23 November 2008

US automakers v. the world: pathetic

i really enjoyed reading this article about green motoring. I hadn't realized Mazda even made a "2" model, and at 65.7 mpg (imperial gallons), it's number 10 of 10 in the list.

compare that to this article about the 10 most "efficient" US models. shockingly, GM makes 9 out of 10 of them, and not-at-all shocking, the three best top out at a miserable 28 mpg.

i can't imagine the leadership at the american auto firms did not anticipate high prices and a the public's desire for efficiency, which can only mean they were selling their SUVs and trucks at such abandon for short-term gain. i wonder how much of that profit was diverted towards R&D for efficiency, and exactly how far behind they are now.

regarding the list from the first link above, i'm still all about the Mini Cooper D, but i'm oddly drawn to the ugliness (including that horrible sky blue color) of the Fiat Panda.

but check out the Fiat Panda Jolly!


pyker said...

James May owns a Fiat Panda.

Do US automakers not know about cars made by french, italian, german, and japanese automakers? Why don't these things get reported in the press? You'd think it would be news that the rest of the world has such choices.

zim said...

well, that Fiat Panda just went up a notch in my book.

yes, the US press is ridiculous. i suppose it would be seen as "too liberal" for TV and newspaper journalists to educate american consumers on foreign autos.

i would buy that Mazda 2 if it were offered here.

i suppose i should also see what VW is offering in terms of diesels these days, as well.

pyker said...

VW has some really nice diesels, at least here in the UK. For fun:

There is hope, though, VW is putting a new plant in Chattanooga, and over the summer VW execs and local public officials were talking efficiency and such.

zim said...

i just checked the US VW site (not as good as the UK one) and noticed 1) the Rabbit doesn't have a diesel this model year, and 2) the Jetta diesel gets disappointing mpg.

i think my best bet is to get a job in the city and not buy a new car.

JustJoeP said...

In "Machine Design" they keep talking about how US Manufacturers are 'handicapped' by NOx standards, and they keep citing the Mercedes 230D as an example, where it drops 10mpg when computed by the US standard vs the European standard. There's a tiny bit of truth to it, but the reality is that sine the late 70s, US automakers have been making larger and larger behemoths that turn most of the cars in the European best 10 list into small death boxes when they go head to head. (it's also a testament of what poor reporting the free trade journal "Machine Design" really does, when they try to credit the lower US mpg due to additional bumpers.. LMFAO!). Thanks for the links. I'll be posting this evening to send some traffic your way.

pyker said...

Just checked the new Audi A6 - european models vs. US. US does not offer the diesels. This is not a small car. The most fuel-efficient diesel version sold in europe gets 60 mp(imperial)g highway (should be approaching 50 mpg highway US).

JustJoeP said...

UK to US mpg calculator:


and, regarding the Jetta:

Here is the VCA data for the Diesel Jetta 2.0 TDI CR (140 ps) with PDF M6 33.2/39.8, 42.8/51.4, 52.3/62.8 mpg(US/Imperial) city, combined, highway.


And here is EPA data for the 4 cyl, 2 L, Manual 6-spd, Diesel 30, 34, 41 mpg(US) city, combined, highway.


Further discussion, is here:

pyker said...

That converter's a simple recalc adjusting only for volume. It would be more interesting if it took into account the UK testing methodology vs. the EPA's testing methodology (or I guess that would be "estimating" rather than "testing" in both cases) and tried to do something clever with the conversion. If anyone wants to buy me that A6 I will do extensive testing.

pyker said...

Fwiw our diesel audi a2 regularly gets about 45 mp(US)g highway, driven well above 55 mph on average.

JustJoeP said...

my Mazda 6 (3L V6) wagon gets 29 mpg highway, well above the 26 it was rated when we bought it, and 24 or so in the city, depending on if Dr. Desert Flower drives it more or less.

pyker said...

From and espn column, this is relevant, and good:

Note the ford mondeo is one of the few cars that all three TG guys like.

zim said...

@ron: yes, please purchase and then conduct your A6 tests.

@both: some of your links are not getting the full text. perhaps some a href action is in order?

i think that works in comments. let's see: