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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    People can misremember, calculate wrong, have wrong facts or just outright lie. When something lies way outside the norm, say like everyone reporting between 32 and 36 MPG and someone comes along and reports 42MPG you should look at the 42 with suspect.

    Have you ever shared your numbers to EPA's website? Calling those who do liars is the last thing that comes to my mind. I don't know about you, but I find the new EPA rating ridiculous. There is no way I can get 26 mpg in my TL on highway, unless (perhaps) I drive at 90 mph all day long. I get 24-26 mpg (lately, 26 mpg has been difficult perhaps due to traffic congestion and winter fuel, still got 24.9 mpg on last tank). Same with 98 Accord. 27 mpg on highway? How about 32-33 mpg at 80 mph?

    The worst tank ever in either car is around 23 mpg, and over 236K miles. Interestingly enough, even that is better than the suggested combined mileage by EPA. So, tell me why I should take EPA more seriously than my personal observation, and reporting by others who seem to get similar mileage as I do?

    Interestingly enough, the one that seems to lie outside of the norm is the EPA rating. At their website, 2007 Fit/Auto has 26 observed fuel economy. Among those, reported with 40-60% city, all but one exceeded EPA's rating. You may choose to disbelieve them all and stick with EPA, I won't.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    dromedarius, you make an excellent point regarding fuel savings.

    The simple fact is that petroleum is a finite resource and while it won't run out overnight, at some point production will peak, demand will exceed supply, prices will increase dramatically (we ain't seen nothin' yet), and some areas will experience shortages. This may not happen this week, this month, or this year, but there is a very good chance that it will happen within ten years. :surprise:

    When it does happen, what do you want parked in your garage? What do you want parked in all of you neighbors garages across the city/state/country? Hummers? :confuse:

    The time to prepare is now, not after the situation becomes critical. :shades:

    james
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    All I am saying is the virtue is in your mind not reality. We already have cleaner pollution standards than Europe. They allow more particulants than we do. As we get more drivers we use more fuel and I can easily get 8 MPG better fuel mileage with a SUV simply by changing to a diesel. We could keep our vehicles just the way they are and save even more fuel if we refused to go shopping in the malls. we could save fuel even more if we went back to neighborhood schools and sold all the school busses. Cars only represent about 50 percent of the fuel and energy we use in the US. How much energy would we save by having smaller houses. After 911 fuel prices dropped by close to 75 cents a gallon simply because we cut back on Air travel just in this country. There are many things we could do that would save just as much as giving up our SUVs and trucks. Doing one of those things is no more virtuous than doing the other. It all depends on what soap box you are standing close to.

    My complaint with Sub Compacts is they do not provide enough additional benefits over a current compact when the Corolla gets better fuel mileage than a Fit and the price is the same. I don't assume the owner of the Fit is an Ugly American because they decided the benefits of that car were worth the extra fuel it burns over the Corolla. It simply all breaks down to personal preferences.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    The Fit is far more versatile than the Corolla. It's more useful, that's why people buy it. And that utility doesn't give up gas mileage, so that's another perk. A Fit is not an irrational choice by any means, but a Hummer is unless you are a commando or a big game hunter I guess, where you really really need to crawl up the sides of mountains.

