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What is a Good Gas Mileage for Your Car?
With prices on everything rising, the average household is looking for any way they can to save money. One of the best ways to make room in your monthly budget is by getting good gas mileage. When we look at average MPG ratings, it can be challenging to know which are good and bad, especially with all the factors that affect your vehicle's fuel economy. Let's start by defining what gas mileage is, then look at what constitutes good gas mileage for your car, truck, or SUV.
What is Gas Mileage?
Gas mileage, or miles per gallon (MPG), is how many miles your car can travel before it uses one standard gallon of fuel. The farther your car can cover on a single tank of gas, the better gas mileage it gets. This number can range based on a variety of factors, including:
- Distance Traveled
- Speed You Drive
- The Quality of Your Tires
- The Location You Drive
- How Well Maintained Your Vehicle is
- The Type of Oil You Use
- How Frequently You Change Your Oil
- The Current Weather Conditions
- The Weight of Your Vehicle
- The Weight of Your Cargo
Each of these factors can change your mileage in different ways to varying degrees. For example, car maintenance is one of the more important elements in deciding the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. A car with frequent oil changes and well-maintained internal components will function to its full potential, meaning each part isn't being overused or stressed past its limits. A car with failing parts or old, sludge-like oil will likely put a strain on your engine, making it work harder to maintain speeds.
Where you travel is another influential factor, as the difference between city and highway miles is significant. While it may seem like you'd burn less gas traveling short distances in the city, this simply isn't true. City mileage involves frequent stops and subsequent accelerations, which burns gas faster than steady, continued travel. The road conditions are usually rougher in cities as well, with roads that receive less routine maintenance than the ones you would see on highways.
What is Considered Good Gas Mileage?
If we look at the averages achieved by various vehicle types, good gas mileage would be anything over 23 miles per gallon (combined city and highway.) Of course, whether or not a vehicle has "good mileage" depends on your vehicle type and the purpose you use it for.
What is Good Gas Mileage for an SUV?
A gas-powered SUV is usually much heavier than your standard car, meaning they get lower overall MPG ratings. For the most part, SUVs attain less than 30 miles per gallon on the highway and even less when driven in the city. For non-hybrid models, good gas mileage would be anything over 22 MPG for highway miles. Some specific models achieve better fuel economy; for example, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD gets 40 MPG. Of course, part of this model's efficiency has to do with its hybrid capabilities and smaller size.
What is Good Gas Mileage for a Truck?
Gas-powered trucks suffer the same issue as SUVs in that they are usually heavier and tend to haul larger amounts of cargo. Anything over 18 miles per gallon is considered good mileage, as that is the median fuel economy for your standard truck. Average MPGs vary depending on truck sizes: for example, 17 MPG is the average for a full-size pickup truck, and 21 MPG is the average for a midsize pickup truck.
If you are willing to go electric, many more attractive MPG options are available. Many companies are pivoting to convert their model lineups to electric. Ford's signature F-150 is one recent example, with their F-150 Lightning achieving 68 MPGe with an estimated range of 230 miles.
What is Good Gas Mileage for an EV?
Many EVs don't use gas, so gas mileage isn't applicable; there is a different metric by which their fuel efficiency is measured: MPGe. MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent, accounts for electricity usage as a primary or secondary fuel source and it evens out to be the same as average EV miles per charge. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, determined that 33.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity is roughly the same as one gallon of fuel. So MPGe is based on how far a vehicle can travel for every 33.7 kWh used.
MPGe numbers tend to be a lot higher than your average MPG rating. Anything over 100 MPGe is considered good, as that is roughly the average. The average you get will depend on various factors, like where you drive and the weather. For example, stop-and-go traffic or winter heat or summer AC usage will all decrease the average mile per charge a vehicle gets.
Some models can achieve much higher MPGe ratings than this, with vehicles like the 2022 Tesla Model 3 boasting 134 combined city and highway MPGe. However, there are high-end options, like the Lucid Air, that achieve almost 600 miles per charge.
Where Can I Find Cars With Good Gas Mileage?
If you want to research cars with good gas mileage, the best place to do so is GoodCar. GoodCar can provide all the available information about any car you wish to purchase, including those with high MPG ratings and above-average fuel efficiency. Not only that, but GoodCar offers some of the highest quality vehicle history reports available anywhere online. These reports are invaluable when searching for a new or used car and can give you important information like:
- Title Records
- Junk/Salvage Records
- Insurer "Total Loss" Records
- Sales History
- Problem Checks
- Auto Specs
- Location History
- NHTSA Crash Test Ratings
- NHTSA Recalls
- Awards and Accolades
- Manufacturer Information
Getting a gas-efficient car can save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars each year in fuel costs. If you want to lower your monthly automotive bills and save at the pump, getting a car with good gas mileage is a must. But just because a car has a high MPG rating doesn't mean it's worth the price. A vehicle history report can determine whether a seller is genuine about a car's history. You can also use the report's information to negotiate lower prices and reduce your risk of being scammed by unscrupulous sellers.
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