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Land Rover Mileage   -   2002/05/30Viewed 168 times this month, last update: 2008/12/28

Land Rover's are not made for economy. I didn't think they were when I bought mine, and I am not on a quest to make My Truck economic. However, how many gallons of fuel per mile (MPG) it burns is of concern to me, because the better it is, the farther out into the desert I can go without having to turn arround and go get more gas.
So, I have been tracking how many miles I get to a tank, and how much gas I put in to fill it up. From this, I can compute the average MPG of that tankfull. Then, I put all those values into gnuplot, to generate the graph here:

gnuplot is very nifty, in one line of code, it read all my data points, plotted them, drew an average line, and labled everything.
Legend: The X axis is the odometer reading at the time of that tank filling, and the Y axis is the average MPG of the previous tankful.
As you can see, I get between 10.5 and 15 miles per gallon, depending on the type of driving I'm doing. Thankfully at least, this graph does not confirm my fear that my MPG is decreasing.
Update 2002/07/12
Pretty steadily over the last three months, my milage as been increasing! I've been actually driving it a little harder, and with it in 3rd gear in the city more. Not what I would have expected, but good none the less!

Update 2002/09/26
Uh, no. It's solid as a rock. 12.5 Miles/gallon. I think the third gear stuff lowered it about 1/4 MPG, so I'm not doing that any more. We'll see what the new bumper does to it.

Update 2002/10/24
The new bumper didn't do a damn thing to the MPG. Also, I started changing the oil avery 1500 miles instead of 3000, and that doesn't seem to have done anything either.
All of this analysis doesn't mean that the truck gets 12.5 MPG no matter what it does, as it gets substantially better on the highway (up to 16.5!) and substantially worse in the city (probably less than 10) but I almost always drive a mix, and the average just stays the same. At least no one can say it's inconsistant!

Update 2003/03/25
Well, the new average is just about 13.5, which is one mile-per-gallon better than a year ago. I attribute this to putting Mobile 1 oil in the crank-case.

Update 2003/12/02
You can see the dramatic decrease in mileage due to my valve stick problem. Doing good before that though!

Update 2004/03/31
New engine, and lots of long-distance commuting...

Update 2008/12/28
Today I set a personal best: 400 miles on one tank, with 3.5 gallons left in the tank when I stopped. That works out to 18.5 MPG, with a theoretical maximum of 462 miles. The trip was from Livermore, CA to Lake Forest. Nice, flat highway at 60 MPH. It actually could be better, since the trip included going up the grapevine, and getting stuck in 50 minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, so I'd say the absolute best could be 19 MPG.

Michael (2002-05-31): Both interesting and impressive! Hey, I bought "your book" today -- finally found a copy. I liked the Acknowledgements section where it says...

"...particularly: Erik Burrows, who wrote a phenomenal chapter on RDBMS integration (Chapter 12)..."

Good job, Erik! ;) Now, how can I get you to autograph it for me?

Erik (2002-05-31): I didn't even know they put that acknowledgements section in
there! Thanks! Um, autograph... Really? Give me a buzz, and
I'll take you to dinner.

Kurt Monkey (2004-04-18): Ok, I have to admit the your graph was very understandable, even for the car illiterates like myself. But what else is great about the vehicle other than consistancy and desert driving. And why don't you take everyone to dinner? Cheer:)

I am really thinking about purchasing a Land Rover but I'm a first time buyer and unfortunately, like so many other things in our society, I go a lot by appearance.

Erik (2004-04-19): I love my truck. It can go anywhere, is very comfortable, and looks great. Plus: I like to differentiate myself from the poser kids in my area who think an off-road machine is a $5000 pickup with four foot tall tires.

carol (2005-03-11): can i use a lower octane 89 in a 1999 discovery

Erik (2005-03-11): Carol, you can, but it'll end up costing you more in the long run. Your fuel economy will go down, and you'll greatly reduce the amount of time until you need a valve job, which runs about $2000. You'd have to save an awful lot on gas to make it worth it.


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