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.

69 mpg: I beat the Canadian rating

Posted Sunday, October 2/05 in Driving efficiently

checkered flag

For those of you who are watching (i.e. me), it would appear I've finally beaten the elusive Canadian hwy fuel economy rating.

My most recent highway trip (249 km) returned 69 mpg (IMP), 4.1 L/100 km, 57.4 mpg (US).

No. Please. Hold the applause. It's not like I just took the checkered flag.

Or is it?

You have to wonder at my motivation for constantly putting my economy numbers under the microscope like this.

Is it penny-pinching?

I'll admit saving money was a factor in going from the Accord to the Firefly. The old Honda was costing me about $800 a year in maintainance and repairs, and I figured (correctly, so far) that the newer, smaller car would cut down those expenses.

But I've probably already spent more money improving the Firefly's efficiency than I'll realistically get back.

It wasn't just my Olympian driving technique that vaulted me over the line on the last fill-up. More likely it was the new front brake calipers I installed recently (the old ones were dragging a little).

Those brake calipers cost $142 for the pair, and if I attribute a generous 5% improvement in fuel economy to the repair, at $1/L I will have to drive, um (fires up Excel...), about 61,739 km to recoup the investment.

So I won't even bother to figure out the return on investment for the K&N air filter, synthetic lubricants, platinum spark plugs and new distributor cap.

sailing the hobie rat

No, it's not just for the money.

I calculate fuel consumption on each tank of gas because it's a challenge. It's a high performance activity; a technical skill; a game, like GT4 and sailboat racing.

In my university days, I took a number of car racing courses. All of which boiled down to: "how to apply a few rules of physics to your driving technique in order to squeeze the maximum possible speed from a given radius, without skidding off into the weeds." The feedback was hearing the tires sing just the right song through the curves, and out-pacing other drivers in identical cars.

Economy driving is just a different kind of performance driving: "how to apply a few rules of physics to your driving technique in order to squeeze the maximum possible distance from a given amount of fuel." The feedback is the numbers at each fill-up, and (hopefully) beating the ratings. Plus the satisfaction of knowing it's much easier on the machinery, the environment, and the wallet (if you don't go overboard with efficiency mods).

f1600 racing course video

It doesn't have the instant gratification of screaming through the curves (if only I had a trip computer), but it's not going to cost me my licence either. Driving at the limit of grip is something safely done on the track, but driving efficiently is a game you can play anywhere, all the time.

Next post: I start reviewing specific techniques of driving efficiently, from a video I produced when I was an instructor for Young Drivers of Canada (that's another story).

But for now... where's that winners' podium?

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