    MODERATOR

  • I would like to see people live in smaller houses (judging by the current foreclosure situation, they probably do, too), use fluorescent bulbs, carpool, fly commercial, etc., etc. My conservation streak is not limited to JUST SUVs and trucks. My point is if everyone had the myopic view "I can do what I want" we'd be in even more trouble, but conversely, EVERY person who changes their lifestyle just LITTLE bit can make a difference, especially as those numbers grow.
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    I agree with snakeweasel on this one. If you asked 100 people how to calculate the fuel economy in their car, I would guess you would get 10 different answers and I suspect that is where a lot of the variation comes in. The way I record fuel efficiency is to fill up at time 1 (and do not top the tank - let the vapor lock stop the fill). Ride around for some distance to about 1/2 the tank volume and then fill up at time 2 when the ambient temperature is the same. This will ensure that the tank doesn't expand significantly (since the gasoline T is generally constant since it is stored underground). Even this technique has the problem that as you consume gasoline, the weight of the vehicle gets lower. Therefore, if I rode around until the gauge was nearly empty, I should get somewhat higher fuel economy due to a weight of the vehicle. I would like to hear you ask 10 people you know how they compute fuel efficiency and see if you still believe the 42 mpg outlier (try to avoid people in occupations that deal with measurements and constraints i.e. avoid engineers, scientists, accountants).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    Yeah but when 90% of the reported MPG are in one clump and only 10% are in the outlying data, why would you believe the 90% are calculating incorrectly?

    MODERATOR

  • people be required? For instance, take mpg numbers from 1,000 people instead of the current 100 people and then average out all of their results. Then compare to what youv'e got now.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I don't take the pain that you seem to go for, calculating mileage. I just filled up my Accord. 366 miles, 14.03 gallons (auto-stop) which is good for 26.1 mpg. I can literally place a bet that my next tank will get me somewhere close to 26 mpg unless driving conditions change drastically.

    My driving conditions is approximately 50-50. On highway, I will drive between 60-80 mph, but mostly around 70-72 mph. This is an old car (1998, 184K miles). This is the same car that has returned 32+ mpg on long (500+ mile) road trips with speeds averaging over 75 mph (and thats average, including time spent at stop(s)).

    EPA tells me this car should get 27 mpg highway, 21 mpg in city. Tell me, what makes their number more credible, and why I shouldn't rely on what I observe.

    My numbers are consistent with numbers being quoted by others. Yet, I must believe they are liars (and so am I)? Gas/tank expansion/contraction theory is fine, but those differences are minimal enough to even worry about on this scale. And that car isn't the only one. I have another that makes me call the new EPA rating system a joke.
  • I have that is a compact car, get 32 mpg highway(like I do) and 20 mpg in town (like I do) why would I want a subcompact car?

    If I liked the design of a subcompact car I would buy one but so far I don't see a car design I like more than the '08 Mitsu Lancer GTS compact. And parking in my little town and even Tucson and Safford and Sierra Vista for shopping is laid-back southern Arizona, not up-tight Philadelphia, Chicago or New York City type of parking. So parking is not an issue.

    Mpg with subcompacts is currently not good enough. For my next car I am going to look at all the electrics available at that time (probably around the year 2012 or 2013 at the rate I'm putting mileage on my Lancer GTS) and pick one that I like. By then hopefully the range of travel with one charge-up will improve significantly, manufacturer's will increase the max.speed one can go in an all-electric vehicle, the initial cost to buy the vehicle will drop with good sound technology and mass-production, and the whole issue of re-charging these EV's will have been figured out and implemented by then. If I'm gonna buy a small ICE vehicle then the car should get a minimum of 40 mpg and hopefully 45-50 mpg, and up.

    Otherwise I will enjoy my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and it's better carrying capability than a subcompact and similar gas mileage to one. It's good to have a little more room to store things and seat more people comfortably for excursions, etc.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I have that is a compact car, get 32 mpg highway(like I do) and 20 mpg in town (like I do) why would I want a subcompact car?

    By that logic, if I can get a Honda Accord that delivers upper 30s on the highway regularly (topped 40 MPG twice at speeds averaging over 70 MPH), 29MPG in my suburban commute, and has better fuel economy than a compact according to the EPA (Lancer), why would I want a compact?

    If I'm gonna buy a small ICE vehicle then the car should get a minimum of 40 mpg and hopefully 45-50 mpg, and up.

    Otherwise I will enjoy my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and it's better carrying capability than a subcompact and similar gas mileage to one. It's good to have a little more room to store things and seat more people comfortably for excursions, etc.


