View Full Version : MPG or Not MPG

11/06/2007, 06:41 AM
I know noone here is impressed with the MPG of the VX and for good reason. However, the best time to think about this is before you buy. I think the best you can do is maybe a few miles more per gallon without a major change such as a Diesel swap like is being attempted on another string here. However, if you end up paying $5000 for even double mpg or sell you VX for a more efficient vehicle and end up getting new car payments are you ahead. Even if you double your MPG to 30 from a consrvative 15 mpg what do you gain? For every 10000 miles you drive instead of paying $666 for gas you pay $333 (est $3 a gallon) That is a savings of $333. You do not break even until you have gone 150,000 miles. (Someone check my math) And this is best case scenarion like you have the $5000 sitting around or you get 0% financing for the payments. Even still you lose the interest you could earn off the money. This is a problem I have with enviros (noone here please dont yell at me) they say get rid of all current cars and replace them with Hybrids. Well what do you do with the current cars (toss them in the dump) and how do people afford the new cars that are $30000 a pop when they cant afford new cars now at $20000 a pop?

11/06/2007, 07:36 AM
I didn't check your math but it seems ball park.

I agree with everything you said but wanted to actually take it one step further. The same arguements apply to repairs. Even if you're paying $100/month in repairs, it's still less than a new car payment. Remember, buying a new car is NEVER an investment - you buy it because you WANT it. "Drive what you like. I like driving my VX".

11/06/2007, 07:39 AM
I know noone here is impressed with the MPG of the VX and for good reason....

I can raise my hand and claim to be one of the ones who says, that quote above is very true for me. That whole "Hybrid/Prius" theory of savings was actually worked up in many editorials and they claimed it did take anywhere between 120k - 150k miles, plus with the added cost of upkeep and maintaining to break even and start seeing savings. I dont know, and I really cant really care. The fact is, those cars are still not affordable enough for me to care, let alone ugly as all hell. I still think we are in the "efficient" infancy for vehicles. The fine line of looks, performance, and fuel consumption still seem pretty hard to get into one package, for a decent price at least.

11/06/2007, 09:04 AM
I do have to admit I while purchasing a retirement investment the other day (lottery Tickets) There was a girl in a little Suzuki who actually purchased $3 of gas. I know it did not fill her tank up but the fact that $3 was going to get her by for awhile made me envious. The car was new but had no style and I could have put it in the back of my VX

11/06/2007, 09:14 AM
I actually think enviros have both their hearts and minds in the right places, it's just that some of their more hard-core (smug) members make the whole lot seem a bit tedious at times. Had to get that South Park reference in. ;) Wouldn't it best be to keep in mind that overall, it's the planet that's being saved in the process, and not just a few hundred dollars a year? After all, what good will all that money saved do a person if there's no place left to spend it worth living in?

We shouldn't lose sight of the forest for all the trees...especially while we still have some.

Maybe instead of dumping trillions into the worldwide fight for oil, our government could instead redirect some of that $$$, and subsidize the manufacturing of a nationwide fleet of hybrids so there could be one in the garage of every US citizen. Wouldn't that start to have an effect on both ends even in the short term? Lessened need for foreign oil would mean a lessened need for foreign military presence.

As far as my VX mileage goes. I just don't drive it as much as my other vehicle that gets better mileage, and am currently at about 26k on the odo.

11/06/2007, 10:33 AM
Y33 that is a bit of over simplification. The trillions being dumped are an investment and that money is paid back when the oil is sold. It has actually allowed most of South America to raise the standard of living for their people. I do not see how the world would be better if we all got hybrids right now went trillions in debt and had to use millions of acres of land to dump our current vehicles with the lead and other toxic metals in them. You mention you have several vehicles. Whether one is the greenest vehicle available owning more than one vehicle uses up resources and causes polution in its manufacture even if it is not being driven. Maybe we should let the government decide what cars we should build and who gets to drive what vehicle. Single guys would get a smart car and remain single as no woman would date them. The worst solution is to let government make decisions they screw everything up and costs would go through the roof. Do you want the same government that screwed up with Katrina deciding what cars we should have. I know Enviros are good hearted but their heads are not. They simply refuse to look at the facts and simply out scream anyone trying to discus the situation logically. The last thing I am worried about is the trees. I saw a documentary on the other night and scientists have discovered how to make more. Apparently you put this little thing in the ground called a seed water it throw some dog poop on it and in a few months it is a small tree. Later it grows even bigger and there is no way to tell it is not a real tree. (sorry I watch SP too) To protest cutting down a renwable and clean resource make housing unavailable or to expensive for the poor and requires man made materials too be produced that can cause pollution. I do not wantto see that planet paved over but the enviros need to stop protesting and start producing real world solutions.

