Skip to comments.Fuel economy faceoff: Turbo fours donít always win against six-cylinders
Posted on 06/08/2013 3:17:41 PM PDT by rickmichaels
Ill be the first to admit that this, the third installment in Post Drivings ongoing fuel economy comparisons, is not original. Consumer Reports issued a press release some four months ago that decried the supposed fuel economy advantage of small turbochargers over the larger typically V6 engines that they are supposed to supplant.
(Excerpt) Read more at life.nationalpost.com ...
Never exceed 50HP per jug and you’ll share a long and happy life with your engine.
Suspect small turbos come into their own in steady state light throttle cruise where the engine acts like a low compression four cylinder. I can hook an OBDII tool to my WRX and watch the instantaneous MPG jump all over the place. Darn hard to hold it steady in normal driving. Stop and go is horrible on mileage.
I’m an old guy. I buy my cars new and sell them with lots of miles. Usually in the 200k range. I don’t trust turbo’s to be a long term option. I got a Scion FRS over a Ford Focus ST partly because it’s not turbocharged.
Never exceed 50HP per jug and youll share a long and happy life with your engine.
Yup. Coincidentally, it’s exactly the HP of the engine of the car I just bought.
Turbos are probably ideal for the EPA tests.
We’re getting cars engineered to pass those tests, not to deliver real-world performance.
That said, I have a Passat 2.0 turbo that gets 29 mpg easily and will still power the car beyond 130 mph. It has very little turbo lag and feels like a larger engine.
That’s because Volkswagen has been doing turbos for years. Domestic manufacturers (outside of Chrysler) not so much.
I knew this 20+ years ago. I had a 1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX AWD...great little car, 195 hp 2.0 liter turbo four, full-time all-wheel drive. It got 30+ mpg on the highway easily but was absolutely hideous around town, and I didn’t drive it THAT hard. (Really.) It had one small turbo and thus the turbo lag was horrendous, so in order to access that 195 hp I really had to bury my foot in the carpet and keep the RPMs high. But that thing was completely unflappable in the corners. It just had a simple fluid-differential AWD system, no fancy electronics, but it was amazingly stable even when dealing with the turbo lag.
I dunno, I have good success with my 2.0 turbo sonata. I get about 28-30 a tank mixed driving. I like to beat on it a bit and use all 274hp.
I have a acura 4cyl with turbo and 240hp. It gets the same mileage city or highway unless I push the turbo really hard.
It’ll blow the socks off most 6 cyl cars.
I haven’t seen anything better than an old Chrysler (Jeep) 4.0 liter HO six cylinder for four-wheel-drive, pulling loads and mileage (~ 22 real mpg on the real mountains). Those engines seem to never die. [Formerly a life-long Ford owner).
I have a 2013 Ford Escape 2.0 L turbo. Great suv but what a gas hog. I get 18.5 city and the best I have ever gotten on the highway was 23.5. Thank goodness I have a Nissan Leaf for all of my commuting. Funny thing is I had a 2003 Saab with a 2.0 L turbo. I got 42 mpg on an all freeway trip.
and stop and go is what kills mileage. until you get into the higher gears and over 40, depending on vehicle, your mileage sucks.
you can get a focus without a turbo. the non-eco-boost model.
same here, 296 hp, 6 cyl. good pep.
from what i’ve read turbos can be tuned to work really well within a certain range of driving, but usually not acoss the entire spectrum.
you sure yours’isn’t a 2012? i can see those numbers on the older truck escape, not on the newer, smaller, lighter escapes.
Now that gas has gone to $4.25/gal here in the Great Lakes area, this stuff is more important than ever.
God forbid any manufacturer put a turbo 4cyl diesel in a small/mid sized pickup.
Whatever happened to that long ballyhoo’d Mahindra pickup?
No one can beat my value.
$2700 Cavalier that gets 30mpg city and 35 mpg highway.
A hybrid might do better but you didn’t pay $2700 for it.
Heck, my dirt bike has only one jug and it makes 56 rwhp so I guess it's going to blow up any time.