    My same case holds true of my Accord against a Lancer. It's roomier and gets better milage. Why would I move to a smaller and LESS efficient car. At least with going to subcompacts, the mileage is better, if marginally (Fit v. Civic, Yaris v. Corolla, Versa v. Sentra). Go sit in a Versa; it's decidedly NOT a subcompact. I sat in the back seat, behind where I'd set the seat in the front. I had as much room as my midsize Accord. Cars like this Versa, and the cargo-carrying marvel Honda Fit are really practical vehicles; much more so than their sedan big-brother compacts in some cases.

    The thing is, sephia, that these subcompacts typically have combined averages higher than those of compacts. They also are smaller on the outside (a plus for some people), and don't cost as much to purchase.

    I find it sort of interesting that you seem cocerned about mileage, yet bought one of the least efficient compacts currently on sale.
  • I bought for it's looks and for it's handling and features available for the price. Plus a Warranty that is industry-leading(until Chrysler came out with theirs).

    Gas mileage is not even near the top of my list for why I want to buy a car. Since so namy disscussions on car sites involve gas mileage, I was simply pointing out the fact that many, many subcompacts just don't deliver in the mpg area compared to even my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS, which is a compact. And I get more room to travel in. More comfort.

    And a great looking car body design as well, which is not easily delivered in a car with such a small body. Not to mention the increased safety of a bigger rig that also has the latest safety implements designed in. Just a better deal all the way around.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,971
    By that logic, if I can get a Honda Accord that delivers upper 30s on the highway regularly (topped 40 MPG twice at speeds averaging over 70 MPH), 29MPG in my suburban commute, and has better fuel economy than a compact according to the EPA (Lancer), why would I want a compact?

    Well basically, buy what you're comfortable with. If you're getting that kind of economy in an Accord, it's doubtful you'll do much better with a smaller car (MPG-wise yes, but $ wise, probably not, unless you drive an incredible amount of miles). Still, there are tradeoffs. The Accord is bigger, roomier, more comfortable. Probably quieter and smoother riding. The Lancer might be more nimble, easier to park in tight spaces, give a more connected driving experience, etc.

    I've sort of run into a similar situation with my cars. My 2000 Intrepid a "fullsize" (according to the EPA at least...I'm still a bit old fashioned and call it a roomy intermediate :P ) can break 30 mpg if leisurely driven on the highway. Best I ever did was around 31. I've driven my uncle's '03 Corolla a few times, and one time keeping track of mileage I got around 37.4, driven fairly leisurely, highway driving...actually, the same run where I got 31 with the Intrepid!

    The up-side of the Corolla was the 20% improvement in fuel economy. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? However, on that 230 mile trip I took, that translates to a gallonage of 6.15 for the Corolla, 7.42 for the Intrepid. A difference of 1.27 gallons. At $3.00 per gallon, that comes out to a savings of like $3.81 over the course of that trip. All of a sudden, not so great.

    Now, if the Corolla is your thing, more power to you. However, I find it cramped, noisy, rough riding, uncomfortable, worse-handling, and slower-accelerating than my Intrepid. I also rarely have to worry about squeezing into tight parking spaces, so that advantage is pretty much a moot point for me. I'm used to driving pickup trucks and 221" long Chryslers, so to me the Intrepid IS a small, nimble car! :shades:

    However, to someone else, who doesn't really need something Intrepid-sized, and is comfortable with the Corolla, then they should go for it. It's a perfectly adequate car, but it just doesn't fit ME.

    So in short, buy what fits you the best, and what you're most comfortable with. If I had to go out and buy a new car right now, I'd probably get a 4-cyl Altima. It's smaller than my Intrepid, but still big enough to for me to fit in comfortably. According to the EPA, it should get better fuel economy. Basically, it's not too big, not too small, fairly economical, and fast enough for my needs.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I was simply pointing out the fact that many, many subcompacts just don't deliver in the mpg area compared to even my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS, which is a compact. And I get more room to travel in. More comfort.

