By on June 12, 2012

A study by TrueCar confirms something most of us know in our hearts; when gas prices go down, sales of less efficient vehicles rebound.

“We continue to see increases in fuel economy among the major manufacturers compared to the previous years but as we’ve started to see a decline in gas prices in recent weeks, consumer preferences showed a slight shift toward larger, less-fuel-efficient vehicles,”

Compared to May, 2011, average fuel economy was up for both cars and trucks, but the dip in gas prices, according to TrueCar, means that the pendulum has swung, albeit slightly, towards larger, thirstier vehicles. The full breakdown can be found at the above link – we’ll be keeping an eye on June sales to see how falling gas prices have shifted to nameplate order. Not that we expect everyone to abandon the F-150 Ecoboost for the SVT Raptor.

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45 Comments on “Like Clockwork, Average Fuel Economy Drops Along With Gas Prices...”


  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Haven’t the sheeple gotten used to this yet? Gas prices will be heading back up soon enough. The conditioning will continue to get us used to what the rest of the world is paying. For better or worse.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Haven’t the sheeple learned that oil isn’t about to run out after 40 years of price spikes, doomsday scenarios, and ever growing known reserves? You seem to be criticizing people for being too smart to be manipulated by misanthropes trading under the name of environmentalism.

      • 0 avatar
        iainthornton

        Exactly. Why should people choose to be miserly when there is something to enjoy?
        Oil is not going to go tomorrow. In fact, there’s no proof prices won’t drop. Every price spike that I’ve ever known, we’ve believed it’ll stay at that price forever.

        However, admittedly I can’t see it dropping by much in the future, if at all. Spikes and lows will always occur though.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The price spikes have everything to do with the speculators and now US refiners exporting fuel to overseas markets.

        The “lows” are not as low as they should be and market manipulators will take any excuse (i.e. – the turmoil in Libya) to make the highs higher than they should be (the Saudis replaced the loss Libyan production, but that didn’t matter to the speculators).

      • 0 avatar
        200k-min

        “…ever growing known reserves…”

        There is a big big BIG difference between reserves and flow rate. Who cares how much oil is in the ground, or sand, or shale or what have you – what matters is how quickly that oil can be produced and brought to market. Oil that’s in the ground and hasn’t been refined into transportation fuels isn’t going to get you anywhere.

        Global production of oil has been at a plateau since about 2005, i.e. we haven’t been able to suck it out of the ground any faster in the past 7 years. Meanwhile China and India continue to demand more energy. The equilibrium has been a reduction in consumption in OECD countries coupled with a quite severe economic downturn.

        Drive what you want to, but in a global market for energy I’d be planning on higher highs and lower lows in the price of that energy.

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        I like the word, “misanthropes”. I had to look it up.

        “Misanthropy is the general hatred, mistrust or dislike of the human species or human nature.”

        Neat-o.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        200k-min

        > > ever growing known reserves

        > There is a big big BIG difference between reserves and
        > flowrate.[...]

        Spot on. But throw the Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI).

        Canadians have lots of barrels in these tar sands. Very cool. But to get them, they cannot drill. They have to move tons of overburden, then vaporize the other tons of water, inject the steam and hope for droplets to start floating. Until they get too dense again.

        They get the EROEI of SIX. One barrel of oil (in energy) to get six of true oil. Bear in mind our wonderful engines will burn these six barrels with laughable efficiency of 25-30%. Refining plus transportation takes further toll before.

        Our last motorcade century started with EROEI of 100 (early easy oil fields).

        Anyway, this gas price – MPG link means one thing: an average consumer is uneducated and clueless.

        The solution? Tax the hell out of him, especially at the pump. Otherwise he will never start moving in the correct direction soon enough in the “peak everything” century. Free market only works in the age of plenty. Systemic resource issues can only be tackled by a group of those in power who simply “know better”. I name here obviously the same combination of environmentalists and idiots who enforced these catalytic converters and particulate filters on you.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Read ‘Twilight in the Desert’ by Simmons.