Could never figure out why, when the wife and I would swap vehicles, whatever she drove would show at least 5 mpg less than when I drove it.
After a while, I figured it out. She regularly spends 20 minutes waiting in a drive-thru, and regularly spends 20 or more minutes eating or texting with engine idling.
My buddy has one of those with 200,000 miles.
It’s like a cockroach, not pretty but nearly impossible to kill.
mine too. when i drive with her i know why. she is a lead foot in the lower gears, doesnt coast to red lights or stop signs, doesn’t anticipate gas or less gas or coasting well.
Which proves he is right. Your dirt bike ain’t gonna go 200K between rebuilds now is it?
Best it can probably do is 10K if you are very, very lucky.
Todays water cooled 4 stroke dirt bikes don’t last long with their itty bitty cam chains as well as the virtually non existence piston skirts and very small stemmed intake and exhaust valves, low tension rings and vapor deposition cylinder walls.
All great for performance and very light weight but no longevity.
It has decent performance with a 5 speed. It’s a great short commuter. When I get through with it, the stereo will cost more than the car.
I bought it for my 16 year-old son but he said it was a chick car. So I gave him my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Now he pays for the gas.
It’s a two-stroke, actually. Still on original piston and rings from 1984. Few tens of hours, probably. Cast piston skirt might start to crack around 200 hours; so 200k — definitely not.
For short jaunts around town, I have a turbocharged tandem bicycle. Actually, it’s just me riding on the back with a taser. I tell my son he can ride up front and steer. Got it up to 30mph once when the battery was fresh and I hit him with it twice.
Man, you sound like me, ride antiques. Putting a piston in an old smoker is so easy compared to the new 4 strokes.
I ride and old YZ490, an IT200 and a RD400. Getting parts is getting tough though. Ebay is my best friend.
Oh, forgot, put a CR250R water cooled smoker on a shifter cart. That is a really bad boy there. Accelerates so hard ya better have some neck muscles to hold yer head up.
Yep, ‘80 IT250 I bought new and am ‘modding’ to this day; CR500 - ‘86 not ‘84 - referred to in the earlier comment (just got a compression release installed); ‘84 KTM 125 MX is actually the most fun rider in the stable with its ultra-light weight and case reed, and a few others like the ‘82 XL250R, 1650 miles, and Kawasaki KE100 550 miles I just re-did for my girl.
Actually, as I’m getting older along with the bikes, the 185 lb., 31 inch seat height KE is the most comfortable bike for me to ride offroad now. Stay on the gas, but stay on or above the seat even more important at our ages.
We have a kart track 3 miles away but a KT100 was all I ever drove. Yep, eBay saved searches are critical for things like mid-80s KTM water pump vanes.
What is the range of your LEAF (combined)?
Ha I had a 97 Cherokee and despite my best efforts that thing struggled to get 15 mpg. My Caddy SRX gets 19-20 under the same driving cycle.
From my own experience, my 2.0L turbo 4 Escape achieves about 2-3 mpg better economy around town, and 1-2 mpg better on the highway than my 2003 Escape with the 3.0 V6 did (yes, I’m a data geek, and I do keep track of my mileage at every fillup - manually). And it has considerably more horsepower.
However, it doesn’t get what it’s rated to get on the highway, presumably because the EPA highway cycle is not based on people driving 5-7 mph over the speed limit at all times. However-2, my Honda routinely achieved 2-3 mpg higher mileage on the highway than it was rated. It was not a turbo 4, but it was a bit of a performance engine.
Personally, I’m satisfied with the mileage I’m getting, though I think that the turbos are struggling to get real-world mileage equal to that achieved on the EPA test. I think that the EPA test is not quite realistic, though it’s better than nothing.
I had a 1996 Cherokee Country with the 4.0 High Output inline 6 cylinder that easily got 24-26mpg on the highway as long as I kept it under 70mph and let the cruise control take over.
The great thing about that motor is that it's literally bulletproof. Change the oil, keep a clean air filter in it and give it a tune up every 60,000 miles and that motor will just keep going, and going, and going. I sold mine back in 2006 and have regretted it since. Sure wish Jeep would bring back the Jeep Cherokee (not that "new Cherokee that looks like a POS.)
