Tag Archives: mpg

2006 Pontiac Vibe Gas Mileage Tracker

We’ve been tracking the gas consumption on our 2006 Pontiac Vibe since we bought it over 3 years ago. It’s now a habit for both of us to write the distance traveled on each gas receipt we get. The only problem is I seem to forget to collect all those receipts on a timely basis so they pile up in the console of the Vibe until we run out of space.

I finally got around to spending some time with all of the gas receipts we’ve been collecting for the last year or so. I’ve pulled it all together into a Google Doc which is magically translated into the interactive chart you should see below. Enjoy!


How will this help anyone?

The chart gets magically updated any time I get around to adding more data into the associated Google Docs spreadsheet. This will allow you to see real world gas mileage numbers for a 2006 Pontiac Vibe. To be able to make any sense out of what you’re seeing, you’ll need to know some basic information:

  1. The car is a normal 1.8L automatic transmission Vibe.
  2. It has air conditioning and cruise control, both of which are used relatively often (we don’t avoid using either for any reason).
  3. The car is typically driven over 100km/day on secondary highways where the average speed is a pretty constant 90km/h.
  4. The car averages roughly 80% highway and 20% city driving, based on the definition of “highway” driving.
  5. We put winter tires on the car. Usually we try to go as late as we can before putting them on (late November or early December most years) and I’ll take them off as soon as the night time temperature stay above freezing.

Is this gas mileage typical for the Pontiac Vibe?

That’s sort of a tough question. Based on the fueleconomy.gov website, the 2006 Pontiac Vibe gets 9.4L/100km city and 7.6L/100km highway (revised numbers). We’re averaging closer to the combined number of 8.7L/100km for the year.

If I can figure out how, I’ll get this page to live update the high/low gas mileage as well as the running average for some arbitrary period of time.

Details of GMs new 4.5L DuraMax diesel V-8

AutoblogGreen has some more details on the new Duramax 4.5L diesel V8 that GM is working on. It sounds like the intent is to make this new engine able to fit in any of the existing GM models that have a gas small block V8. That would include the Chevy and GMC light duty trucks, as well as the Yukon and the Hummer H2. The downside is that it won’t be available until after 2009 so we’re stuck waiting until the 2010 model year (at the earliest) to get our hands on this new diesel.

PickupTruck.com has an article on the new 4.5L diesel V8 also and they reference an Automotive News article stating that the engine will get 30 mpg (7.8 L/100km) highway. That’s a pretty substantial improvement over the 22 mpg (10.7 L/100km) that the 5.3L V8 gets.

GM announces new light duty 4.5L V-8 diesel for North America

I was reading the Autoblog Green article GM announces new light duty 4.5L V-8 diesel for North America which made me a little excited. This would be a fabulous option for people like myself who would like to have a diesel pickup but not a heavy duty work horse truck. This diesel is smaller than the current 4.8L V8 gas engine (like I had in my old trucks) and produces more horsepower and way more torque. There is a reference to a 25% reduction in fuel consumption over the existing gas engines. I can only assume that this is a comparison to the 5.3L V8 that is pretty much the defacto standard engine in a GM full-sized truck.

Now, I was confused by the first comment on the article because the poster simply missed the point. They should be impressed by a 25% reduction in fuel consumption for pickup trucks. According to the sales numbers on pickuptruck.com, GM has sold a combined 350,000 pickup trucks to the end of May 2007. That will be almost 850,000 trucks by the end of the year. If the majority of those trucks can see a reduction of 25% in their fuel consumption, just think of how much less fuel will be used.

The poster may not see the use of a pickup truck but I’ll bet that a lot of their service companies, contractors, emergency services and other commercial operations do. They all drive a lot more in a year than the average family of 4. 50+ mpg makes very little difference on the whole. Yeah, it helps your own pocket a bit more but unless you’re driving a lot more than the average, you may be no better off once you take into consideration the (current) extra cost of a diesel. I’ve done the math and it almost make sense for me. I commute over 110km (almost 70 miles) a day and if I weren’t carpooling with two other guys, I’d likely have a Volkswagen TDI already, even with the extra up front expense and higher ongoing maintenance costs.

Oh, and forget the H2 being mentioned in the original article, that’s the red herring to get you to bite.

