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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    With today's technology, etc..I wonder if perhaps some of the manufacturers set their computers to show increased MPG results with increased miles. I know the engines "free-up" or break-in or whatever, but I am wondering about more than that. Could they be setting the computers to show better MPG as we go down the road?? Just a thought... :confuse:
    van ;)
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Well, I also "do the math" with my trusty little calculator in addition to reading the computer readout display. We (my Texas Instruments calculator and my auto computer) generally always agree +/- a tiny bit. Do you also line your windows with aluminum foil to block the government mind control transmissions??? Just a joke..... :)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    If mpg is important to you, maybe you should go to a Honda dealer and see what kind of trade they'll give you on the Fusion. You might be able to get into an Accord I-4 SE 5 speed manual for not much money at all...The I-4 i-Vtec manual Accords are said to get close to their epa ratings of 26 in the city and 34 on the highway. My less advanced 02 Accord I 4 manual, with the regular VTEC engine (before i-VTEC), gets about 23-25 around town, and about 30-33 on the highway (70-75 mph, ac running, fully loaded with four passengers and luggage).

    Or, perhaps wait for the all new 08 Accord which is rumored to have the new Advanced VTEC engine. The A-VTECs are supposed to have more power, and 10% higher mpg. So that might mean as high as 28 mpg around town and as high as 36 on the highway. Of course, those all new A-VTEC Accords, which look a bit like a 5 series BMW, are probably going to be selling at close to list price for a while....I'm going to try and wait until the summer of 08 when they might be had at a bit of a discount.
  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    Not yet, but am thinking about it. I heard it works.! ;) hmmm
    I too use the old fashioned way of calculating the mpg, then compare/record both. I keep a running total..just a habit from years ago. Yes the mileage increases with the miles but sometimes seems to make unusual jumps.
    van
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The vast majority (I would guess 90%) of the population of this country, do not regularly see road conditions (snow/ice covered roads) bad enough or frequently enough that the extra cost/weight penalties can truly be justified and/or proper driving techniques in a std."

    I couldn't disagree more. After years of owning FWD and RWD cars, all my cars now have AWD. I'll take the penality in gas over the more surefootedness in wintery conditions. In addition, when one steps on the gas a true full-time AWD has four tires launching the car instead of two. Making for smoother takeoffs in bad conditions.

    "I look very suspiciously at a 'computer' making those kinds of decisions for me."

    That maybe, but you are clearly in the realm of: "you don't know what you don't know" about stability systems.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    Most Fusions also get at or above their EPA city ratings if you drive normally. Boz (urnews) does not drive normally and won't get normal EPA city mileage no matter what he drives except possibly a Hybrid.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    "The vast majority (I would guess 90%) of the population of this country, do not regularly see road conditions (snow/ice covered roads) bad enough or frequently enough that the extra cost/weight penalties can truly be justified and/or proper driving techniques in a std."

    I couldn't disagree more. After years of owning FWD and RWD cars, all my cars now have AWD. I'll take the penality in gas over the more surefootedness in wintery conditions. In addition, when one steps on the gas a true full-time AWD has four tires launching the car instead of two. Making for smoother takeoffs in bad conditions.

    I gotta say I concur. The AWD 4 cylinder manual transmission wagon gets roughly the same MPG as the older manual transmission FWD car. Both seem to get low-mid 30s on the highway, upper mid-20s in town.

    The wagon has been fantastic in terms of meeting needs, 5spd, good mileage, feels like a tank in bad weather, tows a small-ish (2500lbs) trailer with no problems, baby seats fit well, and was about 1k more than the Accord at the time, for AWD and a wagon body style.

    "I look very suspiciously at a 'computer' making those kinds of decisions for me."

    There is no computer in the AWD system. There are true limited slip differentials (I believe they are Torsen type). None of this computer controlled engine retarding traction control nonsense.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    AKirby,

    Allen, we do drive "normal," as in gentle, conservative. But perhaps our average usage -- short commute, stop-and-go, short hops -- is not normal. There is a difference between the two entities, in my humble opinion.

    Maybe nothing, except a hybrid, would make a difference. All I know is that 13 mpg for the first 2,000 miles or so was financially painful and 14.8 mpg now is not much better.

    I would not recommend the AWD option to anyone, unless they live in upstate New York or one of the snowy climes. AWD is a waste of money at the outset and a mileage killer in the long term, which is more money down the fill-up tube.

    Our decision to buy a car equipped this way was just plain stupid. It was a "fuelish" move on our part. That's what happens when you see a car you "just have to have." FoMoCo does not equip many of its SELs with an I4 and a manual tranny but you can order one that way, which is what we should have done.

