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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A long story, you'll need 10 minutes to read....

Today I did my first long motorway journey in Dafny (my 1.4T LE). The journey was a 250 mile round trip to my head office. I have done this trip twice a week for 12 years and for 10 of those years I've been driving this Mazda 2.5TDi pickup truck:

Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Automotive parking light


After 260K miles the Mazda (named Thomas by my children) was starting to require very expensive repairs and fuel economy had dropped from a regular 35-40mpg on the commute to a rather dismal 30mpg. We spent £1500 last year to get him through the MOT and he would have needed a similar amount this year. The annual fuel bill was an eye watering £5000. Despite being loan free for the last 7 years he was still costing a fortune and was becoming unreliable. His insurance was £500 a year and VED was £230 a year.

So my wife and I decided to replace him with a more economical new car but only had a budget of £15K and against all logic instead of buying a large second hand saloon car such as BMW 5 series I opted for a brand new Corsa!

Tire Wheel Cloud Car Automotive side-view mirror


The LE is a gorgeous looking car, is quite big for its class and even in petrol form promised great economy. I worked out that at 45mpg we could afford to buy and run the 1.4T LE for the same as it was costing is to run the loan free pickup truck - as long as it got 45mpg+ we'd be fine.........

Since I collected Dafny on Friday she has averaged 50mpg and her performance around town and on rural roads was fantastic so all was looking good with my decision to downsize. :)

So this morning I set off at 4:30am, with air temps at just 2.5c. I got to the next village and was driving along at my normal speed of 30mph which I've done in my rear wheel drive pickup truck with no traction control a zillion times before in icy conditions with no issue only to find that on going around a bend Dafny slid across the road with absolutely no traction at all. EEK! Thankfully she stopped short of the kerb on the other side. Not the start to my journey I'd hoped for. It seems these low rolling restistance tyres are useless compared to the heavily siped winter tyres I run on my pickup all winter and I'd stupidly forgotten to take this into account.

I finally got onto the M180 motorway and hit a gale force headwind and heavy rain. The mpg gauge was showing just 33mpg as I tried to drive along at a steady 56mph all the while fighting the steering because she simply would not remain in a straight line, in part due to the ruts made by the HGV's and in part due to her very short wheelbase and large tyres making her inherently nervous compared to the rock solid stability afforded by the much longer wheelbase pickup truck which will drive for hundreds of miles with barely a touch needed on the steering. The pickup truck also has wider spaced wheels which means the truck doesn't have any issues with lorry ruts. I endured 40 miles of headwind and the fuel gauge refused to improve on 33mpg. This was no better than my 1.8 ton pickup truck and at this point I thought I'd made a really big mistake with my downsizing. :(

I finally turned south onto the M18 and got out of the headwind and straight away the fuel computer increased to 47mpg! The M18 has recently been resurfaced and Dafny sat beautifully on the new tarmac although tyre noise (wide 215 tyres remember!) was causing more interior noise at 60mph than my diesel pickup. It was still heavy rain so the wipers and heater were still on along with the lights as it was still pitch black. All these electrical items crucify mpg as I know from many previous trips.

I then got onto the M1 southbound in the 50mph specs controlled roadworks and I decided to try the cruise control. It worked perfectly and was a breeze to adjust the speed up or down slightly at the flick of the toggle button. However I noticed the mpg drop slightly which I thought was odd. Anyway I got down to Nottingham and the sun came out so I no longer needed the wipers or heating on and I switched the lights down to side lights. I also gave up on the cruise control as it was giving very bad mpg so I switched back to manual control and used my eco driving technique. The wind had also died down and for about 20 miles her mpg was now showing a consistent/steady 66mpg :cool:

However I still haven't ordered my wind deflectors and I'd lit up a cigarette only to find that the bright hot embers fanned by the gale blowing through the slightly open window were blowing all over me and the inside of the car EEK. For fear of ruining my new upholestory I had to give up on the ide of a *** until I reached work so by then I was not in the best of moods. I fitted wind deflectors to the pickup truck the day we got it home. I will be ordering some for Dafny tomorrow!