Oddly, I'm around 23.5 city and 26-27 highway with my 2.0. But I have read of some people getting considerably lower mileage (like you are getting) on the Blue Oval forum. My city mileage exceeds the EPA rating, while my highway mileage doesn't meet the rating. But I think that the EPA test doesn't take into account that people like me drive about 75-77 mph in the highway, rather than the snail-like pace at which they test vehicles.
The new Escapes aren't much smaller or lighter than the previous version.
Yeah, that’s why newer turbo engines will do things like use twin sequential turbos or pair a smaller one and a larger one to try and beat the turbo lag. The single smaller turbo like my Eclipse had is better for performance but at the expense of dealing with the lag getting it spun up. Nowadays they can be engineered so the lag is quite minimal but I don’t know that it can be completely removed.
ROTFLMAO!! I thought your post was hilarious. My son, not as much.
you can get a focus without a turbo. the non-eco-boost model.
That FR-S harkens back to my old Opel GT except TONS more fun and I can actually carry stuff in it. If I needed more storage space (I used my Scion xB for that) and needed to transport more than one adult with me on any kind of regular basis, the FR-S would be out. I probably would have settled for the Focus, sans turbo.
they are not classed as an suv anymore, they are a crossover. you can’t get then withg a v6. they are competing with rav-4, honda cr-v vehicles, not suv’s.
‘91 Jetta, naturally aspirated diesel... father bought it new... he gave to me when he bought a new gasser Jetta in 2001. Car has 317k on the OD... still gets 40 MPG.
If VW made this car today and sold it for $40,000, I’d buy it.
91 Jetta means the back doors probably don’t open
Basically because it has terrible drag. I have a 4 cyl non-turbo escape and it gets 27 at 75-80 and 30 at 60.
A large part of the reason that sort of thing doesn't happen is because government regulations (think EPA and NHTSA) require mileage and crash test certification for every unique body/engine/transmission combination. This is quite expensive, and as a result, we have less engine innovation than the European manufacturers.
For an example of the practical effects of this, take a look at a model available in both the U.S. and Europe, like the VW Golf. At VW.com, we find you can get a Golf with a 2.5L gas engine with either a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission (I'm considering GTI and R20 as separate models, not under consideration here).
Now, if we go to VW.de to see what the home market can get, we find a large array of choices with 5 or so engines, and 3 transmissions (manual, torque converter automatic, and dual-clutch automatic), 15 choices altogether.
This over-regulation is innovation-killing and is probably 99% of the reason U.S. manufacturers don't try some small diesels in their trucks. There is too much cost in regulatory compliance for what may turn out to be a small market. So they play it safe, and innovation and customer choice in the marketplace suffer badly.
Now, to really push this home, check out the Amarok at the VW Brazil site. It is the small- to medium-sized truck you're looking for, available with both 4- and 6-cylinder turbo-diesel options.
VW makes a pickup, who knew?
BTW, I am wrong, it isn’t available with a 6. There are two versions of the 4-cylinder TDI, one with a single turbo and one with a biturbo.
VW does make some cool 3.0 TDI 6 cylinder engines, found in the Touareg here, as well as in several Audi models.
Nope... I know what you mean, but I have access to OEM parts,and _everything_ on the car is fixable... unlike any modern POS.
Can you even get a car with crank-down windows anymore?
All the BS crap they put on cars now to satisfy soccermoms, yentas, and spoiled brat douchebag bankers.... heated seats, heated mirrors, dual climate control... whathaveyou... every time there is a failure it’s a $700 stealership repair (minimum) and then a computer replacement because they can’t figure out why the cheap plastic dogturd crap ding dong parts don’t work.
NO THANKS. I can do almost everything I need to with a 13mm combination wrench, 8mm allen wrech, and 13mm socket.
My Cavalier is crank windows. My son makes fun of it. When I get something from the trunk, he starts “Use the remote to open it. Did you turn off the alarm?”
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