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.

Better mileage through video games

Posted Thursday, October 20/05 in Driving efficiently

better mpg through video games

Two very different games are available online that try to teach users how to drive efficiently. One's primarily a marketing tool for a car company, while the other is strictly educational.

Neither is going to give Grand Theft Auto a run for its money.

80 miles per hour in a Mariner hybrid

Up first is a Shockwave game from Ford that you can play in your web browser. It's meant to promote the company's Mariner hybrid SUV (same as the Escape hybrid).

Mariner game

Your goal is to run a series of errands (dropping the kids off at school; stopping at the post office) while learning to optimize use of the hybrid system for maximum efficiency. You quickly learn that - as with other modes of propulsion - it's best to accelerate gently, keep your speed relaxed, conserve momentum, and take it easy on the brakes.

Oddly, there's no fuel economy display for feedback. Instead, we get a far less useful accumulation of "points" earned, and a slowly dipping fuel gauge.

I found after a couple of runs feathering the throttle and progressing through my errands, I got bored. Pretty quickly it turned into a real game - how fast could I get the Mariner going in urban traffic before running into the back of another car! (Answer: about 80 mph.)

I've test-driven a couple of actual hybrids (1st and 2nd generation Priuses). A Shockwave game on the computer just can't compete with the real-life video game consoles these cars have bolted right in the middle of their dashboards (if you've driven one, you know what I mean).

- To play, click "Learn a new way of driving", at:
- First sighted at


HNR game

222.4 mpg with the Dukes of Holland

Next up is a "game" from those crazy Dutch folks.

It's part of their "new driving" campaign (see related post), but it's really more of a simulator than a game. Fortunately, there's an English version, but (regardless of your language choice) you have to download and install it on your local machine to play.

The game play is far more realistic than the Mariner effort. Another difference is you're driving a manual shift car (as Europeans tend to do much more than us lazy and less skilled North Americans).

You also get more useful feedback: instantaneous fuel consumption (in liters/100 km), contextual driving tips at the bottom of the screen, and a disembodied Dutch-accented voice that periodically chimes in with praise or gentle criticism - "You're driving too slowly - did you just come from one of our special coffee shops?"

There are no errands to run. It's freeform - drive wherever you like (though you get "reset" if you drive too far off the roadway ... or through buildings). The object is just to drive as efficiently as possible for 5 minutes.

The competitive part comes at the end. If you're online, you have the option of comparing your score to other players' scores on "the new driving" website. If you're in the top 100, you get listed. Regardless of whether you break the top 100, you find out your position in the total rankings (I'm number 368).

But apparently, the real game (as can be seen in the top 100 scores), is to figure out how to trick the program into getting super incredible fuel economy. Congratulations to Schelte Brandsma, currently number 1 with 1.27 L/100 km (222.4 mpg (imp) / 185.2 mpg (US)).

- Link (to download):
- Link (top 100 list):


Update: Added Nov. 19/05

Special mention: Grand Turismo 4 for PS2

GT4 Prius

You can drive a 2nd generation Prius - complete with fuel consumption feedback - in GT4. My brother-in-law and I have wanted to have a head-to-head "mpg" competition to see who could complete the quickest lap of a circuit entirely in EV mode, but my 3 year-old nephew won't hear of it. Too slow! Too boring! He only wants to watch us race Corvettes and Vipers.

Taking this idea to its logical conclusion, Sony and Toyota teamed up to create a special Japanese-market version of the game called Gran Turismo 4 Prius Trial Version.

According to "In addition to a standard time attack race, the Prius Trial Version enables players to race around a track attempting to conserve fuel at all points. At the end of the race, the game reveals where you wasted gasoline while racing."

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