View Full Version : Drove down to Fl and didn't like what I saw

07-24-2010, 06:10 PM
First when it says use 91 or better do it. I thought since it was all highway I could get away with saving some money by filling with 89. Well The first tank was so bad I filled up with 91 and saw at least a 3 mpg difference.

Now for the bad news. I don't know how many of you drive on the Interstates on a regular basis but do you ever pay attention to the type of vehicle that are sharing the road with you?

I did notice that people are still trying to keep their speeds at or slightly below the limits. I'd run about two mph under the limit and I was passing a whole lot of cars and trucks on the road. Sure there still were the speed freaks but not as many as I expected with gas prices under $2.70 a gallon.

I could not believe that vehicles that are being driven on our roads today. Sure there were a lot of Corolla's, Camry's, Sentra's, Honda Civics, Altima's 2.5L, Hyundai's, Kia's Foci and Cobalt's. There were also a few BMW's and Mini's, but the real eye opener was the number of SUV's and Pickups.

It was like every other vehicle was some sort of four wheel drive. Aspins, Ram Pick ups, Expeditions, Escalades, Siverado's, Tahoe's, Yukon's, Suburbans, Escapes (Non Hybrids), Explorer's, F-150 F-250, Jeep Cherokee's, Avalanche's, Pilot's, Ridgelines, and if it was a Crossover name it and I saw hundreds of them.

The other thing that stood out was the number of Ford Fusions on the road with me. They are becoming very popular. I did notice a lack of Saab's, Volvo's, Mercedes also. Impala's and the small Cadillacs were prevalent along my trip. Lots of big Cadillacs, Lincolns, Mercury Marquis and Buick Lacrosse's being driven mostly by older people.

Hybrids were few and far between. In Pittsburgh they are all over the place but on this trip they were few and far between across all makes and models. I only remember seeing Two HCHII's, two Prius one Escape and a Fusion.

Well I have a week for vacation so maybe I can actually spend a little time on the board with no one bothering me all day at work.:)

07-24-2010, 06:33 PM
Where are you in FL? We just landed in Palm Beach anD will be in Port St. Lucie for the week. On the drive to Madison last week, I saw a lot of hybrids and they were ALL passing me and I was running 65 and some 70mph. Speed limit was 65mph and the semi's were running 70+MPH. Yes, I would put the number of suv's/crossovers at well over 50%.

07-24-2010, 06:50 PM
Had a similar experience a few weeks ago. I was parked on a side street in Towson, MD.
The city is right outside the Baltimore city line and is the county seat for Baltimore county.

I had a clear view of east and west bound cross streets one and two blocks ahead of me. I
was idling the time away and noticed a large percentage of non-sedans in the vehicle mix.
My interest was peaked and started counting "passenger cars" against "SUVs." For my
survey, SUVs included obvious SUVs, cross overs, mini vans, pickup trucks, and station
wagons -- although there were precious few of the latter, and those generally quite a few
years old. Vehicles I did not include in my informal survey included sports cars (two seaters,
generally convertibles), obviously commercial vehicles; box trucks, vans, pickups
with lettering on the sides.

Guess what? After an hour, the count of passenger cars vs. SUVs was essentially equal,
153 vs. 147. Like you, I was surprised.

After thinking on the numbers for a while, I came to the conclusion that the high number of
SUVs was due the kind of people you'd expect to find around the county seat; more than
likely relatively well paid lawyers, bureaucrats, judges, professionals. Folks for whom
status --however defined -- but not the possible return of $4/gal gas was a more significant
purchase factor.

Given your experience, maybe I was wrong.
Maybe the 50/50 passenger car/SUV mix is widespread.

07-25-2010, 11:41 AM
I'm down in Naples for the week.

As your driving you start to realize something is wrong or to say something is different.

That is when you begin to notice all these SUV's, trucks and Cross Overs around you.

07-25-2010, 09:10 PM
... For my survey, SUVs included ... and station
wagons -- although there were precious few of the latter, and those generally quite a few
years old. ...
Why count all station wagons as SUVs? Mine is legally a passenger car, as are all Subaru Legacy wagons, and Outbacks until 2004, when they switched to the dark side. All the other wagons of that era that I considered were clearly cars, not SUVs.

07-25-2010, 10:24 PM
When I started my informal survey I was rather naive; I wasn't considering the many
types of vehicles I would see that didn't fit neatly onto my balck/white, either/or,
"passenger car"/"SUV" classification.

Is a two door, convertible VW a "sports car? No.
Is an old Cadilllac Coupe de Ville -- as big/heavy as any full size SUV -- a passenger car? Yes.
What about a hippy-hearse? Throw it out.
A motor home? Throw it out.
A pickup with a camper shell? Throw it out. But a pickup with a raised bed cover is an SUV.
An unmarked police car? Throw it out.
On and on and on...

Basically, I was trying to determine whether vehicles intended to carry a family were "cars"
or somwthing with more advertised but probably little used capability, like 4-wheel drive,
greater ground clearance, etc. It turned out to be more of a split second mental excercise
than just counting; sort of like refereeing a soccer game where the action never stops and
there are a hundred little decisions to be made every minute.

