TodayApril 16, 2022

June 6, 2014 car chat Washington Post

Toyota 4Runner mileage

Good morning Warren and Friends

I was having dinner with my friends Sam and Miriam the other night when Sam broke into a tirade about his Toyota 4Runner and the lousy mileage it got, “Who do you know at Toyota? I want to talk to them. Tell them that the miles they claim aren’t anywhere near what I’m getting.” We talked a little further and found out that Sam was braking a cardinal rule of people who want to get the most miles out of their vehicle – junk in the trunk, or even worse, out of the trunk.

Sam is an avid bicyclist. Every other day you can see Sam putting his bicycle on the back of his 4Runner and taking off with his buddies to go for a 50-mile ride in the hills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California.

It just so happened that I got a Toyota 4Runner this week, the same one Sam has. I live a couple of hundred feet higher than Sam and drove my 4Runner normally and got 18 miles per gallon of city and highway traffic. Sam was getting 13 miles per gallon!

Car companies spend a lot of time maximizing fuel economy. Aerodynamics plays a large part in that fuel economy. When you change the shape of the car and add weight to the car, you are changing the miles per gallon you will get out of a car. It’s important to remember this as you go out on your summer vacation trips and you start putting stuff on top of the car and on the back of the car.

Let’s chat about cars:

Lou Ann Hammond

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Driving the Nation

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.