    • 0 avatar
      Lemmy-powered

      I do think we’ll see the mother of all price spikes when Iran finally tests its bomb. That’s uncharted territory, really.

    • 0 avatar
      Halftruth

      You’ve misunderstood me (I think).. it makes no sense to go out and make such a big purchase as a car based on prices that are “perceived” as heading downward. Even if they are, how long can they be expected to stay there?

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      Our gas prices go down just enough to make you feel that the price is now reasonable compared to what you were paying a few months ago. And then like clockwork, they’ll ratchet up and then back so that you’re grateful for this new high cost that seems cheap. Anybody, repeat anybody, that buys a gas guzzler during a lull thinking that gas prices are going to stay down is an idiot.

      • 0 avatar
        DemosCat

        Yep, it seems as though the average consumer has the attention span of a goldfish.

        I’ve known people dumb enough to trade in their SUV for a subcompact just because gas prices are going up, and a few months later when prices are trending down, trade in the subcompact they owned for less than a year for a new, big SUV again.

        Amazingly stupid.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I have to laugh at a couple of people I know who totally panic whenever gas gets close to $4.00 a gallon. One guy thinks nothing about buying a beer for $4.00 a bottle at the bar he hangs out in, but $4.00 for a gallon of gas? OMFG!! He buys gas every 10 days, so basically the difference between $3.00 and $4.00 is about $60 a month. He spends that much for he and his wife’s dinner a couple times a week. He and his wife make good money, and have only a mortgage and utilities to pay every month, so it’s just some weird thought process going on. He goes on nonstop about how much it cost to fill up. Yeah, we remember that when we started driving, it was 39.9 cents a gallon, and cars cost $3000! It’s 40 years later now! Things change.

        The other guy traded in 2 vehicles, an F-250 he didn’t need since he sold his boat, and an old Explorer that had seen better days, and bought a Focus bragging about how great the mileage was. In less than 3 weeks, it was gone, he took a $1000 hit, and bought a new Ecoboost F150 4×4, and a couple months later, his wife traded her 2009 Explorer for an Edge. Strangely, they aren’t complaining about the price of gas much anymore.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    _A_ person (singular) can see the big picture and plan for peaks and valleys in regard to gas prices.

    But _people_ (plural) can’t. They’re a force of nature, incapable of thought.

    When the conditions are right, it rains. When gas prices are low, people buy thirstier cars.

    So it was, is, and will ever be.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Today’s gas price is a terrible thing to consider when making a 5-year vehicle commitment. Gas could be .50 or $1 higher next week. People need to look at trends and plan accordingly.

    I cringe to think of someone torn between a V6 and V8, and looking across the street at the Exxon station, seeing gas is $2.999 today and thinking “man that’s cheap! I’ll get the V8!”

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Maybe people who have to worry about the cost of fuel ought not to buy cars or trucks.

      To me it seems that MOST Americans, and by that I mean the overwhelmingly vast majority of Americans, don’t care about the price of gasoline, or diesel. They buy it no matter what it costs since it beats walking.

      That’s why the F150, and trucks in general, are the best-selling vehicles in the US. And while the Camry is the best selling sedan in America, it is not the most economical form of car.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        Exactly. Fuel price spikes seem to have little effect on car and truck sales in the United States.

      • 0 avatar
        Motorhead10

        Speaking of F-150s – in May, 43% were 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and 13% were 3.7L V6s

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Realistically, if you can comfortably afford to buy a new vehicle in the first place, the price of putting fuel in it is largely irrelevant. I probably spend more on airport cokes a month than I do gasoline. I certainly pay more for satellite TV than I do gasoline. If the price of gas doubled tomorrow I wouldn’t like it, but it wouldn’t particularly matter to me either. I have to think I am not an anomaly in this country, even at $4/per, gas is CHEAP.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I can tell you guys from my own experience that I will cut back on a lot of other things before I cut back on buying gasoline.

        I know that hurts the people at Starbucks, IHOP, Applebee’s, Chili’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried and Golden Corral in my area, but I gotsta have my daily fix of gasoline. I don’t move without it.

