The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 January 2008

Mass saved, anyway

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: weight is the enemy of fuel economy.

Nissan, which has no particular reason to agree with me, has apparently come to the same conclusion: the Home of the Hamburger vows to slice vehicle weight across its entire fleet. By 2015, the company says, Nissan vehicles will average 15 percent lighter than their 2005 counterparts.

Were I cynical, I could suggest that they could pull this off simply by dropping the Brobdingnagian-sized Titan truck and its SUV spinoffs: the Infiniti QX56 in its two-wheel-drive form (add another 300 lb for 4WD) presses down upon the earth to the tune of 5700 lb, a heavy piece indeed. But if they can scrape a few pounds out of the actual passenger cars, so much the better; my current ride (a Nissan product) weighs about 13 percent more than the one it replaced (which wasn't), and I can feel the bulk on every tight curve, to say nothing of every visit to the gas station.

Posted at 6:57 AM to Driver's Seat

SHRIFT___shorter: In fairness to Nissan, I should point out that in Motor Trend's most recent comparison test of Standard Family Sedans, Nissan's Altima had a minimum 100-lb advantage over its three competitors (Camry, Malibu, Accord). Still, it was forty pounds heavier than Gwendolyn, who competed in a higher weight class in her day, which indicates that just about everybody's cars are getting bulky.

Posted by: CGHill at 2:25 PM on 5 January 2008