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Old 07-07-2009, 09:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 248

Daily Driver - '02 Pontiac Grand Prix SE
90 day: 18.45 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
I'll throw my two cents in since I live at about 5000ft: on the roads here I can average 34mpg in my GP, up and down the passes. Take a look at my gas log. I don't update it anymore, haven't the time really. But you'll see that between here and Coure De Alene I can get 34mpg with a fully loaded car, up a few thousand feet and down. When I first bought the car and drove it back from OR it managed 34mpg between the west side of Portland to Coure De Alene, so through big city traffic. I wasn't doing any hypermiling tricks, just set the cruise at 70mph and go. Come to think of it, I drove it to CA just after buying it, and averaged 32mpg over those 2000 miles, with lots of go pedal.

So my experience isn't that great of a definition. I can get the same at sea level to 6500ft. Granted those two experiences were over 2 years apart, but hey. I think the only corrolation I find is at lower elevations the car really shows its full power, which is quite fun. Its almost anemic up here, so I tend to "enjoy" it more down there, sporting with traffic and all. Plus there's the whole how much throttle needed, amount of air being sucked in, blah blah the normal stuff.

Bottom line, yes, the car gets better mileage at higher altitudes, BUT (big big but here) it's such a gas to drive down there and so boring up here (even more so when I was in the high lands of CO), the amount of power available for a given throttle input, equates to crap mileage down low and average to good mileage up high.

hmm. long post. And all I said was I love using the go pedal. hmm. At least I keep it above the 30mpg floor!
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