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    Thread: Motortrend 40 MPG Compact Sedan Test: Cruze Eco VS. Focus SFE VS. Civiv HF VS. Elantra VS. Mazda 3 VS. Jetta TDI

    1. Member InfinitiG's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 04:24 PM #1




      Quote Originally Posted by MT

      1st Place: Mazda3

      Theoretical mileage: 50.9 mpg
      Actual mileage: 38.4 mpg
      Percent lower: 25
      Fuel cost/mile: 9.9c

      Cars with day-glo "Eco" or "mpg'"badges slapped on their fenders are as often as not automotive empty suits: little more than a tall top gear ratio sitting on a set of skinny tires.
      But in the case of the Mazda3's Skyactiv engine technology, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Its 2.0-liter inline-4 is a state-of-the-argument case for advanced-technology gasoline engines, a Bach fugue of interweaving smart ideas with its engineering keystone being an eyebrow-raising 12.0:1 compression ratio. High compression ratios like this are good for efficiency, but bad for knock.


      To make it work, the Mazda3's compressed intake charge is cooled by 3000psi, six-hole, direct fuel injection. The next heat countermeasure is that the ensuing combustion is contained by a small cavity at its top to the piston, and finally, long exhaust headers help prevent exhaust heat back-washing into other cylinders. As a kicker, friction has been reduced by 30 percent. Mazda has done its homework, and it showed on the road as the '3 returned better mileage than the both the Elantra and Focus.

      That said, it was also the car that most caused us to glance around the room during our deliberations and silently concur that it was the one we could most enjoy driving every day. Let's listen in on the conversation: Evans: "Great-handling car, very tossable with quick steering and very good feedback. The Mazda3 is easily the most fun vehicle to drive at the Proving Ground. Digging the big seat bolsters." Martinez: "A few hundred feet into the heart of downtown Tehachapi, I could already tell it was a solid car."

      Naturally, there were a few dings, too: Evans: "The transmission is a bit stingy with downshifts, and that navigation screen is just too small to be so high up and far away on the dash." But Markus summed it up perfectly: "Bottom line, this car's a sacrifice that drives like a splurge."
      The question we started with was "Is there actually a '40-mpg' car that you'd want to own?" Indeed, there is -- the Mazda3.


      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...an_comparison/

      Once again, the Elantra gets the lowest observed mileage in a comparison test


      If a mod could fix my spelling error in the main thread title that would be sweet...
      Last edited by InfinitiG; 06-11-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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    2. Member Shomegrown's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 04:34 PM #2


      Though I wish they tested the Passat over the Jetta - it would return about 10% better fuel consumption figures.

    3. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 04:44 PM #3
      Wouldn't the Passat sit in another price segment?

      And might as well get this out of the way: Golf TDI > everything in this test?
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    4. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 04:45 PM #4
      Seeing the TDI only barely squeak out better economy than a bunch of gas engined cars is kind of embarrassing. Whatever happened to 50mpg TDIs? The car was driven on a fuel-economy loop so it's hard to make the "aggressive magazine driver" argument.

      If I were buying a car like this with a priority on fuel economy I think I'd end up with a Mazda3 or a Focus SE with a stick (not the SFE). Didn't someone recently run the numbers and find that none of the active-grille-shutter trickery packages actually pay off?
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      06-11-2012 04:49 PM #5
      Wow, so much for that TDI.
      I'm not happy until I've posted something

    6. 06-11-2012 04:49 PM #6
      Another case of support for the EPA underrating diesels, or getting diesels quite right and being a more off on others?

    7. Member InfinitiG's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 04:50 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      If I were buying a car like this with a priority on fuel economy I think I'd end up with a Mazda3 or a Focus SE with a stick (not the SFE).
      Same, with the nod going to the Mazda, I was never able to get myself to fit properly in the Focus' driver seat.
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      06-11-2012 04:54 PM #8
      Jetta had the DSG.

      Since in theory with the MT you should be able to cruise your way yo over 50 MPG in the right conditions. However since most Americans choose an automatic I guess it is fair to say deisels are not the bright future for Americans some would like them to be.
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      06-11-2012 04:54 PM #9
      The TDI was misrepresented here. There will be plenty of owners come in here and say the same. Its nothing new.
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    10. 06-11-2012 04:55 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by InfinitiG View Post
      Once again, the Elantra gets the lowest observed mileage in a comparison test..
      Yeah, let's just ignore the Elantra doing a good bit better than the Focus SFE in the Popular Mechanics MPG test as well as the one done by Car & Driver (currently only available in print).

      For the C&D test, the Elantra did a bit better than the Focus SFE and Cruze Eco, but the Mazda3 SkyActiv was even better.
      Last edited by CP1; 06-11-2012 at 05:03 PM.
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    11. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 04:56 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by InfinitiG View Post
      Same, with the nod going to the Mazda, I was never able to get myself to fit properly in the Focus' driver seat.
      What didn't you like? I'll be honest, I haven't sat in a current-gen Focus yet, somehow it's been a blind spot in my car experience.
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      06-11-2012 05:00 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      What didn't you like? I'll be honest, I haven't sat in a current-gen Focus yet, somehow it's been a blind spot in my car experience.
      Wish you'd said that a couple weeks ago. We just had one.
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    13. Member InfinitiG's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:02 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      What didn't you like? I'll be honest, I haven't sat in a current-gen Focus yet, somehow it's been a blind spot in my car experience.
      The driving position in general, couldn't adjust it to be comfortable at all. The driver door arm-rests were particularly awkward in their positioning. Not enough room for legs either, felt very cramped. Keep in mind I am 6'4" .
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      06-11-2012 05:03 PM #14
      How did they manage to mess that one up, I get 42mpg in my 04 jetta tdi with 18x8.5 bbs ch's and crappy china 225/40 tires driving 120+ on the highway and doing about a 70% highway, 30% city split , if I put a bit of effort in and drive a bit slower I get close to 50mpg
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    15. Senior Member VarianceVQ's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:04 PM #15
      I had a good feeling about the Mazda winning.

