East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2005/10/23

Fueleconomy

Filed under: Family,Technology — Erwin @ 3:21 pm

So recently M started a new job in a new location which among other things means she’s driving about 70 miles a day, 5 days a week, sometimes more. Doing that with the one vehicle we own, a Mazda MPV, didn’t seem like the smartest thing in the world, given that its average MPG is somewhere between 18 and 24 depending on what kind of driving you do. On top of that it was becoming apparent that it would probably be a good idea to have a 2nd car so that I could get things done occasionally without having to wait until 8-9pm when she’s home, the kids have been fed and are in or close to bed, or to wait for the weekend, which we’d like to spend on fun stuff, not has-to-be-done stuff.

So the past month we’ve been looking around at cars. New cars, used cars, more used cars, and then new cars again. Initially we really had our eyes on a hybrid, but with the waitinglists that Honda and Toyota have on theirs that seemed to demand more patience than we had. Then using fueleconomy.gov I put together a list of the most efficient small cars in 2001-2005 that fit our practical wishes (regular gas, automatic, not a hybrid, average mpg over 30).

The one that stood out quite favourably was the Honda Civic in any of the past 5 years, and a nice looking car at that. Long story short: As of yesterday we own one ourselves, a 2006 model even (Back To The Future anyone?) that should do 40 mpg in highway driving, 30 in city driving. With the kind of commute that M is driving that ought to save us about $50 per month on gas, more when the gas prices go up again!

So while it is obviously an investment that we’ll be paying for the next couple of years, I like to think that it’s one of the best investments we could do given the circumstances. 😉 In a year or two we’ll probably get rid of the MPV as well and get me something smaller and more efficient, but that has less urgency unless I suddenly land a job where I need to leave the house. Shocking thought!

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