Hypermiling the Jeep Commander...
I realize that appears to be an oxymoron, but I've been playing around with some things I saw on a hypermiling website and some of them appear to work.. Most are common sense, but I was never used to trying to drive this way..
My commute is 8 miles one way, it's 4 miles of open interstate (the predominent traffic flow is in the opposite direction of my travels) and 4 miles of suburban streets with congestion, un-synchronized stoplights, crowded rush hour etc..
My combined mileage on the commute: "before" was 13.5 mpg, "after" is 17.8 mpg. A good day might be 18.5, if I'm lucky. I measure the mileage using the Commanders' mpg guage, I reset it every morning. 4.3 mpg doesn't sound like much, but it's a 31% increase from my old way of driving.
Some of the techniques are:
1. Slow down: I now usually drive about 56 on the interstate instead of the old keeping up with traffic at 75.
2. I always use cruise control on the interstate.
3. When I exit, I coast in neutral with the engine on, (I understand you can damage a modern automatic by coasting at speed with the engine off), from the time I hit the exit ramp until I reach the light at the bottom of the ramp.
4. I coast a lot when driving in town.. I will get up to speed, and whenever the traffic looks like it might backup, I throw it in neutral and coast until the traffic clears. The idea is to use the brakes as little as possible.
5. When the traffic light goes red up ahead, I coast up to the light instead of driving up then braking.
6. Pull through a parking space instead of simply pulling in. You can leave much quicker than backing out, you'll use less fuel.
7. When stopped, I stay in neutral until it's time to go. If you're stopped in gear, the engine is still trying to move the car against the brakes.
8. Avoid sitting and idling. I will even shut the engine off if I know the light will be red for more than about 30 seconds.
9. I now try really hard to time the lights so I can avoid complete stops. Really difficult around here as the lights are unsynchronized.
Some of the things the hardcore hypermilers are advocating are downright dangerous, i.e., drafting other drivers, "pulse and glide" where they will accelerate to say 60 on an interstate then coast down to around 40-45 (sometimes slower) then repeat, driving too slow for the road they're on, stop signs are "optional", etc...