View original topic: gas mileage
joeshim Tue Dec 30, 2003 10:58 am

I am considering buying a thing and using it as my daily driver, (replacing my 1989 jeep cherokee) Can anyone tell me what kind of city and/or highway mileage I would get on a stock thing? How will it handle in the 65 to 75 mph range? Any info will be helpful. Thanks.......Joe

Big Luni Tue Dec 30, 2003 1:07 pm

65-75 mph? The Thing excels at many things, but highway driving isn't one of them. Your Cherokee was designed with the highway in mind, but the Thing was not. Actually the Thing is better on the highway than a Wrangler stability-wise, and though the manual lists the top speed as 68, It will get up into the 70's no problem and top out there, unless you're going down a good incline, or do some performance mods. Stability @ high speed is fine- it has a somewhat wide track, but you'll feel a strong crosswind against the flat sides. Mileage should be low 20s city, high 20's (lo 30s?) hwy. You definately need to know what you're getting into. The Thing will give a much more demanding & rewarding drive than a Cherokee.

thingguy Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:51 am

I have personally never seen a Thing able to get 30+ MPG's but I suppose it could be possible but I wouldn't count on it. Highway mileage is probably more on the mid 20's, less if you plan on driving 70. As far as top cruising speed you would do better with a higher geared Bug tranny, better flowing carberators and exhaust. Made a world of difference for me.
Scott Sportsman
73 Thing
71 Beetle

VW Addict Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:17 am

With a stock 1600 in a Thing, completly stock, your looking around 22-25max mpg.. Dont be planning to go 75 on the highway - its not made for speed, its made for the ride.

coad Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:19 am

Not for highways? I beg to differ. My old 73 and I did over 100,000 miles, most on the interstate. This was back in the 55 speed limit days, but she would do 75 (just) all day long. With 3 drivers taking turns we once drove Key West Florida to Chicago non-stop in January. Man, was that cold.

VW Addict Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:37 am

It will do 75 - I know that - but it wont do 100. Its not a powerful engine I am saying, its a reliable engine. But interstate gas mialge runs between mid twenties.

Big Luni Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:10 pm

My previous reply might have suggested that I don't like higway driving in the Thing. On the contrary- I'm constantly pushing the Thing @ high speed, and drove from Connecticut to New Mexico and back a few years ago, full speed most of the way. My one cooling problem was due to intake muffs full of pine needles (watch for that on 74's before a long trip). I just don't someone who's used to modern (soulless) transportation having the wrong expectations and being disappointed.

z-volks Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:09 pm

My mpg is for the birds . mid teens, through with dual webers you pick up a little power, at 65 mph you still have a little push to cap out at 80+ (thats if your going down hill) Once that incline comes pull over.

Big Luni Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:54 am

Here's the official mileage numbers for the VW thing, according to Popular Mechanics in 1974:
21.2 city
24.3 hwy.

Chris181Westy Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:10 pm

Many people have used Things as daily drivers. How do you think so many of them are rotten to the bone. My Uncle drove one for years as a daily driver but man did it rust!! But we live in salty road MI.

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