I then blasted along the A42/M42 and got to work with the average mpg showing a rather dismal 46mpg and once parked up managed to smoke half a pack of ****. At this point I was seriously considering returning Dafny and asking for my truck back :eek:

However when I left work the sun was out (albiet with the odd bit of light rain) and Dafny felt completely different. Without the deep standing water and high winds she was more composed and on the return journey she was consistently showing 50-55mpg, was much quieter and with no strong winds I was even able to smoke a few **** on the way back too. I maintained a steady 56-60mph for most of the return journey and as I drew closer to home after over 200 miles of driving I was starting to find her sweet spot for both economy and torque. Driving up steep inclines on the M1 in 5th while reading 50+mpg brought a smile to my face and I once back on the M180 I treated myself to a quick 20 mile blast at 70mph. This engine comes into life at 2500-3500rpm and is a little rocket ship. :cool:

So Dafny is slightly less comfortable than my pickup, requires far more input to keep in a straight line and is noisier than the pickup too HOWEVER she is getting nearly double the fuel economy in like for like conditions while also having stunning performance available for some fun when mpg is not so crtitcal. Torque is simply amazing for such a small petrol engine and to be able to pull up long inclines in 6th and actually accelerate in 6th uphill is very impressive. I still miss my pickup badly but I'm sure that after a few more months I'll have got used to Dafnys little foibles and I'll be better of financially and have peace of mind that I'm not driving a vehicle that could fall apart at any moment like my 260K mile pickup truck.

Oh and just to show off, this is her trip display when I got home, still showing a 1/4 tank left and has averaged 51mpg despite horrific weather conditions, 40 miles of traffic jams and urban driving, a further 40 miles of country roads and a few short local trips to the shops on top of the commute to work. In better weather it looks like she'll get about 500 miles from a tank :cool: :cool: :cool:

Speedometer Gauge Odometer Car Trip computer


Sorry for the stupidly long post.

Ian
 

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I am so pleased you are starting to enjoy her! It does take a while to get used to a new car though. I do enjoy your long posts - I learn something from almost every post, it is a great insight for me! I felt the same as you when I got my Ibiza after driving my previous Corsa D. There really is no going back to a n/a engine once you've experienced those little turbo engines! I had always hoped that one day Vx would introduce the small turbo engines as (as you may remember) I would love the heated seats and steering wheel! Since I am in no rush to order I am waiting for the launch of Q2 offers, but may wait until September, but definitely thinking of going with the 1.4t rather than the 1.0t now as it's cheaper.
 
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Very good write up Ian, I am currently getting around 42 mpg (wife doing lots of short trips during the week when I'm away). Having that 200nm of torque in the mid-range is a definite bonus, it's even higher than the diesel corsa's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you folks.

LeachIE, yes it definately takes a little while to adjust to a different car. After ten years spent driving the pickup with its own unique characteristics it will require a bit of adjustment to master Dafny. Most people would not be experiencing such an exteme either, I'm going from a big pickup to a small hatchback AND going from a big torquey turbo diesel engine to a small turbo petrol. I've managed to nearly stall Dafny on several occasions when pulling away without sufficient revs. I'm used to the truck being able to pull away in 2nd at 800rpm....

Gary, yes the mid range is where you need the power, certainly for motorway work and for getting good mpg. Being able to cruise along at 1800rpm in 6th is great. I have also found I quite like the stop/start too. It works really well in town and traffic jams. I couldn't believe the high economy she was getting in town in conditions that my diesel truck would struggle to better 28mpg. You'd have to wonder why bother with the diesel Corsa when the petrols are this good? Sure they may hit 90mpg on a good day but they cost a £K more to buy and more to service too AND the fuel is more expensive too. I reckon after todays experience I should easily see 55-60mpg in good weather. A diesel Corsa would have to be getting 66mpg just to match that running cost let alone save any money due to the higher cost of fuel.
 

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Stop/start is great to have, as is the hill start assist. I have both on the Ibiza and love them! Even sat at traffic lights you can save fuel whilst others continue to burn theirs off!
 

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Thanks Mud4fun. Very good report and not too long. Long it may continue you enjoy Dafny and look forward to the British Summer :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ceproctor said:
Thanks Mud4fun. Very good report and not too long. Long it may continue you enjoy Dafny and look forward to the British Summer :D
Thanks and I can't wait for summer - this winter, while not being severe has seemed quite long and I'm looking forward to being able to drive more than 10 miles without needing to wash the car!

