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Print 115 comment(s) - last by Alexstarfire.. on May 19 at 2:54 PM

Fiesta will be rated at 29/40 city/highway

Ford has been hyping its Fiesta subcompact for quite some time now. The American auto giant has been previewing European versions of the vehicle across the country for the past year and has blitzed the airwaves with Fiesta "commercials" during American Idol.

Now with production having kicked off in Mexico, Ford is proud to announced that its latest vehicle is EPA certified for up to 29 mpg in the city and an impressive 40 mpg on the highway. That 40 mpg number is for a Fiesta equipped with the 6-speed, PowerShift semi-automatic transmission. Ford has touted the 40 mpg figure before as a preliminary estimate, but now the numbers are official.

For those that like to row their own gears, mileage isn't quite as impressive. Fiestas equipped with a manual transmission will only get 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

For comparison, the most efficient versions of the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris are rated at 28/35 (city/highway) and 28/36 respectively.

"The new Fiesta is yet another car in Ford's lineup that delivers class-leading fuel economy," said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering. "From Super Duty to Fusion Hybrid and the new Mustang V-6, Ford is committed to fuel economy leadership with every new vehicle it introduces in all segments."

"We worked hard to deliver the class-leading fuel economy Ford is becoming synonymous for," said Fiesta chief nameplate engineer Steve Pintar. "To be the only vehicle in the segment to deliver 40 mpg is something we feel consumers will appreciate."

Pricing for the Fiesta starts at $13,320 for the base sedan and creeps all the way up to $18,190 for an SES hatchback equipped with the PowerShift transmission. All versions of the Fiesta are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 120 hp and generates 109 lb-ft of torque.

The current four-cylinder engine is expected to be replaced shortly with a three-cylinder EcoBoost engine which should further increase fuel economy both in the city and on the highway.



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Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By hellokeith on 5/17/2010 3:47:59 AM , Rating: -1
had better gas mileage. :/

And there are some older Volkswagen diesel compacts that topped the Metro.




RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By plinkplonk on 5/17/10, Rating: -1
RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By B3an on 5/17/10, Rating: 0
By martinrichards23 on 5/17/2010 4:46:54 AM , Rating: 2
I think its just because the way the numbers are calculated in America is different to Europe.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Keeir on 5/17/2010 5:01:12 AM , Rating: 3
Sigh...
#1. US doesn't use Imperial Gallons. This accounts for a great deal of difference

#2. US EPA cycles are alot more demanding than the Euro cycles. Google can help you out here.

#3. The very close cousin to this car acchieves 60.1 MPG on the Euro Extra-Urban Cycle

#4. Although Europeans might enjoy riding around in tiny slow cars to say a few gallons of gas, the average NA resident is used to larger and faster cars. Ford is pretty much brining the only Engine from the Euro version that a NA resident would accept... (BTW, slower than 10s in 0-62 mph is essentially a non-starter in a sedan in the United States)


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By alanore on 5/17/2010 5:39:47 AM , Rating: 3
The Average fuel price in the USA is $2.85 a US gallon.

In the UK £1.21(per litre) X 3.7854 = £4.58 a US gallon, with todays exchange rate that equals $6.61 a gallon.

It not that we 'enjoy' driving 'tiny slow cars' It just that it costs us twice as much to drive them anywhere.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By sebmel on 5/17/2010 12:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
You're right about the fuel price. There are other reasons too:

a) Europe generally has narrower roads than the US, and smaller parking bays.

b) Europe lacks the US farmer chic. Tell a well-off European that he'd look good driving a pick-up and he'll be rolling on the floor in no time. They like to pose like a rich landowner in a Range Rover, but not like the farmhand in his pick-up truck.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Spuke on 5/17/2010 7:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
b) Europe lacks the US farmer chic. Tell a well-off European that he'd look good driving a pick-up and he'll be rolling on the floor in no time.
"Only in America" is it cool to drive a work vehicle. LOL! The richer you are in the US, the poorer you look. "Celebrities" don't count.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Reclaimer77 on 5/17/2010 12:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
You left out the VAT tax, which automatically puts any car you really would like to drive out of the average Europeans price range.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By AnnihilatorX on 5/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By theapparition on 5/17/2010 8:05:36 AM , Rating: 3
Eh no.

