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.

65+ vehicle modifications for better MPG

Posted Monday, October 6/08 in Mods & Tests

wrench diagram

One of the more popular pages on this site, according to the traffic logs, is the list of modifications I've done to my car to increase its efficiency.

Apparently people are hungry for quality information - real ways to save fuel that don't involve dubious gadgets pitched in infomercials, additives promoted with no scientific basis, or hare-brained schemes that occasionally gain traction on the Internet.

With that in mind, the members over at EcoModder have recently compiled a comprehensive list of 65+ gas saving modifications that are well understood & documented with examples.

Eight categories, plenty of examples...

The list (which is still growing/evolving) is grouped into eight categories:

The cool thing is that the majority of the mods on the list have already been done by EcoModders, so plenty of links to examples are provided.

Aero dominates...

Civic boat tail - challenging the status quo
Do you find this ugly? AndrewJ is challenging the status quo with his Honda Civic boat tail that increased his highway MPG by 10%

Not surprisingly (to anyone who has spent any time looking through, a healthy chunk of the list deals with aerodynamic modifications. Examples range from "mild" to "wild", and include plenty of low-hanging fruit where fuel consumption at highway speeds can be reduced by picking up where the automotive stylists left off, went wrong, or where the corporate bean counters refused to go.

Personally, I get a real kick out of seeing how some of the more "extreme" aero mods challenge our notions of what is aesthetically acceptable about our automobiles. The auto sector's business model relies to a large degree on planned obsolescense through form over function "styling", vs. proper aerodynamic "design". It's refreshing to watch people who embrace efficiency abandon status quo thinking and exclaim, "screw that, I'm putting wheel skirts on my car!"

Skinning knuckles, splitting hairs, breaking the bank...

More than a couple of the mods on the list admittedly split hairs, in terms of their impact on fuel consumption. Be forewarned: there are precious few "magic bullets" (anything that makes more than a 5% MPG improvement counts as significant, in my books). Fortunately there is a lot that can be done on the cheap (or free), and most mods aren't particularly difficult either.

To help neophytes decide which mods to tackle, an attempt has been made to loosely rate each one in three areas:

  1. mechanical skill required;
  2. impact on fuel consumption;
  3. cost of mod

An icon for each category gives some guidance there.

mods list icons

Adjust the nut behind the wheel first...

The 65+ mods list is a perfect companion to EcoModder's 100+ ecodriving/hypermiling tips list. There's no question that modifying driving habits is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to reduce fuel consumption, and it's where I'd recommend every person start out. And, bonus: you won't skin your knuckles adjusting the nut behind the wheel!

Resources ...

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