    Who is to say that subcompact buyers don't do the same thing? Just because you like and dislike certain vehicle designs doesn't mean that other people don't feel the opposite. I couldn't put up with the interior quality of the Lancer, personally. That alone would cause me to look at other vehicles. The power/economy tradeoff was pretty bad in a brand new model as well.

    My point that I'm trying to make, in a roundabout fashion, is this. The reasons you have for choosing a larger/different car may be just the reasons other people CHOOSE a compact. And, every subcompact I know delivers compared to the 21/29 MPG the Lancer is estimated to get in standardized conditions.

    Versa - 27/33 MPG, more room (EPA Midsize I believe), extra cargo capacity with hatchback option.
    Fit - 27/34, LOADS of cargo space with magic seats, GREAT handling
    Yaris - 29/35, the Yaris gets in city stop and go what the Lancer gets on the highway!

    You say the Lancer is a better deal all the way around... well, for YOU it is. You seem to be losing sight of the fact that we all have different needs. Some want great economy and loads of practicality. Some want midsize room and subcompact fuel economy. Some want the most fun-to-drive at the lowest cost.

    The Lancer doesn't deliever on any of these wants I've listed, and therefore wouldn't be the best all around deal. It's great that you love your Lancer, it was obviously the best car for you. It's obviously not for everyone, because I never see them on the roads (that's good if you want a unique vehicle).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The up-side of the Corolla was the 20% improvement in fuel economy. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? However, on that 230 mile trip I took, that translates to a gallonage of 6.15 for the Corolla, 7.42 for the Intrepid. A difference of 1.27 gallons. At $3.00 per gallon, that comes out to a savings of like $3.81 over the course of that trip. All of a sudden, not so great.

    Now, if the Corolla is your thing, more power to you. However, I find it cramped, noisy, rough riding, uncomfortable, worse-handling, and slower-accelerating than my Intrepid. I also rarely have to worry about squeezing into tight parking spaces, so that advantage is pretty much a moot point for me. I'm used to driving pickup trucks and 221" long Chryslers, so to me the Intrepid IS a small, nimble car!

    However, to someone else, who doesn't really need something Intrepid-sized, and is comfortable with the Corolla, then they should go for it. It's a perfectly adequate car, but it just doesn't fit ME.

    So in short, buy what fits you the best, and what you're most comfortable with. If I had to go out and buy a new car right now, I'd probably get a 4-cyl Altima. It's smaller than my Intrepid, but still big enough to for me to fit in comfortably. According to the EPA, it should get better fuel economy. Basically, it's not too big, not too small, fairly economical, and fast enough for my needs.


    I agree with everything you've said. Buy what's best for you. Just don't ridicule other purchaser's decisions because they don't fit what you would do - they have different needs and wants. If they didn't we'd probably all be in a Camry. :)

    And, andre, my ex-gf had a 2004 Corolla; definitely not the best car in the world for fitting tall guys behind the wheel (I'm 6'4" and the driving position was HORRIBLE). I too like the new Altima, but that's a topic for another board. :))
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Versa - 27/33 MPG, more room (EPA Midsize I believe), extra cargo capacity with hatchback option.
    Fit - 27/34, LOADS of cargo space with magic seats, GREAT handling
    Yaris - 29/35, the Yaris gets in city stop and go what the Lancer gets on the highway!

    Can we please add the Scion xD in here because it is basically the 5 door Yaris that is sold overseas with a different body style. It's also roomy and the seats are more comfortable than the Fit and the Versa at least for me. The Figures

    Scion xD - 27/33 so the same as the Versa. The xD
    has a Corolla engine in it which is very reliable as well.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Thanks tiff, I had left it out by mistake. I was looking at the sidebar of this discussion and saw the Versa, Yaris and Fit, and forgot about the xD.
  • And I get more room to travel in. More comfort.

    Personally, I don't understand why so many people are so concerned about vehicle comfort. Granted, some people have long commutes, but most of us spend very little time in a car relative to everything else we do. Conversely I never hear people complain about how uncomfortable their chair at work is.