FAIL #1. Speed signs would increase by a ratio of 1.6. A 30mph zone would read 48km/h. What numbnut won't see 48km/h and think it would be OK to go 48mph?

FAIL #2. Assuming people are smart.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/10, Rating: -1
RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By vazili on 5/17/2010 9:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
Shrinking? The US economy is growing again, its europe's that shrinking...


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 9:29:16 AM , Rating: 4
It's still shrinking with respect to the rest of the world, i.e. in terms of its gross share of aggregate world GDP.

When the US manufactured half of all goods on earth, it could set its own standards. As its share continually shrinks, that independence is going to be increasingly costly and difficult to maintain.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By theapparition on 5/17/2010 9:09:24 AM , Rating: 2
Seems that humor is a sense you lack.

Now I'm wondering if some of your insightful posts were just luck.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 9:25:02 AM , Rating: 3
"Seems that humor is a sense you lack."

I'd never dream of disputing that point.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By afkrotch on 5/18/2010 3:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
Except that the US has...oh...a bajillion signs. You know how long and how much money that would cost to do? 1 state probably has more signs than those "dozens of other nations" that switched.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Strunf on 5/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By mellomonk on 5/17/2010 8:46:53 AM , Rating: 3
The current Focus RS has around 300hp. There has been many fans calling for importing it to the US, but there probably isn't enough performance compact enthusiasts with large enough bank accounts to justify the cost of federalizing it.

The 'average' US car/SUV/CUV would pack around 3.5L in displacement and have around 200hp. Quite a bit more in both departments then the 'average' EU car. Recent direct injection V6s are sporting around 275 to 305hp. Displacements in the US are trending down as SUV sales slip in favor of CUVs and cars, but hp per L is rising rapidly as newer tech such as DI comes online, as well as a return to forced induction, ie turbocharging and supercharging.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By afkrotch on 5/18/2010 3:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
Except for the fact that when the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (280 hp, 2.0L engine, AWD) and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI (300 hp, 2.5L engine AWD) came over, they made a killing. Still do.

I'd love to see the Focus RS hit the states, but the thing is. Will it do well enough against the Lancer and Impreza. Those markets where many are willing to fork out $30k for a car, but only if it's Japanese. There never has been much of a market for a domestic sport compact in the states. They'd probably just think,"Ewwww, it's a Ford" and not much else after that.

I personally would still never by the Focus RS, until there's an AWD model. That's if you can get me off my GC8 Impreza.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Keeir on 5/17/2010 11:50:26 AM , Rating: 2
Hello Strunf

lets break down the Ford Fiesta.

The US model? 119 Hp only

European Engines
well... the highest is the 119/120 HP engine.

Now, I'm no math whiz, but it seems fairly obvious to me that the mean and median US Fiesta will have more power than the mean and median Euro Fiesta.

This is true in almost all the cars Europeans make. Sometimes they have a few higher power variants that don't come to the US, but the vast number of sales pe model typically at lower than the base engine offered in the US


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Wieland on 5/17/2010 5:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
MPG is not a standard unit. 1 UK MPG = ~0.833 US MPG

Your Peugeot's mileage would be ~38. That is impressive, but we're talking about the EPA ratings here. Every car sold in the US put through a standardized efficiency test made to simulate typical driving conditions. The test was updated a few years ago and is now pretty accurate, although conservative.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By RealTheXev on 5/17/2010 7:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
If your a really good manual driver, then yes you should get the same or better millage, but semi-automatic technology is based on manual transmissions. Ford has been working on its technology for awhile now, and its finally making its way into the market. The transmission is basically a clutch-less manual transmission with computers doing the shifting. This is why for the average driver, the millage will be better on the semi-automatic.

As for why we don't get many diesel cars, its this old prejudice left over from the 1970's during the oil crises. Many old farts see diesels as unreliable because stupid US domestics car makers haphazardly converted gas engine designs into diesels to try and put more diesels on the market. That is why euro cars generally get better "millage" because its not gas/petrol millage they are getting those ratings at, its diesel millage.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By theapparition on 5/17/2010 8:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If your a really good manual driver, then yes you should get the same or better millage

Even the best drivers can't shift in less than a few miliseconds, nor computer control clutch slip, all coupled directly to engine managment controls that can cut fueling.