11/06/2007, 11:55 AM
Y33 that is a bit of over simplification. The trillions being dumped are an investment and that money is paid back when the oil is sold.

But that's what I'm saying. If the need for the oil decreased, the need for that type of investment would also decrease, freeing up that $$$ for other things. While there would be an additional expenditure up front, the ROI would be a lot more than just $$$ as it is now.

I think that everyone tries to make the solution too complicated. If we always let ourselves get mired in the details of what might happen, hardly anything would ever get done, which seems to be the way things are going at the moment.

And noone said anything about pushing all current non-green vehicles into a landfill. Subsidizing hybrids would just be a way to make them more affordable so that more people could own them, causing the by-product of being able to drive them, even if it was only every other day for those of us who like to have a second, cool-factor vehicle in the garage too (like say a VX) because of it's uniqueness.

Those trillions may be considered an investment by some, but it could be debated whether that is an investment in the future.

11/06/2007, 12:41 PM
the need for that type of investment would also decrease, freeing up that $$$ for other things. While there would be an additional expenditure up front, the ROI would be a lot more than just $$$ as it is now.

Okay I will give you credit you have thought it through further than most. However, if we do not spend what we currently spend we bring up less oil. Less oil translates into less money brought in do less to sell. If we do not bring in that money where do we get the money to invest in the stuff you want us to invest in. Frankly government needs to be less intrusive and regulatory. If they hadn't stepped in earlier and decided the gasoline internal combustion engine was the way to go we might have had other companies investing in alternative systems all along and already have the problem solved. So who is to say another government program will not cause even worse problems. And this is not a what if, we already see the problems from corn based ethanol is doing to food prices. Also a fact the batteries the hybrids run on are only good for a few years and then they get thrown out. What do we do then.

you also say we cant let the what ifs interefere in trying to solve the problems okay but we need more than why not to pursue a given direction.

11/06/2007, 12:45 PM
i say drill in alaska, drop oil prices across the globe, let that money that is saved go into development of green autos that no one can afford. heck, hugo shavez is drilling awful close to our ocean border right now, and they are paying around .17 cents for a gallon of gas. if gas was even close to the 2.00 dollar mark, or less, think of what would happen with our economy with the extra money in consumers hands. maybe afford that newer car.
i have no problem with trying to be green to a point. but i do have a problem with legeslation saying that auto manufaturers HAVE to be producing cars with higher, and higher mpg. which translates to lighter, and weaker cars and little power. and then cramming them down our throats. and dont they also have gas (an oil product)involved with rolling the wheels down the road
also look at what the effect of the whole ethenol push is starting with the price of corn.
and if the government gave everyone a green transport, who really is going to pay for that car??? all of us, just to apease the few.
i keep the lights off when they need to be. ive got auto thermostats in my house. i mow after 6. i go in, not drive thru, fill up after sunset, and more. the truck i want to drive needs gas. i knew that.
im really not trying to start an argument, please. i just dont understand why the urgency. we are always going to need oil. lets drill our own, get prices down, and then work on the renewables. i dont believe much, if any of the global warming hoopla, when i was growing up, it was the comming ice age, and i was a scared kid thinking about how when i was 40, the world was going to be covered in ice..... well, im 42 now, 30 years later:rolleyes:


(im a little out of practice of making post. please excuse my breaks in thought line.)

11/06/2007, 01:06 PM
Rekin none of us are arguing against new technology (being and Electronics Engineer - it's my bread and butter). We just don't want to be forced into giving up our passion (VXs).

