My niece drove that car in school. It sported a 1.2 litre
engine, and its performance with more than one person aboard
made it truly unsafe in western traffic. The gearing was such
that the driver was constantly busy clutching and shifting, and
there was no power brakes or power steering, so operator
functions became a serious distraction. Of course, air
conditioning was a matter of cranking down the windows.
That model was not available in California, and did not have a
catalytic converter. Further, according to the ad, the version
with auto transmission got 30mpg on the highway.
Honda (among the best of all car makers, in my opinion) would
not hold up that 1.2L '78 as an example of its engineering prowess.
It's truly a wonderful example of how far technology has moved
in the last thirty years. The Honda Fit is, I suppose, today's
I'm not aware of the 1200 having safety issues due to the lack of power.
It was an economy car that measured up to the manufacturer's claims. The
lack of power steering, (It did have power brakes as is with most cars
with disk brakes), on a car so light is also a non issue.
Oh, A/C was indeed an option as well.
The 1200 evolved into the 1300 CVCC of which the '82/83 models got
nearly 60 mpg highway and 43 mpg in town. I know, I have one!
Yeah, cars have gotten bigger and get worse mileage and are not user
friendly with regard to maintennace.
Yep, enjoy your trip in fantasy land...
On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 04:08:49 GMT, Grumpy AuContraire
I wouldn't call it fantasy land. I never owned an '82/83 Civic but my
'74 Civic and my '80 Accord seldom got over 30 mpg. Of course, I have
a heavy foot, but I never saw mileage close to what you describe.
I haven't driven the Fit, but I would be very surprised if it didn't
better my G1 Civic in just about every way. (The old Civics were easy
to work on, but they needed more maintenance and repair than a modern
Honda.) Where do you live that your Civic hasn't turned to dust? Rust
proofing has to be the biggest improvement of all, although they had
already gotten a lot better by 1983.
Cars in general are a lot better over the last 25 years. They are
also a lot more complex and are generally biased more toward greater
horsepower and higher weight (for various purposes) than toward fuel
economy. That may be changing in the future. The bloom has certainly
come off the SUV rose.
My first Honda was a '76 CVCC and I regularly got in the high 30's mpg
on trips. Never less than 30 mpg and it was great in the snow, (I lived
in RI at the time). Finally had to take it off the road in the late
1980's becuase of terminal rust. Mechanicals were fine at 160K.
The generation 2 Civics were bigger and in the US, all were CVCC. In
fact the 1300 was simply the old 1200 block with a CVCC head. In '82 &
'83, the FE (Fuel Efficient) had super thin rings and other attributes
that yields better than 40 mpg in town and near 60 mpg on the highway.
And don't let the thin (1mm top, 1.2mm 2nd) fool you, those cars if
maintained properly would easily go 300K without major repairs.
My 87 Camry (2L 16V 4-cyl automatic, 115 HP) weighed 2800 lbs, seated
5 comfortably, had plenty of power, and would get over 40-44 mpg
highway when driven a constant 65 mph - a truly great combination of
utility and economy. I averaged 27 mpg in the city, a bit better than
my current 2006 Scion tC. I don't think cars have come very far at
all in the last 20 years economy-wise.
I borrowed a new Honda Fit (with a stick) from a buddy for a weekend.
I liked the sporty engine feel. However, I got worse milage than on a
2003 4-cyl accord. The Fit needs another gear for highway cruising
because I never got better than 6.7 -6.8 L/100Km at 100Km/hr. I am
shocked. That's very bad gearing for that car. maybe Honda should have
offered a gear option for the buyer. I'd never buy the Fit unless it
consumed 5l/100km or less. I read that most people are getting their
milage in at 30-40Miles per galon on other honda cars. That's crappy
milage. Are they driving with high friction tires, maybe winter tires.
I have a higher milage 2003 accord (~ 200,000 miles) and I am getting
almost 50Miles per gallon (Canadian gallons) 5.8l/100km at 100Km/hr.
That is 41 mpg. I thought you got 6.8L/100 Km?
As a reality check, here are real world mileage figures submitted to
the EPA by owners at
Year 2003 2007 2007 2007
Car Accord Accord Civic Fit
Eng. 2.4L 4 2.4L 4 1.8L 4 1.5L 4
Tran AT AT MT MT
ave mpg 28.4 23.6 31.3 35.6
range 22-37 15-29 23-38 28-43
# vehicles 17 13 15 32
So the Fit did OK.
That's correct 5.8 to 5.9 liters per 100km at 100km/h of highway
driving. I drive 400Km per day every day. I get consistently almost
1,100 km per tank. I jam in about 62 - 63 liters. I have just
purchased low friction tires and I am hoping that they will provide
less resistance than the Nokian i3 that they replace. I have also been
informed that I should try using 0w20 synthetic in place of 0w30
synthetic. My target is 1200 km. That way I would fill up at the end
of every 3rd day. Cheers.
made a very smart decision for all the wrong reasons. It still amazes
me, but in 1965 I bought a used 1964 Corvair Mazda. It had manual
everything and a 110 hp, 6 cy boxer engine. And it got almost 30 mpg
at 65 mph and would run over 100 mph.
It was easy to work on, a set of feeler gauges and a timing light
would allow you to do a decent tune-up. Air cooled, so no water pump
or antifreeze. It had two things that I really didn't like, it
required premium gas and, if it rained in the summer and you put the
defroster on, it would get over 100 degrees in the cabin. But, on
zero degree days, you'd have heat in less than a mile from a cold
AND MY BUTT FIT THE SEAT!!!!
It wasn't all a bed of roses back then but I wish I had a car like
I drove a '74 Civic I got new until 1980. It actually outperformed
most economy cars of its time, at least partly due to its sporty
gearing. I once beat a Gremlin V6 in a drag race to 70 mph and I had
two 6 foot friends with me. It did have power brakes and it didn't
need power steering. Understeered like a SOB though if you pushed it.
It had 12" wheels.
I drove it very hard and I only got over 30 mpg on very rare
occasions. OTOH, this was at a time when big cars got 12 mpg.
Put it in perspective. Compared to my '94 GS-R, the '74 Civic weighed
33% less, had less than 30% of the horsepower, had erratic engine
performance due to carburetor and primitive ignition, and went maybe
17% farther on a gallon of gas in the Summer and not at all better in
the Winter. The Integra is a far better car in every way, but the
Civic was great for its time.
Someone mentioned the manual choke. In 1974 the automatic was called
a Hondamatic transmission and it had a torque converter and two
manually selected gears. I bet that was still in use in 1978.
I bought one of these used in 1982. It was a fun little death trap to go
back and forth to work in. Had a manual choke too.....only car I ever owned
that had a manual choke.
The milage was around 30 or so. Not bad considering the drive was about 10
miles each way with at least 10 red lights. Before that I was driving a 72
Malibu 350 V8 that got arounf 12 Mph, so after a little accident I decide to
go small. Eventually the cross member under the engine rusted through,
making the front end slop a little squirely, so I gave it to a kid needing a
car who worked in my brother-in-law's body shop. He bought a new cross
member wholesale and drove it good as new after that. At the time, the
body shop prices for dealer parts were 20-30% what the cost for private
parties like me. I once went to the dealer in the 70s for an lower front
end A-frame (only cam with lower ball joint installed). My price was $125.
I declined, and mentioned it to my brother-in-law at a birthday party a
couple of weeks later. He got it for me for abot $30.
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