Lotta Poor Man Make a Five Dollar Bill

7 May

People are having a hard time unloading their gas guzzlers. That writing’s been on the wall literally for years. I owned a Honda Pilot for a while and reached my breaking point when gas reached $1.85/gallon. That was in 2004.

Currently, I drive a VW Passat Wagon 2.0T FSI which has a high-efficiency direct-inject turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that gets a combined 27 MPG. It has a 19 gallon tank, so I get about 440 miles’ worth of range on a single tank, and I can easily fill it only once per week. I last paid $3.71 per gallon, topping the tank off at around $60.

But I have distinct memories of the late 70s, the last time we had a scare like this, and almost every single car ad on TV touted the car’s EPA mileage figures. We are slowly coming back to that.

Ideally, I’d like to have a direct-inject turbocharged common rail diesel engine getting a combined 50 MPG so I could pull 800 miles’ worth of range, but affordable, Tier II Bin 5 compliant diesel passenger car engines (50-state legal) appear to be a year away from showrooms.

5 Responses to “Lotta Poor Man Make a Five Dollar Bill”

  1. Mike May 7, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    The real sad story is the suv’s you see waiting at Tim Horton’s drive thru every morning, can’t you just get your ass out of bed a little early and make a pot of coffee? Good luck with you VW, I went to the Suburu wagon since 98 when gas was still 99 cents.

  2. Ben Franklin May 7, 2008 at 8:55 am #

    Keep him happy all the time,

    some other fella’s make nothing at all,

    and you can hear him cry.

  3. STEEL May 7, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    We need congress to step in and pass subsidies on the resale of gas guzzlers.

  4. Denizen May 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm #
  5. Terry May 7, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Having lived thru this before in the 70’s and seeing the ilk that Detroit pushed out in terms of Chevettes, Pinto’s Vegas (Cosworth Vega aside)and 4 cylinder Mustangs of all things, I am not going to get swept up in it again. My 15 mpg Dodge Ram blows, but I am not going to get stressed into buying a car that gets 20 mpg.. Fuel efficiency isn’t the issue, fuel cost is (well, efficiency is an issue, true, but cost is more significant if you factor in tractor trailer fuel costs which impact on the price of goods…you aren’t going to get alot of VW trucks on the road) I remember my buddy in the late 70’s lamenting the falling stock he held in Winnebago…Those RV dinosaurs seemed to come back a decade later, much to my surprise….I imagine that they are selling like lead balloons now…. I just believe that we are at the whim of profit inspired capitalists who have the fuel and auto design market figured out far beyond our collective abilities to respond. I don’t believe that the customer drives the market in this case..rather the market seems to drive us (no pun intended)…

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