I'm often asked what I do for entertainment...
This is my idea of a video game:
I was reminded of that this morning reading this article. I am prone to say you have to drive the Prius a little differently as that article points out. Differently from the way you would drive a normal car without the “video game effect”. In that article – they averaged about 42 MPG, which is just about what I get when I drive “blind” (without the video game effect). It is the mileage reported on my car when I leave it with my wife for a week or two (she just drives it and drives it much like most people would normally drive).
However, when I turn the game on – I consistently get much closer to the 50 MPG. The game involves driving in such a fashion as to maximize mileage. With the constant feedback – I’ve found I can affect the mileage by as much as 20% - which is huge. The road I drive to work on is 65 MPH – I average between 60 and 70 on this road instead of locking in the cruise control. Slower up hill, let momentum carry me downhill and go a bit over, just to make use of that potential energy I built up going up the hill in the first place.
Every 5 minutes, the display inches over and tells me the average mileage for that period of time. The game I try to play is “keep it over 50” – on the way to work I can do that consistently. On the way home, it is more of a challenge (apparently we are “uphill” from work. When I win the game – I use exactly one gallon of gas to go to work (I pay more in tolls than gas on my 50 mile round trip).
- Using cruise control and maintaining a constant speed
- Driving “blind”, without the computer display – driving like I always drove in the past
- Driving with the display.
Surprisingly – driving blind got better mileage than using cruise control (it was the big loser – but a necessary evil on a long trip). But driving with the display and making an effort to maximize the display results consistently in at least 10 and closer to 20% improvements (which is huge).
The one thing the article I was reading neglected to point out was that while the Jetta did a bit better mileage wise was that the Prius is not only good on the mileage – but excellent on the emissions. I really dig it when the car turns off – totally turns off – at stop signs and in creep and crawl traffic. I can scare the living daylights out of people in parking garages – this car makes no noise whatsoever (unless the tires squeak or something like that).
So, I’ll stick with my Prius for now. I would buy it again – and that probably is the best thing you could say about any product.