VW Debuting 4cyl Cylinder Deactivation at the Geneva Show

VW Polo Debut

VW is one of the few car companies that consistently offers deisel engines in the US. They’ve been dedicated to keeping small fuel effiecient engines in as many US spec cars as they can but this year at the International Auto show they’ve shown us something a little different. In their european Polo Blue GT model VW has introduced cylinder deactivation technology on a 4 cylinder engine. Shutting down cylinders at certain engine rpm and load is nothing new as VW along with many other manufacturers have offered it for some time on their bigger engines. No one else offers this on a 4cyl though which makes it very interesting.

The new 1.4L turbo engine is able to deactivate cylinders to achieve a 60 mpg average fuel rating. This technology allows the new 1.4L engine to achieve 140 hp and a sub 7.9 second 0-60 when you need it but then cuts cylinders when the car is cruising under less of a load. It seems like VW is on the right path with this this one while others chase full electric and hybrid vehicles. VW has created something that can equal hybrid mpg numbers while matching gas engine performance. While the Polo is a European model, buyers can expect to see something very similar in the states over the next few years.

Should I buy a new fuel efficient car?

So I have been mulling over the idea of getting a more fuel efficient car. I drive a 2010 Nissan Murano right now and driving back and forth to work everyday is starting to put a damper on my wallet. Every time I fill up its about 70 smackers right to the face and wallet. Don’t get me wrong though I love the Murano and on long trips it is a very comfortable car to be driving it’s just the wallet that suffers. Although the Murano gets about 22-25 mpg on the highway which isn’t bad at all I would much rather get 35-40 mpg on the highway.  So this is what brings me to thinking about getting a more fuel efficient car. A few used cars/bike I was thinking about were the Can-am Spyder, Smart car, and a Honda CR-Z.

 

Yeah I know It isn’t a bike, and it isn’t a car but these three wheeled bikes are pretty cool looking. The Can-am Spyder is a nice ride for older gentleman who can’t ride a two wheeled motorcycle anymore but still love to ride or for people who just can’t ride a bike and can ride one of these. The Spyder gets about 32 mpg so it isn’t the most fuel efficient vehicle but I have never rode a bike before and would love to jump on one of these and take right off.  It just seems like a blast. The downfall is I would have to get my motorcycle license, the safety factor, and I can only drive it half of the year. So this really wouldn’t save me anything. But I think this is more for the fun factor if anything. I most likely wouldn’t purchase this but it’s a thought.

Ok say what you want but this little booger gets 33 city and 41 hwy mpg. With a 70 hp engine and a 12.8 0-60 mph rating this little rocket may be sitting in my driveway some time soon. From what I have heard from friends of friends they love there smart cars, and there not just for small people either. Granted I’m not a huge guy but I’m not small either and I want to be comfortable in my 30 minute commute everyday. These cars are very safe and I can find them around town used for about $8,000 – $10,000. Which is not a bad price tag used. I just don’t know if I can see myself driving in one of these cars everyday. But to save a few bucks it may just be worth it!

Now the car I have been eyeing for a while the Honda CR-Z. I think it is just the looks of this thing because i think it looks awesome.  The Honda CR-Z gets 35 city 39 hwy with a  combined 37. This isn’t to bad considering the car has different options in driving. The car has a Sport mode for a little extra boost. An eco mode for slow city driving and stop and go traffic. A normal mode for normal driving on country roads and such. The car has a 16-Valve SOHC i-VTEC engine that puts out about 122hp between the gas and electric motor. The problem is the price tag, used ones are still going for about $19,000 I like it because of it’s looks and it seems a lot more roomy than the Smart car. I’m a sucker for sleek looking cars like this.

 

So in conclusion these are the 3 vehicle I have been looking at purchasing and the Spyder being the least one I want out of the bunch and the CR-Z being the one I want the most, of course that being the most expensive one. Here is the only problem; is it wallet efficient for me to be doing this. I spend about $300 on gas a month. So another car payment will be about $130-$180 and insurance plus car taxes every year. Also owning the Murano on top of this and still having to fuel that up every so often. So far I haven’t really been able to justify buying another vehicle and using it for back and forth to work. I really don’t want to be driving around a $500 beater car either I would like something presentable. So if anyone has any input or thoughts please post them here and let me know what you think. What do you drive and what have you found you like the most for efficiency.