On my trip to the conference, I took care to try to go the speed limit, hearing that you can improve gas mileage by not driving faster than about 60. (I did drive 65 in 65 mph zones.) I encountered many construction zones as well (mostly 45 mph). The total trip, including breaks, took me 8 ½ hours.
On the way back, I “kept with the traffic” (meaning, I sped, but not as much as a lot of people!) In part this was because I departed from Major City and everyone drives crazy fast, and I adopted a “compromise speed” that was still faster than the speed limit but slower than the rest of the traffic but not so slow as to be a hazard. This launched me off on the trip in speedy mode, which I then mostly kept up, being eager to get home. While I disapproved of my doing so, to some extent, I did this in the spirit of an experiment. Would it save time? Would the gas mileage really decrease? Anyway, I didn’t speed that much, because my little car begins to shudder when I get into the 70-75 mph range.
So, what time did I gain? A half-hour. Not that impressive, really.
But here’s what is impressive: I averaged 43 miles per gallon on the way down, and averaged 40 miles per gallon coming back!
And I don’t even have a Yaris (which is supposed to get 41 mpg on the highway)—I have a manual transmission Corolla!
The lesson: I’ll stick to going the speed limit. It’s safer; it does save gas; and even on long trips, you don’t actually lose much time.
6 years ago