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Old 05-17-2005, 06:03 PM   #1
walt
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Default GMs fuzzy math mpg

I just read a newspaper ad about the GM vehicles promising 30mpg or more.The ad has a bunch of GM cars with the highway est mpg.It gets confusing because it rates the Chevrolet Impala with the same 32mpg as the ION.???What am I missing here?The Impala weighs 3460 lbs as apposed to the IONs weight of 2781.The Impala has a 3.8 V6 to the IONs a 2.2 4 clinder.I know I did poorly in school (reading my posts gives that away) but how does a car that is heavier and have a bigger engine get the same gas milage. It really get silly when it rates the chevy Aveo with a 1.6 4 cylinder and 400 lbs lighter than the ION with worst mpg that both the Impala and ION with 34 mpg highway. Should we all be driving Impalas to save fuel?What gives?

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Old 05-17-2005, 06:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

in the ad does it state the impala's mpg as highway in fine print? but i don't think the impala would even get that high on the highway either. so i don't know, might be a miss-print.

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Old 05-17-2005, 06:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Size and displacement aren't everything. My little SL2 needs about 3500 RPM to go 80 MPH. I believe a Corvette can do that around the 2000 RPM mark (+/- 200 RPM...somebody who knows for sure or owns one, please correct me). More powerful engines can use different gearing to achieve similarly good mileage numbers. You can't get 50 MPG with a Corvette, but 30 MPG on a long highway trip isn't unheard of.

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Old 05-17-2005, 06:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

It ain't fuzzy math, it is gearing and efficient motors. My 3800lb Park Avenue gave me 29.7 over a 3300 mile roadtrip a few years ago and I have a heavy foot. My Olds LSS gave me 28 with a 10 hour 10 minute trip from Winston Salem to Fort Lauderdale trip too. Both have the very efficient 3800 Series II motors with excellent trannys. The Bonnie, with the same motor but shorter final drive ratio, gives me about 26 on the highway but I drive it like a raped ape. In all three cases, the cars had the AC on all the time and it was humid out too.

The IONs are asking a lot of the little motor and it drinks gas in order to satisfy the workload.

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Old 05-17-2005, 07:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

To add to Speedplayer's point, my old 1997 SL2 auto got less highway MPG than the LSS and Park Ave did on the same trip!! And, the SL2 was loud as a caged hound compared to the other luxo cruisers & with precious little trunk space too.

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Old 05-17-2005, 08:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Hey, the Malibu w/ the 2.2 Eco & auto. gets 35 highway, according to the window sticker. How does the Malibu get better mileage than a Cobalt or ION with the same set up? Figure that one out.
My vacation HWY mpg w/ 1400 miles on an 05 ION w/ auto.varied from a low of 27.08 climbing the Grape Vine here in CA at 80 mph, and a high of 36.44 mpg. 3 tanks came in at 34.4, 34.93 and 34.69, 2 at over 35 [35.54, 35.13], 1 at 31.44 and 1 at 30.56.
EPA testing is as weird as it ever was. Long ago people got much worse. Now they will get the same or better or slightly less. It's an inexact science using a dynomometer and came about as a side effect of EPA emissions testing. Labs are different than the real world #s hence the disclaimer "your mileage may vary" in the fine print.
My mixed LA driving netted 25.45 this last tank at 3700 miles on the odometer, approx.
GM SHOULD be advertising this fact. It was the subject of some discussion on Autoline Detroit this past weekend. The ION and the Cobalt get better MPG than the Lancer, the same as the Ford Focus and higher than many cars sold in the US. Amongst a fleet of overweight bloated cars of all sizes and from all makes available today they compare well with other cars.
It is on a comparison with the Echo or hybrids or the S Series that 32-35 mpg HWY looks bad.

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Old 05-17-2005, 10:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Don't confuse the EPA city/highway numbers you see on the window sticker with what you're getting in the real world. I think the journal just had an article last week on how the tests are outdated and overstate MPG on all vehicles. The hybrids get an extra boost, as the tests are run without A/C, and a Prius fires up the gas engine as soon as you turn on the A/C!

However, with all vehicles running the same test cycle you at least have some comparative results between different vehicles.

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Old 05-18-2005, 07:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by piney
It ain't fuzzy math, it is gearing and efficient motors.
The IONs are asking a lot of the little motor and it drinks gas in order to satisfy the workload.
That says it all.

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Old 05-18-2005, 10:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

The standard engine on the Impala is the 3400, not the 3800. More to the point however, weight has little(no) effect on cruising gas milage. It is critical, however, in acceleration. At cruising speeds and conditions, friction and wind resistance are major concerns.

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Old 05-18-2005, 11:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

In the case of the S-Series, I always thought fuel economy was underrated, as its ratings are below the 35 MPG that I regularly get!

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Old 05-18-2005, 01:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Found a blurb that explains briefly how the EPA does it..
Quote:
The EPA city-driving test simulates an 11-mile, stop-and-go trip with an average speed of 20 mph and a maximum speed of 56 mph. The trip has 23 stops and includes time for the vehicle to idle at a standstill. The highway test simulates a 10-mile trip and averages 48 mph. The maximum speed is 60 mph.

The EPA already adjusts the fuel-economy results from its dynomometer test to account for "road load" - the difference between controlled laboratory conditions and the actual road. For city driving, the penalty is 10 percent; for highways, it is 22 percent.

