My Pontiac Firefly / Chevrolet Metro / Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift welcomes fuel efficiency nerds everywhere

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Latest fuel economy stats
for my '98 Firefly 1.0L 5-speed
  best: 2.3 125.1 104.2
 worst: 6.4  44.1  36.8
prev.3: 3.3  82.3  68.6
   all: 3.8  73.4  61.1
L/100km | mpg IMP | mpg US
Jul 28/07: more, graph, calc.
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Best non-hybrid MPG: Mitsubishi Mirage
Highest MPG for a new car: Mitsubishi Mirage?
Mitsubishi's 1.2L, 3-cylinder Mirage is the first new non-hybrid car that can match an old Metro's mileage. The company says 44 mpg (US) highway, 37 city. (Some drivers are already beating that in various economy driving contests.) How? An efficient engine, very light weight and aerodynamic design.

Cheapest to own? 2015 Nissan Micra Forum
2015 Nissan Micra Forum
The Micra's fuel economy isn't its most notable feature -- the $10,000 price is. That makes it one of the cheapest cars to own. And its 109hp, 1.6L engine and good power-to-weight ratio means it's fun to drive too.

Latest 10 posts:
1. Recipe for getting 99.7 mpg from a Geo Metro
2. - famous aerodynamic Honda Civic gets a web site
3. Snapshot: effect of tire pressure on rolling resistance
4. 65+ vehicle modifications for better MPG
5. Metro mania: forget stocks, put your money in old Geos!
6. 100+ Hypermiling / ecodriving tips for better gas mileage
7. Experiment: how long should a block heater be plugged in?
8. Everything old is new again: Car and Driver magazine modifies an econobox to improve MPG
9. Project Convertible XFi: alfresco efficiency
10. The floor is yours: MetroMPG opens a fuel efficiency forum
11 ... 64. Show all posts

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Good MPG forums: I spend a lot of time at and have also been known to lurk around

Chevrolet Aveo forum - discussion of the Chevrolet Aveo and its siblings (Pontiac Wave, Pontiac G3, Suzuki Swift+, Daewoo Kalos).

> Lots more Metro links...
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Send me a note:
darin AT metrompg D-O-T com,
or here

MetroMPG has opened a fuel economy forum
Read about the project here, or go straight to
ScanGauge fuel economy computer Save fuel with a ScanGauge II fuel economy computer.
I personally recommend this tool. I've owned both versions (I and II) and can't say enough good things about it. If you're serious about saving fuel, get one.

For more information and to order, visit EcoModder.

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Posted Saturday, December 3/05 in Mods & Tests

K&N filter Busted!

Let's get right to it. The second round of tests on the 3 filter types support the results from the first round. That is, there's no consistently measurable difference in MPG between the filter variations at a fixed speed.

So, performance filters don't work then? Oh, I wouldn't say that. While their web site mentions mileage repeatedly, K&N never explicitly promises reduced fuel consumption. There are could's and may's, but the only truly guilty party here is me, for being overly optimistic about the potential gains from shelling out the big bucks.

More below: details of the results; what else was learned from the tests; and why, despite all this, I may still stick with a high-flow filter.

Continued inside...

Posted Thursday, December 1/05 in Mods & Tests

papier mache supplies At the completion of the first part of my recent air filter test, I found myself at the far end of the stretch of highway I had been using for my test course.

I was ready to head for home, but not wanting to "waste" the opportunity to collect more data on the return leg, I decided to throw in a one-shot aerodynamic test, just for the fun of it.

I chose a simple aerodynamic mod known as grille blocking, because it's quick and easy to set up. The results were surprising.

Continued inside...

Posted Monday, November 28/05 in Mods & Tests

performance air filter Unencumbered by the thought process, I bought an $80 CDN "performance" air filter shortly after I got Firefly #1 (and that filter recently migrated to the new Blackfly).

My (minimal) reasoning at the time was that anything that reduces the amount of energy needed to pump in intake air should be beneficial to fuel economy. And that's what performance filters are supposed to do - reduce restrictive airflow into the motor compared to stock paper filters.

Since then, I've learned a bit more about engine air flow which cast some doubt on my original "thinking". So I was back to wondering, will a high-flow filter really result in higher MPG? To find out, I put 3 filter types to the test using the recently acquired ScanGauge.

Continued inside...

Posted Thursday, November 24/05 in Suzukiclone info

Mark's Metro What is it with the Internet, Canadians, and their Suzukiclones? Automotive exhibitionists, eh?

Check out Mark's Metro to follow his ongoing adventures. He covers it all: from rationale for wanting one, to search, to purchase, to hurculean repair efforts, to MPG.

Ever searching for better mileage, he experimented with acetone for a few tanks and recorded the results.

Continued inside...

Posted Wednesday, November 23/05 in Suzukiclone info

twins Imagine it's late 1997. Two almost identical Pontiac Fireflies roll off the CAMI assembly line near the picturesque town of Ingersoll, Ontario. One is built in October, the other in November, both for the 1998 model year. They could practically be twins.

Fast forward eight years to 2005 and there's a reunion of sorts: both cars ultimately end up in my driveway with me as their owner. But their paths to this point couldn't have been more different.

Continued inside...

Posted Saturday, November 19/05 in General

Prius race The trouble with the Internet is that it's never "finished". (Though some would disagree.)

I'm continually bookmarking interesting Suzukiclone & efficiency-related pages and occasionally adding them to the MetroMPG links page as well.

I've also added a few bits of information to several older articles since originally publishing them.

Continued inside...

Posted Saturday, November 12/05 in General

Icy road sign As if we really needed another reason to hate winter.

Those of us living in northern climes have already started to notice the seasonal decline in fuel economy, even with careful attention to sagging tire pressure (probably the best known effect of the mercury's slide).

Yet, despite diligent all-around maintenance and continued careful driving, cold weather fuel consumption can be dramatically worse than in warm temperatures.

Continued inside...

Posted Saturday, November 5/05 in Mods & Tests

ScanGauge Quiz time! Fill in the blank: crack cocaine is to a drug addict as _____ is to a fuel economy nerd.

If you guessed "fuel consumption data", you get a gold star. Also, we can start our 12-step program together...

Hello, my name is Darin, and I'm a fuel economy nerd. I just bought a nifty gadget that shows my fuel consumption in real time, while driving. I've only tried it once so far (and only for a few minutes, I swear), but I can already tell that the folks at rehab are going to have serious trouble with me.

Continued inside...

Posted Tuesday, November 1/05 in Suzukiclone info

think quick! It took me several months of scanning the car ads and a couple of road trips to look at Suzukiclones before I eventually got the Firefly.

I missed out on a few incredible low-mileage cars during my search. There was serious demand for the ones that were in fantastic shape; four were snapped up by other buyers before I even had a chance to see them in person.

First, I missed out on these low-mileage examples...

Continued inside...

Posted Thursday, October 27/05 in Suzukiclone info

the holy grail - XFi To put it simply, the XFi was the automotive embodiment of the less is more philosophy - and thus it remains the king before which all Metro fuel economy nerds bow down.

Yes - as hard as it may be to believe, there was once an even more stripped-down, even more efficient version of the already legendarily stingy Metro 3-cylinder hatchback.

Continued inside...

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EcoModder fuel economy forum Note: MetroMPG has opened a fuel economy forum
Read about the project here, or go straight to

darin AT metrompg D-O-T com, or here