Who Needs a Hybrid? - 2011 Mazda 2 Touring Long-Term Road Test

2011 Mazda 2 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Mazda 2 Touring: Who Needs a Hybrid?

February 25, 2011

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With all the news of rising gas prices (predicted to reach $5/gallon by Memorial Day), I reset the average fuel consumption computer before I drove home last night. Just a 41-mile drive, and some of it was in stop-and-go traffic on the infamous 91 East freeway, and this is what I saw when I arrived at home an hour and a half later. Yes, that's an average of about 27 mph, but earning nearly 41 mpg consumed about 1 gallon of gas.

I used what I'd describe as a moderate-hyper-miling technique: upshifting at 2,000 rpm, downshifting instead of braking as much as possible, never coasting in neutral, and (without being a nuisance) I tried to keep a buffer between the Mazda and the car in front of me so that I could maintain a reasonably constant speed. I watched the Camry in front of me bounce back and forth between me and the Suburban ahead of him--like a game of Pong--for about an hour.

Are you worried about fuel prices now? How are you going to change your driving habits? Or are you going to dust off that bike in the corner of the garage?

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 6,676 miles

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