For as much as I love manual cars, thier day as being the mileage kings are over. Even slushboxes are getting better mileage on some instances.

But go ahead and keep thinking your going to out-drive all the computer engine control routines.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Kurz on 5/17/2010 4:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
>.> its about the gear ratio.
a fifth gear in a auto is different from a fifth in a manual.
A manual Revs higher.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By MadMan007 on 5/17/2010 9:05:58 AM , Rating: 2
I am curious if anyone knows how EPA testing differes between auto and manual.Obviously the auto is pretty straightforward, it's just run as-is and can be tweaked pretty well to get good MPG but how is the manual run in the tests. Redlined in every gear? Always in gear or shifted to neutral when possible? These differences could add up.

My current car is an older one that's rated 18 city 24 highway but I get ~28 mixed average with maybe 1/2-2/3 of that being on the highway. It's a manual and I don't go crazy with the throttle so I have to wonder how heavily shifting style affects these numbers.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By thelostjs on 5/18/2010 2:15:10 PM , Rating: 1
i took issue with the statement about the manual transmission doing worse. Then, i realized that the gear ratios in the manual transmission are of course different! Explaining the similar city result and the disimilar highway result. car and driver described the revs as unpleasently high on the highway. just like every other manual equipped 4cylinder. However, i always said, the closer the better :)


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By PorreKaj on 5/17/2010 4:12:42 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, I am dissapoint...

40MPG sounds well for a european as myself.

But after a quick googletrip i found out that it is the same as 17km pr L

My astra from 96 get that milage... and its not even diesel.
My first car was a Golf II '86 diesel. Even when i drove "normal" and not in Super-eco-mode i could get arround 60mpg...


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Wieland on 5/17/2010 5:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
40 MPG in the US = ~25 km per L


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Wieland on 5/17/2010 5:06:43 AM , Rating: 2
Scratch that.

40 MPG in the US = 6.6 km per L, 15 Liters per 100km


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Wieland on 5/17/2010 5:09:15 AM , Rating: 2
Scratch all of that. It's late


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By AstroGuardian on 5/17/2010 5:17:22 AM , Rating: 2
There is no passenger vehicle on this world except for the Chevy (Daewoo) Spark and Volkswagen Lupo with 0.8L 3 cyl engines that could reach 25km per Liter in normal conditions.... This is a first hand information. What MPG is that?


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By alanore on 5/17/2010 5:55:01 AM , Rating: 2
VW Polo BlueMotion does 100Km per 3.8l with its 1.4TDI 3pot

If you throw in the UK Extra-Urban cycle there is over 20cars that can achieve 1 litre per 25km


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By PorreKaj on 5/17/2010 1:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea what my '86 golf was rated from manufacturer.. but the numbers i mention is measured by myself :)
( maybe the tripmeter was broken? ^^ )


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By afkrotch on 5/18/2010 4:28:26 AM , Rating: 2
The 7th Gen Daihatsu Mira gets 27 km per liter (63.5 mpg). Course, it's a 0.6L 3 cyclinder engine with a sweet 58 hp.

I owned a 92 Daihatsu Mira J Turbo. Same engine, turbocharge producing 65 hp. It was fast, with a very low top end. Not that it needed much of a top end on Japanese roads. Still getting 54 mpg. Course if a fast moving bull rammed your car, you'd probably die in the collision.

It was probably a bad idea for me to modify the suspension and lighten the car though. It's braking turned horrid, since the car was prone to bouncing under hard breaking. Like a stone skipping across water. Course, I could take turns a higher speeds. I kept it as such.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Keeir on 5/17/2010 5:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
The Euro Cycle Extra Urban for this car's near twin is 4.7 l/100 km...or 21 km per 1 L

Your missing US Gal-->Imp Gallons and the difference between Euro Cycle and EPA cycles.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Keeir on 5/17/2010 5:12:11 AM , Rating: 5
Sigh

#1. Geo Metro was tiny and fairly unsafe. The Fiesta is a good 5%-20% larger in every dimension. Most tellingly, the Fiesta wieghs in at 500-750 more lbs than the Geo Metro.

#2. The EPA 2008 ratings for the 2000 Chevy Metro? 41 MPG HWY

#3. In terms of real pollution per mile.. a 2011 Fiesta emits like 1/10 that of a 2000 Chevy Metro!

