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Old 12-30-2008, 10:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: San Diego, CA
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rik's prerunner - '03 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Double Cab TRD 4A
90 day: 29.68 mpg (US)
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Which MPG figure is your "Brag Number"?

Here on EcoModder we obviously use Lifetime Average Combined MPG for our end-of-post "brag-tags". But what do you tell "regular" people? (What number would I put on a bumper sticker?)
  • I get 35mpg. (On the highway, on average)
  • I get 30mpg. (On my last few tanks)
  • I get 29mpg. (Rounding up my Ecomodder Signature mpg)
  • I get 26mpg. (If I was to figure out my 50/50 highway/city combo)

Despite my public preference to endlessly qualify the parameters of my accomplishments with a gnarled mess of scientific self-skepticism and measurable statistical error, I think quoting my highest figure is really the most socially acceptable and generally expected thing to do, no?

I mean, if I was talking to another car nerd, I would expect them to inquire further into the figures, to see which one I was quoting. I think if someone was telling me "what they get", I wouldn't at all feel like they were being dishonest if they told me their highway miles. I guess it's just weird that I feel slightly dishonest saying I get 35mpg, when I can't actually fill up the tank on just "highway miles". Is it just me??

I guess for that matter, my EPA sticker miles are just estimates based on a warmed-up car -- also something you can't fill up a tank on -- so they're ultimately just calculated estimates based on sensor-readings. So when my truck is warmed up, I get readings on the ScanGauge that I can extrapolate based on calibration errors to say that I get about 35mpg, highway.

I dunno, still feels wrong. Is it just me? What do you think?

ps. I'm especially interested to hear from the "pros" who've made it into the media. (You know who you are.) What do you tell the reporters? What do you tell the random bug-eyed inquirer?

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Old 12-30-2008, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,864

1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
Team Saturn
90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
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akashic the Tacomodder -

I agree with being conservative in your statements. Otherwise, you make it easier for them to shoot you down. I have a reflective sticker inside my car that reads "42+ Total MPG". This is my 90 day running MPG, which I change as my MPG goes up or down. The "Total" is a bit awkward, but it's the most concise way I can think of displaying my MPG. If I don't say total, they may think I am only talking about my highway MPG.

I always qualify my claims, but when they ask, I tell them my personal best MPG run that I keep in my trip log :

2008-04-25 - 61.2 MPG
Trip: home to work (1999 Saturn SW2)
ROUTE : 10 West -> 710 South -> 105 West -> 405 South -> Exit Freeway => Roughly 27+ miles
NET ELEVATION CHANGE : ~210 feet drop
61.2 MPG,
0.4 Gallons,
200 Water Temp Max,
27.5 Miles,
2135 RPM Max,
0.6 Hours,
58 MPH Max,
IAT READING : Hot Air Intake led to Input Air Temp readings of around 115+ degrees F.
WEATHER(.com) :
77 degrees F,
Sunny to Partly Cloudy,
27% Humidity,
36.5 degrees F Dew Point,
30.09 in. Pressure,
TIME : ~10:25 AM to ~11:00 AM, ~36 minutes
RECENT CAR CHANGES : No recent changes.
HYPOTHESIS : Nice hot dry LA weather and a few glorious turtles to follow. Following one super-slow truck helped me on the 105 West, where I typically start falling below 60 MPG on my best runs.

What's your EPA MPG? Go Here and find out!
American Solar Energy Society
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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With me, it's the "lifetime average", which is really average since I bought the Insight 5 years ago, and figured out how to reset it. After all, the number does include everything: winter ski trips, commuting over Carson Pass in the winter, the miles on dirt roads to get to trailheads... currently 70.9 mpg.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Germantown, WI
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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)
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I usually use my 90 day average (which is what is used in the signature, not lifetime) when talking to people. But, I'll usually mention that I've gotten up to whatever my max is at that time.
Current project: A better alternator delete
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Ohio
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DarkFit - '08 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 32.78 mpg (US)
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I always report the car's lifetime MPG. I don't calculate my highway or city MPG. However, as my driving techniques improve from the great info on this site, I may want to start using my 90 day average. Unfortunately, my 90 day average is going down right now because of the cold weather.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Fresno, CA
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AzxA - '06 Scion xA
90 day: 42.72 mpg (US)
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I qualify it with lifetime and post-modding numbers. Usually opened up a few ears when I tell them I went from 36 to 41mpg. Well, at least it did when gas was $3+ a gallon.

Yeah, cold weather is sucking my numbers down to No Man's Land but my last refill was a shocker. I scratch it up to more aggressive conservative driving and better route selection to work. At least, that's my story.

My 5 pillars of fuel efficiency:
  • driving style
  • aerodynamics
  • tires
  • weight reduction
  • engine maintenance
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 131

Impala - '04 Chevrolet Impala base
90 day: 32.84 mpg (US)
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So far I usually make my statement along the lines of..."well I have reached a peak of Xmpg but normally run around y or z mpg"
Now if I can ever get off the road from the wheels of the big 18 wheeler I drive, I should be able to consolidate my driving skills and try to ramp up the mpg number on my Impala.
Best of luck folks.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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scenic - '01 renault scenic
90 day: 43.09 mpg (US)

megane - '97 renault megane classic
90 day: 72.53 mpg (US)

dennisius - '06 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 69.27 mpg (US)
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I give my best average on 3-5 tanks and how much money/gasoline it permits to save (which is lower than the % over EPA).

If I feel the discussion OK then I talk about how bad can be winter and short trips, and only at the end my best tank/trip.

Save money & CO2 at home : http://ecorenovator.org/
Created and managed by the creators of http://ecomodder.com/
Earth and health are priceless, so are kilotank and AT-PZEV
Best Mégane tank: 1268.9mi @ 77.847 MPG(US)
2008/06-2011/10 saving:
  • 5725.5 kg CO2 (5342.6+382.9)
  • Diesel / Money: 42.17% = 2446.25€ = 3357.26$

megane : thread - kill switch.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I tell them the truth:

In my Geo Metro 3 cyl I get 50-57 mpg, but I'd get better if I did the speed limit!
In my wife's 05 V6 Mustang we get 30.2 mpg, but we'd get better if we did the speed limit!
In my SRT4 Neon (12 second 1/4 mile car) I get 32.8 mpg, but I'd get better if I did the speed limit!
In my 84 Plymouth Horizon that I drag race....it gets 24 mpg, but used to get 19!
42 time NHRA/IHRA drag race champ

05 SRT4-12.17@117 mph on DOTs-31.0 mpg-SOLD
96 Geo Metro-3 banger-60.1 mpg-SOLD
95 BMW M3-13.41 @ 106 mph-31mpg-SOLD
77 Chevy Monza with 350/350-FOR SALE
84 Horizon-1880 lbs-29 mpg
95 Neon-43 mpg
99 Z28-10.80 @ 127 mph-27.1mpg
2011 Prius-62.1 wife's
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 55.97 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)

Appliance car - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage ES (base)
90 day: 67.41 mpg (US)
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I usually mention the 90 day number first, and the car's lifetime figure second.

Though some people who know I have a ScanGauge will sometimes ask for results of specific trips too.

But believe it or not, the topic of what I get in my car doesn't come up that often.

Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
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
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