        The price of gas is going to go up again. That’s a given. The only reason it is down now is because so many people are unemployed in America and have no place to go to every morning.

        If we ever get out of this “recession” and business in the US and the global economy pick up, watch out! The price of everything will go up!

        And that, my friends, is not a comforting thought if you are already worried about being financially able to put gas in your car.

        I also don’t want to go into a tirade about the overabundance of oil and natural resources we have in the US because that should be self-evident.

        It is only the environmentalists who have their agenda about sending America back into an agrarian stone age with their misconceived ideas about somehow impeding America’s industrial might and progress.

        Blame them for the high cost of gasoline and energy. Or make a statement by not buying any gasoline or diesel at all. That is certain to leave more for people like me who are addicted to gasoline.

        But you shouldn’t deny yourself that bright and shiny new truck if you can afford it. What fun would life be if others keep you from having the things you want? They’re not paying your way in life.

        Or are they?

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > To me it seems that MOST Americans, and by that I mean the
        > overwhelmingly vast majority of Americans, don’t care
        > about the price of gasoline, or diesel. They buy it
        > no matter what it costs since it beats walking.

        Wait, the article just claimed exactly the opposite, concluding from objective and sound observations. All these car buyers follow gas prices with their vehicle choices just for fun?

        Does living in denial make life any better?

  • avatar
    86er

    Oh, I thought it was the automakers’ fault.

  • avatar
    replica

    There’s no media hype or outside influence on oil prices. What’s wrong with you guys? I’m more worried about my multiple deaths from swine flu, bird flu, Mad Cow Disease and Y2K. I’m not sure how many more times I can die until I really die.

  • avatar
    Lynchenstein

    I’m not sure gas prices have dropped around here. We’re sitting at $1.39/litre here in Victoria, BC. That’s about $5.25/gal.

    No wonder Canada is the land of small cars: vast distances and high fuel price. (I know the Europeans have higher fuel prices, but they are compensated by a superior rail network and way cooler small cars)

  • avatar
    Crosley

    My attitude towards this is to just let the free market punish the morons.

    If someone wants to commute to work by themselves in a lifted F-350 because they think it looks bad-ass, fine, have fun with your $500 a month gas bill. What I don’t want is bureaucrats micromanaging what type of vehicle we “should” be driving.

    I know there’s a certain segment of society that loves the European model of gas prices being made so artificially high that everyone is forced to drive econoboxes (except of course wealthy environmentalists) or CAFE standards that are so severe that will be the only choice for middle-class Americans, but I prefer the type of market where consumers are allowed to make “dumb” choices and pay the consequences.

    • 0 avatar
      supersleuth

      That only makes economic sense if they pay the external costs of their choices as well as the internal costs (and the latter, to a first approximation, are the only ones they see now.)

      “Free markets” don’t, in fact, work properly without proper pricing of external costs. Which means, more often than not they don’t work very well outside the most trivial areas of life.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Activists tend to pick and choose their “externalized costs.” When something that they don’t like (ie: oil) is relatively inexpensive selective moaning about externalized costs starts.

        Of course, the trillions of dollars in externalized costs of out of wedlock kids, crime, or vices never get mentioned. Some externalized costs seem to be more important than others.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        No, some people like to cherrypick the parts of economics that fit their prejudices / wishes and deride (without actually understanding) the parts that don’t. Such people, however, have no business bloviating about economic concepts, eg. markets.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        We have plenty of statutes on the books at the federal and state level to deal with the effects of using fossil fuels. That idea that people are burning it without dealing with the after-effects is a fantasy.

        Vehicle manufactures and owners, for example, are already paying for pollution control equipment and annual emissions inspections.

        It’s not 1955 anymore. We don’t have millions of vehicles spewing uncleaned exhaust from their tailpipes. A 2012 Focus emits fewer emissions running than a 1969 Ford Galaxie did while it was sitting still, with the engine off (from gasoline vapors).

        As a result, the air today in this country is cleaner now than at any time since industrialization really took off in the wake of the Civil War. I’d say that drivers are already bearing the external costs.