So your upset that a larger, faster, safer, more comfortable car that emits less toxic pollution per mile gets nearly the same rating as a peice of junk from 10+ years ago...

hrm.....


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 5:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, well the 2002 Honda Civic HX gets 31 city, 40 hwy on the "new" epa cycle and the 1992-1995 Civic VX "Federal" (has lean-burn) is rated at 39 City, 50 Hwy and it's a hatchback... Either way, cars are most certainly capable of better mileage, though I think Ford is scared to come out with a high mileage vehicle because it will either cannibalize their hybrid sales or they're concerned they'll be too slow.

There is one thing I'd like to point out with these fuel economy numbers, these fuel economy numbers achieved by these older vehicles are ALL stick-shift vehicles, not automatics.. With that said, Ford has no excuse for not giving the option for a Fiesta with a manual transmission equipped version that gets the similar mileage to the two vehicles I listed in the first paragraph.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By fishman on 5/17/2010 7:17:58 AM , Rating: 2
The new epa cycle is used starting in 2008. Some cars had their fuel economy ratings drop by more than 10%.

As others have mentioned, cars today are heavier to meet the new crash protection requirements. And lean burn engines have trouble meeting the current pollution requirements.

You say that you think that Ford is "scared". How about the other car manufacturers? Where are your Hondas you raved about? If it is so easy to do what you say, why will the Fiesta beat the Hondas in fuel economy? Why can't Honda's CRV beat out the (non hybrid) Ford Escape fuel economy?


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 9:04:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The new epa cycle is used starting in 2008. Some cars had their fuel economy ratings drop by more than 10%.

I know, that's why I specifically said, "on the "new" epa cycle". If I were to use the "old" epa cycle, the numbers would be significantly higher for all vehicles involved.

quote:
As others have mentioned, cars today are heavier to meet the new crash protection requirements. And lean burn engines have trouble meeting the current pollution requirements.


Your point about weight is irrelevant because the Fiesta weighs nearly exactly the same as the Civic HX I mentioned in the post you responded to, yet it gets better mileage. The Civic VX, while lighter, is only 300lbs less, which is certainly achievable. Also, even the non-leanburn Civic VX (California) has a "new epa" rating of 37 city, 45 highway which is still much higher than any of the other vehicles. One of the reasons for the better mileage in the VX over the HX is because of the transmission, which has a 3.25 final drive vs the 3.722 final drive in the '96-'00 HX and 3.842 final drive in the '01-'05 HX.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By fishman on 5/17/2010 9:17:51 AM , Rating: 3
So where are the new Hondas that will beat the Fiesta gas mileage?


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Hoser McMoose on 5/18/2010 4:46:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're not making sense. The old vehicles were rated on the old cycle, not the new one.

When the EPA brought out their new rating system they also released *estimates* for all the old cars that had been rated under the old system.

Note that they did NOT re-test the cars on the new system. Actually I believe all they did was subtract a fixed percentage from the old rating to estimate the car would perform on the new system.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By teldar on 5/17/2010 8:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
So... lets forget all about technical capabilities of a computer controlled system like new drive trains and just go to your complaint about FORD (not mentioning anyone else not doing it either) not giving you a manual with the same efficiency as the new automatics.

1. Manuals probably need to be more robust because people are going to drive them harder more of the time than a comparable automatic. This makes them heavier. This adds weight and takes away efficiency.

2. Do you know what it would cost to develop a new manual tranny for every single different model of car? Ford and GM cooperated on a transmission for trucks and spent over $1B on development.
Not too economical.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 8:39:25 AM , Rating: 1
Uh, what? Manual transmissions are pretty much inherently more robust lb for lb compared to an automatic transmission because automatics have far more "stuff" just for gear shifting. I don't know about you, but I rarely hear about Manual Transmissions failing while I've heard automatic transmissions failing quite often, especially when they're paired with engines that are too powerful for them. (See Ford Tarus, Windstar, Aerostar -I think?, Honda Accords '98-'02, etc.. )

As for "developing a manual tranny", they wouldn't have to because they probably already have one in europe that would be suitable for the job. Finally, even if the one from the european market wasn't "tall enough" (low revs in top gear vs high revs in top gear), they could easily just get an appropriately sized final drive which would cost nearly nothing. I know this to be easily done because that's exactly what Honda did with its 'various' trims it had where the EX had a "short" gearing and the CX/VX (92-95), HX (96-05) had "tall" gearing, but otherwise the gear ratios 1st-5th were about the same for the most part.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 8:49:30 AM , Rating: 4
Goku, sorry but you have things in reverse. It's not that the manual transmission is somehow worse than your average manual, it's that this automatic transmission is considerably better than a standard automatic.

