Road Trip MPG - 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Long-Term Road Test

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Long Term Road Test

2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ - Road Trip MPG

October 19, 2012

Sonic LT Nevada Road Triip Top Tier Gas.jpg 

The onboard mileage computer shows I got 36.1 mpg over the 1,589 miles I drove on my Nevada road trip. But when I ran the numbers myself, based on the amount of fuel used, and the distance traveled, I actually got 32.3 mpg. I wrote about this in Your Fuel Economy Gauge is Fibbing if you want to read more. The point is, these gauges are often off by even 10 percent.

I did run this little guy on 91 octane which supposedly provides slightly better fuel economy because it has a turbocharger. Since I had the numbers in a spreadsheet, I calculated what it would have cost if we had run it on regular, at $4.30 a gallon and got 31 mpg, instead of premium at $4.50 a gallon getting 32.1 mpg. The answer is it would have cost about $1.50 less in gas to travel the same distance.

I know you're all dying to know the significance of this picture. I wanted to see if anyone out there has an opinion about "top tier" gas as referenced in this picture. Basically, a bunch of oil companies got together and decided that the EPA doesn't require enough detergents in gas. So they put more detergents in and charge a more. Is this necessary? Anyone?

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor@ 14,089 miles

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