Choose your auto and extras wisely. Big packers? Don't opt for a Mini Cooper over your Jeep, because a car with more trunk space is more efficient. Loading up roof racks and attaching items to the back of a smaller car can reduce fuel economy by up to 21 percent.
Go with regular gas. Check your owner’s manual to see which type of gas your car requires. If the manual says regular is okay, go for it! If it says premium gasoline is “recommended” but not “required,” you can still fill up with regular. You may lose some peak power -- but how often do you find yourself speed racing anyway?
Use cruise control. When driving over even terrain at a constant speed, like on a highway, using cruise control at 77 mph can improve fuel economy by up to 15 percent.
Slow down! Pushing on that pedal and speeding wastes gas, even when you’re driving at a constant speed. Each 10 miles per hour faster driven while on a highway will reduce your fuel economy by 15 to 20 percent.
Don't ban A/C. Does air conditioning have an impact on fuel economy? The jury's out. Driving with your windows down on the highway can be dangerous due to noise and road debris, so roll those windows up and enjoy that artificial cooling.
Avoid traffic. Idling in traffic wastes a lot of fuel, so try to travel when others aren’t. Always bring a map or GPS system with you so you can quickly locate alternate routes should you find yourself stuck in an unexpected jam.
Think about going green. Consider a hybrid. Hybrid SUVs, like the Ford Escape, allow you to get the utility of a larger car with better fuel economy. You can gauge your car’s predicted fuel economy on Fueleconomy.gov.
Nestpert Peter Valdes-Dapena of CnnMoney.com
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