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Driving Gently

Jim Erhardt_3
Jim Erhardt_3 Member Posts: 80
Driving gently makes a HUGE difference! In most vehicles, it amounts to about a 20% reduction in fuel consumption.

I have a 2007 Subaru Forester XT with a 2.5 liter, turbocharged/intercooled/16 valve flat 4. At 75 to 80 MPH with generous application of boost "keeping up with left lane traffic" I get about 22 MPG. Driven gently (and staying out of boost), it gets over 27 MPG. Around town driving goes from sub-20 to 24 plus MPG using the same approach.

It's a fact - the heavier the right foot, the lighter the wallet.


  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,472
    I just filled up this morning

    I recently inherited my wifes Civic, since she has a new car. It has 130,00 miles on it. She's been getting mid 30's according to the gas credit card service. I've been driving it very gently. The Civic has a standard transmission so whenever I have a downhill grade, I slip it into neutral and coast. When ever I see a red light up ahead, I put it in neutral and coast. I always take off from lights slowly and let the speed build up without pushing it. I just filled up and got 41 mph on the last tank of gas. Wow! I like this car. I've also noticed I'm not the only one coasting up to red lights anymore. :) WW

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  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
    lets see some numbers

    I would like to see some numbers.

    take an SUV, full size pick up van and a compact.

    whats the gas milages at: 50,55,60,65,70 mph????

    if we all dropped 10 mph, how much fuel would we save this country?

    I had a double trailered gravel semi fly past me the other day, bet he was only getting 6mpg. and at $4.50per gal
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,472
    My one ton Chevy van

    Can get anywhere from 11 to 13 depending on how I'm driving. However I don't have as much control with the automatic transmission as I do with the stick shift in the Honda.

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  • Roland_13
    Roland_13 Member Posts: 18
    MPG Meter

    You might want to investigate this device:
    It gets connected to your OBDII port. I don't have one yet. I was hoping they would include a fuel/air mixture feature.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    Come on jp. Do we really need numbers for this?

    I've been coasting to red lights and taking hills gently forever, but such doesn't work in traffic unless everyone is doing it.

    Here in the hill country on the edge of the former largest US swamp in a college town yet, I've noticed that people are actively avoiding use of their breaks which means they have to coast up to lights and take hills gently.

    This is intentional behavior modification and yes, it will result in significant fuel savings. Why? Because the cost of fuel has become high enough that it being considered precious.

  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
    Unlike the AFUE ratings....

    I think the EPA upgraded their standards for rating fuel economy a while ago.

    My 2004 Pontiac Vibe was rated at 29 MPG in city driving and 34 MPG for highway driving. Most of my driving would be considered "rural" type driving...30-45 MPH for the most part,(apparently the best way to drive any vehicle?)and by using the trip odometer and the # of gallons pumped into the tank when I fill up, and I usually give it the "extra squirt" when I know I'll be driving far enough to dismiss fuel expansion when the temp. rises...I consistently beat those numbers by 3 MPG....verified.

    I see that the numbers for the 2008 model year are a bit lower...with very few changes to the car in looks and performance issues.25 city and 33 highway.

    I regularly get the highway mileage while doing my "regular" driving, and on a recent trip to Northern Vermont, while not being light in the foot in the least, got the usual 37 MPG.

    Has the EPA changed their criteria? Does anyone know what the differences are?

    Inquiring minds want to know. JCA
  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935

    just because "I said so doesn't work that well."
  • ChasMan
    ChasMan Member Posts: 459
    Yes, they changed.

    They changed from a steady state test to a more "real world" type of test. All cars got lower mileage in these new tests. Aparently, manufacturers were designing to the test so in the test they would get 20 but on the road 15. Thats why the tests were redesigned.
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981

    I have no reason to lie....but I did "said so".

    Can't they come up with a more real world measurement?

    I know...Stuff Occurs. every situation is different...and some people just drive with their foot to the floor...gas prices be damned!(I laugh at them!) Chris
  • Dean_7
    Dean_7 Member Posts: 192

    Interesting discussion. In 1988 I owned a 1988 Ford Escort GT with a 1.9L engine a 5 speed manual transmission, and a 13 gal. gas tank. I thought it was a decent car (I've owned worse). I used to drive it from detroit to northern Michigan to visit my parents a trip of 250 miles one way. I could make the entire round trip of 500 miles on 3/4 of a tank of gas. That works out to about 50 mpg. On a trip to Florida we drove it from Detroit to Miami and back a round trip of 3000 miles and filled the tank 5 times. Total gallons was 60. That again works out to about 50 mpg. I used to drive to work and back for two weeks a total of 400 miles on 3/4 of a tank of gas that works out to about 40 mpg combined city and highway driving.
    This was 20 years ago. What's wrong with this picture if 20 years ago we were building cars that could get this kind of mileage?
  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935

    sorry I wasn't clear enough.

    my reply was to be directed at Mike swamp, seeing actual mileage reduction number for these vehicles might open peoples eyes about the true valve of drive 75mph.
  • joel_28
    joel_28 Member Posts: 21

    just went up country in my wifes Montero limited. This is a very rugged heavy mid size SUV about 4800lb with a v6. one thing i liked about it was the versatility of the transfer case. It has 2wl drive or 4whl or all wheel along with a lockable diff. We averaged just over 20 mpg which was half highway and half side road mountain driving. Went 63 on the highway.Considering our side roads where all mountains I'd guess we where getting 23 highway. I really don't know what to buy to replace this vehicle today it seems everything is all wheel drive only which means that the front half of the drive train is always engaged?? sucking mpg down because people are too stupid to know how to shift a transfer case I guess. Maybe a mercedes ML 320 diesel??

    also in the stable is a Grey market 83 280zx turbo. it has euro emmisions ( which means none) and autobahn gears. Back in the days of double nickle (that's 55 speed limit for you youngsters) We would cruise out of the turbo at 60ish. the car would do 33-35 mpg. it has around a 24 gallon tank and we would go well over 600 miles on a tank!!!! problem was the car was quite happy loafing along at 90+ and our occasional 140 MPH blast sucked that 33mpg down considerably....

    biggest problem today is cars weigh too much. remove all that power seat/window/hatch/door crap and strip out some of the sound deadning etc and things will markedly improve. That old ZX weighed in at 3160 with me in it and a full tank. That would put it at 2700 or so. Today a Civic weighs more
This discussion has been closed.