        Of course, we could go back to the “good old days” when everybody used horses, which gave off their own smelly and dirty emissions that were pounded into dust, which, in turn, fouled rivers, ruined air quality and attracted disease-carrying flies.

        It was said of New York City in the early 20th century you could smell it before you could see it.

        I think I’ll take gasoline-powered vehicles, thank you very much.

    • 0 avatar
      Toucan

      geeber

      > We have plenty of statutes on the books at the federal and state
      > level to deal with the effects of using fossil fuels. That idea
      > that people are burning it without dealing with the after-
      > effects is a fantasy.

      > Vehicle manufactures and owners, for example, are already
      > paying for pollution control equipment and annual emissions
      > inspections.

      Paying for your car not giving you cancer in a few years and claiming it deals with burning fossil fuel – that’s what you call fantasy. Or delusion.

      Leading a non-sustainable life equals not paying for oneself. It is rather borrowing natural resources with future generations having to “give back” by means of having much less or becoming (partially/mostly) extinct. Likely both.

      Toad

      > Of course, the trillions of dollars in externalized costs of out
      > of wedlock kids, crime, or vices never get mentioned.

      They do get mentioned, only in another context. They are off topic here. What should they mean anyway? Not paying “externalized costs” of type B entitles you automatically not to pay the ones of type A? I saw someone stealing a car. Am I allowed to I steal as well? He did!

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        toucan: Paying for your car not giving you cancer in a few years and claiming it deals with burning fossil fuel – that’s what you call fantasy. Or delusion.

        A little education here – the air today is cleaner than it was 30 years ago (let alone 50 years ago). A big reason is because automobile manufacturers and drivers have spent millions of dollars to clean up vehicle exhaust and keep vehicles in tune (in response to annual inspection requirements).

        Nothing you have posted proves this incorrect.

        Given that the air today in the United States is cleaner than it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, if more people are getting cancer, it must be caused by something other than vehicle emissions.

        toucan: Leading a non-sustainable life equals not paying for oneself. It is rather borrowing natural resources with future generations having to “give back” by means of having much less or becoming (partially/mostly) extinct. Likely both.

        Apparently, the idea that we may not need to use oil, or use much less of it, thanks to technological breakthroughs, never occurred to you.

        At any rate, it might help you to do some research – we’ve supposedly been “running out of oil” since the 1920s.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > A little education here – the air today is cleaner than it was
        > 30 years ago (let alone 50 years ago). A big reason is because
        > automobile manufacturers and drivers have spent millions of
        > dollars to clean up vehicle exhaust and keep vehicles in tune
        > (in response to annual inspection requirements).

        > Nothing you have posted proves this incorrect.

        It is absolutely correct.

        But it does not solve the problem that fossil fuels are burnt and there is less and less of them left.

        > Apparently, the idea that we may not need to use oil, or use
        > much less of it, thanks to technological breakthroughs, never
        > occurred to you.

        Occured many times. But where are the breakthroughs??

        Cars still get similar MPG as many years ago. All the efficiency gains have been translated into weight, power, safety and amenities. But the primary job of a car remained to move you from A to B and this does not happen any more efficiently than before.

        > At any rate, it might help you to do some research – we’ve
        > supposedly been “running out of oil” since the 1920s.

        Forget “running out”. We will not. The problem is:
        - the demand grows
        - the flow rates have stopped to grow (since 2005)
        - we deliver this flow with less and less real energy gain (EROEI is going down)

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    If the price of reg unleaded was to drop to $2.10 a gallon for long enough, heck yeah, most would ditch their cheesy Corolla or what ever for whatever their hearts really desire. What else would you expect them to do? Invest all that cash in a Roth IRA? Are you nuts? This is America, babe.

    Really, reg unleaded should be around $2.00 a gallon today vs 1986 when adjusted purely for inflation.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Quote
    “I also don’t want to go into a tirade about the overabundance of oil and natural resources we have in the US because that should be self-evident.
    It is only the environmentalists who have their agenda about sending America back into an agrarian stone age with their misconceived ideas about somehow impeding America’s industrial might and progress.”

    highdesertcat . . . . . ???? Err Rush LImbaugh is that you?

