Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > General Efficiency Discussion
Register Now
 Register Now

Reply  Post New Thread
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-02-2014, 10:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
2012 smart Fortwo, Hwy vs City street commute?

Hi, I'm new to this forum; please be gentle if I break any unwritten rules here.

I have an unmodded 2012 Smart Fortwo, and I've been pondering the question of my commute in regards to fuel efficiency, but I'm not coming to an answer on my own, so I thought I'd ask it here.

I typically drive 65-70 on the highway; I have a OBDII device that alerts me when I exceed 70 or when I accelerate fast or brake hard.

I have three choices of route for my commute to work:
1 (Hwy): 9.5 miles, 7.6 are highway miles
2 (Mix): 8.2 miles, 2.9 are highway miles
3 (City): 8.3 miles, no highway miles

My question seems simple: which route consumes the least fuel?

My thoughts: Route 1 is the longest, but also has the most constant speed. I drive efficiently on the highway (constant speed and not *too* fast). Route 2 is what I think will be best, as it's the shortest but has some efficient highway driving in it. Route 3 is my dark horse, because it's almost as short as 2, and I never exceed ~45 (but it's a lot of stop-and-go, as well).

Thanks for your thoughts!

  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

Old 12-02-2014, 11:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
Batman Junior
MetroMPG's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,828

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 61.46 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,530
Thanked 6,324 Times in 3,271 Posts
Hi Rob -

The Smarts can get decent MPG when driven carefully.

I'd guess that option 1 would return your highest MPG, owing to less stop & go. But the question of whether it consumes the least fuel overall compared to #2 or #3 is another question (longer trip length).

Have you considered getting an OBD gauge (ScanGauge, UltraGauge, etc) that will give you real time mileage feedback? That way you could answer your question through trial and error, PLUS you would have an instrument that helps you fine-tune your driving all the time. Turn your commute into a fun game.

Welcome to the forum!

Latest mods: 3-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage. EcoMods now in progress...
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
Daox's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 11,143

CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

Swarthy - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,451
Thanked 2,504 Times in 1,512 Posts
Welcome to the site Rob! What kind of mileage are you currently getting with the Fortwo?

Other than that, I'd just be echoing MetroMPG. His advise is spot on.
Current project: A better alternator delete
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
vskid3's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 975

Civic DX (sold) - '97 Honda Civic DX
90 day: 34.15 mpg (US)

GTO (sold) - '04 Pontiac GTO
90 day: 22.62 mpg (US)

Green Brick (sold) - '06 Ford Escape Hybrid
90 day: 31.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 193
Thanked 311 Times in 220 Posts
How long does each route take? I personally like having my commute as quick as possible.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
oldtamiyaphile's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,507

UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
Team Turbocharged!
90 day: 40.3 mpg (US)

Jeep - '05 Jeep Wrangler Renegade
90 day: 18.09 mpg (US)

R32 - '89 Nissan Skyline

STiG - '16 Renault Trafic 140dCi Energy
90 day: 31.08 mpg (US)

Prius - '05 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 50.25 mpg (US)

Premodded - '49 Ford Freighter
90 day: 13.48 mpg (US)

F-117 - '10 Proton Arena GLSi
90 day: 37.82 mpg (US)

Ralica - '85 Toyota Celica ST
90 day: 25.23 mpg (US)

Sx4 - '07 Suzuki Sx4
90 day: 32.21 mpg (US)
Thanks: 322
Thanked 443 Times in 313 Posts
In my experience, with a small car with poor CD and a small engine with low gearing the City route will win out. Anything above 30mph, and you're burning more than you 'need' to.

If you look at my sig, my first two cars are city only and easily beat EPA, they average ~17mph. The little Fiat does more highway (perhaps 50/50) miles at an average of 30mph, and it doesn't get close.

Last edited by oldtamiyaphile; 12-03-2014 at 07:31 PM..
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 10:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: May 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2,643
Thanks: 1,503
Thanked 276 Times in 226 Posts
Which route has lights vs stop signs? Does a route not have either? Can you make all right turns on a route? Is her ea route that takes you by another destination?

My best route for work takes me past an inconvenience store on my right and I make a right turn to exit it and continue on my way.

Another route takes me by the post office on the right and I make a right turn on my way out.

Another route takes me past walmart and walgreens on the right and has a right turn to continue on my way.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 11:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
Beating EPA Unmodded
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 143

Blue Eagle - '10 Honda Civic LX
Team Honda
90 day: 31.12 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4
Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
I would guess that #1 would be most efficient if you get over 1.3 MPG better on that trip, then that means that you are saving fuel.

For instance:

Drive 3 miles all city and get 25 MPG vs driving 10 miles highway getting 35 MPG. The highway will use less gas even though it seems like it would use more. If the 3 miles returned 29 MPG, then you will be using less gas driving through the city.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this is how it should work and is how I've been calculating my drives.


  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread

Thread Tools

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com