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.

Honda hybrid quiz answers

Posted Monday, September 19/05 in Driving efficiently

ignition key

The Accord Hybrid technologies responsible for improvements of 8 mpg in the city and 7 mpg on the highway over the non-hybrid Accord:

(A) electric motor assist
(B) cylinder deactivation (3 cyl. mode)
(C) automatic engine shut off (idle-stop)
(D) improved aerodynamics

...result in these increases in fuel economy:

A. 57% of the highway mpg improvement (4.0 mpg of the 7 mpg increase)
B. 38% of the highway mpg improvement (2.65 of 7 mpg)
D. 05% of the highway mpg improvement (0.35 of 7 mpg)

A. 60% of the city improvement (4.8 of 8 mpg)
B. 15% of the city improvement (1.2 of 8 mpg)
C. 25% of the city improvement (2.0 of 8 mpg)

"So what! I drive a 15-year-old Metro!"

Well, unless your Metro is electric, there is one feature in the list of Honda technologies that applies to you. All gas Metros come factory-equipped with the idle-stop feature: the ignition key.

I regularly shut my engine off when it's not needed: railway crossings; lengthy red lights; traffic lineups; you name it. Crawling in traffic on a downhill grade? Guess what - my engine is probably off, while gravity pulls me along.

What about power steering and brakes when the motor is off? In a Metro, the steering is usually manual to begin with, so no big deal. And a vacuum reserve provides several assisted brake applications even after the engine stops. Besides, unassisted brakes in a car this light are manageable anyway.

I have read online (but can't find any evidence to back it up) that in some European countries, drivers beyond 2nd or 3rd in line at traffic lights are required to switch off. Certainly, anti-idling laws and campaigns are common in North America (where they apply to parked vehicles).

It's not practical to shut off as frequently as the computer-controlled Honda would - it would probably be hard on a "normal" starter (plus battery and charging system).

So a 2 mpg improvement in efficiency from a "manual" idle-stop system is likely out of reach. But it still shows that strategic use of the ignition key is bound to have a worthwhile effect on fuel economy.

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