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Old 03-09-2010, 04:15 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 22,971,089 times
Reputation: 7957

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The cars? Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, and Toyota Camry. Sorry Chrysler, Dodge, Hyundai, and Kia. What was amazing is the 0-60 and quarter mile times were pretty good for four cylinder engine midsize sedans. The horse power numbers are on par with mid to late 90s V6 sedans and so are their performance numbers. The 0-60 time ranges between the slow 8.68 to 7.72 seconds, a difference of only 0.96 second. The quarter mile time is between the slow 16.53 to 15.75 seconds, a difference of only 0.78 second. The surprising number was the skidpad winner which was the Suzuki. Performance and fuel economy on these sedans were all very close. Though the Suzuki was a surprise in the quality of the interior (said it's seat's material felt much better than the Camry), they said it felt the cheapest. They said good things about the cars but had praise for one and it wasn't the fastest. The one car they said was the overall best was the Mazda 6. But they do agree that the overall differences between these sedans was very close. Driving dynamics, how it feels on the road, and how the seats feel made the difference. My 2003 Malibu 3.1 has roughly the same horsepower and performance numbers. But what's amazing to me is my fuel economy is not far off these four cylinders. Though the engine sizes are between 2.4 to 2.5 liters, their average highway mpg is about 31. Original EPA rating for my car was 29, my actual highway averages about 32. The overall weight difference between my car and these cars is mine is between 100 to 200 lbs lighter than these four cylinder cars. That's a difference of a light woman or an average man passenger.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:34 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 17,786,405 times
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I really like the Suzuki Kizashi.. Am seriously thinking about getting one in awd
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:16 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,498,385 times
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sailor -

You have to remember that when you are looking at fuel economy numbers on newer cars (since 2008) they are quoted using the new EPA model which is a little more realistic in its estimates than the old test. However, as you have observed actual mileage varies greatly depending on the driver. If you're getting those good numbers out of your 3.1 Malibu, you could probably expect better out of a newer car.

The interesting thing to me that you keyed in on was the weight factor. I'm all for safety and a more rigid vehicle, but at some point manufacturers need to find a way to start shaving some weight off of newer cars. The easiest way to improve everything about a vehicles performance; acceleration, handling, braking and fuel economy is to cut weight. Currently Audi is one of the only manufacturers I have seen that is releasing new models that are lighter (even if only a little bit) than the vehicles they are replacing.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:02 AM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,928,564 times
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Performance numbers are pretty meaningless unless you are accounting for vehicle weight, transmission gearing, tires, etc. If you're comparing engines, you can do a flywheel hp test but thats about it, since the rest of the car has a great effect on the engine and overall performance.

Overall, its an interesting article for pointing out how 4-cyl engines are making more power and are more efficient, but it is a well known trend that engines improve over time. Do you have a link to the article?
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
sailor -

You have to remember that when you are looking at fuel economy numbers on newer cars (since 2008) they are quoted using the new EPA model which is a little more realistic in its estimates than the old test.

SAE hp ratings also changed in 2004, trending lower than previous ratings. A typical 200 hp car could read at 180 hp in a new system, for example, without any other changes between 2003 and 2004.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,618,407 times
Reputation: 9173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayantsi View Post
Performance numbers are pretty meaningless unless you are accounting for vehicle weight, transmission gearing, tires, etc. If you're comparing engines, you can do a flywheel hp test but thats about it, since the rest of the car has a great effect on the engine and overall performance.
I disagree. Performance is performance for vehicles in the same class. If brand x vehicle did 0-60 in 8 secs and weighed 3500lbs it has the same performance as a brand y vehicle with the same 0-60 but weighing 4000 lbs.

The driver feels the same speed, can do the same things.

If you want to compare HOW the performance was achieved, then weight, gearing, cylinders, bore and stroke, etc. are interesting to compare.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:44 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,928,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
I disagree. Performance is performance for vehicles in the same class. If brand x vehicle did 0-60 in 8 secs and weighed 3500lbs it has the same performance as a brand y vehicle with the same 0-60 but weighing 4000 lbs.

The driver feels the same speed, can do the same things.

If you want to compare HOW the performance was achieved, then weight, gearing, cylinders, bore and stroke, etc. are interesting to compare.

Sure, if you're talking about vehicles. I was talking about the engines though.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:10 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 22,971,089 times
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Don't have a link. Have a subscription to Popular Mechanics and it's in the latest issue I received. For the average daily driver, 7.5 to 8 second 0-60 acceleration is perfectly fine. At one time, such acceleration numbers were unheard of for a midsize sedan with a four cylinder engine unless it was a turbo four. I hear there are plans for some makers to replace their 6 with a turbo four to help them meet the new CAFE standards. An added benefit is the reduction in weight on the front end to help with the front and rear ratio. What the above test tells me is you're not going to sacrifice much by going with the modern four cylinder midsize sedans. Their V6 versions are practically performance cars in acceleration numbers. The exceptions are the Subaru Legacy (turbo four, the six is more luxuary) and the Suzuki (no six available).
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,618,407 times
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The performance of modern cars is astounding compared to vehicles of the 70s and 80s. Today's V6 Accord coupe is quicker than a 1988 Ferrari 328. There are so many vehicles now with sub 6 second 0-60 times.

And today's cars start instantly, idle smoothly, burn much cleaner, stop quicker, run 100K on one set of plugs, and of course protect their passengers much better.
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