Friday, August 2, 2013

How highway driving can affect your gas mileage per gallon

What could be better than hitting the pedal on the highway and feeling that burst of speed as you cruise down the open road? It's one of life's simple pleasures that we all love to indulge in, usually forgetting about the fuel efficiency hit our cars take every time we do it. If your car has a display setting for showing your MPG (which many newer Toyota/Scion vehicles such as the Camry, Prius, and FR-S do) you can see that when you floor the gas pedal, the difference is dramatic. Your average mileage drops faster than a cliff diver in Acapulco plunging 136 feet into the Pacific Ocean!

Toyota RAV4, Gas mileage per gallon, Highway driving RAV4

How is your MPG affected when you drive for extended periods of time at certain speeds, though? A new Consumer Reports study took several vehicles (including a Toyota RAV4 and a Ford Fusion) and put them to the test, driving at 55, 65, and 75 miles per hour. They found that the vehicles exceeded their MPG when driven at 55 miles per hour, which many experts agree is the "sweet spot" for getting the best highway efficiency out of your car. For example, a 2013 Toyota RAV4 with two-wheel drive is rated by the EPA to get 31 highway MPG, but in the Consumer Reports test it actually achieved 37 MPG when driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour! 

At higher speeds, fuel efficiency dropped considerably, and the RAV4 only got around 27 miles to the gallon. On an average 200 mile trip, that means you would shave an hour of drive time by traveling at 75 instead of 55, though you will be burning an extra two gallons of gas and have a higher likelihood of getting into an accident. In these situations, you have to ask yourself: is the time saved worth it? 

On road trips with long open stretches of highway and few other drivers around, I like to cruise at slightly higher speeds, around 75 (especially if I can turn a 5 hour trip into a 4 hour one). However, for daily driving, I much prefer to keep my speed lower to maximize my mileage per gallon, as I know it adds up over the course of a year. 

How about you? What is your speed preference when it comes to road trips vs every day driving?


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  2. It's really a good blog. Thanks Erik for sharing such a useful post. Everybody wants a good mileage so that we can save some money on fuel but there are few tricks that can deliver better fuel mileage. Driving on a particular road affects the fuel mileage. It depends where you're driving and what is the speed. This blog will surely be helpful in making some awareness among users regarding fuel mileage. A better maintenance and servicing can increase the fuel mileage. Other some factors like tyre pressure, transmission issues etc. can also affect the fuel mileage. Ferrari Service Dallas.