Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Zealand
I'm really impressed with the economy of my 2.0TS - for average driving, including open-road driving at an average of 90km/h (about 58mph), it's the most economical car I've ever owned. For example, I had a FIAT Punto 1.2 Sporting which was more economical than the 156 around town, but less economical on the open road, as the smaller engine was having to work harder.
From my 2.0TS, I get an average of 6L/100km (47mpg) in gentle cruising, 6.5L/100km (43.5mpg) in faster open-road driving: a particularly brilliant figure that many other cars fail to match, 8.5L/100km (33.2mpg) in town use, and 7.5L/100km (37.7mpg) as an overall average. This is all extremely consistent compared to my 3.0L 164s - those have consumption that doubles around town. The 156 also has the benefit of a huge 65L tank and I have managed 1000km on one tank (621 miles). A 164 has a 70L tank, but I usually get about 600-700km.
The 7.5L/100km (37.7mpg) overall is better than the 36mpg I used to get from my 1116cc Uno 60 in my student days and I used to think of that as an economical little runaround.
Keep your fuel costs in perspective with depreciation... A friend has a Civic Hybrid (leased, which costs more in six months than my 156 did to buy outright) - and that achieves an overall average of 6.9L/100km, though it can get down to 4.5L/100km in a gentle cruise. But, 6.9L/100km on average! And it's a Hybrid! So he spends $10000 extra a year to save a few hundred.
I know someone who was particularly happy with their 1.8L lean-burn Toyota Corona (2002 model) but it turned out that the economy soon suffered when the foot went down to keep up with the 156. As I said, small-engined cars have to work harder, so may not be as economical as you hope. I suspect in real driving there's not much difference between the 1.6, 1.8, and the 2.0 in the 156.
If we consider other cars that are similar to the 156 in size and performance, rather than comparing to hybrids and Low Emission Vehicles, then there's no contest at all. A friend has an Audi A4, with all-wheel-drive and turbocharger, and with all that extra weight to haul, it manages 11L/100km on average (25mpg).
But I guess you want the diesel, so you'll have to assess that separately. I don't like diesels and there are few available here, even though our diesel fuel is a lot cheaper than petrol (there are extra Road User Charges to pay instead that reduce the benefit).
'00 GTV V6, '08 FIAT 500, shell and parts for a '71 FIAT 850 Coupe
Last edited by alexGS; 12-04-10 at 02:35.