    There might be faction of (go ahead, just say it, you know you want to) Environmentalist wackos who are looking for what you say here, but painting all who are concerned about Humanity’s ongoing destruction of the biosphere in such broad brush negative terms is unreasonable, rude, and reflects a fair amount of ignorance. Sir, my higher education is in Biology. Make no mistake, we are destroying the web of life that sustains us.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Believe what you wish. It isn’t going to change the reality.

      People and governments do not subscribe to your doomsday scenario. Only the Obama administration is carrying your water, and they’re not doing too well with the checklist prescribed by the environmentalists.

      The alarmists would have us all believe that “we are destroying the web of life that sustains us”, yet we, as a planet, continue to plod on.

      We have been plodding on as a growing nation for well over 200 hundred years and we managed to save the world from itself in the process.

      Not too shabby! And America did it in style. With fins, huge engines and behemoths for cars. With coal-fired and oil-fired power plants and clean nuclear energy.

      The rest of the planet wants to emulate us, and be like us. Only the alarmists want to ring the doomsday bell of self-destruction like they have been doing since the beginning of time. And the majority will continue to suppress their frantic proclamations as they have for centuries.

      People still want to come to America because life is better here and the environment is cleaner here, and its been that way ever since Columbus landed. It’s the promise of America, not the shrill warnings of the alarmists that made America grow.

      This planet is continually renewing itself in spite of the damage we do to it. For those concerned with cleaning the air we breathe, plant a tree or two!

      The vast majority of inhabitants on this planet do not buy into your agenda of environmental self-destruction and the planet is doing just fine. The worst time for the planet was during the industrial revolution, and we survived that, unscathed.

      When China, India and Indonesia start to come fully online with industry, whatever pollutants America put into the air over the past 200+ years will be infinitesimally negligible by comparison. They won’t care about pollution. All they care about is economic growth.

      The next time a major volcano erupts there will be more pollutants in the biosphere than there were before, and we’ll survive that too. Disasters will continue to happen in spite of the environmentalists’ efforts. Life goes on.

      Global warming has me freezing my ass off every winter. I crank up the heaters without regard to CO2 emissions and global warming. People continue to buy trucks and cars that fit their wants and needs and lifestyles. They fill up their gas tanks so they can go, without regards to global pollution.

      And the vast majority of Americans don’t care about the price of gas. It only affects the have nots, and only marginally so. Even the have nots buy gas until their money runs out. Then they stop buying gas because they have no more money.

      If you want to drive an EV, by all means, have at it. It’s a free country. My chosen mode of transportation is a truck. That of my wife is a CUV. Our choices are very similar to the lifestyle and choices made by millions of other Americans. Not the desires of the environmentalists.

      Oh, Americans piss and moan about the price of gas, while they’re filling up their gas tank. But they always have the choice of not to buy. And they never exercise that choice, do they? No matter what the price of gas is.

      Look at the price of gas in Europe. That hasn’t stopped anyone who wanted a car or two from buying them if they could afford it.

      Granted, there have been some technological advances made in the management of the internal combustion engines, and Ford is currently light-years ahead of GM with its turbo-charged engines, at least until they start to break down and fail mechanically. We’ll know how well they hold up in about five years. The one to watch is Mercedes Benz and their Blue Tec. But they may be unattainable for most of us.

      The ICE will be with us until we can find a better, more abundant source of energy than oil. Until that happens, MOST Americans will continue to buy the biggest, baddest and meanest street machines their budget will support, without any regard to what the environmental-alarmists would like us to believe. And we won’t be running out of oil any time soon.

      If engineering makes the ICEs cleaner in the process, that’s good too. But even if the limits of improvement have been reached, people will still buy them.

      And we will actually survive that too. Count on it!

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > Believe what you wish. It isn’t going to change the reality.

        True.

        > People and governments do not subscribe to your doomsday
        > scenario.

        They can believe what they wish. It isn’t going to change the reality.