2006 Pontiac Vibe After One Year

Well, it’s almost been a year since we got the 2006 Pontiac Vibe. We still think it’s a decent car for us around town. This past Christmas we discovered that it’s just barely big enough for us to take the whole family on a road trip. More on that later. :)

After about 32500km, we’re averaging about 8.37L/100km. Since about 80% of that is what we would consider highway driving, we’re not overly thrilled with the real world gas mileage of the Vibe. Now that we have winter tires on and the air is cooler, we’ve been getting just over 9.0L/100km. It hasn’t even gotten really cold here yet as I think the lowest temperature over night was about -15 degrees Celcius.

As for the size of the car. We have a large dog and she basically takes up 3/4 of the trunk area. On top of that, with our munchkin in the infant carrier in the back, the passenger seat is too close to the dash to be comfortable for a long trip. So we had the car well packed for our trip this Christmas. Not too much in the way of weight though, about the same as 3 adults and light luggage. On the way out, we averaged 8.5L/100km. Not too bad. The only comment is that the car is definitely underpowered for passing. With this relatively minor load it had a heck of a time getting up to speed to pass on two-lane roads. It can be done but you had to turn off the overdrive and get a good run (ie get the car into the 4500-5000 rpm range) on the car you wanted to pass.

On the way back we had a rooftop carrier with some extra weight, probably equivalent to 4 adults and light luggage. Holy crap that made a huge difference on the gas mileage though. We averaged about 11.5L/100km! Our worst was a stretch through Quebec where we had a head wind and I was trying to drive too fast (Screaming munchkin, Quebec drivers, middle of nowhere, etc.). That lead to 296km on just over 35L or 12.1L/100km. Yikes! The biggest problem (other than the rooftop carrier) was that the car couldn’t stay in overdrive. It was constantly kicking down into 3rd gear when I had the cruise control on. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to break any land speed records. I was driving at a speed slightly slower than you would normally see on those roads. Heck, the two cops I passed weren’t interested in me at all. ;)

On top of that, I discovered a trait about the car that I don’t especially like. When it does kick down from you pressing harder on the throttle, it takes an exceptionally long time to go back to overdrive when you let off of the throttle. There were times where I had to almost lift my foot completely off of the throttle just to get the car to go back into overdrive. Damn slushboxes. When I used the kick down button, it wasn’t as bad since the car would go back into overdrive almost immediately after you press it again.

Unfortunately it looks like there is a minivan in our future if we have another rug rat. :(

As far as the Pontiac Vibe goes, it’s likely going to become our second car in the future and go into the high mileage club with me taking it back and forth to work (110km/day round trip). 32500km in the first year. Hopefully it will last at least 10 years of driving like that!

Pontiac Vibe real world gas mileage

Another update on our 2006 Pontiac Vibe real world gas mileage. We’re now over 24000km (damn, 24000km/8months = 3000km/month or 36000km/year and that’s pretty much just the Boss driving it back and forth to work.) and the gas mileage is getting better. Of course, it’s near the end of the summer now and the car doesn’t have to heat up, etc. Surprisingly, even with the air conditioner on it still gets about 7.4L/100km (or about 31.5mpg).

Oh yeah, in case you were reading my previous 2006 Pontiac Vibe gas mileage post, I goofed on my conversions from metric to US mpg. I was actually converting to imperial mpg. That’s what I get for not paying attention to the online tool I was using. I’ll be going back to that post to update the numbers so they make more sense since not many people in North America use imperial mpg as a measure.

Just for the record (and so I don’t have to go searching for them again) the conversions are as follows:

US mpg –> L/100km = 235.215/US mpg
Imp. mpg –> L/100km = 282.4809363/Imp. mpg

Anyways, the best gas mileage yet was 6.96L/100km (33.8mpg) just last week. It wasn’t super hot, low 20s Celcius, and the car was only really driven to and from work. Again, it’s pretty much highway driving according to what the car manufacturers use as the definition of highway driving. Average speed is just over 80km/h with a few sharp curves/turns and some slower driving through town.

The Pontiac Vibe just doesn’t do well on what I consider real world highway driving – about 110km/h with the cruise control set and straight, relatively flat roads. That’s my commute and I was getting much worse gas mileage than the Boss. Maybe I should give it another run here for a week and see what it does now that the weather is more pleasant than when I was driving the Pontiac Vibe back in February.