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Join Date: Dec 2009
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First of all, winter blend screws up fuel economy. I managed just below 30 for a few tanks, then the blend changed and I'm between 26 and 28. Make sure you aren't warming your car up for more than 30 seconds (assuming your drives are longer than 2 miles). This kills economy and people seem to forget or ignore that fact, then wonder why their economy took a dive when they warm the car up for 5 minutes every time they go anywhere.
Secondly, and more specifically in response to blackthunder's post, hogwash! The I4 is a very efficient engine when driven properly (by properly, I mean in a fuel efficient manner). I easily got 29.5 mpg in mixed driving by changing how I drove (from fast and hard to relaxed and easy). You can too, but you have to learn how to work with the car as designed. The car weighs around 4000 pounds and the I4 has less than 170 hp and torque. It is rated by the EPA at 21 city and 31 highway with a combined number of 24 mpg. Realistically, if you get 22-26 mpg, you are hitting the average that most people get. Furthermore, cold air is great for cars. Super cold air is not. In very cold weather, cars perform poorly just like in very warm air. Also, the V6 engine is a very efficient powerplant that, in some cases, outperforms the I4 in fuel economy. This is due to power to weight ratios - the V6 models have to work far less hard to achieve the same level of acceleration, often using less gas to do the same amount and speed of movement. Driven gingerly, some people have gotten incredibly good, competitive fuel economy with the V6. Proof? My last tank of gas, in mixed driving, was 26.12 mpg (253 miles/ 9.69 gallons). The tank before that? 27.26 mpg in mixed driving (345 miles/ 12.66 gallons). I've posted lengthy comments giving plenty of advice on improving fuel economy. It all works and no one says I'm wrong. You too could be getting 26 mpg+ with your I4 with little problem if you put some of what I've said to use. Trust me. I get where you are going with this. My 98 VW GTI with a V6 regularly got 24-26 mpg. That car weighed less, had a manual transmission, but a bigger motor. At first, I was getting closer to 22 mpg all the time. Then I did some research and experimented with driving style, warmups, eliminating road rage, route checking, etc. Since then, my WORST tank has been over 26 mpg. And yes, I've had nasty snowstorms and horrific traffic to contend with (I live in an urban area just outside of Chicago and frequently have to suffer traffic jams and city traffic).
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Frankly, even though this forum has a lot of very nice people, the few bad apples around here have gotten on my nerves. I simply don't care enough to log on and try and help others when all too frequently, I get mocked or made fun of.