        > We have been plodding on as a growing nation for well over 200
        > hundred years and we managed to save the world from itself in
        > the process.

        200 is a lot? We are talking here about resources/spieces/formations that take millions of years to develop. You miss the scale.

        > Not too shabby! And America did it in style. With fins, huge
        > engines and behemoths for cars.

        Why hasn’t this “style” been adapted elsewhere? Mustangs and F150 sell in the USA only. Why?

        > The rest of the planet wants to emulate us, and be like us.

        Like Japan, with the rail everywhere, kei and hybrid cars, no sprawl and the most efficient industry on this planet.

        Or like Europe, with their rail and bike paths everywhere, steet cars that come every 5 minutes, no McMansions and efficient cars with little cheap plastic.

        Similarities are endless.

        > People still want to come to America because life is better
        > here

        Yeah, early sixties to eighties was a good time.

        > This planet is continually renewing itself in spite of the
        > damage we do to it.

        95% of energy the mankind consumes comes from coal, oil and gas. Amazing how well all these resources renew themselves.

        > The worst time for the planet was during the industrial
        > revolution, and we survived that, unscathed.

        You don’t see the environmental effects of the industrial revolution that has moved to China and is manufacturing your world, so you assume these effects do not exist, true?

        > Global warming has me freezing my ass off every winter.

        Your yard is the new ultimate definition of the climate change. Meanwhile, the Arctic has never shrunk. Glaciers have never retreated.

        > People continue to buy trucks and cars that fit their wants
        > and needs and lifestyles. They fill up their gas tanks so they
        > can go, without regards to global pollution.

        They also want the best for their children. Which will have to fight another war, a global one, on resources and shoot at their heads.

        > And the vast majority of Americans don’t care about the price
        > of gas. It only affects the have nots, and only marginally so.

        True. All these 40 MPG compacts are a fad.

        > Even the have nots buy gas until their money runs out. Then
        > they stop buying gas because they have no more money.

        Sound strategy. Well hedged.

        > Look at the price of gas in Europe. That hasn’t stopped anyone who
        > wanted a car or two from buying them if they could afford it.

        It happens gradually, not abruptly. Gasoline V6 or more is extinct in Europe. 90-120 g CO2/km still manage to keep people mobile.

        > Until that happens, MOST Americans will continue to buy the
        > biggest, baddest and meanest street machines their budget will
        > support

        Like Priuses and 40 MPG compacts.

        > without any regard to what the environmental-alarmists would like > us to believe.

        You made me understand why no one anywhere in the world likes Americans.

  • avatar
    Broo

    I’m just back from the USA (Pennsylvania). On our way to and from the Nascar race, we had to fill up twice, but fuel is so cheap in the USA ! I wonder why you guys complain.

    Granted, we do not have the highest fuel price in the world here in Qc, but it’s still over 30 % more than the american price and our currency is on par and average income similar.

    We felt like space aliens while driving a subcompact.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Gas prices really don’t bother me. It’s five years of new car payments that get old.

  • avatar
    raph

    Pffft…. as an owner of a supercharged car and living near an E85 station, the thought of gasoline sky rocketing doesn’t scare me over much. As long as E85 stays reasonable, I’m an injector and pulley swap away from going alky.

    Back when it was even more heavily subsidized than alcohol is now, I calculated that given E85′s lower energy content and a car who’s engine was largely optimized for burning gas ( namely a cooling system designed to handle gasoline energy output) if gas bridged the 5 dollar mark and E85 state a tad under 4 dollars it would be more economical to run E85.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I still think the price of oil is going to climb enough that buying by MPG is a smart thing to do.

    With India and China both increasing their demand for oil and that will continue for a long time, I think 5-10 years from now people with vehicles that are 20-30 mpg on the highway are not going to be too happy.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    I’ve been watching gas prices rise since 2008 when it did go above $4 a Gal for the first time and have noted since then that it won’t stay down for long if and when it does drop.

    True to form, it’s always gone back up, sometimes as much as 6 months later and recently, many stations here in Seattle were at $4.40+ a Gal and now have dropped quite a bit, I “think” I saw it at $3.95 a Gal at a station today on my way home from work that a week ago was over $4 still.

