ScanGauge-E Review and Comparison

by Tim Fulton on November 2, 2011

A few months back, Darin and Ben (EM’s founders) asked me to review the new ScanGauge-E. I gladly accepted and tried it out for a few weeks. You can see the full review here. For the blog we’ll keep it short and to the point.

First up, we’ll look at some of the limitations of the ScanGauge-E. The first thing I noticed was that it only has one cable connector on it. The ScanGauge-II has two, one on the back and one on the front. This isn’t a big deal unless it interferes with how you want to mount the ScanGauge, or on the off chance you want to daisy chain two or more ScanGauge-Es together.

I was able to daisy chain my ScanGauge-II from my car with the ScanGauge-E on the end of the chain though.

Probably the biggest thing most users will note is that the ScanGauge-E only shows two gauges instead of the ScanGauge-II’s four gauge display. While this isn’t quite as nice, Linear Logic has done a few things to negate this limitation.

First off, they have added a bar graph to the left of the display. The graph always tracks MPG over time. However, the scale of the graph, or how it displays information is configurable. By default, the graph’s zero (halfway) shows as your trip average. Therefore you know if you’re doing better or worse than your current average. This is a pretty nice setup.

You can also set the graph’s zero point to a set MPG. They call this “GOAL”, and you can manually set whatever MPG you want as your zero point (0-255). With GOAL you can see if you are hitting the MPG you want or not. You could even set GOAL to the EPA rating of the car to see how well you’re doing compared to it. In addition, you can change the time scale of the graph to show a history of 20 seconds to 16.5 minutes.

Second, they have added gauge sets. You can scroll through the gauge sets with the left buttons. There are three default (not customizable) gauge sets, and two customizable sets. The default gauge sets show instant and trip MPG, the next shows trip CO2 emissions and today’s CO2, and the third shows trip fuel cost and today’s fuel cost. In addition to those three default gauge sets, you can make your own two custom gauge sets like you do with the ScanGauge-II. The buttons on the right cycle through the available gauges just as normal. While using the ScanGauge-E I found these gauge sets to be extremely useful. I really wish the ScanGauge-II had this same feature now.

The last things that the ScanGauge-E doesn’t have is the X-gauges, and performance features. The X-gauges are really nice if you own a hybrid since you can get info on your battery pack and a few other nifty things. I use them all the time with my PHEV Prius. I definitely don’t like to see them go. The performance features you loose out on are 0-60 timing, 1/4 mile timing, and 60-0 timing. But being fuel economy nerds, those are of little use to us anyway!

Let’s move on to what Linear Logic has added to the ScanGauge-E. It does have several features that the ScanGauge-II does not have. I already talked about the MPG graph and the gauge sets. In addition, the ScanGauge-E also calculates CO2 emissions. They have added two new gauges that calculate the CO2 emissions of your vehicle. The first one is “CO2” on the display, it shows how many pounds/kilograms of CO2 your car has put out on the current trip. The next one is “TCO”, and it shows how many pounds/kilograms CO2 your car has put out for the entire day. In the trip meter section you can also see how many pounds/kilograms you’ve put out for the entire tank too.

In conclusion, I don’t think the SGe it is for everyone. But, it’ll be a very good fit for some people, including those looking to save money. You get almost all the features of the ScanGauge-II, but at 2/3rds the price (about $50 savings). That makes the payback much quicker. I think my ScanGauge-II paid for itself quite fast. That makes the ScanGauge-E a no brainer if you’re looking to save money. The other group of people I’d suggest this to would be the more casual ecodrivers out there. Its a nice gauge, gives lots of info and will help increase your mileage. There isn’t too much to look at on the screen; it’s smaller and fits in nooks a bit easier.

All that being said, I wouldn’t recommend the SGe to one specific group of people: the hardcore hypermilers. These folks  love info and will use every bit they can get their hands on to increase their mileage. That means needing the 4 gauges up all the time to optimize driving. I also wouldn’t necessarily recommend the ScanGauge-E to hybrid owners. The loss of the X-gauges is a big price to pay for hybrid owners who can gain a lot of functionality through them.

Of course, EcoModder sells both the ScanGauge-E and the ScanGauge-II. They can both be found in the EcoModder Store.

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