April 20, 2007

It makes me feel warm all over!

I was wandering around the Internet last night (no, you don't need to know why) and came across the EPA's automobile fuel economy website that lists the government rating for cars both past and present. Being ever the curious sort, I thought I'd check on what the ol' homely lump of iron was originally rated at.

I have been somewhat concerned about mileage, and thought I might not be getting as good useage as I should, because one does tend to hear about some REALLY impressive consumption rates. Some of the Stupid People boards I haunt have people claiming nearly 30 mpg, which I found disturbingly high. No real reason to think mine should be quite that high, but still, you don't want to be wasting too much.

I have a daily round-trip commute of 30 miles, with about 22 of that being Interstate, and the remainder a variety of surface streets. Weekends vary, but mostly they're spent doing local driving around home. Anyway, you figure maybe 70 percent highway, 30 percent city. Second, I run that A/C all the time, even in winter (although not on high, and obviously the heat control is turned to hot, but it does help keep the windshield defogged), and I don't drive particularly slow--on the Interstate, I follow traffic speed and it it's moving at 75 or 80, by gum, so do I. But I don't do a lot of floorboarding the accelerator and constant speed changing by stomping on the brake then back to full throttle. Anyway, with all that and based on my scrupulous record-keeping for the past two years, it looks like I average about 22 miles per gallon.

I looked up the Brick on the website, and was pretty surprised to see that an '86 Volvo 240 with an automatic was rated at 21 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 22 mpg average. Pretty darned astounding, I'd say, for a 21 year old hunk of metal with 235,000 miles on it would do pretty much exactly what the sticker said it should.

And let's face it--it really is just so darned sexy.

(Crossposted on Revolvoblog--yes, it DOES still exist!)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 20, 2007 11:14 AM

You're just showing off that your m0r0n project is new enough to be on the list (for some reason, a '73 Spitfire, or any other Triumph, is not on the list).

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at April 23, 2007 02:35 PM

I would never show off. It is simply not in my nature.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 23, 2007 03:09 PM

You've heard this before, but even though we've had metrics since the '70s, I still think in mpg.

My manual wagon gets better mileage than the two autos.

Posted by: kitchen hand at April 23, 2007 08:47 PM

Nowadays, automatics are just about as efficient as rowing due to electronic controls and lockup converters, but it used to be as you note, with manuals doing substantially better. Our EPA ratings show that the manual wagon for '86 was rated at 23 mpg city, 28 on the highway, with is a good 10% higher than the automatic.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 23, 2007 10:57 PM