must be "road hugging weight" they are looking for in there. That said, its still rated 16/24, which is competitive in class (gotta love a million gear transmission).
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Considering Honda is considered one of the best engine companies in the world, i find your explanation pretty far fetch. Honda is regularly recognized as having the most fuel efficient lineup not by us on this forum but by the experts. Quite honestly if your Pilot is getting that bad gas mileage, you need to get it checked out.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    In our Pilot, my 23 MPG number was for 80 MPH. The funny thing is I've always thought that Hondas do better than their EPA numbers. Our Pilot is the only one of our 6 Honda/Acuras owned that merely met rather than exceeded EPA ratings. I've only had one Toyota product - a Lexus RX300 that got a little below its ratings. I guess our small pool of anecdotal evidence cancels each other out.

    To get back on topic, our Integras and Civics were incredible subcompacts - great mileage, great reliability and fun to drive.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    Now that I think about it, the one experience I have tracking fuel economy with my uncle's '03 Corolla, it didn't make its EPA highway estimate! It's rated 30/38 (probably something like 26/35 with the new numbers they started using in '07). Last year I drove it up to PA and back, almost pure highway driving, no a/c use, and taking it easy. Maybe 60-65 for the most part, occasionally getting to 70 if needed, and trying to time speeding up and slowing down so I didn't have to floor it, or jam on the brakes unneccesarily. I ended up getting 37.4 mpg. Close to that EPA estimate, but still just a tad below. Still, I was impressed at the economy. At first.

    Then, I started driving my Intrepid that way, whenever I'd make that trip up there, and found that it was actually easy to make it beat its EPA estimate! The last time I drove it up there, in June, I got about 32 going up and 31 coming back. Main difference was that coming back I was using the a/c more, and driving a bit faster. But still, trying to stay around 60-65, with an occasional romp to 70. It's rated at 20/29. Probably 18/27 with the new numbers.

    I guess one thing that could account for the discrepancy here though, was the terrain. While the trip was practically pure highway, there are a few steep hills between here and there. The Intrepid is less likely to downshift on the up-grades, and could maintain its speed on some of the downhill slopes with no pedal pressure at all. I'd have to give the Corolla some gas even on the downhill portions, or it would lose enough speed to become a road hazard.
  • Reading many posts re actual MPG vs EPA figures and would comment as follows :

    MPG figures from EPA in USA or EU-specified sequence testing here in Europe are surely only to be taken as a comparative guide to that model's likely fuel consumption in various theoretical situations. Here in Europe it is widely believed that our "Official" figures are over-optimistic by around 8%.............but that varies model-to-model etc. Even the manufacturers are pressing for a change to the testing sequences to give more reliable "real world" figures. Having great mileage figures according to standard tests looks great in the brochure but becomes less attaractive when Joe Public complains that he can't match them, so it's in everyone's interests to be as accurate as is possible. Of course, there will never be all-encompassing accuracy due to manufacturing tolerances, geographical differences, (terrain), driving styles, vehicle loadings etc etc ad infinitum.

    My wife's Honda Jazz, (Fit), is the 1.4 7A model and the EU Combined Sequence mpg is claimed as being circa 45mpg, (imperial gallon). When she drives it she gets 40 - 42 mpg but that 95% town/urban driving and she's very happy with that. (I can't get that 'cos I drive it like the sports hatch I want it to be using the flappy-paddle gearchange - bad boy me). I know the lowered economy is down to me and accept it. I know that if I drive my Volvo S60 D5 Geartroninc like a saint then I can achieve some really outstanding numbers. When I drive it like a sporty saloon, (not that much of an oxymoron), then I know I'm going to be visiting the diesel pump a lot sooner.............but, by jove, it's worth it.

    What I'm saying, in an awfully roundabout way, is that "Official" figures are, at best, a rough guide based on specific operating criteria. If you're getting in the region of those numbers be happy - if you're numbers are wildly different and there are no obviously adverse factors then go see the dealer. Being out by a couple of mpg is no cause for concern. If you like the car and the fuel economy isn't hurting too much............smile. There are worse things that getting mpg that doesn't quite match the EPA or EU guesstimates.

    Back to topic - I am giving Ford a break. After many years of producing mediocre cars, I now believe they are producing some very good ones, (at least here in Europe). Same goes for GM with their mainline Vauxhall/Opel brands.

    Thank you listenin g to an old man. Have a great weekend. :)
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