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Monday, January 15, 2007


The other day I brought my 1997 VW Jetta into the shop to get fixed.

When I walked in the main door of the VW dealership I walked past a few new cars -- a Passat, a Rabbit, and a Jetta. It seemed like the average City MPG rating was around 20-22, and a Highway rating of around 28-32 MPG.

My 10 year old Jetta averages 28 MPG. Anyone else find it painful that in the past ten years automobile engines for the most part have not become any more fuel efficient? You can go buy a car that tells you where to turn, heats your butt, plays movies, and helps you parallel park...but you can't buy one that takes you 60 miles on a gallon of gas?

But now for the real question: Who's to blame? If we consumers didn't purchase these inefficient machines, would automobile companies continue to make them? I think not.


Anonymous said...

Look at the diesel engine option that Volkswagon has. They get 42 mpg in town and 52 on the highway.
--Adam T.

MattO said...

A friend of mine (who I assume will read this post) has a TDI Jetta that gets excellent gas mileage like you described. I believe he likes it.

Can a traditional diesel engine accept bio-diesel fuel in the same way a gasoline engine can take fuel with a percentage of it being ethanol?

Anonymous said...

Yes it can. And the nice thing about bio-diesel, unlike ethanol, is that you can run as strong of a blend as you wish and not need to have a special "flex-fuel" engine. The one thing you need to be aware of with diesel fuel (especially where you live) is it will "gel-up" in cold weather. All you have to do is put some additive in your fuel tank when you fill up and you'll be fine.

Anita & Joost said...

Hi Matt,

always an interesting discussing. In the EU we had the 3L Lupo, a car which used 3 litters on 100km (0.7 Gallon per 60 Mile). At the moment we have the Polo Blue Motion:

But people just don't buy them.....

On the comment of Adam: Bio-Fuel is not as Bio as you'll think. If you look at the life cycle of Bio-Fuels they are more polluting than Fossil-fuels. Nevertheless it is a right step towards a closed CO2 cycle.

(Gelling up in Cold weather can be prevented by adding a Gallon of normal petrol to your Diesel)