Partially just to say that "I had four posts in one day!" for the nay-sayers, but more just to rant - I found this ad on the Internet while looking for something else one day and never got around to posting about it. Please note the EPA City/Hwy gas mileage rating in the lower-left corner, which reads 22/29.
That was bragging rights way back in 1981. However, this is for the AMC Eagle SX/4 - the sporty model that had an AWD setup and a four cylinder engine. It has no ABS, no ESP, no airbags even. But it still got decent gas mileage when the average price was $1.38/gallon.
So what, tell me, has the auto industry been doing for 27 years? Sure - we have safer and more reliable transportation than we did back in '81. We also have a LOT more power under the hood. However, my latest car (2008 Jetta Wolfsburg 2.0T) gets the same gas mileage as a 1981 AMC Eagle that supposedly drove in the 4th Dimension (as the ad states). The majority of I4 and V6 cars on the road today do as well.
You would think that Legislation and the auto industry could have spent just as much time & effort on fuel efficiency as they did on safety measures and horsepower. I'll get off my soapbox now...