Here’s the latest reader comment, along with my reply!
Dave writes: I have a 1985 Ford Crown Vic with the 5.8 liter/351 Windsor V8 fed by a two barrel carburetor. It gets 23 MPG on the highway. Compare with a 2002 Ford Explorer equipped with the 4.6 liter V8, fuel injected. It gets 14 MPG. Smaller V8 engine in the 2002; it probably weighs less. But uses about 60 percent more gas. So, using 60 percent more gas, I would suppose the total emissions are the same over the same distance, especially considering this stupid CO2 “greenhouse gas” hooey thing.< Also, my 1994 Topaz or Tempos average about 30 MPG. Should they not, comparing to Crown Vic, get 45 mpg? It is all bullshit.
My reply: I agree. The mileage of today’s cars is generally atrocious given all the technological advantages they have vs. the older stuff. You can probably recall the economy cars of the early-mid-1980s. These routinely averaged 40 MPG – better than almost all new cars – and did so without the new car advantages of port fuel and direct fuel injection, overdrive transmissions and so on.
The reason why is not mysterious. Modern cars are grossly overweight. A current-year economy car weighs on average 800-1,000 lbs. more than an economy car from the ’70s/early ’80s. And the reason for that is . . . Uncle. The federal government has been imposing “safety” mandates for decades and while these have indeed made cars more able to withstand impacts they have also made them much heavier and so less fuel efficient.
You can one – or the other – but you can’t have both in the same car.
My argument has always been that people ought to be free to choose what they want in a car – as opposed to being told by Uncle what they will have in a car. A person ought top be free to buy something analogous to an old VW Beetle – a very light, very basic and very fuel efficient car – if that is their desire. Because it is no one else’s proper business.
But hey, I’m one of those Libertarian weirdos who believes adults have the right to direct the course of their own lives and not be parented by busybodies who think they know better and intend to force others into line.
. . . Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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