"SUV-ness" wasn't a matter of size. I counted station wagons as SUVs on the grounds the
space behind the second row of seats is rarely used. But then, neither is the volume in the
trunk of a car. Purely arbitrary I know. But once made, I stuck with that decision, there
were more decisions to be made and I had to keep up with the count.

Hey, I'll admit that my survey was skewed, arbitrary, and pseudo-scientific. :o
The results of any survey/poll/study is meaningful only to the extent that you know how the
raw data was sliced, diced, mutilated, and sorted. So, now you know.

You're sure welcome to give something like my spur-of-the-moment survey a try. :)

07-25-2010, 11:59 PM
Hi Rokeby:

Your survey was as good as any other and more to the point, picks up on what Al saw on his trip down south. It was good to hear of a lot more following the limits as that improves both FE and safety but P/U trucks on the Interstate... :rolleyes:

Al, were some of the SUVs at elast packed with 3 + to bring their FE/person equivalent down to a reasonable number?



07-26-2010, 07:57 AM
I'd say 1/2 were packed to the rafters and the rest had one, two, maybe three at the most in passengers.

07-26-2010, 08:40 AM
You should come to Texas some time. :rolleyes: It's not without reason they call it "truck country".

07-26-2010, 11:58 AM
It is going to take some major kick in the pants before people start to downsize... something along the lines of $4-5 per gallon. In some cases there is no way for us to downsize even if we wanted to.

In my case, there is no small car or midsize anything that can handle my lifestyle so that is in no way an option here. I am 6'5", wife is 5'10" (with a few health issues), we have 2 daughters (2 and 8) that are very active with soccer, sports, girl scouts, stroller, towing the popup camper, long legs in the back seat, chairs for outdoor events and so on down the line. It is very tough to fit a 6'5 body AND a few 7 ft fishing poles AND tow a camper in something that gets 40 mpg. If I knew of a way to cheaply replace my engine for a I6 turbo diesel and start using at least partial biofuels, then I would do that in a heartbeat. The I6 turbo diesel would haul anything I have plus get around 30-35 mpg.

When I look at vehicles, I don't place a Subaru Outback or Pontiac Montana minivan in the SUV category, mostly because it gets 20-25 mpg, not 15. You also have to look at many of the 2010 models trucks and SUVs are rated at 25 mpg highway as well so that throws some of those preconceived notions out the windows too.

So I tend to look at vehicles for the mileage they get rather than car, suv, truck type of black and white point of view. I know some passenger cars with a V8 that get the same mileage as some of the 4 cyl. cars (25-40 mpg). My grandfather-inlaw has a 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis with V8 that around town gets 23 mpg and on the highway gets around 34-38 mpg depending on elevation changes and load.
6-7 years ago I had a 1976 GMC truck with clean running 350 V8, 600 cfm Edelbrock 4 barrel carburetor, no catalytic convertor, dual exhaust, no emission crap on it at all; and if I cranked it down to a usable lean mixture and stayed off the gas, I could get 22 mpg around town and a few short road trips I was seeing 27-28 mpg. If I was on the gas like a teenager on a racetrack, and cranked the gas usage up to a more rich mixture I saw as low as 8 mpg city, with 18 highway, which was pretty much just for testing purposes. I typically ran it lean and only got on it when absolutely necessary.

07-26-2010, 01:33 PM
Well, I don't like Ron Jon Surf Shops, or (especially) pink restaurants ;).

I suspect our mix of pickups/SUVs to cars is similar all over the western states to FL.

07-27-2010, 12:13 AM
I don't know how you can say the cargo area of wagons are hardly used. Ever try to take 4-5 people (especially kids, who have MORE stuff than adults) on a weekend trip to Grandma's house - let alone camping?

And to your decision point as to whether people were driving ""cars" or somwthing with more advertised but probably little used capability, like 4-wheel drive,
greater ground clearance, etc.", well wagons clearly fall into the FORMER category, not the latter. The whole point of the wagon is to have enough room to haul your stuff without all the fuel-wasting attributes of SUVs.

08-01-2010, 07:22 AM
I'm in Florida now, my wife, 2y/o, and myself took the drive. We had the A/C on the entire time (wife wants it). The extended cab of my Silverado was filled up with stuff (including my daughter) and the truck bed was full. If you count me, my wife, my daughter, and the stuff, we all add up to about 800lbs. We got 23.1mpg from OKC to Jackson Mississippi, and 21.9 from Jackson MS to Destin FL.

08-01-2010, 07:31 AM
I just got home two days ago from Port St. Lucie. I'm not sure what our mileage was, but we made the 1000 miles in about 2.5 hours.:D

08-01-2010, 12:13 PM
I just got home two days ago from Port St. Lucie. I'm not sure what our mileage was, but we made the 1000 miles in about 2.5 hours.:D


08-01-2010, 12:24 PM
Coming home was interesting. All through Florida and Georgia people were driving like maniacs. When I hit South Carolina the average speeds had dropped significantly.

Right Lane Cruiser
08-01-2010, 12:33 PM
Coming home was interesting. All through Florida and Georgia people were driving like maniacs. When I hit South Carolina the average speeds had dropped significantly.

Yep, my old stomping grounds (Spartanburg) is a lot slower than most other areas I've been.

08-01-2010, 01:33 PM


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