In the past, automatics always rated lower efficiency than manuals because they were heavier, and had a certain amount of energy-wasting slippage. This automatic, however, is essentially, however, a manual tranmission with shifting controlled by a computer. The slip is gone, and so is most of the additional weight. And since the computer determines when to shift, efficiency is higher.

Can you do square roots in your head as fast as a calculator? No? Then don't be surprised that a computer can pick optimum shift points better than you.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/17/2010 6:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well firstly, the higher EPA fuel economy numbers in the semi-automatic over the manual have nothing to do with the semi-automatic transmission's computer. The reason being, these vehicles are tested under all the same conditions. The only reason it would get better fuel economy than the manual is because it is geared higher than the manual since the auto manufacturers have concluded that the only people who would buy a manual are buying one for performance and not economy. Assuming this semi-automatic transmission is as efficient as the manual transmission (no pumping losses or anything of the sort) then they should be dead even in fuel efficiency, assuming they're geared the same.

If there are any gains to be made with the semi-automatic transmission's computer, it will be in real world conditions like when you have inexperienced drivers leaving the car in a higher gear than necessary for the given load and speed. Since the efficiency losses of the automatic are eliminated with this more advanced transmission, for most people, they'll see improved fuel economy compared with them rowing their own gears since people at times can be absentminded, let alone aren't knowledgeable enough about their own car.

So while this semi-automatic transmission will benefit most people, there will still be a segment of the population that would be better served with a manual, such as performance enthusiasts who want to be in control and "hypermilers". One reason for rowing your own gears is that while the computer has a lot of sensors to read from and can calculate quickly, it can't predict or see what is up ahead like a person can.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Keeir on 5/17/2010 11:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
The 1992-1995 Civic VX falls into the same category as the Chevy/Geo Metro.

The 2002 Honda Civic HX is better example. Yet your still left with a car that was less safe, emitted more pollution per mile, and had less features.

I mean, this is not a global conspiracy people. If no Japanese, European, or United States automaker can make a car for the US market regulations or market expectations.... then it must be hard!

Lets take that 2002 Civic HX. Why did Honda stop selling it? Federal safety regulations? Federal EPA pollution regulations? Not a popular choice at the dealership? Why? Why does the best civic get 36 mpg highway?


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By bety on 5/17/2010 6:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
When I was young, my Honda CRX got 40mpg, and some fuel efficient versions got 55! It was a heckuva lot cooler to be seen in to ;-)


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By teldar on 5/17/2010 8:14:32 AM , Rating: 2
And it was a 4 wheeled, 1400 lb death trap compared to today's cars. The new fiesta weighs 2500 pounds to meet current safety legislation. Do you think that makes a difference?
Lets compare apples and oranges.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By bety on 5/17/2010 10:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! It was hardly a "deathtrap". Geez...kids today.

However, I am well aware of the weight differential. I was not trying to say that current cars do not have other advantages!

Only making a note of how, in terms of actual MPG, we've gone backwards in some ways!

Thus, it's hard for me to get excited over a fiesta with 40mpg.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By goku on 5/18/2010 3:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
The only high MPG vehicle that I'm aware of that weighed that little was the 1986 Chevrolet Sprint ER; even the '89 - '94 Geo Metros weighed AT LEAST 1650lbs. For those who aren't aware, the "Chevy Sprint" is the 1st generation "metro" with the "Geo Metros" being the Second generation ('89-'94) and then the ('95-'01) being the third generation, which btw are all just rebadged Suzuki Swifts. The beloved CRX weighed at a minimum 1800lbs and got up to 2100lbs in the higher trims. Also, the CRX was crash tested and received 4-5 stars; 5 for driver, 4 for passenger, then in later years it was 5 for passenger, 4 for driver which is very good. However, the Chevrolet Sprint received 1 star and was probably the worst rated vehicle I had ever seen...in line with the 80s Chevrolet Suburban (also 1 star rated). It's not hard to make a good crash test rated vehicle that weighs very little, what's difficult is making that same vehicle safe against a much heavier vehicle. There is a reason why people die when they crash head-on into a semi-truck, regardless of what they're driving.