    :P

    I actually think my Prizm is comfortable (6 ft+ 200 lbs) but it is just a tool which gets me to and from work. I value the economy, low maintenance costs and ease of parking. Cars are bad places to stick your money anyway, so it never made much sense to me to stick anymore money into it than I have to. I actually chose it because it had a MT, no PW and no PL. Of course these are just my feelings, but as much as I like cars I have never become accustomed to how strongly people feel about their vehicles and how many creature comforts they expect.

    :confuse:
  • And, andre, my ex-gf had a 2004 Corolla;

    See, I could never go out with a girl with a Corolla in the first place. :blush: :P
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Hahaha... she was short, but her maintenance costs were pretty high! ;)

    (Mom had a Lexus GX470 and dad drove an assortment of Audi's since he was a GSM at a local Porsche-Audi dealer).
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Maybe but if the "if everyone got 2 mpg better" argument was valid it would be a heck of a lot easier for me to get 2mpg gallon better average in a 3/4 ton truck than it would for a Fit to find another 2MPG average.

    Using the logic that if we all only got just what we needed then a person that switched to a Fit, Edmunds rates the base Fit at 28-34, from a base Corolla, rated by Edmunds at 28-37 will be wasting 3 MPG uselessly. Obviously you don't need a smaller car getting less fuel mileage. So if we only got just what we needed we could all drive Corollas. In fact a Fit driver would seem like a gas guzzler to a Yaris driver. If you are getting 34-40 MPG in a Yaris how do you justify giving up 4 to 6 mpg out of want rather than need? Not only that you tossed more money out the door because the Fit costs more. Even the Smart doesn't list their fuel mileage higher than a Yaris on their web site. So all we all need is a Yaris, and really dark glasses so we can't see each other.

    If someone has the money to spend on a Hummer it is their money, they worked for it, in most cases, and if they want to give it away it isn't our task to suggest that we have a better use for it. It is no different than getting a 911 or a Z06. It is no different than buying a power boat. You and I both know that a Viper is a fuel miser compared to 2 Yamaha 200 HP outboard let alone 4 Volvo Pentas. But even in that industry there are those who will toss their money out on a $300,000.00 sail boat and complain about how much fuel the 150K speed boat uses.

    Maybe the best choice is what someone said in the forum on what your car says about you. I don't car all that much what someone else drives. And I don't care that much about what someone else thinks about what I should drive. Looking at the number one selling vehicle in the US I would say that is a majority opinion.
  • And I don't care that much about what someone else thinks about what I should drive.

    I think that is the issue he is getting at. His argument is that you are only thinking about yourself and not about society, the environment, your country, etc. You are picking something that is good for you, even though it is detrimental to everyone else.

    I'm not saying people should be told what to drive, just trying to frame the argument.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    Yes your argument has weight in that really we should always look at GALLONAGE, not MPG. If a person switches from a 4X4 V-8 truck to a Honda Fit, their gallonage will decrease significantly, whereas if they switch from an Audi A4 to Honda Fit, the gallonage decrease will not be impressive.

    The "majority" is always behind the curve or the trend. That's why they are the majority. They are among the last to know when something has changed.

    MODERATOR

  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Personally, I don't understand why so many people are so concerned about vehicle comfort. Granted, some people have long commutes, but most of us spend very little time in a car relative to everything else we do. Conversely I never hear people complain about how uncomfortable their chair at work is.

