Rants
Apr 07, 2014

Why is fuel economy based on MPG? - It just doesn't make sense.

Something sparked my attention recently and I just need a few paragraphs to rant about it. Why does everyone base a car's fuel economy on its miles per gallon (or liters if you're not weird like the USA :P )? It's a completely ridiculous metric when you think about it for a minute.

My MPG on my new 2013 Volkswagen GTI hasn't been too great lately, mainly because I recently moved and am doing much more city driving. When you think about it though, city driving really isn't that bad on your car. When you're at a complete stop, your car is using very little fuel; just enough to keep the car from stalling (my car idles at ~800/rev/sec). But no matter how long you're at that stoplight for, you're technically getting zero mpg. I literally watch my "average consumption" on my dash drop every couple seconds... making me shed a tear.

If you think about it in a technical aspect, basing the car's MPG on distance traveled is utterly bonkers. It's an easy metric to calculate, but it's not realistic on how much fuel you're wasting, which is the metric that people are really looking for in the first place. Why not base it on the aspect car enthusiasts love, your horsepower rating? If I knew how much gasoline my car used at it's highest horsepower in let's say... one minute, this would be a great determining factor. They could even figure out the average RPMs for your car when driving in the city and metrics when you're doing 70mph/2.8K RPMs in six gear/overdrive on the highway... besides, your car's ECU already knows how much fuel it's dispensing for every cylinder, so it's not a complicated metric to calculate. If I knew I was using 125 of a gallon every minute, that would be a more helpful metric.

Dunno, just me 2¢. </rant>

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