Cars, Gas, and Choices

 I drive a 2007 Civic Hybrid.  There are several things that are interesting about driving such a car.

First, it never takes more than 10 gallons to fuel up, which is only after driving 400 to 500 miles…  Yep, except in the heart of summer, our little baby gets some 40mpg (or higher on the highway).  Sure, in the 102 degree heat index climate of Central Texas, the beast suffers and only gets 36mpg around town… but still… The way I get his mileage is two fold – technology and operations.  If you drive a car with a lead foot you get poor mileage. If you don’t keep the tires inflated, the wheels aligned, stomp on the accellerator and stomp on the brakes, you burn gas in ANY vehicle.

Hybrid have the technology advantage but loose it if you drive like the typical V8 driving American.  Hybrids help with that operational issue with a little piece of technology that is starting to appear on US cars -the instant MPG guage.  This little baby tells you if you are driving like Speed Racer or like Grandma.  Frankly, at $3.67 a gallon, I’ll take grandma’s driving style.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/07/we_want_fuel_ec.php

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/08/21/nissans-new-models-to-get-fuel-efficiency-gauges/

Which brings me to my driving around Central Texas. Time and time again, these V8 powered SUV’s, full sized cars and Pickups are on my tail while I accelerate to save energy.  Then they pass me, sometimes with irritated looks, to rush to the next light or stop sign… Which is where I find them 9 times out of 10 when I pull up to the same light/stop sign.  They don’t get it.  I know they care about the cost of gas, but they don’t seem to understand they can get a 10-20% discount on gas by simply driving smarter.  What, too busy chattin on the cell phone to pay attention?  I don’t know but I think the Oil Companies should provide little plastic "save on gas" guides at the pumps (for free) and Congress should mandate that within 1 year all cars sold in the US have a MPG Guage (not a big deal when you consider all cars since about 1999 have ODB  systems which know what your milieage is – a simple LCD or LED  simply needs to be added and viola! The country saves on gas!

Now for my other car, it’s a gas guzzler.  Uses up all of my good charma when we fill up?  What do you think it is?  An Expedition? Tahoe? or maybe one of those "since we build the Prius our SUV’s get good mileage – NOT" Sequoa?  Nope, a 1998 Subaru Outback.  It gets 20mpg around town and about 27mpg on the highway.  My wife cringes when she fills it up.  Which may be why I pointed out what it takes to fill a Suburban these days ($100 was what we saw on the pump just a few weeks ago when gas was "only" $2.40/gallon.  I’m looking to hold onto this beast, it only has 108,000 miles, and buy a Honda with a diesel or (gasp) a Toyota Camry Hybrid (probably from a Houston dealership).  What I was hoping for was the new Accord with the clean diesel.  Alas, Honda decided to put that engine into the real Accord, which in the US is the Acura TSX:

Performance-oriented Acura TSX muscles in – MotorHead- msnbc.com

I have a friend who has a TL and ENVY is about the only word I can use to describe that feeling – until I found out it only uses Premium gas.  And there is the fact we don’t have an Acura dealer in townSad

So that’s my blog for the time being.  I have some more thoughts about the game company and my day job but the emotions are a bit raw and I want to simmer down before writing about them!

 

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