    An I4 manual might not reach its EPA estimates given our driving pattern, but at least it would have been cheaper to operate overall. Hindsight is always 20-20, unfortunately.

    According to my calculations it will cost us $524 a year EXTRA to operate at 14.8 mpg versus the revised EPA estimate of 17 mpg. But that was figured out when gasoline was "only" $2.22. It's now at $2.74 a gallon and rising almost daily. That only increases the pain.

    I pity the people, ourself included, who are stuck with vehicles that deliver low gasoline mileage.

    If there is a next time, I will opt for an Accord.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,699
    Boz - of course I was referring to extreme stop-n-go short commutes and not your personal driving style.

    A hybrid would really be your best bet. This is the type of driving where they excel. You could probably get 45-50 mpg from a Prius or less than that with a hybrid Camry (or the 09 Fusion hybrid). The V6 Accord hybrid won't come close.

    Just trying to level set your expectations so you're not disappointed a second time.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you are clearly in the realm of: "you don't know what you don't know" about stability systems.
    well this just might be the other way around - go ahead and revel in your political correctness, but you should at least understand that a computer IS making driving decisions (and adjustments) for you, along the lines of applying brakes for you, cutting throttle and/or slowing steering responses. And the problem has nothing to do with the principles of the systems like this to begin with but with how invasive they can become courtesy of that computer programmer and HIS (or some lawyer's) judgement of what a vehicle's dynamic situation must be before HE THINKS we are unable to cope with it. Educate yourself, read a few road tests, and see how SC systems can and do inhibit many vehicles ultimate handling capabilites in terms of really quantifiable numbers.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Yeah, I sorta figured you were referring to the driving pattern and not the drivers. I was just having some fun, as I suspect you were, unintentionally.

    Yup, I've made up my mind. Our next vehicle will be a hybrid and or a Accord, maybe a Prius (they are so ugly they are beautiful (and everybody knows you are doing your part for the environment).

    It was the bold distinctive styling, the exceptional handling, the many nice creature comforts that sold on us on the Fusion (and its many favorable reviews in the media).

    The next time around it will be all about economy, economy, economy. I once owed a 1958 VW Beetle that didn't even have a gas gauge. Didn't need one, it delivered 30 mpg all the time and had a 10-gallon gas tank. You were good for 300 miles no matter how you drove it. It was a fun car. Unfortunately I totaled it, but walked away.

    Is the Prius considered a compact? I think mid-size is our comfort level. Which car is the mileage champ in this group?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Prius is a mid-sizer based on EPA volume numbers. For four adults it is plenty roomy; actual legroom in the back is better than some other mid-sizers like the Mazda6 and Legacy. There's also the Camry and Altima hybrids, and soon Aura and Malibu will be available as "mild" hybrids. Of all the "mid-sized" cars, I think the Prius is (per EPA anyway) the FE champ.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Why don't you try to trade the Fusion in for a Fusion SEL I4 and see what happens?
    I am very curious as to why you feel buyers remorse? I understand your MPG issues. What other reasons for remorse?

    Scape2,

    We are not going to do anything, as far as trades go, for at least one model year. Maybe, as you say, the mileage will improve as the Fusion matures. If it would just get 17 mpg, the revised EPA estimate, I would be satisfied, really.

    Our (my) buyer's remorse is solely related to the mpg situation because that is a dollars and cents issue. The Fusion is fine otherwise, a genuinely outstanding car, the best we have every owned. (The large turning radius takes some getting used to and backing up is tricky because of limited visibility. These are factors that you learn to make adjustments for.)

    My wife could care less about mileage. Maybe I should adopt that outlook, too. But I just can't. It bugs me big time. If there is a next time I will definitely opt for a four-cylinder, manual transmission something.

    I (we) believe the Fusion to be an exceptional automobile, EXCEPT for the mpg issue. That is my only real complaint.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I would not recommend the AWD option to anyone, unless they live in upstate New York or one of the snowy climes. AWD is a waste of money at the outset and a mileage killer in the long term, which is more money down the fill-up tube.

    I don't know, SE MI has enough days of grumpy weather to justify AWD for our needs (especially since it doesn't seem to have a mileage penalty yet). If I was still on the west coast, I would be less excited about it.