    My back is screwed up, too much heavy lifting, more than a few falls and not much they can do about it. So of course I need a comfortable car. I travel extensively for my work and no way do i want to drive 5 + hours in an uncomfortable car. I don't need a huge SUV but really great seats are a priority. I really need AWD as some of the areas I travel don't get great snow maintainance. But you can't have everything. Spend about 1.5 million miles driving over the years and seat comfort is going to be waaaaaay up on your list believe me. ;)
    If I just drove 5K miles a year it might not matter so much.
    My Miata was comfortable and did well in the snow. But too impractical for the driving I did. Highway cruisers are not city cars like your Geo which was a rebadged Suzuki I believe, not a bad car if it fits you and you are happy with it. I like a performance car and I also need a comfortable seat. No Civics for me thank you. :sick:

    As far as my work chair goes I bought my own and took out the monstrosity they wanted me to use. :blush:
    I either drive a desk or a car, both need to be comfortable. If you screw up your back severely you'll understand.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Thanks tiff, I had left it out by mistake. I was looking at the sidebar of this discussion and saw the Versa, Yaris and Fit, and forgot about the xD.

    No sweat, there are so many cars available out there now ;) . I just would like to see the ability to put at least a Recaro seat for the driver and not screw up the airbags.
    Be easier to justify a few cars I might like to buy if I could get a Recaro seat and not void any warranties or change the safety.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That is a funny point. How much time do we really spend in our cars? At most 2 hours a day?

    Yes we spend 8 hours in the office. How many of us went out and bought an uber-expensive executive office chair? :D

    The auto industry has done a GREAT job marketing all this stuff, convincing us we need it.

    Another example: do you have keyless entry in your home? I have a 6CD changer in my car, yet a single CD player at home. I spend a lot more time at home, however.

    It's all brilliant marketing.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,971
    Personally, I don't understand why so many people are so concerned about vehicle comfort. Granted, some people have long commutes, but most of us spend very little time in a car relative to everything else we do. Conversely I never hear people complain about how uncomfortable their chair at work is.

    That's because in my chair at work, I can adequately stretch my legs out if I need to. I can also get up and walk around, stretch, etc. I can push the keyboard to the computer to a comfortable distance from me. I can raise or lower the chair as I need to fit under the desk.

    It also kinda helps that my company bought me a $560 or so ergonomic chair. :shades:

    My uncle's Corolla starts to annoy me after about 10 minutes worth of driving. My legs cramp up, it gives poor thigh support, and I find myself leaning inward because of the way the roof slopes in.

    Now truth be told, I probably could deal with this car for most of my driving needs. I'm close enough to work that 10 minutes is actually a long commute! But still, why subject myself to that kind of torture when I don't really need to?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here at work, we found out if you call the health folks you can get one of those bad boys for free (they pay). The next day a bunch of us called complaining about sore backs! :D

    I still have a "low budget" chair, though.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    That is a funny point. How much time do we really spend in our cars? At most 2 hours a day?

    I envy them! I really do! Somedays it's 8 hours of driving total, 4+ hours then figure out why some piece of machinery that was custom made is now all wonky. The 4+ hours drive back. Then of course it has to be fixed poste haste and so often I have to get the part back up there since it's always critical.
    I slept in my office more than most I'll wager. :sick:

    Yes we spend 8 hours in the office. How many of us went out and bought an uber-expensive executive office chair?

    Mine was pretty darn expensive but it beats 6 months of therapy in a swimming pool which I do not have time for.

    Another example: do you have keyless entry in your home? I have a 6CD changer in my car, yet a single CD player at home. I spend a lot more time at home, however.

    Meet George Jetson.... His boy Elroy.... Jane his wife!
    I rarely listen to the radio or CD's. i like peace and quiet when I drive, only if I am super tired do I put of stuff to keep me awake.

    I do agree it's really a great marketing ploy but a great Nav system pays for itself. I used to use Maps Rand McNally but too much hassle after a while. I still keep road maps as a backup but some gizmos are worthwhile. If you drive a lot those little map lights allow the driver to drive with less distraction while the passenger fiddles with something.
    Most stuff is a waste like climate control. I don't even have A/C in my house :surprise:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,971
    there's comfort, and then there's marketing. The difference is that when a commerical tells you it's comfortable, then it's marketing. If your [non-permissible content removed] tells you it feels comfortable, then it it's comfortable! :shades:
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