QotW: How are high fuel prices affecting your driving?

Fuel prices are at an all-time high, and that takes a toll on those who love cars. Fortunately for many JNCers, old Japanese cars get insanely good mileage. If you have a Datsun B210 or Honda CRX you can still enjoy your cars without too much pain at the pump. Not all of us are so lucky. We pretty much parked our Land Cruisers, rotaries, and Lexuses on the day the invasion of Ukraine began, and have been relegated to driving CX-5s and Camrys for daily duty.

How are high fuel prices affecting your driving?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the worst car buying experience you’ve ever had?“.

Over the years we’ve heard countless stories about people buying their first Japanese cars because other dealerships were just terrible. This even happened to die-hard Big Three loyalists because during the 70s and 80s many still refused to see Japanese cars as legitimate threats. They were blessings in disguise, because in the end the buyers ended up with what we would argue are better cars.

This dynamic played out in several of our Answers of the Week. Mike P. narrowly escaped ownership of a 1987 Chevy Cavalier for a 1980 Toyota Celica instead. Scotty G. traded in a problem-prone Mini Cooper for a Subaru and never looked back. ra21benj ended up discovering the joys of the AE86 because a belligerent private party 240SX owner denied him.

Not all dealerships are bad, though, and this week’s winner proves it. After a string of bad dealer experiences, Ryan A. ended up with an insanely good one:

When the FR-S and BRZ were released, the buying experience was not great. I pretty quickly eliminated the BRZ because most Subaru dealers had significant dealer markup, whereas Scion dealers had their no haggle pricing.

Several dealerships wouldn’t adjust allocation or swap for what I was looking for (white and manual). There were a few who insisted that I needed to buy the upgraded navigation, wheel locks, etc. because they claimed that is how they were shipped from the factory. The dealership I ended up buying from informed me that was the opposite of the truth; the cars where shipped without radios so that dealerships could equip as specified by the customer!

There was one dealer in particular who didn’t seem to want my business. The salesman asked me to bring my parents when he found out I was 24 years old – even after they did a soft pull on my credit.

The dealership that I was buying from was honest and direct. The salesman was new – it was the first car he sold. There were a few errors on the paperwork, so the salesman had to dive about 50 miles three times, to correct mistakes! It all worked out in the end.

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10 Responses to QotW: How are high fuel prices affecting your driving?

  1. Fred Langille says:

    Although most traditional Japanese cars are as frugal at the pump as their aesthetics are that, is NOT the case with my 1989 Nissan S-Cargo, yclept SYNARA (the license plate) from here on out.

    Adhering to the absolute minimalist in design in order to have the best design (despite Doug Demauro’s chaterization as ” … the Ugliest Car ever made.) the minimalization of the design belies the fact that this applies to the minimal GAS mileage as well. This is borne out by the fact that as a preferred city/short haul use vehicle, the concept of getting over 20mpg happens only with highway use and, then when the van is TRYING to approach speeds over 55mph!

    You see that absolute minimalist design of the S-Cargo, which emulates it’s namesake in speed and design only has a flaw. Because the design is akin TO a snail, it actually is like a BRICK!

    Couple this with a SEVEN … repeat … SEVEN gallon tank, my trips to the pump are basically 20×7=140 miles @ tank. Not THAT bad for the city but, remember that the shorter hauls bring mileage down further to about 16-17mpg.

    In our trip from Montreal upon taking delivery, I PRAYED to whatever God that would listen … stopping at about every exit to top up… that we wouldn’t run out of gas. Once I got the hang of how much he could go without a healthy helping of go-juice, it was easier.

    So, now that I can go up to gas up, I ask for “Seven gallons, please.” Filling up at a quarter tank seems logical and, I am ALWAYS logical (HAH!). Especially when it comes to cars (DOUBLE HAH!).

    Nowadays, I can go at about $20 for a full tank @ month … except is, getting to a show that’s out of the area. However, referring to my FASQs (Frequently Asked Silly Questions display) on #3 ” … is it electric?” I have made a tiny dashboard display of eyedropper bottles, in a holder, for gas, oil, water, washer fluid (I’dve made one for transmission fluid but, didn’t have enough eyedropper bottles!).

    I would like to go on a long trip to the Hemmings show but, don’t really relish the stops … even though I have a better idea. So, despite the short pauses between fillups, which are due more to the paucity of the tanks rather than the thirsty nature of the van, I can safely say that, in ratio to big SUVs, trucks and cars ….

    YES … it is a gas snail … I MEAN hog!

  2. Broetto Navarro says:

    Not only I’ve been spending more money on gas lately, but… well, ya know, it also feels like I’ve been visiting the gas station more often…

    Maybe the experience of paying so much for fuel is starting to affect me somehow.
    It’s like my companion 2005 Toyota Corolla Fielder (E120) is always parking at the pump and…

    …wait a sec, is that my car in the photo, ALREADY NEEDING MORE GAS? Good lord when will end!?

    Anyways, I’ve been using more often my wife’s car, a 2004 Renault Clio 1.6, which isn’t showing up in that photo.


  3. Tim Mings says:

    The N600 HONDA. More relevant now, after 50+ years!

  4. Jonathan P. says:

    I’m trying to teetotal it more. Instead of driving everywhere doing 10 over, which is normal where I live (not surprising to see some doing fifteen over, I try to drive at or 5 under the limit.

  5. nlpnt says:

    I don’t own a JNC unless you think of the gen 3 Fit with manual as the last of the real Hondas (there’s a case to be made…) but I’ve been keeping it below 4000 rpm which is when the VTEC moves into the higher program. I wasn’t quite hooning it before, but still I went from a 36-38mpg average to a 41-42 mpg one.

  6. I can’t legally daily the N-ONE, the S660, or even the Today, so I’ve parked my Silverado and commute on my trusty Yamaha TW-200. Eighty miles per gallon, 55mph top speed. And although most of the interstate between home and the museum is limited to 55, nobody is driving that slow, not even the police. So I take surface streets the whole way. What was once a 20-minute commute (15 on the FZ6) is now 35 minutes, give or take. As long as it’s not a thunderstorm, I’m riding, even in 95°+ heat. And the knobbies are still on the bike, just in case I need to take an off-road shortcut.

  7. speedie says:

    No change at all. My 2010 RX-8 averages 18 mpg in mixed driving, about the same as my old 89 Mustang GT 5.0. I am old enough to know a couple of things: 1) If you cant afford to pay high gas prices then don’t buy cars that get bad gas mileage, and 2) All things adjust over time. I lived through two gas crisis (1973 and 1979) and what is happening now is nothing compared to the long gas lines and people stealing gas from tanks back then.

  8. j_c says:

    Lack of air conditioning is affecting my JNC outings more than fuel price this time of year.

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