Another problom with downsizing from the pickup truck is that I've gone from only having to wash the car every month to having to wash Dafny every day. I guess it is because the truck sits up high so gets less road dirt and has big wide wheelarch flares and muflaps which keep the sides clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Folks,

One thing I forgot to add about the cruise control; with a manual transmission the cruise control is less useful than with an auto.

You can only really make most use of it on a dead flat road. On my 125 mile motorway trip to work there were surprisingly few places it could operate well. Most of my journey has long inclines and then long descents. I found by watching the instant mpg gauge that if you leave the car in 6th and just rely on the cruise control to maintain a set speed it will attempt to drive up inclines with no apparent labouring however it was doing 13mpg in doing so. If I drove manually as I would normally, using a lower gear, I was getting 40+mpg going up similar inclines. Overall I reckon I was getting about 5-8mpg better by driving manually than when using cruise control.

On the dead flat sections it worked perfectly and was a welcomed as it gave my right foot and leg a chance to relax :)
 

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I've also noticed that with the cruise control; my route to work has a few flat, straight roads and the times of my commute are either very late or very early so I recently thought I'd see what this "cruise control" thing was :lol: you're right when you say it doesnt appear to struggle, if I'm free of traffic I'll usually put the Corsa in 5th for 30mph and chug away at an indicated "99mpg" (not sure how accuracte that is :?) But with cruise control in the manual it obviously cant change gear so it was in 5th down to 25ish mph up a slight incline and mpg dropped down to about 30. Also because its on the manual, if you go down an incline and it picks up speed it the stays at the new speed, which I've found is something to watch! Overall though I'm happy with it :) coming from a 2004 Corsa C with no gadgets or gizmo's it all feels absolutely amazing! :D
 

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Nice report glad your sticking with it,which wind deflectors are you going for? I normally use climair (who are based just around the corner from me) but they don't do the corsa e yet I need to go and see if their corsa D ones fit
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Anthony,

I'm not sure yet on the wind deflectors. I was going to order some today but I need to do some more research as the Team Heko ones don't look like they sit out far enough to be useful for a smoker. I had genuine Mazda deflectors on my Mazda pickup but they were stick on types and sat about 2" off the door which was good, I'm not so keen on the ones that fit in the window channel. Thankfully I'm off on holiday next week so don't need to go to head office again for two weeks which gives me plenty of time to find some :)

Ian
 
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I found the Heko ones perfect for a smoker, have a set of Corsa D ones on mine now that I bought in 2010 for my first D, they are a perfect fit but they do go in the channel. By the way I quit smoking 2 years ago but still like to have deflectors fitted.
 

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mud4fun said:
Thank you. I'll get a set ordered. :)
I've heard some bad reports about heko falling out,so I'm going for climair,the main uk dealer is just around the corner from me,if they can supply I will see if the can do us a deal
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
anthony said:
mud4fun said:
Thank you. I'll get a set ordered. :)
I've heard some bad reports about heko falling out,so I'm going for climair,the main uk dealer is just around the corner from me,if they can supply I will see if the can do us a deal
Bugger, too late, just ordered a set of Heko ones. Mind you they were quite cheap so worth a try, if they don't work I can get Climair ones later and sell the Hekos.
 

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Your mpg figures sound amazing, ive only really used my 1.4 n/a Ecoflex to work and back and some short shopping trips (hence a diesel whilst it would do better mpg was no good for me as diesels aren't suited to short stop start journeys) and in 230miles its gone from a full tank (8 bars) to 1 bar and still showing 90 mile range, 32mpg average, which is worse than my old Clio which I got rid of due to poor mpg amongst other things, its mainly 8 miles of motorway with 1 mile of urban driving from my house to motorway and 1 mile from motorway to work, but usually at rush hour.
 

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mud4fun said:
anthony said:
mud4fun said:
Thank you. I'll get a set ordered. :)
I've heard some bad reports about heko falling out,so I'm going for climair,the main uk dealer is just around the corner from me,if they can supply I will see if the can do us a deal
Bugger, too late, just ordered a set of Heko ones. Mind you they were quite cheap so worth a try, if they don't work I can get Climair ones later and sell the Hekos.
how much were the heko Ones? And what site so I can show the climair
Dealer
 
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