It ‘Aint Easy Being Green

A bit over a week ago, I was driving about 5.5 hours for a funeral. We have a 2009 GMC Acadia that seats seven people, and we drove the first leg of the trip (about three hours with a break in the middle, 287 KM) with myself, Ashley, and Logan in the car. We used up 1/4 of a tank of gas, and I refilled it when we finished the first leg. The next leg of the trip, the last 2.5 hours (248 KM) had two more adults (approximately¬†360 extra pounds including bags), and we used up half a tank of gas. Adding that extra 360 pounds made the fuel efficiency more than twice as worse, which begs the question: does it always make sense to carpool? Or is there a crossover point where, based on the type of vehicle you have, it’s better to take two vehicles because you’ll use up less fuel that way? I’m sure someone who’s brilliant with math can figure that out…but it made me wonder if the common wisdom of carpooling was actually wise in all circumstances.

  • emuelle1

    I'm no fan of “one size fits all” solutions. I doubt the concept of carpooling would work in all circumstances.

    It's interesting that adding a couple of people can impact your gas mileage that much.

  • Baldy

    You should definitly get worse mileage carying more weight but it shouldn't be that bad. There must have been differences in road topology (elevation change), average speed, wind (speed and direction) and driving style.

  • Mitchell Oke

    Are you using figures calculated by refilling your tank, or by the needle on the dash? If it's the latter then I'd be checking that, because I know with my cars the needle is far from perfect. Often takes a while for the needle to get up off full, before heading to half way, then plummeting towards empty.