    Gas here is $3.28, but realistically, its not that often the cars need to be filled up so I can't complain as much as some.
  • zookolzookol Posts: 1
    Don't believe all the hype about Honda 6's being more fuel efficient. Our '06 Honda Odyssey doesn't come close to manufacture estimates of 20 city/ 28 highway. More like 17 city and 21 highway. If you read the experiences of other foreign vehicle owners you will see that they are just as frustrated with not achieving stated or claimed fuel efficiencies as anyone else. Bottom line is you cannot overcome the law of physics. Heavy vehicle with powerful engine= not very good gas mileage. If you want an efficient vehicle get a diesel if you need power and a 4 cylinder if you don't care. Or else just buy a 2 year old vehicle with low mileage and use your savings to pay for gas.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    Suprising about the Odyssey. Our Sienna gets EPA or better on the highway. 26 or 27 mpg on long Interstate trips at 75 mph. Up to 30 mpg at slower speeds.
  • zzzoom6zzzoom6 Posts: 425
    I've read that most of the emissions that come from a car happen in the first 5 minutes of operation when the car is not up to temperature... so I wonder if this has something to do with cars having poor mpg when driven short distances. But I'd have to agree with others that have suggested a hybrid probably makes the most sense for the type of driving you have described. The Camry seems to be the standout hybrid in the midsize department at this point.

    But if you trade your car in on another for the next few years, I would imagine you would be upside-down as far as trade in value is concerned. the money you would lose by trading in too quickly would easily pay for your gas for a few years. To be blunt, there really aren't a whole lot of good options for you right now. If your drive to work is longer than your wife's, perhaps it might make economic sense to trade cars with you driving the fusion?

    Anyways, hope you can get over your angst... by all reports, it sounds like it's a very nice car but maybe not ideal for your circumstances, but it still is a nice car.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    My aunt's 2005 Odyssey gets what the EPA advertises on the highway. At 80 MPH on my first trip to Oklahoma, we got 23.3 MPG. You might say "that's lower than EPA (EPA is 19/25), but we were going 80 MPH, with A/C running, and many belongings.

    Your mileage may certainly vary.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Yes, Zzzoom6, it is a very nice car in all other respects. The poor mileage is its only flaw at this point. We don't even have any squeaks, rattles, shakes, etc. The fit and finish on the Fusion is 100 percent.

    We'll most likely keep the car until the 2009s debut, at least. Who knows maybe the mileage will magically improve at 5,000 or 10,000 miles, even though I doubt it.

    I'm retired, but my wife (12 years younger) still works. There is only one commute involved, hers, and sometimes she takes our 2000 Ford Focus station wagon to work. It delivers 22 mpg over the same driving pattern. That is below the EPA estimate, too.

    As you suggest, a hybrid would be an ideal vehicle for our circumstances. I will definitely explore that possibility the next time around. Who knows, maybe there will be a decent Fusion hybrid by that time.

    Oddly enough this is the only four-door my wife would really consider. (She had her heart set on a Mustang, but that was just not practical enough at this time.) We actually owned two Mustangs in the past. Neither were particularly good cars and we did not keep them for very long, but they sure are sporty.

    One of the former Mustangs had a pathetic four banger in it and it was severely underpowered. That's why we went for a V6 in the Fusion. According to what I've read on three Fusion forums, the I4, 160-horsepower engine is more than adequate.

    Indeed, most of the fours available in the mid-size cars today seem to be quite adequate, according to what I have read.

    The bottom line is we should have ordered an I4 manual SEL rather than buy the $27,105 MSRP car that was on the lot. We were smitten with the car. You know how that goes.

    I was also interested in the Sonata but the wife considers all of the Asian makes to be "plain Jane lookalikes." The Fusions styling, handling and good press reviews turned out to be the deciding factors.

    Heck, I even think the Prius is so homely as to be attractive in a perverse way. Wife can't stand them. As I mentioned in an earlier post, she doesn't even care about mileage. (I'm in charge of filling up the cars and paying for it, so why should she?)
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    Heck, I even think the Prius is so homely as to be attractive in a perverse way

    lol, know what you mean. the scoion's are kind of the same way.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Educate yourself, read a few road tests, and see how SC systems can and do inhibit many vehicles ultimate handling capabilites in terms of really quantifiable numbers."

    I've been educated. One of my former cars had stability control and I have a raft of experience with it. Stability control is supposed to keep the car under control, however, the stability control on my car could be disengaged. This will prevent the car from (thankfully) reaching it's full potential at the expense of having it go out from under you.

    Again, unless you have extensively driven a car with a stability control system and have tried to defeat it, you are only speaking from what you have read, not what you have driven.

