Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by John Robinson
Your car’s fuel consumption depends on many factors, and you can change some of them. For example, aggressive driving lowers your car’s fuel efficiency considerably. It might reduce your estimated gas mileage by up to 40% in some situations, such as stop-and-go traffic. Add towing beyond your car’s cargo limit to your driving habits, and it changes fuel consumption completely.
Some factors that reduce fuel efficiency are beyond your control, such as making short emergency trips in winter. Consequently, it helps to get a car that’s fuel efficient. As you do your bit to lower consumption, the car’s mechanics will do the rest for you.
Why Fuel Efficiency Matters
Each car’s estimated gas mileage appears as MPG. It refers to the miles you can cover per gallon. If unsure about your car’s MPG, consult your automaker’s website or calculate it using your main or trip odometer readings.
When this figure is high, say 23 mpg, your car uses less fuel to cover that distance. You have many options because there are many fuel-efficient SUVs. One option in the large SUVs range is the 2022 Ford Expedition.
Its consumption while driving on city streets is 17 mpg, while on the highways, it reaches 23 mpg. Plus, you can tweak your consumption more by switching to an EcoBoost engine instead of a V-8. The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and 2023 Toyota Sequoia also have better fuel efficiency than the older models. Here’s why fuel efficiency matters.
It Lowers Carbon Emission
Your car emits carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. In 2021, using diesel as a fuel was responsible for over 6,000 m metric tons of carbon dioxide in the U.S. Although driving isn’t the only way people use diesel, it contributes to this emission.
Hence, any environmentally-conscious person requires a fuel-efficient car. When you switch to one, you’ll not see the difference because you’re just one person in a city of thousands of drivers. But when there are more of you in a country, it’ll lower air pollution. That’ll reduce climate change. It’ll also benefit residents’ health.
You also increase the carbon footprint by refueling your car often because the country will emit more greenhouse gasses as it produces and distributes fuel to gas stations.
An environmentally-friendly alternative for SUV lovers is a hybrid car. For example, the 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses a motor and electric power. It has 36 mpg, and a 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid has 43 mpg.
Better Energy Sustainability
Gas is non-renewable energy, and we deplete such resources fast. Managing your consumption reduces this rate. Additionally, it reduces the burden on a nation’s economy, especially in a world with crises like wars and pandemics. It doesn’t have to import more fuel at high prices if it can use local production efficiently.
The money can go to other things that matter, including research to develop sustainable energy resources.
It Saves You Money
Maintaining a car is enough financial responsibility that you don’t need to double it by increasing fuel consumption. When you lower your consumption, you’ll have more money for regular maintenance, so your car will serve you longer.
Additionally, regular maintenance will reduce the time you spend at the mechanic due to car emergencies; hence, you’ll be more productive at work. You’ll also make fewer trips to and from a gas station.
If you haven’t invested in an SUV already, you can calculate how much you can save on fuel. Compare two car models or enter the MPG of two cars top on your list.
For example, when you drive a car with a 23 mpg rating combined and another SUV with an estimated MPG of 32, here is what you might save on fuel. In a week, your estimated spending in a 23 mpg car is $43, while a 32 mpg car spends about $31. Therefore, annually, you’ll spend about $600 less to fuel your 32 mpg combined car. There are SUVs with such a high MPG. For example, the 2023 Toyota Fenza flaunts 39 MPG.
Car Mechanics that Affect Fuel Economy
The car model matters, but other things, including the following, influence your car’s consumption.
A Car’s Weight
A heavier car requires more energy because of its inertia and rolling resistance. When it’s heavy and boasts fast acceleration, you’re looking at more fuel consumption. Compact SUVs weigh 3,000 to 3,500 pounds, and one of the models in that range is the Jeep Cherokee XJ.
The mid-size SUV range has models like the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Explorer. These weigh between 3,500 and 5,000 pounds. In the full-size range, there are models like the Ford Expedition and Cadillac Escalade. These can weigh up to 6,000 pounds.
Faulty Fuel Injectors
They inject fuel into the engine, so they require regular maintenance. One of the problems you might notice is a leaking fuel injector. It’ll not perform its function, so your engine will consume more fuel. Carbon build-up might also clog it.
Consequently, when you make too many trips to the gas station, you can compare the odometer readings before and after a refill to see if the mpg is within the automaker’s average.
Faulty Spark Plugs
When they wear out, they interrupt the combustion cycle. The cylinders don’t produce power. You only need to change them to reduce consumption.
You’ll probably spend more money to buy a fuel-efficient car, but the benefits are worth it. Imagine spending less time looking for a gas station while driving off-road. Additionally, you’ll save on fuel, so you can spend more to maintain your car. The best part is there are many fuel-efficient SUVs.
Thus, you’ll find a model with a towing weight or cargo space suitable for your off-road excursions. Even if you only want to use your SUV for city drives, getting one with excellent gas mileage will benefit you and other city dwellers. It’ll produce less carbon, and your city will spend less on state gas resources.