Last post on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM
You are in the Mazda MPV
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Mazda MPV, Van
#1815 of 8223 Gas mileage-no improvement in years!
Jun 28, 2001 (11:29 am)
Another interesting topic. I am comparing the 2001 MPV against my 1994 Villager. Yes, the MPV is much nicer in most areas,HOWEVER,it is hard to believe that in 7 years,mileage has not improved with the MPV 18/23,Villager 17/23,and the Villager is 353 lbs heavier! Once again,the auto mfgs are getting away with classifying minivans as 'trucks'and thus allowed to pass off inferior engineering on the consumer. I also blame the FORD built 2.5 V6,which in no way resembles a Toyota or Honda engine for efficiency.How else do you explain the overweight Odyssey with a much larger engine getting better mileage. I blame Mazda,Ford,the auto mfg's,Washington,George Bush,and my neighbor for this. Just my 2 cents.
#1816 of 8223 another misleading thought
Jun 28, 2001 (12:30 pm)
I dont consider the mileage on the MPV that bad. If you compare it to the Honda its right up there. I think it gets 1/2 to 1 mpg less if any. I still think the mpv gets about the same mileage as the Honda if you dont dog the engine. Again when you buy a Honda or Toyota you expect an excellent engine. Which indeed you do get. Mazda I think is a little farther behind those 2 and so is everyone else in the market I think. I mean look whos making the electric cars toyota and honda. They know how to make engines.
As far as leasing goes I don't see any advantage, I'd just buy the MPV or any car right out. Leasing would be a big problem if you put over 12k on a car a year which I can do in about 7 months.
#1817 of 8223 rutger3 - Gas mileage
Jun 28, 2001 (12:36 pm)
I think mileage has not been a top priority for cars since the late 70s and early 80s when price of oil had skyrocketed. One evidence is the new SUVs which get bigger, less gas efficient, less practical and more expensive. It is absolutely no surprise that the mileage isn't any better in fact in a lot of cars it is probably worse! My 1984 Nissan Sentra got 35/50 mpg, but the new 2001 Sentra gets 27/35. As long as the customer keep wanting bigger and faster and not caring about efficiency, you won't see significant improvements in gas mileage. I will personally look seriously at getting an electric or hybrid car for my next purchase (still a good few years away, my 94 Maxima has 65K on it so it will be good for a while).
As far as comparing the Duratech 2.5 to the Honda 3.5, I am not an engineer, but EPA rates both engines at 18 mpg city and 23/25 MPV/Honda freeway, so they are the same in the city, and only marginally better on the freeway. But also keep in mind that the ODY's recommended fuel is 91 octane to MPV's 87, so annualized, you will probably pay more or the same amount of money for gas.
just my 3 cents (inflation!!)
#1818 of 8223 Gas Mileage
Jun 28, 2001 (1:07 pm)
For the record, 91 octane is only a recommendation by Honda to acheive the most hp and torque. Many Ody owners do use 87 octane and have had no problems with it. (I average 24-25 mpg, 75% hwy/25% city.) But all in all mileage depends on how many people you're carrying, using climate control or not, correct tire pressure, type of gas used (oxygenated, MTBE, etc..), driving style, etc...
#1819 of 8223 Rutger - Gas Mileage
Jun 28, 2001 (5:01 pm)
I know your frustated with MPG's. So am I. I am also frustrated with the fact that credit card interest remains sooo high while interest rates fall. It is a matter of simple economics. The consumer isn't "demanding" higher MPG's. Instead they purchase the large SUV's. Therefore it is not cost effective for the automakers to step up to the plate and give us better mileage.
Can Washington step in and begin making significant changes? Of course they can but only if you and I the voters make it a big enough stink. Quite frankly, most of us seem to be too busy for such a protest.
Finally, (please don't take this that I am a big Bush supporter) I fail to understand how a president that has been in office for less than 6 months can be held accountable for MPG on vehicles produced prior to the elections. If you want a figure head to blame you should look to Mr Clinton. After all he had eight years to effect a change and per your own post and Julyar's the only change has been negative.
At least with George drilling new wells the price may drop, but I doubt it.
