Interesting lesson while breaking it in...

I took a day trip to the west coast today. After filling up for the first time at an amazing $32.74 for 8.3 gallons of 92 octane, I plotted my TomTom to take me to Saugatuk by freeway, 94 miles one way. I did my freeway with a fair amount of ease, it took a bit of adjustment to get used to the wind and the gawking maneuvers of some of the other vehicles, but it was pure joy. I got to the park just in time to get some pictures of the lake as it started to sprinkle, and when I got back to the car it started to pour. I stopped and filled up again, 4.3 gallons for $17.42 at a slightly higher price for 92 octane, still amazing for me after driving an SUV. Then I decided to try TomTom again but avoiding the freeways so I could see the countryside. I was surprised to find the trip would only be 81 miles. I started out in the rain, chuckling as the automatic wipers flipped out at first, then found their stride and did an amazing job changing speed and tempo perfectly as needed. It was a very pleasant drive, past lakes, villages and farms, a few stops, mostly 55 or 60 with a short few miles of freeway. I got home and went to fill up again just to see how much exactly, and it was only 2.5 gallons that time, for just $10.24. Just like when I brought it home. It was 10 miles shorter to avoid the freeways that day. I am going to check this out more often. Not that I am at all against the freeways, but life just seems so much more pleasant on some of our beautiful back country roads. The difference in fuel is also a big plus. When possible I will schedule my time so I can drive that way as much as possible. Just another 500 to go to reach my 1000 mile break in period. I want to head home up north next weekend and see how it does on those huge hills. I really wouldn't care if the thing wasn't half as nice as it is with this kind of savings, but it sure is nice and I sure found my freedom to get around again.

By the way, the SUV would have cost around $80.00 to do the trip I took today for just $27.66

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Comment by Brent School on August 25, 2008 at 8:57am
Hi Rmichael,

If you think Saugatuk is nice, you would love Otter Creek just south of Empire and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park in Benzonia. It is at the end of Esch Road and is the most wonderful secluded stretch of coastline I know of. There are dunes under the water in the huge cove, which warm the water as it travels to shore, making warmer water than many other areas, you can swim out very far and stand on the top of the underwater dunes about every 30 feet between drop offs. It is the are that the Department of Natural Resources used, they sat an artist at the south end of the cove and had him paint it with the Dunes in the distance, and surrounded the edges with all the flora and fauna of our beautiful state. This was for our state poster map from the DNR. In the past few years the Federal Park Rangers have begun to patrol the area, and they will ask you to get a park sticker if you are going to use the beaches and rustic parking areas. This is one of the few areas remaining that you don't notice the low levels we are experiencing in the great lakes.
Comment by DLP on August 24, 2008 at 9:27pm
Still in the break in period for my Marzipan but I also find myself looking for reasons to go out and drive it. Filled up for the first time since bringing her home. 7.02 gallons of gas for $28 and change. I laughed out loud. I had filled my Mustang earlier that same day - 11 + gallons for nearly $45. I estimate that I am averaging about 35 mpg but I was not paying close attention. I wrote down my mileage and how much I bought just to see what this will purport to be. Even if I got the same mileage as the Mustang, I am going to save a bundle. The car is so much fun to drive that I am not worried about the money at all. This week I am going to try to do the normal amount of driving I had been doing (gonna try to avoid joy riding) just to see how long a tank will last. Drives like a dream on the Interstate.
Comment by Rmichael on August 24, 2008 at 7:58am
Saugatuk?! did you say Saugatuk? I love Saugatuk. Oval beach is great, and I'm not talking about the private part. I went with my kids and family, from Lansing, last summer and everyone had a blast. Well, my sun hating mother and beach bored partner didn't but the rest of us, all 9, had a blast!
Comment by Doug on August 24, 2008 at 12:07am
Damn--3800 miles in 15 days. Had my vehicle since 1-26-08, and only got 3100 miles and I feel like that is too many. Guess I need to drive "Baby Car" more. LOL
Comment by Vector on August 23, 2008 at 10:40pm
Funny story about "break in" periods..

the 2nd time I visited by SMART store [for an oil change] the service mngr said: What the hell did you do with this car? ha ha ha

I took it easy on my new toy, running around town and putting 1200 miles on it in the first month. I had a check engine light pop on, right before I began the "punch line to this story.... so I slipped by the store and had a exhaust gas valve replaced. [Common issue with all new cars.. the valves last "forever" or are bad on day one.] The service advisor says, wow you did 1200 mi/month?

The next day I left on a trip from Tampa to Orlando to Miami, to Tampa to Atlanta and back to Tampa... home for 5 days and then did another Atlanta round trip. 3800 miles in 15 days. When I showed up for a first oil change at 6k miles... the service guy took the car back in the shop area and returned in about 10 minutes to say:
ha ha ha I love my new toy and intend to challenge that warranty I bought. I drive 35-40k miles/year. About 2 years from now I'll be pre-ordering my next one for delivery on the 3rd anniversary.
Comment by tommyk on August 23, 2008 at 10:31pm
i hated!!! did i say hated? ok i couldn't stand driving. no i really friggin hated driving, before i got a smart. now i just can't wait to get in it again, after i park it. i love driving this friggin thing
Comment by Victor on August 23, 2008 at 10:21pm
I've had mine for six weeks as of today. I guess it's broken it now with 1600+ miles on the odometer. I find that I am NOT saving any money on gasoline at all! In fact, I'm spending more now than I was while driving my 2006 Nissa Sentra. The smart gets about 8 mpg better than the Sentra, but I find myself 'pleasure driving' frequently. That's something I just didn't do in the Sentra.

I'm gladly paying a little extra for the gasoline.
Comment by tommyk on August 23, 2008 at 10:19pm
Comment by tommyk on August 23, 2008 at 10:08pm
ya know brent you seem to really be enjoying your car. that is so cool. i also just love driving my car and i really don't care if i get 35 or 44 mpg i just love the greenness and the fun of driving this car. and i'm glad you do to
Comment by Brent School on August 23, 2008 at 10:06pm
I have to laugh, while filling up today a man started a conversation with me when I pulled in, and as I was talking with him I asked him where the quarter slot was on the gas pump.

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