Consumer Reports: Slow down, haul less, save fuel
Posted August 20, 2013
Updated October 11, 2013
With the increase in gas prices over the years, fueling up is never a favorite stop.
Drivers can't control what it costs, but they can control how far they can go on a gallon. Consumer Reports measured several cars at 55, 65 and 75 mph.
"While it may not be surprising that when you drive faster, you use more fuel, you may be surprised about how much fuel you actually use," said Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
A 4-cylinder Honda Accord LX gets an impressive 50 mpg at 55 mph. At 65 mph, the car’s mileage drops to 42 mpg. And at 75 mph, it sinks to 36 miles a gallon!
"We also tested the Toyota RAV4 and three versions of the Ford Fusion, including the hybrid,” Fisher said. “We found similar results with all of them."
Loading up for road trips also drops fuel efficiency.
Again, the Honda Accord gets 42 mpg at 65 mph. But with a bike rack added, fuel efficiency drops to 37 mpg. With a wind deflector, efficiency drops again to 35 mpg. Add two bicycles on the rack, and the Accord gets just 27 miles per gallon.
"If you're not using your bike rack, take it off because it really is going to hurt your fuel efficiency,” Fisher said.
A lighter load and a lighter foot definitely add up to savings at the pump.
Consumer Reports offered more tips to save, including making sure tires are properly inflated, avoiding hard acceleration and hard braking, and turning off the engine if idling for more than 30 seconds.