Jun 28, 2001 (6:33 pm)
Look, MPG is a non-issue for the huge majority of auto buyers. People want bigger vehicles, more powerful engines, and more coffee cup holders. Of the three, only the last isn't going to degrade MPG performance.
It doesn't matter how many models of little box cars with hybrid engines are out there if everyone wants great big vehicles with great 0-60 times.
If someone can't afford the gas, than they should worry about MPG. But then they probably should also buy a cheaper vehicle.
#1821 of 8223 yet even more on mpg.
Jun 28, 2001 (7:54 pm)
Okay,I admit it,I am a bit obsessive when it comes to gas mileage.I dislike spending more than necessary on something which will only be burned up,thats why I always use 87 octane and buy it whereever it is cheapest. Plus,my commute to work and back is 100 miles,so I am always in the gas station even with my 4 cyl. Camry which gets 28-31 mpg. I keep my cars tuned up and check my tire pressure at least every 2 weeks. This vehicle will be for my wife and 2 kids around town,and for family vacations,probably 12-15k/year. I guess what irks me about the Mazda is that they were conned into using the 2.5 duratec by Ford. Probably,the 3.0 liter V6 Nissan built engine in my 1994 Villager is a better engine,and this kind of bums me out when 7 years go by and I feel like I am taking a step backwards at least in the engine.But then I also remind myself about those wonderful automatic seat belts in the Villager,and only 1 airbag,and the 80,000 miles on it,and the broken rear wiper motor. I do like everything else about the MPV,which is a nice vehicle. Now I must decide between the MPV with its great styling,convienent 3rd seat,and financial incentives;or the Highlander and its more efficient and superior 4 cylinder with VVTI,and of course the lack of inventory. I think I may need counseling.
Jun 29, 2001 (4:59 am)
The Duratec engine is an old design - it used in the contour for 4-5yrs, took another 2-3yrs on the drawing board; it is ~7 yrs old! I don't believe there was ongoing enhancements. I agree that it is reliably based on the contour owners, but hardly hitech by today's standard. Look at Chrsyler's new 2.5L pumps out 200hp. It is unfair to compare the MPV to other minis on performance and MPG. All the current minis engines have been updated periodically, this accounts for higher hp and better MPG despite they are all heavier! But there is a price for everything, this shortcoming has been factored in the price.
#1823 of 8223 MPG Discussion
Jun 29, 2001 (7:39 am)
Interesting discussion. I think the bottom line is Mazda really needs to put a larger displacement engine on the MPV. IMHO, the reason why the 2.5L doesn't get better mileage as it's supposed to get is due to the MPV's gearing not because it's "low-tech" or whatever. Mazda's engineers had to use less efficient gearing ratios to get acceptable performance forcing the engine to rev relatively higher (less efficient) compared to it's competition especially at high cruising speeds(70+ mph). The same engine gets 20city/29highway when used in the Mercury Cougar - not the best mileage but pretty decent for sporty coupe with 170hp. And one minor correction, Chrysler's 200hp V6 is a 2.7 not a 2.5.
If the 3.0L Duratec does indeed make it into the 2002 MPV, it'll probably have the same mileage as the 2.5L because it would allow Mazda to use more efficient gearing ratios.
Duratecs are indeed not state of the art designs by todays standards. But they're not low-tech either. In my book, a chain driven-DOHC/24-valve V6/dual length intake runner induction/ distributor-less semi-direct ignition/ 6500rpm redline/ (7500rpm redline in the Contour SVT?) is by any means not low-tech. Small for a minivan? Absolutely! Low-tech? No way. I even read somewhere that when the Duratecs/Zetecs were in the drawing boards, the engineers even made provisions for a possible addition of variable valve timing in the future. I believe that the upcoming Focus SVT (Zetec 2.0L DOHC I4) has some sort of VVT to help it make 170hp - not quite Honda/Toyota/BMW VVT levels of efficiency yet but it's a start.
Jun 29, 2001 (8:49 am)
Was on Wards Auto 10 Best Engines in 1998 and 1999. That to me says regardless of high tech or low tech, it was amongst the "Best Tech" out there.
Of course I'm biased, I have one of those SVT engines :^D
The Zetec has had VCT (Variable cam timing) on the exhaust since 1998 or 1999, but primarily to eliminate the EGR system.