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 holy grail: 82 mpg in a Geo Metro XFi

Posted Thursday, October 27/05 in Suzukiclone info

the holy grail - XFi

To put it simply, the XFi was the automotive embodiment of the less is more philosophy - and thus it remains the king before which all Metro fuel economy nerds bow down.

Yes - as hard as it may be to believe, there was once an even more stripped-down, even more efficient version of the already legendarily stingy Metro 3-cylinder hatchback.

How much more efficient?

EPA 53 city / 58 hwy

In 1994, the XFi was rated at 53/58 US mpg city/hwy - that's an astounding 15%/18% better than a regular '94 3-cylinder, 5-speed Metro.

(If you speak imperial or metric, it's 63.6/69.7 mpg, or 4.4/4.1 L/100 km.)

When I first discovered the XFi on the Internet, I'm not sure, but I think I briefly heard a choir singing in the background, and the backlight on my LCD screen may have glowed brighter. In that moment, the XFi became my holy grail, and I undertook a quest to learn more about it.

'92 Metro XFi

Why so excited? Because I can already beat the US EPA highway rating in my garden variety 3-cylinder 5-speed Firefly by 4% on average, and by up to 17% under ideal conditions. Imagine if I could get my hands on an uber efficient XFi! If I could extract similar gains, that would mean highway numbers between 60-68 US mpg (72-82 imperial / 3.9-3.5 L/100 km)!

One contributor claims he can reliably get 75 mpg US at 55 mph in his modified-for-economy XFi (90 mpg imp / 3.1 L/100 km).

Be still, my beating heart. Why had I never heard about this car before?

Only in America, eh? Pity!

XFi sticker

Well, I'm probably not alone in my ignorance. Of all the Metros sold during the period it was offered (1989-1994), less than 10% wore the XFi badge - er, sticker. So they would have been easy to miss. But on top of that, if you're Canadian, you're even less likely to have seen one because I don't believe they were ever sold here at all (which is truly ironic, considering they were built in Ontario for the North American market).

No, for five short years, the XFi drove past US gas stations only, rolling proof that less is more:

- lighter curb weight (1621 vs 1650 lbs for the LSi)
- no passenger side mirror
- no a/c
- different engine computer
- different cam shaft & sprocket
- different piston design (2 vs 3 rings)
- taller final drive
- 49 hp / 58 lbs-ft vs 55 / 58

Alas, even if it had been available in Canada, the odds of finding a used one in roadworthy condition today would be slim. The average odometer would read 220,000 - 320,000 kms (at 20k/yr), and by now Ontario's salty winter roads would have turned the thin metal of this featherweight miser to swiss cheese. So it would appear this holy grail will remain out of reach (to me, anyway - you southern Americans may still have a chance).

What's in a name?

On my XFi quest, the only thing I wasn't able to learn was the meaning of the name. A discussion ensued in the teamswift fuel economy forum, and the guesses are listed below. Several suggestions seem impertinent, considering the vaulted status this car deserves in the echelon of fuel economy champions.

Like Dangerfield, it seems sometimes a Geo just can't get no respect.

"XFi" interpretations ...

Xtra Frugal injection

Xenophobe Financial independence

X-Files immobilizer

Xtraordinarily Frugal intentions

Xtra Fuel inside

Xample For insight (Honda)

Xtra Friggin inferior

Xtinguishes Female interest

More XFi ...

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