Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tank 385 Already!

So I put in more gas to the Mighty Corolla this morning, and it worked out to be 36.94 mpg for the tank.

A couple of weeks ago I was so certain that I was going to sell the Mighty Corolla to Carmax that I only put in 4 gallons. It was the first time I have not put in a full tank at the gas station. But, I didn't sell the car to Carmax and a few days later put in a full tank and here we are.

Last year we moved to a new (to us) house. This year, we are adding another licensed driver to the family (darn birthdays!). It is becoming apparent that our future will involve more mulch and trees and rocks and things to maintain the new (to us) yard, and while the minivan can accommodate such things, it is a pain to remove the center-row chairs to make more space in the back, and it's also a pain to clean it all up inside afterwards.

My wife had decided that this fall the new-licensed driver shall inherit the world's fastest minivan, our 2008 Toyota Sienna, and she (my wife) will acquire a new vehicle that has all the comfort and convenience of the minivan but isn't a minivan. So she bought a GMC Terrain, a small SUV with a smaller engine that gets better fuel economy. Indeed, as the minivan struggles to achieve 20 mpg per tank, this Terrain is likely to get 25-28 mpg over the same roads, an increase of at least 25% in fuel economy.

I have "decided" to use this opportunity to replace the Mighty Corolla with a small pickup truck, like a Ford Ranger. It appears I may be able to sell the Corolla for enough money that I can buy a similarly old Ranger with the proceeds. Or get an old beater and leave money in my pocket. The 4-cylinder Ranger can get up to 28 mpg highway. The Corolla was advertised 32 highway, which I was easily able to beat, so it's probable that I could get about 30 mpg in a Ranger, which stil is almost a 20% decrease in my own mileage. And since I drive a lot more than my wife does, it's likely our consumption will increase. But if I remain timid of confrontation and selling and buying a car, I might stick with the Corolla for a while longer.

So the mileage experiment of the Mighty Corolla may be nearing its end. Or maybe not. We'll see what happens in th enext few weeks and months.

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