What Is Fuel Economy?

February 17th, 2022 by

As transportation costs continue to increase, it’s important to know what fuel economy is, and how it affects your vehicle costs. Here you can learn what fuel economy is, why it’s important, and how you can calculate it. We have also provided you with a list of tips to help you maximize the fuel economy of your car.

What Is Fuel Economy?

empty fuel meter on dashboard

Image via Flickr by Mark Morgan Trinidad B

Fuel economy refers to the number of miles your vehicle can go using a specific amount of fuel. The better fuel economy that your car has, the less it costs you to drive a set number of miles when compared to another vehicle with less fuel economy. Fuel economy is an important factor in buying a vehicle because it can impact the amount of money spent on driving costs.

For example, if you were to drive from Youngstown, Ohio, to Cleveland, Ohio, a car with higher fuel economy will take you further between fill-ups at the gas station. You’ll also spend more on gas in a vehicle with a lower fuel economy, even though both cars are driving the same distance.

In addition to saving on fuel costs, vehicles that have a better fuel economy can also save you money in other areas. Certain electric vehicles that have a much higher-than-average fuel economy rating can even qualify you for tax credits. It’s important to note that fuel economy and fuel efficiency are not the same things. Whereas fuel economy refers to how far the fuel will take a vehicle, fuel efficiency refers to how much fuel a vehicle needs to power a vehicle.

How to Calculate Fuel Economy

Learning how to calculate fuel economy can help you when shopping for a new car. It can also help you better understand your car’s current fuel economy, so you can take steps to improve your rating. Fuel economy is measured using miles per gallon (mpg) or miles per gallon equivalent if you drive an electric vehicle (EV).

First, you’ll need to track the number of miles you drive during a single trip, as well as the amount of fuel you use to get to your destination. Once you have this information, you can divide the number of miles by the number of gallons you use to get your fuel economy rating.

You can also review EPA ratings to learn more about the fuel economy of any vehicles you’re considering buying. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a list of fuel-economy ratings with calculations from automakers. The EPA double-checks these ratings, conducts their own tests, and then issues their own ratings.

What is a Good Fuel Economy?

The higher the fuel economy mpg, the better the fuel economy rating. Typically, a “good” fuel-economy rating is anything over 22 mpg. In general, trucks and SUVs will traditionally have lower fuel-economy ratings than compact cars, mostly due to their size. This means that it may be more difficult to compare the fuel-economy rating of compact cars versus SUVs or trucks.

Instead, the fuel economy ratings are best compared among similar vehicles in its class. The EPA ratings also test both highway and city driving, and the rating they provide is usually a combination of both. Chevrolet has quite a few vehicles with good fuel economy ratings including:

Check out the full inventory of Chevrolet vehicles at Sweeney Chevrolet.

Tips to Improve Your Fuel Economy

You can take certain steps to improve your fuel economy, including:

  • Keep up with preventative maintenance: Keeping up with preventative maintenance tasks, like frequent oil changes or tire rotations, can help you maximize your fuel economy.
  • Slow down: Speeding and pushing down hard on the gas pedal can reduce your fuel-economy ratings. The fuel economy decreases significantly at speeds over 50 mph.
  • Reduce your vehicle’s weight: There’s a reason that smaller vehicles get better fuel economy. The more weight that a car carries, the more fuel it consumes doing so. This means removing heavy items or rooftop cargo boxes when they’re not in use.
  • Maintain your vehicle’s tires: Your vehicle’s tires are very important to your fuel economy. Simply adding air to your tires and ensuring they’re properly inflated can significantly improve your ratings.
  • Do your research: When it comes time to buy a new car, doing your research and learning which Chevrolet cars have the best fuel economy ratings, can help you save.
  • Use cruise control: Cars that come with cruise control can also help you maximize fuel-economy ratings. By limiting the number of times you have to hit the brakes and then accelerate, you can use less fuel.
  • Plan your route ahead of time: Planning your route ahead of time to avoid high traffic times or frequent stops can improve fuel economy. If possible, also avoid roads with steep inclines.
  • Roll down the windows: Your car’s air conditioning uses a lot of fuel. When possible, cooling off with the windows down or the moon roof open can help you get a better fuel-economy rating.
  • Use the right type of fuel: Vehicle manufacturers often recommend a certain type of fuel to use based on your car’s design. Using the right fuel type can help the engine work better, while also improving fuel economy.
  • Know your fuel economy rating: Knowing your fuel-economy rating can help you identify any areas of improvement. Frequently calculate your rating to get a better idea of where you can improve.

Buying a car with certain features can also help with getting better fuel economy. Modern vehicles today have features like auto start-stop technologies, which automatically turn off the engine when stopped at red lights. This helps to preserve fuel and improve your overall efficiency and economy ratings.

If you’re interested in buying a vehicle with better fuel economy, we invite you to come check out our inventory at Sweeney Chevrolet. We have a large inventory of new and used cars with good fuel-economy ratings.

Posted in Tips