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Old 10-02-2014, 12:13 PM   #21
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When I first got my car that has a mpg meter, I'd be a bit obsessive and try to milk out the mpg, easy on the brakes, coasting etc.

Now on the freeway, I still like to use the cruise but not the 55mph or 65mph all the time.

On a 125 mile trip, freeway driving, with my Honda Fit, milking the mpg I got over 50 mpg. If I don't go overboard, I get more about 39 mpg.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:34 PM   #22
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I have a number of vehicles but without a doubt, the one that get's the best MPG is my C6 Corvette. At 75 mpg, I get about 28 mpg and that's with the AC turned on. At 60 the computer shows about 33 mpg. My "daily driver", is a 2014 Toyota Sequoia and is one of the worse for mileage. I'm lucky to get 15 mpg at 75 mph. Of course the Sequoia is about twice the weight and has the aerodynamics of a wall when compared to the Corvette.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:40 PM   #23
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I have a number of vehicles but without a doubt, the one that get's the best MPG is my C6 Corvette. At 75 mpg, I get about 28 mpg and that's with the AC turned on. At 60 the computer shows about 33 mpg. My "daily driver", is a 2014 Toyota Sequoia and is one of the worse for mileage. I'm lucky to get 15 mpg at 75 mph. Of course the Sequoia is about twice the weight and has the aerodynamics of a wall when compared to the Corvette.
Typical suv aerodynamic profile http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/suv-b...ar-3285792.jpg
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:43 PM   #24
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On my 2014 scion , I have found the onboard mpg computer to be off about 15% actual mileage is worse than the computer says, when I tracked the real miles , and gallons used over 5 fill ups.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:22 PM   #25
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Back in 2008, when gas prices started getting really expensive, I tried to drive more gently to see what kind of impact it would have. Several times per year, I make a trip from the DC area up to Pennsylvania, to meet some friends that I go to classic car shows with.

At the time, I was driving a 2000 Dodge Intrepid 2.7, EPA-rated 20/29 by the metric of the time (I think it's 18/27 by today's standards, but not sure). Anyway, in June of 2008, I drove up to PA, and tried to keep it around 55-60, with occasional romps to 65 if needed. Mostly highway, but it does get hilly going around Baltimore, and especially once you get north of it. Anyway, I got about 32.4 mpg on that trip. Oh, also, no a/c.

That fall, as the economy was crashing, so were fuel prices. I went up twice in October, on the exact same route. First, I tried keeping it around 65, but going 70-75 as needed to pass and such, but also losing a little speed on the up-grades, as long as I wasn't holding up traffic too badly. That time, I got around 31. The next weekend I drove like I normally do, flow of traffic, probably around 70 for the most part, but getting up to 80 on occasion. And that time, it was around 29.5.

I'm going up there again this weekend, but this time I'm driving a Ram Hemi, and I'll be lucky if I break 20!
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:43 PM   #26
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The Texas 130 toll road near me has a speed limit of 85. I'm pretty sure my MPG sucks whenever I use that road.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:10 PM   #27
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My old Honda Accord had a 5th gear that was essentially an overdrive ratio. As a result I got better mileage at 65 than at 55mph.

I did a similar test with my current vehicle, a hybrid. 42mpg at 55mph. 46 mpg at 65mph. Wind resistance is real.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #28
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I think 2 hours time saved is worth $25
+1. Especially when driving to a vacation spot.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:51 PM   #29
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I track indicated miles and actual fuel filled for each fillup. I can't drive 55. I notice about a 10% drop in fuel economy in states that pump 10% ethanol. Really love supporting the corn farmers that way, though I wish the corn was used as food instead. The other huge and frustrating/baffling difference is when driving at altitude. The difference between 4000' and sea level is 10-15%. Temperature doesn't seem to be the factor, neither speed, and I just can't imagine that air resistance makes that big a difference. I would expect the BMW engine management computer to compensate for altitude, which takes me back to air resistance.... 2000 BMW 528it
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:15 PM   #30
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I'm a part time dealer trade driver for a local Toyota dealer. On long drives I sometimes check the speed vs mileage data. On most of the cars I have driven the sweet spot is 55-65 mph. Any speed over 65 and the mileage falls off drastically.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:27 PM   #31
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I pay a lot of attention to MPG figures but often am willing to burn MPG to save time. One car is a Ford Focus Electric, I get very precise actual watts per mile figures for each trip. I am averaging 243 watts per mile for 13K miles, very efficient, works to 110 MPGE (miles per gallon equivalent for actual price of gas Vs what I pay in electric) (except when I plug into free charging sites then MPGE is, well you do the numbers ) This car loves going slower, best mileage is probably @ 45MPH. I tend not to go over 60 MPH when I can, sometimes I have to drive faster like in the car pool lanes or sometimes even in the slow lanes in Los Angeles, of course at times they are not moving at all. Above 60 MPH the efficiency drops way down despite this being a streamlined body design. I drive slower more because of the limited range of the car, 80 miles, than trying to max efficiency. The car can accelerate well when I need to, but is software limited to 85 MPH.
Then I have a Jeep diesel Liberty which has its own efficiency profile. I would probably get 29 or 30 MPG if I could drive it at a steady 55 MPH but it falls down to 22 in mostly city driving, 24MPH at 65 and down from there, maybe 22, when I go 70+ on the I-10 from LA to Phoenix. But it is efficient for towing, I have a small travel trailer which I get 20 MPG towing @ 55 to 60MPH.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:32 PM   #32
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It doesn't seem safe to drive at too different of a speed from everyone else, plus it would drive me nuts.
You're right. It isn't the speeds so much, as the differences in speeds that create the volatile conditions that make for collisions. If everyone is driving 80 mph with only differences of 1 or 2 mph, that is actually safe.