I'd rather concentrate on equipping our soldiers with stuff to keep them alive. I'd rather concentrate on feeding the hungry. If I have to go green - I will - but in some other car. I'll trade in the Eclipse for some Wuss-mobile. The VX stays gas & keeps enough grunt to tow the boat to the lake on weekends (period).

If anyone wants to put a higher priority on going green - so be it. I'll shake your hand. I'll even watch closely to see how I can benefit. Sorry but it's just not as high on my priority list as yours (or even the Government's for that matter - Space Shuttle eats as much ozone on each trip as all the cars in the US in a year).


11/06/2007, 02:19 PM
and just to ad a bit more, its not just the passion for my vx, and driving it countless miles, its about the fact that there is not a hybrid full size work van/truck for the people work out of, which dont get great mph either. and again, it comes to, if they want 30,000 for a little prius, what are they going to want for a pick up truck or van?? again, much more than i am going to want to pay, even 5 yrs down the road.

and again, back to toms point earlier on repairs, i can atleast still work on the gas powered engine, where as dont know how owner reparible friendly the hybrids are, meaning dealer repairs....

ok...gotta get back to work........

11/06/2007, 03:00 PM
The real interesting thing is that the all the automobiles and trucks in the world once only ran on either ethanol, electricity or vegetable oil. Then a new "alternative" fuel was introduced: Gasoline. So, the big question is why can't we do what we did a hundred years ago? Look to the wallets of the world governments and you'll have your answer.

In the meantime, the VX is a 4000+ pound truck and it was never designed with an eye on economy. Hybrids? Don't buy the lie! They still burn gas and people who get them tend to drive more since they get better economy thus using more gas and producing higher emissions than they did before they got the hybrid. But they are the media darlings and make everyone feel better when they tank up, and that's exactly what they were built to do and why the petroleum companies back them.

The answers are out there, they aren't secret, and best of all they've been right under our nose for a century.

Here's an interesting fact: Porsche got his start building electric cars starting in 1898. Yes, 1898. He sold over 300 including truck and lorry variants through 1906. Here's the first model, the System Lohner-Porsche (you can clearly see the hub motors on the front wheels)...


And we can't figure this stuff out now? We all know the answer to that one!

11/06/2007, 07:27 PM
I know I may be off the original topic but we all know the problem and it can't be stopped... money is the life juice of the world and people will do anything to get it. electric cars were the best thing more than a hundred years ago and then less than ten as well, but the companies weren't making any profit off of them. you had no oil to change, no lubricants and the brakes lasted forever because the engine slowed the vehicle fast enough for the average deceleration. so they killed them off and decided to go with hybrids... who cares about hybrids... i want my Electric. they were here for a bit but as I said, no profit.
also, electrics were cheap to build and maintain.
i know this can break off into many other topics including arguments... jus wanted to get my voice heard

11/06/2007, 09:10 PM
Tysamigo needs to see this thread.

I completely agree with circmand. I tell me fiance all the time dont wait till the price per gallon goes down 4 cents because you are only going to save less than a dollar overall. That is just an example on a much lower scale. I have been thinking about this topic recently becuase my commute is going to triple soon. (I will not sell the VX) I have began to think about driving my firebird more that avgerages in the mid 20's but then again over all I am saving minimal change and losing the fun and excitement of driving the VX which is why I bought it in the first place.

11/06/2007, 11:00 PM
I know I may be off the original topic but we all know the problem and it can't be stopped...

Actually, electrics is what I should have suggested instead of hybrids in my first response. And I agree with you, especially after seeing Who Killed The Electric Car (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0489037/) awhile back.

Trying to phase out gas and diesel burners obviously isn't viable in the short term, but I think a subsidized program of electrics manufacturing to make them more affordable in the US would be a good first step in decreasing dependence on oil, no matter where it comes from. And that certainly wouldn't hurt certain matters being dealt with in Detroit at the moment either.

You said it though....GR$$D rules.

11/07/2007, 05:57 AM
It is hard to argue that we need to get off our dependancy on foreign oil. Even Bush said it in a rare moment when he wasn't holding hands with the the prince of Saudi Arabia.The issue is as it always has been big money.US auto makers have known for decades that smaller,more efficient cars sell.They ignored that and Japanese and German cars took a stranglehold on the american market.Prius hybrids may not be as cool as a VX, but when gas hits above 6 bucks a gallon, or more, which will happen in the next decade,old technology automobiles are going to be cost inefficient. I like the Prius, It looks way cool on the inside, like one of those cars that was shot through vacuum tubes in "Logan's Run".

