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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start by saying that I know people are angry about the economy of the 11 Terrain and I'm not here to defend GM nor discuss their responsibility here. Just want to share how I managed to eke out almost an extra 3 MPG.

Up until recently, I was getting the popular average MPG of only 23 to 24 MPG. Like everyone, I was extremely frustrated by it, discussed it with several GM reps and got nowhere. But I kept hearing a common statement- it could depend on the driver and their driving style. That seemed ridiculous to me because I always use cruise control and I was driving as slow as I could stand. So I started watching things and noticed that each time I climbed two particular hills on my way to work, the transmission kicked down to maintain the 70 MPH and my average economy slipped fast! Now when I reach those two points in my trip, I take it out of cruise, and go at whatever speed the car can go without shifting. I've dropped as low as 60 MPH, but my economy has gone way up. I now consistently get 26 MPG and I'm not even using cruise control anymore! Granted, it's still well below the advertised mileage but its enough thati went from struggling to pass 400 miles in a tank, to going well past 500.

Now I know some people will say they shouldn't have to alter their driving habits to get closer to the advertised economy of their car, and you're right. You shouldn't. But since I own this car for a while now, and since it doesn't get the advertised mileage by driving my old way of driving, and since I like everything else about this car, I'm willing to make this one concession to make the gas crunch a little easier to deal with. Take it for what it's worth. Hope I help someone.
 

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I do the exact same ! I hate it when it downshifts a gear or two. The engine really revs up.

:cheers:
 

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Thanks for the post. I too use cruise control as much as possible, and have a few significant hills to climb on my trip to work. I will try this method because I do get very concerned when driving up a long, steep hill, and my car revs up to 6 or 7. I've never had a car do this (always had at least a 6 cylinder). Except for this issue I really love my Equinox.
 

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cruise control is great, but when its very windy or hilly I just do not use it.

You can just see the gas gauge move so much faster.
 

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I've done that or just drop the cruise down every MPH that the speed drops. Then when at the top of the hill bump up the MPH to where it was before the hill.

I've also put it in manual and it does take a little more drop in MPH before it kicks down a gear. I hate the fact that in manual mode, it still down shifts. Why have a manual mode if it still doesn't give you control?
 

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RnB said:
I've also put it in manual and it does take a little more drop in MPH before it kicks down a gear. I hate the fact that in manual mode, it still down shifts. Why have a manual mode if it still doesn't give you control?
I don't think that manual mode will have any impact on how the cruise effects downshifting. At least mine doesn't.
 

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chasmanian said:
Now I know some people will say they shouldn't have to alter their driving habits to get closer to the advertised economy of their car, and you're right. You shouldn't.
Really!! That is great news - I'm going to take it up a notch and drive 85 all the time now, and if I don't get closer to the advertised milage, I'm gonna be pissed.[/color]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
NODES said:
I believe having eco mode on also causes the lower MPG when it comes to hills.
I've wondered about that. Before I tried not allowing the car to downshift, I drove to work for an entire week with eco off, and was surprised to see the gas mileage was slightly better. I may experiment with that further. Thanks!
 

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RIT333 said:
I don't think that manual mode will have any impact on how the cruise effects downshifting. At least mine doesn't.
Mine does as it takes a little more MPH to downshift than without. I've driven the same road many times and its consistent.
 

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I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. With 8787 miles on my Equinox my low MPG is 21.1 and my high is 32.3 with an average of 26.4. Most of this is mixed driving with a wide range of temperatures. I only have one long highway trip of 1676 miles. I always use the cruise and the economy mode.
 

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RnB said:
I've also put it in manual and it does take a little more drop in MPH before it kicks down a gear. I hate the fact that in manual mode, it still down shifts. Why have a manual mode if it still doesn't give you control?
The way it was explained to me by the dealer was it's not exactly "manual mode", rather than a system that limits the gear that the car can shift up to; the car will downshift itself but if you have it set to, say, fourth gear, it won't shift higher than that. Used for towing, hills, etc. It's not the same as "Tip-tronic/(or whatever-other-manufacturer-terms-are-out-there)" as in other cars.
 

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on any hill- here in California.
I never use cruise.
I move over to the right hand lane where semis are. and join them going over hills....
I have no need to speed up a hill- doing 80..
Id rather do 40-50 with the semis.
(This is with my Traverse.). And With any hill I always travel in L6.
This way on the other side- the downhill- hill descent does not kick in- and I cruize down the mtn.
I usually have 6-8 people on board.. so doing 80 up a hill is a complete waste of money...
Especially with stuff like this... This is a gas station around the corner from my house here in Los Angeles. 2/24/2012.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jenniebeeb said:
I am getting high mpg's on my commute which has a LOT of hills. I also don't use Cruise Control...I found out a long while ago in my HHR that Cruise Control + Hills doesn't bode well for the MPG's, at least for a 4 cyl...

Glad to hear you're seeing some increased MPG's - I think for some it probably does suck to alter the driving style, but to be honest I think we'll all only see our best mileages when we're being conscious with our driving styles. I think it all comes down to what's important - do you want to go up the hill at 72mph at all costs, or is it okay to not let it downshift and go up at 65mph instead - ha ha :)
Exactly. After calculating, (the car's computer is always 26) I'm getting about 27 to 27.5 mpg. Gotta love that on a truck this size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update:

The gas station I use switched from winter gas. I'm now getting close to 29.
 
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