    I think I paid just over $4 a gal on Friday at the Costco in N. Seattle. It cost me I think $45 to fill the tank at 8+ Gal’s of gas in my ’03 Mazda Protege 5 (14.5 Gal tank total) as I was down 3/4ths of a tank before starting a day trip to the farm town of Sedro-Woolley Washington.

    I knew that this year I was going to have to do something about my aging (and dying truck), I had a ’92 Ford Ranger with 236K miles on the clock (verified) with issues, gas prices not withstanding, I also knew I needed to move into something more city friendly and had better mileage than the 4.0L Ranger ever got – and it wasn’t bad for what it was, but at 16-22 tops mileage wise, I knew I needed to be able to get more than that as gas prices continued to go up.

    That said, I wished the Mazda got more than it does, but 22-28 is indeed better than the truck so I’m not complaining. Got 28mpg over the weekend, driving no faster than 80 or so, mostly sticking to 65-70mph as I drove over 300 miles all told last weekend.

    As others have said, many people obviously seem to be looking at the short term and I’ve always known that to be quite the short sited way to live and thus based my purchases on the longer haul, especially when it comes to cars.

    It doesn’t hurt that the Mazda is not only reasonably frugal on gas (again, wish it were more than 30mpg highway, oh well) but also extremely fun to drive and 130hp feels more than plenty for most situations so I feel I have the best of both worlds right now and into the future until its time to replace it with something newer and with less miles (has jut over 113,700 miles on it now).

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Can you get around 35ish hwy if you keep the speed around/below 60 as opposed to 70+? I only ask because although the Protege 5 is going to be a bit heavier than my auto Saturn SL sedan, if I don’t stomp it it will do about 32-35 all day in straight highway, around 24 in city. I once got 40mpg in a trip to Maryland but this was consciously attempting to hypermile and going no faster than 55.

      • 0 avatar
        ciddyguy

        I probably could, supposedly, the last gen Focus uses the same drive train as this Mazda, though to be fair, it may be of the later 3, not the Protege and they also have a 4spd audobox like I have and I have friends who get in the 30′s with the cruise on when going to one of their parent’s place.

        Even the EPA says the P5 gets 22/28 on the current numbers, the 88 Honda Accord I once had got the exact same numbers, according to the EPA, not 24-32 like we all believed back in the day.

        Add to that, E10 gas isn’t helping anything and that’s what I have around here.

        And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t know what the mileage was on the Mazda when I bought it, but then again, I was NOT expecting to actually buy that weekend, just reconnaissance shopping to get a feel for what’s out there while I awaited word on my loan but figured at best 32mpg highway.

        This is a common complaint on Mazdas anyway, that is until the Skyactive motors came along.

        As for hypermiling, that’s not something I care to do, I enjoy driving too much to drive slowly, just to eek out another gallon or two.

        The Mazda screams out to be driven and in a perfect world, I’d have bought the little Fiat 500, which is just as much fun, if not a bit more so than the Mazda which comes across a tad too buttoned down at times. At least with the Fiat, I don’t have to work at it to get over 30mpg as the EPA is 30-38 and the real world mileage tends to trend closer to 32-40 without trying.

  • avatar
    skor

    Most Americans equate small/reasonable cars with loser or worse, cheap b@stard. This will not change until the American economy suffers a collapse on par with what happened in Germany in 1946.

    As for the “free market” fanboiz, who don’t want the gubmint to tell them what to do, if we had a truly free global oil market, you’d be paying $15 a gallon. What do think is the purpose of America’s 11 carrier battle groups? To bring freedom and democracy to goat herders living in Lower Slobovia? Those carriers are what keeps you in the F350 you jacked 12 feet in the air. Just imagine if we had a free oil economy. Why those pesky Iranians might start to think they were free to charge the Chinese $25 a barrel while demanding $400 a barrel from the US of ‘Merica. Where do they get off thinking that they have that kind of freedom? BTW, how did OUR oil get under their sand anyway?


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