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Old 03-02-2017, 11:05 AM   #1
MisterAustin
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Default Best Speed to Drive the Astra 5 speed

Okay, so just before winter hit I bought myself a lil 3 door 5 speed Saturn Astra. I love this car but it is so high revving that I don't know what speed to drive at to save gas (posted 80). on the freeway I have the car revving at 3500 rpm because that is the only speed that it's decent on fuel on. So anybody have a 5 speed Astra let me know what you think. Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best Speed to Drive the Astra 5 speed

Most cars in general get the best gas mileage at or under 55 mph. Fast enough to get somewhere, slow enough for aerodynamics to not have much of an effect. Generally once you're in top gear, the faster you go the more fuel you consume to overcome drag. Engines do have "sweet spots" in the RPM range where they burn less fuel per hp, but generally slower is more efficient because it requires less hp since there is less drag.
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Old 03-04-2017, 05:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best Speed to Drive the Astra 5 speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterAustin View Post
Okay, so just before winter hit I bought myself a lil 3 door 5 speed Saturn Astra. I love this car but it is so high revving that I don't know what speed to drive at to save gas (posted 80). on the freeway I have the car revving at 3500 rpm because that is the only speed that it's decent on fuel on. So anybody have a 5 speed Astra let me know what you think. Thank you in advance.
Between about 55 -60 mph is the best fuel economy that I have found. This is usually fast enough for two lane roads to keep up and be safe, but you still could die from boredom. At speeds greater than 65 -70 mph these cars really suck gas. When I drive home from work late at night I go about 65 mph in a 70 mph zone, owning the right lane, just to save a little gas. But that's just me.
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:15 PM   #4
David R
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Default Re: Best Speed to Drive the Astra 5 speed

Going to take a slightly different approach. I find between about 2500 and 3000 RPM in 4th or 5th for most conditions. For me that's between 95 and 100 KPH on the highway. Not much penalty going up to 105 KPH, but above that I can see my numbers falling. I do find the noise level at 3500 and above quite objectionable. Below 95 my consumption rises, and down around 80 KPH (2000), I'm not at all impressed with what I'm seeing. In the city I do find that getting into the higher gears quickly does help. Getting into 4th or 5th for 50 to 60 KPH (1500) really helps, just don't try and accelerate. I'm stuck with the instantaneous fuel economy showing, so I'm constantly reminded of my fuel economy.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Best Speed to Drive the Astra 5 speed

Hello everyone,

Yeah, noticed that on the test drive. Would've liked a sixth gear. As it is, I drive at the speed where my inst. fuel consumption is 6.9 l/100km (34 mpg.) That turns out to be about 100 km/hr. If that helps.
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best Speed to Drive the Astra 5 speed

I've averaged 31-33 mpg year in and year out since I bought the car new in 2009. For highway driving (speed limit withstanding, of course) I set it at 70 mph, which I believe is about 3250 rpm. That keeps the instantaneous mpg around 33-34, which is fine with me. Sometimes I get passed like I'm standing still.

This car begs for a taller top gear. I suspect that GM supplied one manual gearbox for all the engine options, and anything taller than this one made the smaller engines available in other markets struggle. Too bad for us in the NA market with only the 1800 engine available. I would be more than willing to have to occasionally drop a gear to maintain speed on hilly terrain if it meant a less boomy engine note for long highway trips...

It's amazing the progress that's been made even over the past 10 years or so. I can achieve similar highway mpg out of a 310 hp Mustang at a higher average speed, and close to 40 mpg from a mid-size, automatic trans sedan.
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