Regular internal combustion cars are the devil, and hybrid vehicles are guilt-free driving. This is the message the auto industry is telling us right now. Oddly though, there was a plethora of regular gasoline engines which got better gas mileage than even the best hybrid vehicles (thanks to Fark for the inspiration) available today, and they cost less. For example:

honda civic crx

1980s Honda Civic CRX


2012 toyota camry hybrid

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Camry has the best gas mileage out of the hybrid cars at 41mpg (5.7L/100km) combined. Sounds pretty good. The 1989 Honda Civic CRX has a gas mileage of 44mpg (5.3L/100km) combined. What the fuck?

Why would the auto industry spend billions of dollars over the last 10 years to develop “gas efficient” (hybrid) cars, when they already had cars that were more gas efficient in the 80s? I’ll tell you why:

1. Weight. Over the years, cars have increased in weight. One reason for this is that the safety regulations over the years have changed, and it requires better and heavier safety equipment to meet. However, if the auto industry was willing to spend billions into developing an entire and very complicated new engine type, why were they not willing to spend the money into weight reduction?

2. Manual Transmission. Manual transmissions were more popular in the past, and manual allows drivers to be far more gas conscious. If you’re accelerating towards a red light, you’re doing it wrong.

3. Consumer Greed. Let’s be serious here, power windows, DVD players for your offspring, and sunroofs are not necessary in a car. While I’m sure the auto industry could put effort into making this items weigh less, the real problem is that the consumer became greedy.

4. Auto Industry Greed. This is the biggest one. The original price of the 1989 Honda Civic was $6,385. Price adjusted to 2010, this would be $11,082. Why would the auto industry want you to pay such a low price for high gas mileage, when instead they they can charge a lot more for a hybrid?

We have gone backwards with cars, and yet the industry calls it progression. How embarassing.