It's the dorks that insist on going 55 or 95 that mess everything up.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:57 PM   #33
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I'm a part time dealer trade driver for a local Toyota dealer. On long drives I sometimes check the speed vs mileage data. On most of the cars I have driven the sweet spot is 55-65 mph. Any speed over 65 and the mileage falls off drastically.
This is way off topic and probably best suited for its own thread in Life after FIRE:
  • Can you tell us a bit more about how you landed this gig and approximately how much they pay or otherwise compensate you?
  • I have thought about doing something similar occasionally, maybe delivering/moving RV's. Others have mentioned something similar in the past.
  • Any specific advice, warnings, etc. would definitely be appreciated.
I have a friend who does this occasionally for new jets. So much cooler than what I am considering.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:20 PM   #34
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On the mainland, I drive a Buick Lesabre with the 3.8L V6. I always do the fueling and fill to the brim to keep the tank-full comparisons as close as possible. The car has an instantaneous fuel mileage gauge which can also monitor cumulative mileage per tank. I have found that the tank mileage is virtually always 8% high compared to my calculations. In steady state driving (relatively flat and constant speed) the mileage seems to get BETTER up to 70 or 75 MPH! This is confirmed by the mileage per tank gauge AND actual miles per gallons added at fill up. Back when my tachometer was sitll working, 75 turned out to be about 2300 rpm (seems quite low for that speed, but that's what it always read at that speed.) My guess is that the car was "tuned" to give great mileage at highways speeds. In town, I get closer to 20 or even less.

I usually get 31 MPG or better on a long trip at 65 to 75. AC does affect this somewhat. In fact, watching the instantaneous gauge for a half mile at, say, 38 mpg and turning on the AC, the instantaneous reading drops 4 mpg, virtually every time (all else being equal). To achieve the best mileage (with AC comfort) I turn the AC unit on and off as needed, using the recirculate function. If practical, I AC going down hill (even slight) and turn AC off going uphill (even slight). This practice seems to improve mileage by as much as 3 mpg overall compared to just leaving the AC on. Full disclosure, DW has full veto power over the AC game I play.

Not certain any of this is helpful to anyone. Still, it's kind of interesting that an old "boat" like the Buick can get 30+ mpg consistently with amazing comfort and reliability. As always (and especially on this thread, heh, heh) YMMV.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:05 PM   #35
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I don't really care, as long as you slow people stay in the right hand lane.
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Old 10-03-2014, 06:25 AM   #36
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Here is some actual data from CR. More fuel efficient vehicles suffered more loss in MPG at higher speeds than less efficient vehicles.

Tested: Speed vs fuel economy
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:35 AM   #37
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I don't really care, as long as you slow people stay in the right hand lane.
This probably belongs in the pet peeve thread but I agree.
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:14 AM   #38
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Here is some actual data from CR. More fuel efficient vehicles suffered more loss in MPG at higher speeds than less efficient vehicles.

Tested: Speed vs fuel economy
Might seem that way at a glance, but I plugged that into a spreadsheet, and...

While the highest mpg @ 55 mph (Honda Insight 1.3-liter 4-cyl. - 51.9 mpg) saw the largest % drop at 75 mph (70.33% compared to 55 mph), the second highest mpg @ 55 mph (Toyota Yaris 1.5-liter 4-cyl. - 42.5 mpg) saw the lowest % drop at 75 mph (80%[corrected] compared to 55 mph).

The others were in a tight range of 74% to 77% compared to 55 mph. (edit/add: - even though their 55 mph mpg ranged from 23.8 to 40.3)


I would kind of expect the best to see the most drop though. Those smaller engines are probably closer to maxed out at 55 mph, and the extra load at 75 mph would be lugging them more, and increasing fuel consumption more %-wise? Then again, maybe they are really hitting their peak efficiency curve (combo of torque & RPM)?

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Old 10-03-2014, 09:14 AM   #39
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On my 2014 scion , I have found the onboard mpg computer to be off about 15% actual mileage is worse than the computer says, when I tracked the real miles , and gallons used over 5 fill ups.
I've cross-checked "actual" mpg v. the "computer". They're reasonably close, plus I allow the pump to stop when it stops - i..e. no topping off - so that is probably a slight variable as well.

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Old 10-03-2014, 09:33 AM   #40
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Here is some actual data from CR. More fuel efficient vehicles suffered more loss in MPG at higher speeds than less efficient vehicles.

Tested: Speed vs fuel economy
Of course they do. Had they included a Suburban it would probably have been "the best" falling from an (estimated) 20 mpg @ 55 mph to 15 mpg @ 75 mph - a drop of "only" 5 mpg! Percent is the logical way to compare. Note that the highest mpg cars are still the highest at higher mph, and the lowest remain the lowest - isn't that the relevant comparison?
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