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Old 09-09-2019, 02:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
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Originally Posted by uRabbit View Post
Some responses are noting that the AT gets less than the MT, and you're noting that I'm getting the EPA estimate. However, both of these comments disregard that I am not driving under EPA testing conditions. If I were, I would get somewhere around 25 MPG combined instead of 30.

I believe the trip MPG estimate on the dash to be fairly accurate in these vehicles, and trust that the vehicle should be getting at least what the estimate says.

I think I understand. Take a 100 mile trip directly from a fuel station next to the interstate. Travel another 100 miles back to the same fuel station. Cruise at 59 the whole way. This is my baseline.

I'm not sure what you mean about after that though?

A vehicle is designed for a load. How well does it do (have you learned) once it’s loaded?

There’s all the time in the world to learn when things are easy. Not so when they aren’t.

Empty MPG is a baseline against which Loaded MPG is compared. Sort of like highway against city. Takes practice to do it well. In turn, that practice leads to accurate prediction.

What’s the initial spread? What’s the percentage reduction possible? How is route-planning affected? Etc. Driving around empty is like jacking off.

When your family is aboard, and luggage-laden, is not the time to explore the differences. It’s too late.

It’s funny to see many here confuse frequency of vehicle condition (empty or laden) with importance.

Next to nothing is as unimportant as empty vehicle MPG. Vehicle specification AND operation have to work together when it counts. That’s when loaded.

Empty solo is covered by reduction of annual miles to achieve the same ends. The percentage change. The baseline numbers are just a control, they have no meaning in themselves. That’s vehicle weight or mpg when empty. Numbers baked-in at purchase.

It’s only when loaded, that counts. Tire life, brake life and “the life” of a gallon of fuel. Pretty much equal importance in evaluation. They’re confirmation. One can’t sacrifice longevity or reliability (or utility, IMO) to enhance MPG and ever argue “Economy” with a straight face.

The relation of Average MPG & Average MPH is key. The latter tends to predict the former.

It’s possible to greatly reduce the discrepancy between highway MPG and city MPG only. Same between empty & loaded.

Only loaded MPG matters. Empty mpg brags = paint color choice brags. Anyone can do it (defined course with cruise control). Loaded, city or highway is another matter. Percentage reduction between highway & city is the game.

Maximum utility would be loaded, and towing a trailer. As that second vehicle is a separate discussion, nonetheless it points us towards what is possible with just a gallon of fuel. Weight, and aero.

So, there’s a beginning. And an end. A framework. Not just what someone pulls out of their hind end.


Last edited by slowmover; 09-09-2019 at 02:39 AM..
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