As for the Fiesta weighing what is weighs, most the reason isn't the safety systems but because it's actually a pretty big car inside..big enough for at least 2 tall people (over 6 feet) to comfortably sit in the back seats. Safety systems don't weigh 1000lbs, what weighs 1000lbs are "luxuries" and the fact that the vehicle's shell isn't made of iron oxide (it can actually withstand a crash). You can call a vehicle that comes with a rigid body a "safety system" but I feel it serves at least two purposes, one is better handling and the other is safety..

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here, let me just point out how much bigger say a '97 Civic Hatchback is compared with an '88 Chevy Sprint, much like the one I started off this response with.

Chevrolet Sprint Metro (85?-88) Rear leg room, 29.8", Front Headroom 37", Rear Headroom 36"
Geo Metro hatch (89-94) Rear leg room, 29.8" Front Headroom 37.8", Rear Headroom 36.5"
Civic Hatch (96-00) Rear leg room, 34.1" Front Headroom 38.8", Rear Headroom 37.2".

Also, the shoulder room in the Civic is about 1" more than the metros.. But the reason is very obvious for why the metros weigh so little and have so little interior room (relatively). The '85-'88 Sprint Metro is only 144.5" long and that is increased to 147.4" for the '89-'94 Geo Metros while the '96-'00 Civic Hatchback is a "whopping" 164.5" long.

To conclude, the weight of these vehicles is what it is not because of "onerous" government mandates (there really aren't all that many) but because people don't want to feel like sardines and because people think they need 3 moonroofs, air conditioning, power everything, an assload of sound deadening, etc. If you scrap all of those luxuries, you'll quickly see the weight of vehicles fall. Either make the vehicles smaller, remove some "luxuries" or switch to what we currently consider "exotic materials" by using lexan instead of glass, or aluminum instead of steel for the body. Now, if you want to talk about how costs to purchase a new vehicle has climbed since the mandate for such things as car airbags, I'm all ears because those things aren't cheap.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By bety on 5/18/2010 6:17:36 AM , Rating: 2
Wow. Great post.

Yes, I was going to point out that my CRX was nowhere near 1400lbs...but once people start throwing around rhetorical nonsense like "deathtrap", it's a safe bet that they just want to vent their emotional bias, and aren't genuinely interested in a thoughtful, informed discussion!


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By Rasterman on 5/17/2010 10:15:26 AM , Rating: 4
It is a common mistake to discount the additional weight and impact of safety standards. To see the direct results of such safety equipment watch the following video of a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g

I think after anyone watching video would dismiss all notions of older cars being better, it is simply nostalgia impairing your judgment.

"It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection," says Institute president Adrian Lund. What this test shows is that automakers don't build cars like they used to. They build them better."


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 10:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree with all your points, that test was considerably skewed; you can read about it here:

http://www.examiner.com/x-12024-SF-Classic-Cars-Ex...

With the infamous weak "x-frame" design and welds a half-century old, one shouldn't be surprised the 1959 Bel Air did so poorly.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By RandomUsername3463 on 5/17/2010 11:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
Weight does not equal safety. Engineering additional structural members adds weight, which equals safety.

i.e. your old 1950s cars don't have crumple zones, seat belts, air bags, etc, so they are not very safe.

Even relatively modern (heavy) SUVs can be very dangerous in a roll-over vs. much lighter car.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By porkpie on 5/17/2010 11:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
All else being equal, sheer weight does add a measure of safety in a head on collision (though it does nothing for single-car accidents). You can't get around conservation of momentum.

That said, the effect of structural strength, crumple zones, etc, more than outweigh a small mass differential.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By afkrotch on 5/18/2010 5:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
Depends on how much weight. A tank has a lot of weight and I can't think of too many brick walls that will stop the tank.

Bring your airbags, crumple zones, etc against a tank that's poorly designed for impacts.


RE: Geo Metro 20 years ago..
By MrFord on 5/17/2010 11:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
People tend to equal older cars to heavier cars, which is not always true.

The new Malibu weights in at 3436lbs.
The 57 BelAir? 3269lbs.


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