372 Miles Down… 120 to Go…. That works out to a whopping 38 MPG!
We all know gas isn’t cheap, so squeezing out a few extra MPG can make a huge difference in your wallet. We recently took a road trip from our home in Silver Spring, Maryland to Asheville, North Carolina for a family reunion of sorts. I checked the tires and fluids on our 2013 CR-V, loaded the back up and hit the road. About eight hours later we arrived, no problems albeit a little tired.
We ended up with an average fuel mileage of 32 mpg showing on the information screen. “Not bad”, I thought to myself. I attributed the higher than usual number to my particular “relaxed” driving style and to highway driving. Given my background, I’m very easy on my equipment.
The difficult part for this particular trip was the 350 miles traveled down Interstate 81. Not that the road is particularly bad, it’s just the concentration of eighteen-wheelers carrying our goods where they need to go is traditionally high. Couple that with only two lanes in most places AND long, long hills…the frustration level gets really high while we lumber up the climb at 50 mph in a nose-to-tail line of cars behind the truck in the left lane going one-half-of-a- mile per hour faster than the truck in the right lane. We ALL love I-81 for this, right?
I wasn’t particularly looking forward to our return trip north on Sunday because of the I-81 conundrum. I decided to play the fuel-mileage game. The CR-V has one of those gauges that shows the real-time fuel mileage estimate based on the throttle position and speed and other factors. The goal was to keep the gauge reading above 30 for as much time as I could while not impeding traffic flow.
This turned out to be quite a challenge. It’s counter-intuitive to tell your right foot to let off of the pedal as you climb the hill…but that’s what we have to do to keep the gauge reading high. There is a balance point between speed, throttle and momentum all going on here. I found it quite challenging and yet a lot of fun.
There were hills and straights and ups and downs. I drafted behind trucks going uphill as well as sped past vehicles while holding a little throttle on going downhill. Hitting the brakes wasn’t an option (unless an emergency)… it was all about physics here.
Results? Going through the mountains on I-26 from Asheville (fantastic piece of road if you ever get the opportunity… I promise) as well as heading up I-81 playing the game, I decided to refuel when I hit 1/4 tank. We had gone 372 miles so far and the gauge said I still could go 120 more. The nozzle clicked off at 9.8 gallons which means an average MPG of 38. NO KIDDING… for an AWD CR-V? That’s incredible!
The car is EPA rated at 29 m.p.g. on the highway. That means that I was able to squeeze out 31 percent more! WOW!
Next time you’re on a road trip, take the challenge too. You might be surprised how much fun it is. AND save a few bucks in the process. By the way, it really didn’t take us any longer than it would of driving like everybody else. Let’s call it driving at a “Calm” pace. –Greg