tracking fuel economy
Continuing with the fuel efficiency theme for a bit, I felt unsatisfied with my fuel economy estimates for my vehicle (a 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT 5 speed). Thankfully, I’ve kept a fuel log for the past five years, logging the odometer, trip, and amount of fuel at each filling. Instead of guessing at the approximate average fuel economy I’ve been getting, today I finally decided to calculate it.
Before I divulge my Elantra’s numbers, I’ll share the numbers from the vehicle we had previous to the Elantra: a Nissan Pathfinder LE. Yes, a huge, heavy, thirsty automatic transmission SUV. (I’m so ashamed.) It was a good vehicle to us, but boy, was it thirsty. According to my log, during the 53 000 km that we drove it for (second-hand) it consumed nearly 6700 L of fuel, for a lifetime average of 12.58L/100km. Yeesh! You can see why we opted for something thriftier. We replaced it with the Elantra. So far, over the 89 000 km we’ve driven it, our Hyundai has consumed 7200 L of fuel, for a lifetime average of 8.09L/100km. MUCH better.
Recalculating the last two tankfulls, during which I’ve been using my modified-for-optimal-fuel-economy driving style, I’ve returned 6.6L/100km – quite the improvement! That could have been even better, but some bad snowy weather and plenty of headwinds over the past week precluded it. I’m aiming to get that closer to 6.0 as much as possible.
For those of you that would also like to track your fuel economy, but don’t want to bother with all the math, there are two sites that do it all for you. Both GasSavers.org and the German (available in English) SpiritMonitor.de allow you to input your distance and fuel to keep track of your fuel economy, costs, and compare your results with others. GasSavers additionally provides articles on fuel-saving techniques and modifications.
Me, I’m going to wait until I replace the Elantra with something more efficient. The Office of Energy Efficiency’s Fuel Consumption Ratings will be helping me select my next vehicle. Here’s hoping for under 4.0L/100km!