Honda car got 47 mpg highway, 37 mpg city ... in 1978.

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by plenty560, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. plenty560

    plenty560 Guest

    See the 1978 ad via
    plenty560, Aug 21, 2007
  2. plenty560

    Henry Guest

    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
    Henry, Aug 21, 2007
  3. plenty560

    Jeff Guest

    I would think not. The Fit has 109 HP and air conditioning.

    It's mileage is 34/28 though.

    Jeff, Aug 21, 2007
  4. plenty560

    Blash Guest

    What stock is this relevant to OR does the author cross-post just because
    he's lonesome???
    Blash, Aug 21, 2007
  5. plenty560

    Wayne L Guest

    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.
    Wayne L, Aug 22, 2007

  6. These did too:
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Aug 22, 2007
  7. 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.

    Wrong again.

    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...

    Grumpy AuContraire, Aug 22, 2007
  8. 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.
    Gordon McGrew, Aug 22, 2007
  9. my buddy had an 83 civic with Hondamatic. It took my 98 civic 5-spd to
    school on more than one occasion. Did better on fuel too.

    loewent via, Aug 22, 2007
  10. He's spammed car groups for a few months now. Never anything useful - just
    the National Enquirer beat.

    Michael Pardee, Aug 23, 2007
  11. plenty560

    Blash Guest

    Michael Pardee wrote on 8/22/07 7:20 PM:
    I've noticed that since they've closed the "institutions", there are more of
    these OT cross-posters everyday.......
    Most of them are the "political whackos" who devote their lives trying to
    make up catchy derogatory titles for anyone who disagrees with them.......
    Blash, Aug 23, 2007
  12. 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.
    Gordon McGrew, Aug 23, 2007
  13. 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.

    Grumpy AuContraire, Aug 23, 2007
  14. plenty560

    Mark Guest

    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.
    Mark, Aug 23, 2007
  15. plenty560

    highkm Guest

    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.
    highkm, Aug 23, 2007
  16. plenty560

    Retired VIP Guest

    I don't know about less fuel economy. When I was young and foolish, I
    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


    It wasn't all a bed of roses back then but I wish I had a car like
    that today.

    Retired VIP, Aug 24, 2007
  17. That's about 35.5 mpg at 63 mph.
    That's about 48 mpg. Sounds more like an Insight.

    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.
    Gordon McGrew, Aug 24, 2007
  18. plenty560

    highkm Guest

    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.
    highkm, Aug 24, 2007
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