Mirage or Metro? The Battle for MPG Supremacy Spans the Decades

It was Earth Day, and I pulled up to a noodle joint and parked next to an old Geo Metro. The diminutive little car stood out in a sea of pickups and SUVs, like a defiant statement against the modern status quo.

As I exited my vehicle, the owner of the Metro approached his.

“Great car,” I said.

“Thanks,” he replied, ”I get 46 miles per gallon, I’ll keep ‘er till she stops running. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.”

I smiled, nodded, and went into the restaurant thinking about his claim. Was he right? Are there any cars like the Metro that are still available for purchase in the United States?

I can think of at least one. Continue reading >>>

Fuel Economy Challenge: 1990 vs. 2014


In 1990, a car was available that had a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine that took regular gasoline and had a 5-speed manual transmission. It wasn’t anything special to look at, but delivered economical travel. Today, the car carries EPA ratings of 38 mpg city, 45 on the highway and 41 combined.

Used versions of that car are still around today and typically cost between one and two thousand dollars.

Today, as we approach 2014, there’s a car available with a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine that takes regular gasoline and has a 5-speed manual transmission. It’s rated at 32 mpg city, 45 on the highway and 37 combined.

What a difference 24 years makes, huh?

Continue reading >>>