SM as commuter car
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Thread: SM as commuter car

  1. #1
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Default SM as commuter car



    With the 16v suffering from soft coolant hose syndrome, this week I've been driving the SM on a 40km round trip to and from work in morning and afternoon peak hour; here are my observations (both good and not-so-good):

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    • getting it into 4th is a problem as you're rarely hitting anything past 55km/h
    • fuel consumption is hideous - around 20-22l/100km. Half that and that's what this car gets on the open road
    • the clutch (though it's hydraulic) is still heavy when you're forever pushing it in and out
    • the gearchange is silky smooth (thanks to HML)
    • the footwell heat brings back memories of my flirtations with the CX
    • other cars tend to either get out of your way in respect when they're in the right lane
    • the candlelight headlights are only complimented by street lamps
    • never does the car overheat despite the stop starting - the temp remains as if you're hurtling down a highway at 100km/h on a cold winter evening
    • being LHD, you end up striking conversations with other drivers in traffic about Citroens
    • not having a blind spot on the right makes rapid lane changes a breeze
    • when 'rat running' through back streets, the SM juliennes speed bumps and small roundabouts and it simply glides around corners
    • tight parking is a breeze thanks to DIRAVI and the faultless windscreen view and side mirrors

    All in all, if it wasn't for the fuel consumption and general slowness of the commute, it's not all that bad. There's worse cars you could be in.


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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! pajamas's Avatar
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    On the Hume highway between Canberra and Melbourne, we achieved 9.7 litres /100. On a hard day driving in Tasmania, up and down hills, lots of bends and a few straights, we were getting 16l/100.

    btw, the know how to build roads with the right camber in Tasmania. Even around round-about!


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    Paul in Canberra

    1974 DS Safari (aka Sophie Safari)
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    you have to straighten that number plate Donat! You forgot to mention eveything else on the road looks tragic by comparison?
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  4. #4
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    you have to straighten that number plate Donat! You forgot to mention eveything else on the road looks tragic by comparison?
    I noticed that when I took the photo. The double sided tape has lasted almost 5 years. That's pretty good going.


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  5. #5
    JBN
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    You are in good company using an SM to commute. Mike Hailwood motorbike champion and racing car champion use to prefer to drive his SM to Grand Prix meetings rather than fly (he had a pilot's licence as well).

    John
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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Good on you Donnie, if for nothing else but to give the other commuters something interesting to see. I always hate driving my SM in traffic as it just wants to go faster than 40 or 50kph. Maybe an auto would be better. Be a bit like a Fairlane then! I never look at the fuel consumption because I fear if I did I would feel really guilty and sell it. But then again it only gets out about once a fortnight.
    cheers Tony
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  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! marc61's Avatar
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    Never realised fuel consumption was that bad in traffic. I've been using mine a lot since mid March, and averaging 13 l/100km in mixed driving and 11 on a long run.
    Cheers, Marc.

    1987 CX GTi T2 Maikonics
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  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    It's almost an economy car ............ compared to a shitty old land rover that I've been using around town.
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  9. #9
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    makes we want to go straight out to the shed and fix the LHM leak i have been ignoring for months.

    And rhd makes it a much happier proposition.

    when I bought mine I promised to drive it to work once a week.. another promise not kept!!!!!

    along with diet, work life balance, be kind to small children..... blah blah blah

  10. #10
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    It certainly is a head turner - especially when its tail drops out of the lights. Richo's spheres are still going strong!

    They're certainly not made for traffic (per se) and Tony's right, they just want to gallop hence a lot of driving in 2nd and 3rd. If you put it in 4th at 60km/h it feels like you're launching in 3rd in a C-Matic!

    Town driving essentially doubles fuel consumption - you hit a few hard corners and BANG the fuel light flickers after 300km.

    300km in the 16v in an urban cycle was 10.2l which is more like it!



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  11. #11
    JBN
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    I don't think the **** CLIMATE CHANGE sticker on the back of your SM ingratiates you to the other commuters.

    John
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  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I don't think the **** CLIMATE CHANGE sticker on the back of your SM ingratiates you to the other commuters.

    John
    Yeah I'm sure all those middle aged women with one child in there 3ton wank tanks ( 30L/100km anyone ? ) and guys in there V8/turbo charged middle aged crisis cars will care

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  13. #13
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Any IE owners care to elaborate on SM fuel economy stats?

    PS: I've realigned the number plate and cleaned out the dust behind the glass.


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    1972 SM
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  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! Bruce Llewellyn's Avatar
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    CX CMatic - it could do anything from 40 mpg to 14 mpg depending entirely on driving style!
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  15. #15
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Llewellyn View Post
    CX CMatic - it could do anything from 40 mpg to 14 mpg depending entirely on driving style!
    The CX IE auto is much the same. I could never get any of mine to behave at the bowser.


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  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! CorneSoutAfrica's Avatar
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    I have been driving an IE SM for almost a year now, town driving sits at about 15l/100 km and highway cruize at around 10l/100km. I'd say a well tuned carb and an EFI is just about the same, regarding fuel consumption (only my findings comparing an EFI and carby back to back earlier this year)
    1968 ID21 break
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