26 July 2007
You're drinking too fast
Gwendolyn has a spa day today 97,500-mile service, a mere 3,388 miles late and the dealership saved me a 2007 G35. This one is mostly the same as the last '07 G I got to drive, but one of the fifty bazillion display settings has caused an annoying MPG meter to be parked right in the center of the gauge cluster, a big red bar graph that spends a lot of time at 0 mpg, mostly because traffic isn't moving at that exact moment. I suppose this is intended to make people aware of their fuel consumption, but believe me, every time I fill a gas tank (fifteen times this month), I am acutely aware of how much I'm using. This might be more useful were it set for something other than instantaneous fuel economy, which, after all, is rather transient. (It's maybe 6 mpg during half-throttle acceleration in first gear, but this condition seldom lasts more than a couple of seconds, inasmuch as the car can reach 60 mph in less than six seconds, during which time it's upshifted to second.)
In a vehicle designed for maximum fuel economy as the primary goal your Priuses (I refuse to say "Prii") and such this sort of gizmo might be fun to play with. (And with the engine stopped at traffic lights, you're dividing by zero, so MPG is undefined at that point: it should be literally off the scale.) In a sports sedan, it's just one more distraction.
Addendum: On a trip up the Lake Hefner Parkway, I decided to see what I could get the MPG display to do. With cruise set at a stolid 65 mph, the bar contracted and expanded with every little speed adjustment, from the low 20s to around 30. I did better, or at least with less irregularity, just holding the pedal in place. Cruise off, I passed a sluggard in an Expedition, and the bar practically disappeared as the G boomed up to a quick 80 mph, only to stretch itself out to full length, an implausible 60 mpg, as I dropped back to a speed less likely to attract the attention of John Law. Over on the data screen (which doubles as the nav screen, had they installed the nav system, which they hadn't) I found a cumulative mileage readout, which sat at a solid 18, and the declaration of 275 miles left on this tankful. I suppose if I obsessed about gas prices I would make use of this tool, which requires you to reset it at appropriate intervals, but I'm more the grumbling type.Posted at 10:29 AM to Driver's Seat