11/07/2007, 08:10 AM
These are the stats from the US Dept of Energy for the year 2000. Where the electricity comes from:

Based on primary energy source, coal-fired capacity represented 43 percent of the Nation's existing capacity. Gas-fired capacity accounted for 19 percent, nuclear 14 percent, renewable energy sources 12 percent, petroleum 7 percent and pumped storage hydroelectric.

Most of that energy to charge up your electric car still has to be pulled from the ground in the form of coal or oil.

The renewable sources need to be built up ( solar, wind ) then maybe electrics will be more efficient.

11/07/2007, 08:47 AM
These are the stats from the US Dept of Energy for the year 2000. Where the electricity comes from:

Based on primary energy source, coal-fired capacity represented 43 percent of the Nation's existing capacity. Gas-fired capacity accounted for 19 percent, nuclear 14 percent, renewable energy sources 12 percent, petroleum 7 percent and pumped storage hydroelectric.

Most of that energy to charge up your electric car still has to be pulled from the ground in the form of coal or oil.

The renewable sources need to be built up ( solar, wind ) then maybe electrics will be more efficient.

Thanks for bringing that up. I have always thought are people not thinking about the high electric bills when they start to plug their cars into the wall at night. I think it was GM that just had an auto show that the plug, plugged into the car on the front fender. All I could think of is 1. Thats going to make for one nice electric bill and 2. If you do not have a covered garage like alot dont (espcially the market that rents condos or appts) are you really going to have an extension cord coming from a socket in your house out to your drive just to plug a car in. (I mean if I saw that at my neighbors house I would splice that plug to get from free juice when they werent looking.

11/07/2007, 10:33 AM
i would think that there would have to be a whole new breakerbox installed with a honkin big cord comming out of it.....:) but i too have thought about how fast the numbers would be cliking by on the meter charging up a couple of cars.......and the insuing elec. bills

i heard an ad thismorning talking about how we send 1/4 billion dollars to opec every day but our country can do ONE THING.... DEMAND that auto makers produce cars that combined average 35 mpg, and if this is done, the average family could save 700 a YEAR. and that its time for the country to stand up to the AUTO MAKERS!?! and then say, lets quit sending our money to opec, and tell automakers to do this by 2020.

i just dont get it.......will we still not drive our cars when we get 35 mpg??
(those that can afford the car, thenusing that 700.00 a year savings and use it for 1 month of your car payment....) we will still need petrolium products. so do we still pay opec for our oil???? well, i guess only an 1/8 of a billion a day is better than a 1/4 billion.......yeah right....i say get the home brewed oil from our soil, and lower our dependency off the forign oil, and drive the vehicles we NEED to drive, (big rigs, tow trucks, work vans, etc, oh, and vx's) if a person is in position to only need a thing with 4 wheels to commute around, then more power to them. i personally cant haul 20 sheets of oak plywood in anything that is hybrid. ;)

im out........

11/07/2007, 10:44 AM
Technically you don't need a wire to charge a battery - there're some new products about to hit the market that does this (like a table that charges any applicance laid on it, so you could charge your cell phone). The same could be done to recharge the batteries on your electric car. So basically you could have a plate that's wired in the ground that you park your car over. Most wouldn't have the know-how to steal the power when you weren't looking.

If you've ever seen an analysis of power to efficiency, you'd see that real burning fuels are much more efficient than stored energy cells - you hit a point of diminishing returns with a vehicle when you transition to stored electric power vs real fuel power. I'm as big an advocate as anyone when it comes to alternative fuel and energy, but there's a practical limit - if all we were interested in is getting around for great economy, we could all be on vespas and luxuriate in 90 mpg+. The fact is we still need to carry children/pets, groceries, etc.

-- John

11/07/2007, 10:53 AM
"you could have a plate that's wired in the ground that you park your car over"

Convenient - yes. Efficient - no.

