Gas Mileage Comparison: Cars, Trucks, SUV, Charts

January 27, 2012

When you're looking to buy a new vehicle, it's important to do a gas mileage comparison. Gas mileage comparison charts give you a good idea of how much it will cost to run the vehicle you're considering. It doesn't matter what type of vehicle you might buy; it's still important to know the gas mileage potential and whether it's a miser or a real gas hog.

Cars

When you're look at gas mileage comparison in cars, you need to take a number of factors into account. Look at the size of the car; is it a compact or a mid-size? How big is the engine? Comparing a small car against a big one is like comparing apples and oranges. You need to make a gas mileage comparison side-by-side of similar vehicles, to judge whether one might be better than another. Many auto sites will include a gas mileage comparison calculator or gas mileage comparison charts for this type of work, so you can instantly see how vehicles stack up against each other.

Trucks

With most trucks, you don't expect the gas mileage to be as good as you'd find with cars. That's because trucks serve a different purpose. They're intended to be rugged and to pull heavy weights, either in the truck bed or on a trailer. Gas mileage comparison of trucks can be as meaningless as it is with cars unless you're comparing similar vehicles. An 8-cylinder vehicle will get much lower mileage than one with just 4 cylinders.  

With trucks, however, you also need to consider the size of the payload. This is going to have a huge effect on gas mileage. One that's fully loaded down won't achieve anywhere near as many miles per gallon as an empty truck. How often will you be hauling items and how much will you be carrying? You need to have a good idea beforehand about the uses you'll have for a truck in order to estimate the kind of gas mileage you'll get.

SUV

A sports utility vehicle (or SUV or 4x4) can eat gas. No matter the make or size, they're all big, heavy vehicles that are designed (if generally not used) for rough terrain. Engine size and passenger capacity will differ so it's important to know your needs and about the vehicle before you try to make a gas a gas mileage comparison on an SUV. Again, it's a side by side comparison that will tell you the most and this can only be done by comparing one SUV against a very similar one; they're certainly not all created equally.

Other Factors

When it comes to gas mileage, it's not just type of vehicle and engine size that matter. You own driving habits will make a difference to the miles per gallon of gas. Sudden braking or acceleration will cut down on the figure, for instance. As a rough guide, however, standard charts and comparisons will tell you what you initially need to know and help you narrow down the field to find the vehicle you want that offers the best kind of mileage.

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