But certain loads, such as running the air conditioning, are not considered. Neither is cold weather, which disproportionately penalizes battery-powered vehicles more than internal-combustion ones.

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Old 05-18-2005, 04:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

The Impala can better the 32mpg number on hwy. We rented one for a weekend and it went almost 475 miles on 14+ gallons.
My old 97SC2-5m did 37 on hwy and 31 in my city driving (sticker said 27/34). Our 02Vue-5m does 26/29 (rounded) and the sticker was (23/28).
I drove my 04 SAAB 9-3 (Linear 5m) from Charlotte, NC to Detroit and didn't fill up until well in to the Ohio Turnpike. It broke 36 on that trip.
I've always done better than the window stickers, and will probably better the 35 on the Malibu sticker on hwy. Not really sure why the Ion can't do the SC2 numbers though...

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Old 05-18-2005, 06:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

I recently took a walk through my local small town Chevy dealer, and looked at the stickers for an Impala (3.4L), Malibu (same engine I think), and Cobalt. They all had the same hwy mpg (32). I thought that strange. City mpg varied more, however. Too bad carmakers feel they have to make small cars bigger (and with 140 hp engines) now since the mid/late 90s. Small cars should be pushing 40 mpg regularly (like some Toyotas). Most of 'em today don't get out of the low 30s. Poop!

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Old 05-18-2005, 09:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

My boyfriend drives a 2001 Impala and he gets 31 mpg highway and around 24 city. It's a huge gap, but he just takes the highway everywhere. Hehe.

But it is possible depending on how it is driven. Also, though, the area he currently lives in is flat(no hills whatsoever), so that may help.

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Old 05-19-2005, 06:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

From what Im reading it appears to me that if your a traveler and drive long distances to work,it pays to spend a few more bucks,can the ION,the Aveo,Cavalier and put yourself into a Impala,Buick Ultra or Caddy.Enjoy the room,the power,the safety and the prestige of owning a bigger car.In the ad the Impala actually gets better milage then the Cavalier,malibu,Vibe,sunfire,Grand Am,Saab9.3,and Grand Prix.

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Old 05-19-2005, 08:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

This could be like those ads in the 70s from Ford when they attempted to convince the public that it's gas hogs were actually MORE economical to drive than small cars.
I don't remember exactly how they massaged the EPA figures. It may have been something on the order of MPG vs. passenger load [6 passenger capacity vs. 4 ] and trunk space. It was ludicrous.
Maybe the CA. cars are different, but the Mailbu 4s here in LA were rated at 35 HWY. Go figure. But then specs are different for certain high pollution states.

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Old 05-19-2005, 12:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by whacker
Small cars should be pushing 40 mpg regularly (like some Toyotas). Most of 'em today don't get out of the low 30s. Poop!
My '97 SC2 5-sp can push 39-40 mpg on the highway. No way I'm trading this car willingly.

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Old 05-19-2005, 12:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by whacker
Small cars should be pushing 40 mpg regularly (like some Toyotas). Most of 'em today don't get out of the low 30s. Poop!
Problem is with weight.
Buyers today want power windows, locks, seats, DVD players, A/C standard even on the low end models. All these things add weight.
Safety equipment adds more. Add several airbags and their modules, and you have one bloated small car.

BTW, newer Toyotas are't pushing 40 mpg these days unless it is the Prius.

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Old 05-19-2005, 02:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

Hmmm... Seems like I've seen ads for the Corolla (not the sport pkg.) and definitely the Echo at maybe 38 or better EPA hwy. Maybe I'm wrong.

I owned a '91 Escort wgn. 5spd., with air, cruise, manual windows, 13 inch wheels, std. 88 hp engine. I regularly got 40 plus mpg on the hwy. I enjoyed that car a lot. After the Escort went away and the Focus appeared, I started to notice how all manufacturers' "small" cars were becoming larger and more powerful ("small and tall," as some auto press people like to refer to them). How does the coefficient of drag (aerodynamics) of today's "small cars" compare to that of small cars of the previous decade? MitsuMirage changed to Lancer, Saturn S-series changed to Ion, Hyundai Elantra already had a 130 or 140 hp engine, etc. I was looking to replace my Escort in 2001, but saw that all the newer cars didn't have the rated mileage I was looking for, and thus checked out a used '99 SW2 auto trans, which I eventually bought. Even though I only rarely break 35-36 mpg in it, and I have all the common Saturn S-series problems (oil consumption, occasional reverse slams, lots of squeaks and rattles), I'm glad I got it, as it's one of the last of a dying breed. That is, a small car designed when small cars were considered a purposed idea, for people who could appreciate the package, before all the rethink about the market and how bigger and more powerful was supposed to be better (the SUV factor). Anybody remember the ad phrase "longer, lower, wider" that was used in the late '50s and '60s to appeal to Americans' thirst for the "bigger is better" idea? We're going through some of that all over again. Even the only really traditional small cars from Asia (Elantra/Spectra, Suzuki Forenza/Aerio, and others) don't get what I consider good mileage. But they'll talk us into spending an extra 5 grand or more for a hybrid. Collectively, we deserve what we're getting, marketing receptors that we are. Sheesh!

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Old 05-19-2005, 02:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: GMs fuzzy math mpg

If you want to know the epa mileage ratings of any car sold in the US for like the past 20 years go to www.fueleconomy.gov

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