Originally Posted by veliksam
I get 26mpg highway @ 70mph with my V6. Maybe you were heavy on the pedal?
I have seen 26 MPG highway @ about 70 MPH with my 4.3 V6 AWD, too. Any vehicle has a certain amount of mass and friction and drag, and there's only so much energy in gasoline (and only so much that can be improved with a redesign like this).
Maybe there's winter blend gasoline in play here? Or perhaps tire inflation levels weren't optimal? Was it windy? Maybe headwinds come into play? Was it at altitude, e.g. in the mountains?
I wonder if even air temperature and humidity come into play? Synthetic oil vs. dino oil? Brand, octane and quality of the gasoline used?
Break-in of the vehicle? Proably most all 2013s are not yet considered "broken in." I know my RAV's performance "felt differently" after about 500 miles, and then again after about 1000 miles, but I don't know how to explain it.
How heavy was the payload? (Was the vehicle full of people and/or cargo?) What was the actual average speed? I believe drag goes up with velocity at something like a cubic rate. It's the drag that really gets you on the highway, I think.
Then there's the "heavy on the pedal" question (driver input...every driver is a little different, very difficult to quantify), and now for the 2013 RAV4's: "were you in Eco, Normal or Sport mode?" One would certainly think that "Sport" mode would have a negative effect on MPG. EPA ratings are only supposed to be for "Normal" mode, so I've got to believe that's the mode in which Toyota published estimates.
Was the 2013 that got 26 MPG on the highway a 2WD or AWD? (the poster's signature did not say). The 2013 AWD version is "EPA estimated" at 29 MPG highway vs. 31 for the FWD.
That's the trouble with relying on "real world" numbers: so many outside factors come into play that you have to call into question the numbers presented vs. what you can expect.
Basically, you don't know if the test conditions reasonably match your situation. You'd just about need a whole table of test conditions associated with each result in order to get a decent expectation. It's things like this that make me question the value of the numbers reported at sites like Fuelly.com
They also make me call into question the ability to reasonably expect to often get the EPA estimates for a vehicle, mostly as I don't know how those estimates are calculated. But I just don't see how one single number can cover the myriad situations that exist in the real world.
I quit worrying about MPG-for-the-sake-of-MPG a long time ago. There are much more important things in life to worry about! True, choosing Vehicle A that can meet your needs over Vehicle B that can meet your needs when Vehicle A gets better mileage is a good thing, and more environmentally friendly.
I do monitor MPG as a relative
indicator in case something starts to go wrong with the vehicle, but otherwise I simply trust that the engine and computer are doing the best they can to maximize fuel efficiency as conditions change (that's what they were designed for
), and instead I focus on enjoying my ride for what it is, and what I bought it for.
That's what really