I decided to drive one tank as light-footed as possible, just to see how many mpg I could get. Unfortunately, it got really hot and I had to turn the a/c on, and of course that really drains the power in town. So, here I was, sloooooowly pulling away very snail-like and sluggishly coming up to cruising speed.

Then this pickup truck pulls up next to us, and I notice they are not going away. After they got our attention, they revved their engine, making little mocking lunges ahead of us. They were laughing their heads off. We were laughing too, because we knew how ridiculous this must have looked to a bystander.

I don't make a habit of drag racing, but the road was clear ahead of me, and I didn't see much harm in giving them a little demo. So I reached over, switched off the a/c, dropped her down a couple of gears, and took off. I think I caught them by surprise, because they didn't start to accelerate until I was quite a bit ahead of them. By the time I got to where I needed to turn, they were WAAAAY back behind us.

As I'm waiting to turn, they pull up beside us, and we're laughing and they're still laughing too, but this time, they're giving us a big thumbs up.

I'll do the light-footed thing next tank.

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Comment by Phyllis Bruce on June 26, 2009 at 6:38pm
HAH! So it does seem that my mileage is low. We'll see what they say at checkup.
Comment by Ginny Smith on June 26, 2009 at 4:34pm
With our '08 passion we ran almost 80 miles roundtrip everyday on Central Expwy in Dallas to get to our jobs and consistenly got 44-48 mpg. When we ran up to IA last Thanksgiving we were loaded down and still put on over 1800 miles and didn't use $80 worth of gas.
Comment by Phyllis Bruce on June 26, 2009 at 9:02am
Well, I refuse to drive 52 mph on the highway. Around home that would be a sure way to get rear ended. I'm going to Milwaukee while I'm here in Wisconsin, to have the 10,000 mile oil change. The folks there can look her over and maybe tell me why she doesn't want to engage gears sometimes. Think I'm wearing her out? LOL I'm just having so much fun with my smart!
Comment by Monty on June 26, 2009 at 8:32am
Thank you, Mr. B.E. Well, that explains it. You could be a jockey. I, on the other hand, weigh over 200 big ones, and my wife almost always rides with me. Neither of us has been accused of missing a meal lately, although I can say I've been on a diligent exercise regimen since topping out at 216. My wife, on the other hand, just smokes more, but I don't think it's helping. She must be eating the butts.

And what about that CC? I was close, but no cigar. It's not Red Bull, it's COCA-COLA! (smacks self on forehead)

PHYLLIS, it's almost certainly the a/c, although driving the speeds Mr. B.E. suggests would undoubtedly help. They claim the a/c doesn't draw much at highway speeds, but I have noticed a significant difference when it's on. Before it got hot, I was getting better than EPA, sometimes much better, but now at 100 degrees plus, not so much.

I have a solution, although you will think I've lost my mind. Turn off the a/c, but leave the fan on.. Crack the window a little (you have to breathe), and always carry a HUGE container of ICE WATER. Sip on it constantly and you will air condition yourself from the inside out.
I'm not kidding. I learned this when the a/c on my mazda with 295,000 miles on it went out and I was too cheap to fix the a/c because the freon alone was worth more than the car.

This only works, however, if you have a bladder bigger than your gas tank, because all those "convenience" stops pretty much puts you back into a stop and go driving situation. I swear I did not see that double entendre coming until after I had written it. Well, you're probably better off listening to Mr. B.E.'s suggestions. His - except for the coke - are a lot more high tech than mine. And, on second thought, I guess the extra gas money for the A/C is worth it, especially if you live in hell or Texas.

Which reminds me of a quote:

"If I owned Texas and hell, I would rent out Texas and live in hell."

- Gen. Phil Sheridan, 1866

I don't know why we are so obsessed with gas mileage. Maybe it's the fact that so many people expect it to get better gas mileage, it being so small and all. Maybe I just have this irresistable urge to fulfull other peoples' expectations. I don't know why, though. It never worked with anything else.

Looking at it as a practical matter, at it's worst my smart is so much better than my wife's Avalanche that it's not even funny. I filled it (the Av) up the other day - it wasn't even empty - and almost passed out when I saw $54.00 ring up on the pump. That will bring you back to reality in a hurry.
Comment by Phyllis Bruce on June 25, 2009 at 9:21pm
I'd like to know, too! I'm not displeased with my 38-40 mpg in town but I was really, really unhappy to see 35 mpg average over the 860 miles from Alabama to Wisconsin. I have a cruise control and kept it at close to 72 mph - all hwy driving. Yes, I was running the a/c - it's been HOT!
Comment by Monty on June 25, 2009 at 6:46pm
I have no idea what what some of that stuff means (GPH could be Global Positioning Hibiscus for all I know), but I do understand you get a heckuva lot better mpg than I do. I've been averaging about 38 mpg in mostly city driving, but I have to drive like a constipated turtle to get that.

Would it help if I lost some weight? I...huh? Oh, my wife says it couldn't hurt.

How in the world do you manage it? Are you doing that drive it like you stole it thing, or are you just slipping some of that red bull into the gas tank?
Comment by Adam Smart on June 23, 2009 at 6:38pm
I think the funny thing here is really this. In my opnion, its almost ignorant on their part. Just the mocking itself was based on size of vehicle and engine etc. But little did they know that YOU are closer to tomorrow than THEY are. They dont even realize it. The laugh is really on them. There will be people that adapt and move forward with technology and the "shape of things to come" and then there will be cavemen, unga bunga's, that get left behind.

Anyway, good story. :)
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Comment by Joe on June 23, 2009 at 1:29pm
Ginny - I had a guy in an orange Lambourghini slow down on an exit ramp to gawk at me in my Smart right after I picked mine up... they may have more horsepower but we definitely out-run them in cuteness. :)
Comment by Ginny Smith on June 23, 2009 at 10:57am
While it has nothing to do with gas mileage, I think our most "fun" encounter was on the Geo. Bush Tollway last fall. We were just tooling down the tollway minding our own business when there was this drop dead, resale red, gorgeous Ford GT 500 that was pulled along side the shoulder. We though maybe it had car problems but they were on the phone as we went by them so we didn't stop.
So fast forward about 3-4 minutes and guess who came flying up behind us? Yup, the GT. They were laughing and laughing. Our TX tags read "I AM BIG" and they pulled up beside us, still laughing and smiling and taking our photo with their cell phones. We just laughed, smiled and they just pulled away with the thumbs up sign, leaving us in the dust. That was just too funny to us that a gorgeous car like that would want to take our little scooters photo. And yes, it is definitely good to drive a car that makes people smile!
Comment by Barb on June 23, 2009 at 10:07am
We really can "fly" when we need to!! I had a hummer pull up beside me on the interstate and give me the thumbs up sign!! He laughed and smiled and just kept going! Maxwell drove just a little more "smartly" the rest of the day!! It is good to drive a car that makes people smile!

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