Tech Thursday: 214 MPG

We here at FIWK have been loosely following the green movement - from Aaron's quest for a new car (I'll be joining your search soon) to Royce's first foray into the Smart Grid - so I thought it wise to continue this look with Pop-Sci's DIY article on making your own MPG improvements. The headliner? Dutch designer Allert Jacobs' 214-MPG motorcycle (the Dutch sure are having a good week!). I love everything about this article.

Image Via Pop-Sci.


  1. PS Aaron - how goes your car search? I test drove both the 2010 Prius and 2010 Fusion a few weeks back. The Prius felt heavy to me, and the Fusion drove muuuuch smoother. However, I'm not sure it's worth it for 2 reasons:

    1) It costs ~$5K more than the Prius
    2) It gets ~15 MPG less than the Prius

  2. Scott, I am super intrigued by those two cars. First - I assume you drove the Fusion Hybrid?

    And second - other than the driving feel, could you break down other big distinctions between the two that are important to you? Do you care that the Fusion is much bigger, and therefore better for carrying more people or stuff (like say on trips)? Did you feel the interior or exterior design of either car was a factor for you? Etc etc

    Also, I went test driving this last weekend and drove the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Really nice car, although not quite as green... there is a PZEV version which rates a 9 on CO2 and 9 on smog (10 being best), but it gets only 22 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

    That said the car drove very, very well. The SE version, which is tuned slightly sportier, makes about 200 hp and slightly less torque, and felt great. I like the exterior styling and the interior finish was very attractive. There were also some cool "these make the car seem more expensive than it is" features like keyless entry and push-button engine start.

    In fact I should almost write up a car review. The 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE w/o nav goes for about $22k at most dealerships, which is a very good value for what it brings to the table in my opinion.

  3. So, if I read that Pop-Sci article correctly, it seems that you can almost better gas mileage by adding better aerodynamics than by going to a hybrid?

  4. Last August we bought a 2006 Honda Civic that gets about 30mpg as Jessica mostly commutes to work on the freeway for 30-40 minutes each way.

  5. We decided on the Honda Civic mostly through internet research on car costs, likelihood and expense of repairs, safety, gas mileage and other personal economic reasons. Then it was looking at Honda Civics for sale in the Bay Area, taking test drives in San Jose, Daly City, Burlingame, Hayward, and San Mateo before buying the car in Berkeley

  6. Lot's to talk about here...

    Yes - drove the Fusion Hybrid. In terms of non-driving aspects of the car, I thought they Hybrid won out. It has TONs of space (moreso than the Fusion and Civic Hybrids), especially considering its back seats fold down (neither the Civic, nor the Fusion allow for that due to the location of the battery). The biggest difference I found was that the Prius came with more standard features than any others.

    If I have it in me, I'll provide reviews of my test drives later...