Friday, August 25, 2006

Prius Envy

I absolutely love my new truck. Especially when I think about my previous vehicle. Of course, one can never be completely satisfied, and I have one minor complaint.

My gas mileage absolutely sucks. I drive six miles each way to work, my bank is two miles the other direction, and the grocery store is just down the block. And I usually only make it down to the Strip when visitors are in town.

So in the grand scheme of things--I don't drive that much. Hell, I bought the truck on June 14th, here it is three months later, and the odometer just turned over 2000 miles last night on my way to work--and that was after my round trip to Phoenix this week of somewhere around 550 miles.

But I track the gas mileage religiously. And every time I fill up, I calculate the mileage from the previous tank, and it's always been about 13.5 mpg around town.

Damn long-ass stoplights. The one at Warm Springs and Green Valley Parkway is especially a pain in the ass about this. It sees me coming and immediately turns red for about four minutes every time.

Anyhow, on this trip to Phoenix, I thought it would be a great opportunity to take the truck out and stretch her legs--maybe improve the mileage a bit. I filled up here at my usual stop just before leaving town, and didn't have to fill up again until I was leaving Phoenix. I got almost 337 miles out of the tank, but the warning light was on and the needle was resting on the post below the 'E'. However, when I filled it up, it only took 19.2 gallons of gas (and it's a 22-gallon tank), so I figure I've got a little reserve in there. Doing the math, it tells me that I getting just about 17.5 miles per gallon on the drive down to Phoenix and with all of the driving I did while there. Not too shabby. But that whole Hoover Dam obstacle with it's stop-and-go tourist dodging, plus several big hills to climb, taxes that efficiency.

On the way out of town, I stopped at the Mobil station closest to Ed's house, filled up, and decided to refill with the cheaper Arizona gas in Kingman. From Phoenix to Kingman, I sqeezed 19.96 mpg out of the girl, and I was doing a lot of 80 mph+ driving. Very impressive. In fact, I only had to put $25 in once I got to Kingman, and by the time I got home to Vegas, 95 miles later, it was still showing that I had almost 3/4 of a tank (using mid-grade).

Although I hate that I can't get 14 mpg here around town, it helps to know that by the time another payday rolls around, I've barely used a half a tank whenever I go for a fill-up.


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