    If it saves your bacon once, it has done it's job.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,730
    you finally posted the truth. you are not the primary driver, so you don't really know how your fusion is being driven. it is ok. it is a small price to pay. ;)
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Me too! I'll probably get a Fusion Hybrid when it becomes available in 2009. I drive 22miles one way to work. So far my average has creeped up to 24MPG. I'm really hoping it keeps going up to about 25 would be nice. :shades:
  • ridezx11ridezx11 Posts: 6
    I have to take disagree with you on this issue. I have a '03 accord with a 6 cylinder and I have averaged 25-26mpg on mixed driving. The manufacture estimate is 21 city/ 30 highway and although I have owned the car for over a year I have never had an extended highway trip to check the mpg. I have gotten 29mpg on half a tank of highway miles and the rest my normal commute. That is better then the '02 Maxima I had which I averaged 22-23mpg (Granted the Maxima was a 3.5l and the Accord is a 3.0l). The best I ever averaged on only highway mileage 27mpg in the Maxima.
    My brother has a '04 Mazada6 with a 6 cylinder and 5m he is averaging 25mpg on 80% highway mileage. With a 100 mile daily commute he wishes he was getting my mpg. He also wishes he knew Mazda was going to release the Speed6 before he bought his 6 cylinder.
    We also have an '05 AWD Pilot which my wife drives and she averages 18mpg on more stop and go traffic. On vacation I have averaged 22-23mpg going 75-85mph on strictly highway driving. We have been satisfied with mileage considering the size, weight and AWD.
    IMO Honda does build a good compromise between power and mpg in their 6 cylinders.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    again referencing multiple testing by multiple publications, almost all tests of things like lane change and/or skidpad pad abilities lately have been showing up with an asterisk next to those numbers - the asterisk - stability control inhibited. Even CR (who would figure to champion such systems) now grudgingly admits that SC can and does limit ultimate evasive capabilities. My point being that there is a really really low probability that SC system intervention might also 'cost you your bacon', in lets say a high speed avoidance manuever - depending on how the intervention levels are set by that computer programmer in the first place. That said, things like this are certainly more likely to work for you than against you but the buyer needs to understand that it is not a free ride from a performance standpoint and especially that while it might make his car safer, it is not improving handling (stability yes, handling no).
    What I've read only confirms a coupla of experiences I had. Following a successful 'heart in my throat' accelerating high speed avoidance manuever (swerve) in my own non-VSC car, I did take an opportunity to test VSC personally as installed in a Sonata (don't ever buy a rental car that I have had a chance to play with ;) , my cornering exit speed (on a favorite traffic circle of mine) was 10 mph less (VSC on vs. off) because the car 'went dead' as I approached those computer imposed limits for that particular car. There is no way that the Sonata system would have 'allowed' me to do, what I did do several weeks earlier in my own car although I can't definitely say if I would have been involved in that particular pileup or not.
    Incidentally, many of those VSC off switches do not completely disable the system and I know of no cars that wouldn't automatically re-engage the system when restarted - making the 'off' switch largely impractical anyway.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "My point being that there is a really really low probability that SC system intervention might also 'cost you your bacon',"

    Your whole point is moot as stability systems will be required on cars in the future. You have to drive a BMW to see how stability control should be integrated into the driving experience, not a Hyundai. I would take the risk that stability system would cost me "my bacon", on the bet I have a better chance of it saving "my bacon". That's like saying there is a good change an airbag deployment will physically hurt me, therefore I will disable it. But the airbag can also save your life.

    In the meantime avoidance at high speed is best done with a stability system enabled, not disabled. We obviously disagree (and I have multiple years of living with a car with a s/c as a daily driver not just a few test drives), but the point will be moot in a few years.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    How, exactly does BMW integrate their version of SC to "enhance" the driving experience?? and why doesn't Hyundai's version seem satisfactory? In as much as BMW is thought of as a drivers car are the limits before stability control "takes over" somehow higher than those of the Hyundai? If so, does the average or less than average driver not reap the benefits simply because the limits are too high? Or does the system as a whole work more smoothly?? Please explain.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It could easily be solved by doing what Honda (among a few others) does. Make it defeatable by simply pushing a button!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you miss the point, grad. Even if you can shut off the system, it will still be normally on when you restart the car - so therefore the system is always on, perhaps as it should be. The Sonata also has a simple VSC on/off button and it does make a difference!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Perhaps as it should be you say... I think you are probably right on that.

    Out of 350,000 Accord buyers (let's say that's the number for example's sake), how many are going to be so aggressive in their driving that they need the stability system set where it won't intervene when they crank the car? That's where I think Honda has it right (for me anyway).

    When i get frisky behind the wheel of my Accord (it's a 4-cyl so there is no VSA at all), chances are, the next day/trip I take I'm not gonna be so aggressive the next time. I'll probably be making my commute to work/school, or going to Wal-mart, where I'd want VSA on.
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