11/07/2007, 11:55 AM
Electrics or hybrids don't necessarily have to be recharged with a byproduct of fossil fuels. How about a solar panel on top of the garage that can be storing energy all day? Wind farms are also being tied into the grid. Bottom line, there are alternatives to the current status quo.

The war on terror is no doubt part of the reason so much $$$ is being pumped into foreign occupation, but we all know that isn't the only reason. The problem is, that current investment is going towards a never ending cycle, and will most likely only increase. And what is it they say about repeating the same actions over and over again hoping that something will change?...

you also say we cant let the what ifs interefere in trying to solve the problems okay but we need more than why not to pursue a given direction.

I'll finish it then. Why not maintain the current status quo? I'm sure you can think of as many answers as me.

11/07/2007, 12:06 PM
The status Quo does not work either. We need alternatives but we cannot stop oil production in the hope we discover an alternative that can be brought to market quicker. Solar and wind are neat little ideas and if I had the cash and property I would have solar and wind on my property. However they will not supply enough to put more than a 10% reduction in oil consumption. Do you know how much land is needed for a wind farm? You use 4x the land for the windmill than you do for the house. Also wind and solar are not constant you can have days and nights with no sun or wind. Also the solar garage recarge is neat if you stay under 150 miles round trip but what if you want to go on a trip? You run low and stop for 6 hours to recharge? Or do you use gas? And even if the government subsidizes thhe econobox we have have plenty to choose from right now what gets the people to BUY them. They do no good sitting on the dealership lots. Look at Toyota gas only cars. They get good gas mileage and if we all just bought those we would have the 35 mpg average. But not everyone is buying them. Also I do not plan to buy another vehicle until I can not rely on my VX as a daily driver. The $425 a month I paid to buy it that I am not paying now more than compensates for the low mpg. By the way I probably save more gas by not driving as frequently. I bought my 2001 VX brand new it has less than 50,000 miles on it and since I bought it in VT I have moved to Pennsylvania, Connecticut and now I am in Texas. Take the moves and visits of that 50,000 miles and I bet I have driven less than 6000 a year.

11/07/2007, 06:18 PM
Well, no one ever said that current oil production would have to stop. That's what I meant when I said there would be a need for an additional expenditure up front (for subsidies to decrease purchase prices).

A 10% reduction in oil consumption due to wind and solar usage would certainly be nothing to dismiss when current nationwide consumption is taken into account.

Subsidies would at least lower current prices making those econoboxes more affordable than they are now, which is why a lot of them do keep sitting on dealer lots. At current prices, not breaking even until a person reaches 150,000 miles isn't much of an incentive, even if the buyer does know they'd be helping the environment the whole time. A person still has to make ends meet these days.

My VX is more of a weekender too. I've averaged about 2800 miles a year since buying mine.

And my question about the status quo was rhetorical. I already know it's not working. I was just hoping it would generate some ideas for possible solutions, not just more reasons why some things might not work.

11/07/2007, 09:37 PM
The real interesting thing is that ....

... you can clearly see ....

... that this is an early design mock up of a Honda Element

11/08/2007, 05:02 AM
But you did not answer these questions 3. (Monty Python anybody?)

What happens when even with subsidies no one buys the econoboxes because they are ugly?

Whose homes get taken away to provide all the land you need for the solar and wind farms?

What do you do when your electric bill goes through the roof because all the energy we used to get from gas is now being produced by coal and gas power stations and still polluting the enviroment?

11/08/2007, 10:41 AM
Never said I had all the answers, but trying to think of solutions seems more productive than coming up with reasons why possible solutions won't work.

Sorry, aside from a couple of the movies, I never watched much Monty Python. Was that a reference to the bridge troll? If so, I believe that could be directed either way.

I think John Lennon said it best,

"Ah, people asking questions, lost in confusion
Well I tell them there's no problem, only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind..."

