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Finances & Money

13 MPG in my Honda Ridgeline truck. Dang.

I guess hauling tons (literally) of bricks and gravel for our retaining wall over the last couple weeks really did take a toll on my trucks gas mileage. All of my driving since the last fill was in the city, and therefore I got the worst gas mileage I’ve ever gotten at the worst time to-date… 13 miles per gallon. Normally I get 17-19mpg average (it used to be over 20 before ethanol was introduced to the fuel), but this past few weeks were pretty rough on the truck. And I even made sure to drive slowly and take it easy on launches at lights, etc.

The good thing is that I’ve only been driving the truck a couple dozen miles per week since I’ve been taking the train for work and school is out for another week or two. Even school only tacked on another 40 miles per week. I’ve considered selling the truck in the past, but I’m glad I had it these last 2 months for all the work we’ve done inside and outside of the house. We’re not hurting for money, but at least I know that if times get tough, the first thing to go is the truck!

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Clever Dude

3 Comments

  • Yeah – definitely sucks for sure. Reminds me of my old Caddy which averaged the awesome 13mpgs too. With the added bonus of having to put in PREMIUM! whew. But on the other hand, no car payments suuuure was nice 😉

  • Low gas mileage will definitely blow a hole in your wallet. Nevertheless, if the truck is useful to you, just keep it – use it when you have to have the capabilities it offers – and get another, fuel efficient vehicle for daily commuting.

    As for high gasoline prices, (now over $3.75/gal. in my neck of the woods), I will confess that they are making me think about my transportion choices.

    I presently own a 1998 Toyota 4Runner and a 2006 Toyota 4Runner. Both are V6 powered and are mid-sized SUV’s. Frankly, I’m reluctant to part with either vehicle.

    The ’98 4Runner has 247,000 miles on it and is a truly bulletproof vehicle that has NEVER broken down on me – not one single time ever! I bought it new in 1997 and paid it off in 3 years, so even with high gas prices, it pays to keep this reliable, very useful, SUV on the road. I haul all kinds of stuff in it and going to a passenger sedan is something that would be very inconvenient for me.

    For now, I’m inclined to drive less and more fuel-efficiently in order to keep what is, without question, the most reliable vehicle I’ve ever owned. I’ve found that I can squeeze 23 mpg out of it by driving 55mph on the freeways using cruise control and otherwise avoiding all forms of aggressive acceleration. I put about 900 miles a month on this vehicle and that only costs me about $120.00 – $140.00 a month at current prices, so while I’m not happy about paying $65.00 to fillup the tank, it’s not exactly putting me in the poorhouse yet.

    I’m a little more ambivalent about the 2006 4Runner, but only because I have two years left to pay on it and if gas rises above $8.00 a gallon, I question if I’ll even be able to afford to drive it anymore. On the other hand, it is also quite fuel efficient when driven conservatively, and gets about 24 mpg on the highway with cruise control at 55mph. This vehicle only gets driven about 500 miles a month, so for now, I’m inclined to keep it.

    I mainly bought it because I wanted the ideal vehicle for going off-roading and exploring wilderness areas. The car has GPS, 4WD and loads of cargo space and no ordinary car could possibly do what it does on road trips to the great outdoors. If worse comes to worse, I’d just go buy a used econo-box “beater” car to use to commute to work and use the savings in gas to offset the cost of operating the ’06 4Runner.

    I’m not going to panic and sell this fabulous vehicle at a loss to some rich SOB who could care less about gas prices just because we are transitioning from the era of cheap oil to an era of expensive oil. I have reasonable confidence that gasoline will remain sufficiently available, even if it becomes as pricy as it is in Europe, so I may as well keep the ’06 4Runner and just use it as a vacation vehicle.

    Now, having reached this decision about my current vehicles, I will say this: The next car I buy will probably be a hybrid, electric or whatever other viable alternative, renewable fuels car comes to market – but only if they can sell them at a price I can afford. I won’t pay $40K or $50K for a green car. What America needs right now is a quality, green, automobile that is comfortable, has decent amenities, and can be purchased for under $25K.

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