Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Zealand
I think it's best if the engine happens to be more-or-less on the torque peak at cruising speed. It also helps go up hills. With my old 164 I've had 36mpg from its 3L V6. On my trip home today in the 156, I set the cruise control to 100km/h on the GPS (108km/h on the speedo) which is exactly 3000RPM. The 2.0TS seems happy to burble away at 3000 for an hour (I love the way the sound changes as it loads up for a hill and overruns down the other side - it has a nice eager character). 6.3L/100km today which is 44mpg.
I'm selling my 166 tomorrow, a great relief. I think one of the reasons the fuel economy is woeful - it never gets below 10L/100km (never above 28mpg) - is because the torque peak is all the way up at 5000RPM (3L V6 24v) and that just isn't cruising speed unless you're going very fast. I suspect that cruising at 100mph would be more economical with the V6 than with a smaller-engined car working hard to do 100mph. I've noticed that momentary lapses into gratuitous and excessive speed don't seem to affect the average on the trip computer by more than 10% (e.g. hitting 140 (87mph) which is sufficient to lose your license in NZ.) In my 156 the instant consumption spirals into double figures (about a 50% increase for 100-140).
But for my needs the 2.0TS seems to be right in its sweet spot at 100-ish km/h (65mph)
Occasionally I get bored and drive faster. The TS seems to do well up to about 140km/h but acceleration tails off... I've never really seen any faster on twisting roads (yes I know it could do 200 on a motorway...) whereas a V6 will have a lot more acceleration in the 120-140+ range.
So that top-end performance comes at the cost of cruising economy... I found that driving very slowly (80-90km/h) to try and save fuel isn't worth it at all in the V6 and, for that matter, is a waste of time with the TS as well.
I drove a Civic Hybrid for several months in 2007 and while that used maybe 1L less fuel per 100km cruising (5.4L/100km) the performance was a grade down from the 2.0TS - not worth the saving especially when you consider the cost of buying the car...
'00 GTV V6, '08 FIAT 500, shell and parts for a '71 FIAT 850 Coupe
Last edited by alexGS; 05-08-11 at 15:25.