11/08/2007, 10:48 AM
You got the bridge troll correct. I have to disagree with your comment that

"but trying to think of solutions seems more productive than coming up with reasons why possible solutions won't work"

In the Sherlock Holmes novels he says Once you limit the impossible the remaining choice is correct no matter how improbable. Not an exact quote but since we do not have the resources to pursue every available option it remains for us to eliminate the wrong and the unlikely so we may better ascertain what is the best answer. It boggles my mind when supporters of a topis no matter how well intentioned seem to beleive there is a never ending supply of Government money to spend on their chosen goal. The government has no money they spend our money, at least those of us who pay taxes. I say if you want to donate the shirt of Your Back for a cause you are indeed a good sould but when you persist in trying to donate the shirt off my back you are a thief. (that is meant as a general comment no aspersions are directed at your specific person)

11/09/2007, 07:48 AM
Correct, they are spending our money. So what's wrong with trying to think of better, more productive ways to spend it? I'd rather it be spent on things that really are an investment in our future, and I'm talking long term, not just next quarter. If the staus quo persists, who knows, the next shirt on your back may be desert camo.

11/09/2007, 07:54 AM
I agree that we want to invest for long term solutions but we can not invest in everything so we need to eliminate the bad ideas and we do thta by saying why something will not work. Not really worried about camo I will just buy a khaki colored outfit and sit down in the dessert and everyone will think I am a sand dune.

11/09/2007, 08:09 AM
Well I haven't really seen any reasons why the idea wouldn't work, just why it might be difficult. The most worthwhile things usually are though.

11/09/2007, 08:47 AM
I wasn't referng to any particular idea but explaining my reasoning for having to naysay parts of some of ideas suggested.

11/09/2007, 10:50 AM
When taking into account that all those seperate parts comprise the whole idea, is there really a difference?

One thing I'm curious about though, the sand dune comment. I could be wrong, but it sounded like dressing the part wouldn't bother you, you just wouldn't really plan to do anything? Conversely, if that was just a joke, so was this. :p

Well I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to stop now and save a few platitudes for later. The last word is up for grabs.

11/09/2007, 12:16 PM
More of a site gag I guess. I am shall we say a rotund person so dressed in sand color I would look just like a big old sand dune.

04/11/2008, 02:14 AM
So is this (http://www.autoaccessorystore.com/home_n.asp?dir=detail&id=2394) supposed to be a joke or what

04/11/2008, 06:22 AM
So is this (http://www.autoaccessorystore.com/home_n.asp?dir=detail&id=2394) supposed to be a joke or what

Wether it is or isn't, with a "sale" price of $989.00, you would have to $ave a LOT of gas just to break even.:_wrench:

04/11/2008, 07:33 AM
The problem with any alternative fuel source is facilitization. Just where do you purchase compressed hydrogen? You've all seen the flex fuel vehicles running around (runs on either gasoline or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)). Ever wonder how often the switch is set to CNG? Almost never since there is no where to fill them up.

04/11/2008, 07:47 AM
I'm typically very suspicious of such things, my general belief if there's anything to give an automaker a leg up on the competition to make profit they're going to do it. Sorry, I just don't go for international conspiracy theories. But in looking to find information debunking such devices I came across the following: http://www.myfoxcolorado.com/myfox/pages/Business/Detail?contentId=3860376&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=4.1.1


There's literally tons of information and misinformation on this topic but fortunately science always comes to the rescue: Typically those who discovered mileage increases actually did so through subconsciously moderating their driving style. The concept of increasing gasoline efficiency with hydrogen is sound, but effectively designing a device to economically produce it in sufficient volume is another matter entirely. If you're not familiar with production of hydrogen from electrolysis do some research into that and you'll find the answer to this question is rather simple.

Francesco Rizzo
04/13/2008, 07:12 PM
:confused: I think the original fuel figures were off, or outdated.. but I've been looking to replace my VX.. I figure with the truck being over 100K, I would rather be sending some of the gas money toward payments for a new vehicle... a mini cooper s for excample with 24/34 mpg. This fuel calculator (http://www.zapworld.com/fuel-economy-calculator) says I would save 133 bucks a month considering $3.20 a gallon and driving 15000 miles a year! My truck is paid off, but school loan payments say it's still to early to own more then one vehicle.. I'm looking to sell but need to find a mini I like first :(

04/13/2008, 09:03 PM
You might like this one, the MINI Cooper D Clubman, that gets near 60MPG: http://www.autoblog.com/2008/01/09/detroit-2008-mini-to-bring-diesel-option-to-the-us/


Think how much you'd save then! ;)