      Quote Originally Posted by 1.8turboB5 View Post
      The TDI was misrepresented here.
      What do you mean?

    16. Member RogueTDI's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:05 PM #16
      Blunder??

      The Skyactiv is 14:1 compression, or so was my impression from reading about it a few days ago. (EDIT: Just did some checking and I guess the numbers arent clear? Maybe it's 13:1? If it's 12:1, that's really nothing special).

      Props to Mazda on the great technology.

      Still think the TDI beats it though... and really not just saying that as a diesel fan. Not sure it's a valid comparison to use air metering and whatever other gimmicks they used to measure economy. What I do know is 42mpg in the Jetta TDI is nonsense, if it's highway conditions we are talking about. The Jetta should have easily been at an honest 48-51mpg at 65mph.
      Last edited by RogueTDI; 06-11-2012 at 05:35 PM.

    17. Banned WhistlerYOW's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:06 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by CP1 View Post
      Yeah, let's just ignore the Elantra doing a good bit better than the Focus SFE in the Popular Mechanics MPG test as well as the one done by Car & Driver (currently only available in print).

      For the C&D test, the Elantra did a bit better than the Focus SFE and Cruze Eco, but the Mazda3 SkyActiv was even better.
      Good work Robin, now wheres Batman?

    18. Senior Member VarianceVQ's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:08 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by GTIDamien_407 View Post
      How did they manage to mess that one up, I get 42mpg in my 04 jetta tdi with 18x8.5 bbs ch's and crappy china 225/40 tires driving 120+ on the highway and doing about a 70% highway, 30% city split , if I put a bit of effort in and drive a bit slower I get close to 50mpg
      You mean how did they get different numbers than you in a different location in different driving conditions at different speeds in a different generation Jetta with a different engine, different wheels and different tires? Witchcraft, I guess.

    19. 06-11-2012 05:09 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by WhistlerYOW View Post
      Good work Robin, now wheres Batman?
      Why don't you do something a little more constructive w/ your posts than make sophmoric comments?

      You, know, like actually add something of substance for once instead of being someone who thinks he is more clever than he actually is.
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    20. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:11 PM #20
      Go Mazda
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    21. 06-11-2012 05:13 PM #21
      By all accounts, the SkyActiv is a winner for Mazda; the question is whether that is enough for Mazda.
      Why you wouldn’t (buy an Optima SX):

      Because you have your eyes on the Frigidaire Limited Edition Camry that you saw last weekend at the neighborhood Autoplex
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      06-11-2012 05:13 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by VarianceVQ View Post
      You mean how did they get different numbers than you in a different location in different driving conditions at different speeds in a different generation Jetta with a different engine, different wheels and different tires? Witchcraft, I guess.
      Must be...
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    23. Banned WhistlerYOW's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:13 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by CP1 View Post
      Why don't you do something a little more constructive w/ your posts than make sophmoric comments?

      You, know, like actually add something of substance for once instead of being someone who thinks he is more clever than he actually is.
      You are right, I just need to pick a brand to cheer lead for and I will get right on that .

      Is Hyundai-Kia still hiring? It seems like all the positions are filled around here but worth asking .

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      06-11-2012 05:17 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      Seeing the TDI only barely squeak out better economy than a bunch of gas engined cars is kind of embarrassing. Whatever happened to 50mpg TDIs? The car was driven on a fuel-economy loop so it's hard to make the "aggressive magazine driver" argument.

      If I were buying a car like this with a priority on fuel economy I think I'd end up with a Mazda3 or a Focus SE with a stick (not the SFE). Didn't someone recently run the numbers and find that none of the active-grille-shutter trickery packages actually pay off?


      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      Wow, so much for that TDI.


      Quote Originally Posted by chewym View Post
      Another case of support for the EPA underrating diesels, or getting diesels quite right and being a more off on others?
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Jetta had the DSG.

      Since in theory with the MT you should be able to cruise your way yo over 50 MPG in the right conditions. However since most Americans choose an automatic I guess it is fair to say deisels are not the bright future for Americans some would like them to be.



      I'm sure MT messed something up with their assumptions, to be kind to MT...

      I routinely see 50mpg at 65mph in my GOLF, which is LESS aerodynamic than the Jetta. Even with the shorter-geared DSG, the TDI should give near 50mpg at 65mph. Many other people around here will vouch for that fact.

      Motortrend messed something up, and I have a hard time believing it's coincidence. It's more like, dont want VW to be in a league of its own and embarrass all the wannabe-50mpg cars.

    25. Banned WhistlerYOW's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 05:19 PM #25
      Its a well known fact that the illuminati have been waging a secret war on TDIs for decades now. All the major auto journalists are in on it.

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