Motivated by General Geekery

Top Ten fuel efficient Large cars? Really.

Written By: der5er - Aug• 23•06

My good friend Joel at Autoblog reports on a Business Week article titled “Biggest cars with the best mileage” and gives us this top ten:

  1. Luxury Sedan-Overall Fuel Economy – Lexus GS300
  2. Luxury Sedan-Most Space – Lincoln Town Car
  3. SUV-Overall Fuel Economy – Chevrolet Trailblazer
  4. SUV-Most Space – Toyota Land Cruiser (pictured)
  5. Minivan-Overall Fuel Economy – Honda Odyssey
  6. Minivan-Most Space – Toyota Sienna
  7. Large Sedan-Overall Fuel Economy – Ford Five Hundred
  8. Large Sedan-Most Space – Ford Crown Victoria
  9. Pickup Truck-Overall Fuel Economy – Toyota Tundra
  10. Pickup Truck-Payload – Chevrolet Silverado

This list is of particular interest to me, as we currently drive a Yukon XL (a.k.a. Chevy Suburban in nice clothes) 4WD. It will probably be a couple of years before we look at replacing it, but I’m always interested in what mileage the big cars are getting.
You see, people always scoff at the Yukons, Suburbans, and Hummers on the road. My wife frequently feels guilty about driving a tank that gets 12-16 mpg. I keep telling her that she isn’t causing any global warming with her 100-150 miles per month. Plus, we really need the space. And that’s what some people just don’t get. There are tree huggers out there who will tell me that my family would fit fine in a mid-size car or minivan that gets better mileage. That’s true, and we have in the past. However, when we go to Costco or even the grocery store, we need the cargo space. How much are we buying? Well, we fill up the Yukon when we make the Costco run. As a result, we only need to do our Costco and Grocery trips once every two weeks.
Now, think about this for a minute. My wife only goes to the store and to Costco at her 14 mpg every two weeks. That’s a total of probably 14 miles round trip. If she were driving a minivan or SUV from the Business Week list, she’d likely have to make 2 trips for each. So, there’s 28 miles driven, and those are only getting 16-19 mpg. So, for the groceries, we’re actually using less gallons by driving the Yukon.
Plus, for those times that we take road trips (next week! YEAH!), we’d never have room for a weeks worth of stuff in the minivans or SUV’s in the BW list. We’d have to get a car-top carrier which would lower the mileage due to wind resistance.
I’m sure my family isn’t the only one out there like this. I’m also sure that there are a bunch of people out there who are driving their SUV’s a lot of miles with only one person in it. SUV’s have their place, my driveway is one place for sure.

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