Fuel Economy Comparison: Trucks Vs. SUV's
A fuel economy comparison is a very useful tool to determine which vehicles will use more fuel and which less. Each vehicle is required to have a fuel economy rating, though these are rarely the real driving fuel economy. However these numbers can be great to compare between different makes and models. Trucks and SUVs have some of the worst fuel economy of all vehicles, so try to find models with as good gas mileage as possible.
The fuel economy is a direct measurement of how many miles per gallon each truck or SUV will get. The better the fuel economy, the more miles per gallon, which equates to saving more money on fuel. The EPA measures the miles per gallon of all vehicles, but this is done in lab conditions through simulations. There are so many factors that can alter the fuel economy that these rating should be taken with a grain of salt. Also, the EPA changed their testing methods in 2008, so comparing vehicles pre 2008 and post 2008 will need to be scaled.
Fuel Economy of SUVs
SUVs have some of the worst gas mileage because they are so large and heavy. However, manufacturers have been trying to make improvements so they are no longer considered gas guzzlers. Many of these utilize hybrid engines. Some of the most efficient SUVs are the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid and the Mazda Tribute Hybrid. Ones to avoid based on their fuel economy include the Mercedes-Benz ML, Toyota Sienna and any Hummers. Sales of SUVs have actually declined because of their low fuel economy.
Fuel Economy of Trucks
Trucks were designed to do work which does not bode for very good gas mileage. The ability to tow large loads, have large cargo space and the ability to produce a lot of power tend to use more gas per mile rather than stretch it out. To try to compensate for these issues, many manufacturers are creating trucks that are lighter, use smaller engines and have tighter cargo and passenger space. Trucks that use alternative fuel or hybrid engines provide some of the best fuel economy. Some can get between 20 to 25 miles per gallon. Diesel trucks can go a long time on one tank for diesel. Many trucks can run on high ethanol fuel which has much better fuel economy.
Importance of Fuel Economy
Fuel economy has become increasingly important as car emissions have been proven to damage the environment and play a large role in climate change. By driving more fuel efficient vehicles, it is possible to have less of an impact on the environment. Governments around the world have set emission limits to what can be produced and vehicles are being designed and released that have lower and even close to zero emissions. Much of the work is done on the design and technology used on engines. Finding fuels that engines can use 100% of the possible energy is desired as engines only use 20% of the energy form burning gasoline. Currently fuel cells are the most fuel efficient, as they make it is possible to use 80% of the energy that is produced.