I think you may see larger gains in the 55 mph range as well as using your
gentle throttle technique. The Ex has the drag coefficient of a shapely
brick and the power required to move the wind out of the way increases
exponentially with speed.
Whenever we set out to check our fuel consumption, we are setting ourselves
up for a disappointment. The EPA rating on the showroom sticker has little
to do with what we will realize in real world driving - it is simply a
measure taken in closely controlled circumstances (dynamometer, air temp,
etc.) so that we can compare to other vehicles. Even though our gas prices
have been over 80 cents per litre (over $3 per US gallon), fuel consumption
is the very last thing on my mind when selecting a vehicle. This shows in my
preference for full sized, 4WD pick-ups.
Others will view gas mileage with varying degrees of importance, though I
admit to being amused by those suffering "pump island shock" after moving up
from an econo-box. If we have no identifiable running concerns - and - if
the CEL works but is not illuminated - and - if we have no external fuel
leaks - and - if the evaporative emissions system hasn't been breached, we
are very likely getting the best fuel mileage we can (dictated by our
driving style, of course).
Extended idling is one of the biggest fuel mileage killers..... stopping
down the block to talk to a neighbour..... sitting in a running car waiting
for our blushing brides to come out of the store with a quart of milk and a
six pack..... letting the defroster take care of that morning frost instead
of scraping..... I'm reminded of a cusomer from many years ago.... In the
dead of winter he was dis-satisfied with his gas mileage.... looking out the
window, his truck is running with the heater on full blast. I told him it
was "the weather". Come summer, he once again complained about his
mileage... looking out the window, I see his truck running with the AC on
full blast. Maintaining ones vehicle properly helps in the fuel mileage
wars, but nothing will make the same difference as losing old habits.
In the meantime, the manufacturers are busy trying to perfect both the
hybrid and the CVT transmission. Both are a unique driving experience but
neither is suitable for my lifestyle and/or demographics.
Bottom line..... if we drive the kind of vehicle we want/need to drive, we
shall have to pay the piper. If fuels costs have us tossing and turning at
night, we should use public transit. My best suggestion is to put down the
pad and pencil, turn off the calculator and simply enjoy driving our chosen
, visualize using your turn signal"