Saturday, April 21, 2007

Good Gas Mileage

Lately I've been wondering if it's possible to get a used car with incredibly good gas mileage. So far I doubt it. Between my drives to Maryland and back (about 3 hours a day) I have come up with one solid conclusion though. When it comes to companies which consistently report the best real-world miles per gallon from actual drivers, Volvo must lead this list, and not by a little bit.

Bear with me and I'll explain.

I've heard all growing up that by balancing your driving habits you'll get better gas mileage. That if you accelerate and decelerate quickly, you use more gas than if you just pick a speed and stick with it. You can also save gas by driving a little bit slower, with a sweet spot between 50 and 60mph.

From driving for a bunch of years, and so you know it's exacting research which cannot be questioned, I can guaranty you a Volvo driver will be sitting in the middle or left lane of a freeway going 50 or 55mph.

They get out into the road and make a set speed, probably matching the speed limit, I wouldn't know, I'm going past them too quickly to tell. They get out of the right "slow" lane because there you have a lot of merging traffic and would have a higher risk of accident, or needing to change speed. Even the right middle lane isn't good enough, since people use that as a pass-through to the faster lanes.

No, these smart drivers have figured out that you can be safest, most relaxed and, as a side-benefit, get the best gas mileage, by hanging out in the left lanes going the speed limit or less.

If there's some car bottling up the middle of traffic though, 5 to 1 it's a Volvo.

I've heard it said only women drive Volvo's and so maybe that accounts for the bad driving habits. Here I'm, of course, only saying what I've heard. I'd never say that myself, heck, I think 95% of my readers are women (and all good drivers, of course)!

It all comes back to this. If you are looking for a car the absolute best real-world miles per gallon, you've got to go Volvo.

If you want to actually get anywhere in this century or not tick off all of your driving brethren though, you may want to stay away.

I love driving!



1 comment:

Jess said...

Nothing drives me crazier than people driving 50-55 in the left lane... as fellow heavy commuter (I actually think I spend more time commuting than working some weeks), I understand the need for good gas mileage, but I also want to get home as quickly as possible... after isn't time the new money?