- Gas mileage is the distance in miles that a vehicle can cover while running on one gallon of fuel or the electric equivalent.
- Combined gas mileage is the weighted average of city and miles per gallon (MPG) values.
- You can determine good gas mileage for your vehicle by evaluating its size, usage, and power.
- Cars are usually more fuel efficient than other types of vehicles.
Gasoline, diesel, hydrogen, or battery electricity—whatever fuel or energy source your vehicle runs on, there’s only so much of it stored aboard your ride. Since topping off your fuel tank or batteries can cost a lot, it’s best to invest in a vehicle with good gas mileage to save over the years. Automakers add MPG values to their models, but what do those terms and numbers mean? Furthermore, what is the good gas mileage for your needs?
What Is Gas Mileage?
Gas mileage is the distance measured in miles that a vehicle can cover while running on one gallon of fuel or the electric equivalent. The popular term for it is miles per gallon (MPG), and its electric vehicle counterpart is MPG equivalent or MPGe.
There are two different gas mileage ratings. City MPG is your vehicle’s average in a city environment, where you usually drive at lower speeds and often stop for a bit before accelerating due to stoplights. Meanwhile, highway MPG is the average on an open stretch of road at high speed without stopping or starting.
What Does Combined Gas Mileage Mean?
Combined gas mileage is the weighted average of city and highway MPG values, reflecting the typical driver switching between driving environments. It’s 55% of the city MPG value plus 45% of the highway MPG value.
In general, you should evaluate a vehicle according to its combined gas mileage, which is a more accurate model of realistic driving conditions.
What Is Good Gas Mileage For Your Ride?
So what is the good mpg for your needs? The answer depends on your driving habits and what you usually do with your ride.
Gas mileage drops as a vehicle gets bigger and heavier. An increase in size and weight requires a more powerful engine that burns more fuel.
But don’t just look at the numbers. Consider what you use your vehicle for. For example, a car usually has a much higher MPG than an SUV or a truck, but it can only seat a few passengers. You cannot fit seven passengers into a typical compact car or tow a trailer with it.
Also, a car can neither go off-road like an SUV nor tow or haul large, heavy loads like a pickup truck. So look for a vehicle category that suits your particular needs. Then choose a make model from that category with a high combined MPG rating.
Hybrid vehicles usually have superior MPG when compared to their pure fossil fuel-burning counterparts. Their downside is a higher initial investment since they cost more than conventional versions.
What Is Good Gas Mileage for a Car?
Several factors work together to determine a car’s gas mileage. Generally, cars are more fuel efficient than other vehicles (like trucks and SUVs) thanks to their smaller size, lighter weight, and adequate engines. However, there are exceptions like muscle cars, which achieve their exceptional acceleration through powerful engines that guzzle gas. So if you want a car with good gas mileage, get one with an efficient engine.
What Is Good Gas Mileage for an SUV?
For trucks, aim for a model with a combined MPG of 20-25. Modern SUVs can reach 30 MPG, with some models like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid achieving 35. Meanwhile, most minivans are in the 20-25 MPG range.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.