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.

The government lies, and my car is fat

Posted Monday, September 12/05 in Suzukiclone info

bathroom scale

My suspicion that the official mileage figures for the Firefly are overly optimistic are gradually being confirmed.

Just got back from a weekend away, having put around 750 km on the car over a couple of days. Ideal conditions were had for a high mpg run: warm temperatures (25 C), calm winds, relaxed highway driving (95 km/h average).

The results?

A very enjoyable weekend, but just 4.9 L/100 km (57.9 mpg IMP / 48.2 mpg US). This is significanly lower than what my government says the car should get.

Now, I know the government-approved figures are mostly lies. Consumer Reports recently revealed that fully 90% of 303 cars and trucks they tested for model-years 2000 to 2006 fell short of their EPA mpg figures. "Average" drivers, they say, will rarely see the figures posted on the stickers in new car windows.

But my driving style is decidedly not average. Fact is, I'm used to exceeding the official mpg ratings on a regular basis. Over the 8 years that I tracked mileage in my carefully maintained 1989 Honda Accord, I beat the ratings on almost every tank of gas, in both city and highway driving. I've also confirmed my ratings-beating driving habits in several trip-computer-equipped cars owned by a friend (VW Passat 1.8 turbo) and a relative (Cadillac Seville V8).

So why am I having so much trouble in my Firefly? Are the ratings that far out of whack? The evidence is pointing that way.

One clue: Someone seems not to have taken some basic physics into account. Just have a look at the ratings between the 3rd and 4th generation models. From the previous body style to the current one, they packed on a few extra pounds - 1650 lbs vs. 1808 lbs.

Yet despite the relative corpulence of my car compared to the previous generation, the NRCan fuel economy ratings actually increased by over 3%. Huh? Not what I would have expected to see.

Better aerodynamics? Excessive optimism?

Or is my particular car an economy dud? A gas hog among Metros? The mystery deepens.

[Update: October 2/05 - 69 mpg: I beat the Canadian rating]

Tip of the hat: to for the Consumer Reports item

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