Car mileage or Gas mileage? Differences & top fuel economy cars


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Car mileage and gas mileage or fuel economy are two values that are often employed to estimate the worth of a used vehicle. Find out how you can choose and buy a decent car using the car mileage and fuel economy of the automobile as key factors.

1. What is car mileage?

A car mileage is the total distance travelled by the car since its manufacture. Usually, a typical car will do about 1,000 miles or 1,600 kilometers each month, in other words, 12,000 miles or 19,200 kilometers per year. These average figures can be used to estimate a car’s mileage. For instance, a 10 year old car can be estimated to have a 120,000 mileage or 10 years times 12,000 each year. A more dependable way to tell a car’s mileage exactly is to simply look at the odometer. Mileage is generally a good measure of a car’s current value. You can use mileage and fuel economy to determine a good used car.


Odometers tell you a car's mileage

Highway miles, or distance accumulated in travel using federal interstate roads, tend to generally leave less wear and tear on a car. This is in contrast to the same distance traveled within cities. It helps to be informed about basic automobile facts, and provides informative articles on cars and related matters that will help you understand mileage better.

Factors that affect mileage of vehicles

There are various factors that affect car mileage. Below are the most typical ones:

  • Age: Generally the older a vehicle is, the more its mileage. This is however subject to factors, such as how frequently the car is used, and any periods of inactivity.
  • Road or driving conditions: Driving and road conditions also influence mileage of vehicles. As a rule, good road and driving conditions tend to lead to higher mileage, because the car can get to the farther destinations faster. Frequent driving on interstate roads usually leads to high mileage.
  • Driver habits: The car owner’s driving patterns may also affect mileage. A fast driver for instance will rack up more car miles than a slow driver.


Great mileage makes a great used car

2. What is good mileage for a used car?

Mileage is a good standard of judging a car’s value. Still, there is good mileage and bad mileage. This is easy to calculate.

Calculate 12,000 miles for each year of the car’s life, and then look at the figures on the car’s odometer. When they are consistent, and between 50,000 to 100,000 miles or below, then you have a good car. Extremely low mileage, that is not consistent with the age of the vehicle, is a warning signal. It could mean damage or inactivity. Conversely, extremely high mileage, meaning anything north of 150,000 miles is also not a great sign. The vehicle in this case would have seen much wear. The key factor is consistency of age and the average per annum mileage.

How much mileage is too much for a used car?

It is not always easy to know good mileage for a used car. A used car with a high mileage is not automatically a hard pass. Issues like maintenance history can weigh in to make it a good deal still. Nonetheless, cars recording above 150,000 miles should be avoided. Those figures show a car-age of above 12 years, and the possibility of extreme wear. Having said that, if the car has an unbelievably low mileage, watch out for odometer fraud employed by crooked sellers to make the car look less used. 

How many miles on your used car? We'll tell you

3. Fuel economy cars

Fuel economy and gas mileage are two terms that can be used interchangeably. However, mileage should not be confused with gas mileage. While gas mileage denotes fuel efficiency, mileage refers to the total distance in miles or kilometers travelled by the car. The gas mileage or fuel economy of your car is measured in miles per gallon (or MPG), and refers to the distance traveled by your car (either measured in miles or kilometers) per the amount of fuel in the vehicle (measured in liters or gallons).

Basically, it seems to determine the fuel efficiency of the automobile in order to set a working balance between distance necessary to travel daily, and the amount of fuel necessary to get there that is within safe limits. The alternative could be using other modes of transportation, such as driving electric cars. Petrol engine cars typically have worse fuel economy than diesel engines.


Electric cars are very fuel efficient

As global warming and other environmental protection awareness campaigns gain importance, there is a need to reduce fuel consumption while simultaneously increasing fuel efficiency. In many countries today, it is becoming popular to put a sticker on your car detailing its gas mileage. In the US, the Mobile Economy Run tried to determine fuel economy between 1936 to 1968. Currently thermal efficiency for vehicles average 36.4%. This is the ratio of mechanical output to chemical energy input, or simply the amount of fuel burned to the corresponding power produced in the engine.

A study conducted in 2010 surprisingly shows that, on the average, vehicles tend to be more fuel efficient when running at faster speeds. Other factors like wind resistance, road conditions, and tire drag may also be factors, which critically affect fuel efficiency.

According to a recent test, Motor1 has announced Top 10 most fuel-efficient non-hybrid/ electric cars for 2018, which are:

Top 10 most fuel-efficient cars 2018
Car model MPG (city/highway) Base price (in Nairas)
Chevrolet Spark 30/38 5 million
Toyota Camry 29/41 8.9 million
Toyota Corolla 30/40 7.1 million
Ford Focus 30/40 6.9 million
Nissan Versa 31/39 4.8 million
Toyota Yaris iA 32/40 6.2 million
Hyundai Elantra 32/40 6.5 million
Honda Civic 32/40 7.2 million
Honda Fit 33/40 6.3 million
Mitsubishi Mirage 37/43 5.2 million

As we can see in the table, Mitsubishi Mirage has outperformed legends in fuel-saving like Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla with impressive stats: 37/43 MPG for city and highway respectively. The car also has an affordable price tag with only 5.2 million nairas for the base price. Should fuel economy be your top priority, don't hesitate to visit Naijauto Cars for sale to pick a Mitsubishi Mirage for your family!

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Mitsubishi Mirage tops the list of fuel-efficient non-hybrid/ electric cars 2018

Consequences of poor fuel economy or gas mileage

  • Environmental factors: Cars cause air pollution through releasing hydrocarbons, carbon-monoxide, and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with exhaust smoke. More energy required on each journey, equals higher pollution levels.

  • Economic factors: Fuel is expensive and becoming more so each year. In Nigeria, the price of fuel has increased from 25 Naira in 1998 to 140 Naira in 2018, or by over 560%.

  • Health factors: Atmospheric pollution increases incidences of acid rain, global warming, and other environmental hazards. These lead to increased health risks to diseases like cancer of the lungs and dermatological infections.

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6. How 2 save fuel

Making efforts to save the gas or fuel you use periodically is good for your pocket, and also for the environment. Following some tested tips will help you do both easily.

Gas saving tips:

  • Limit sudden acceleration because you pay in additional fuel usage.
  • Avoid forceful braking because braking wastes energy.
  • You must also ensure your tires are well inflated, as deflated tires use up more fuel.
  • Use the Air condition less. AC uses fuel to run.
  • Keep your car well maintained, as this will result in less fuel waste.


Reduce your fuel usage and save the planet!

Knowledge of the dynamics of mileage and fuel economy can significantly affect the way you choose a used car. Update yourself with useful tips and experiences from Naijauto drivers from now on to save more fuel!

Does cruise control save gas or waste gas?

This is a common question among drivers. Cruise control ensures that your vehicle maintains a constant speed through most of your journey. Fuel is typically expended in the car when you press the accelerator. Cruise control helps you limit the number of times you do this, thereby saving fuel. However, cruise control systems do not take the conditions of the road into their computations; so, for instance, you may need to feed more power to your engine when you are going uphill. This would cancel some fuel gains you might have made before this time. Generally though, you do save fuel using cruise control.   

>>> You can find great auto-related information at Car Buying and Selling on!

Joshua-Philip Okeafor
Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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