Increasing gas mileage in a 2002 VW 1.9 GTI

Is there a cost-effective way to reduce RPMs at cruising speed to lower fuel consumption in my GTI w/ 5-speed Tiptronic? It shifts into 5th gear at 1,800 RPM / 40mph on level ground which means the engine is spinning at 3,000 RPM at 70mph - and sucking more gas than needed. The car pulls strongly from 2,300 RPM in 5th gear so it seems to me it should cruise easily at 70mph at about 2,300 RPM. Any suggestions greatly appreciated. – Ted

Define “cost effective.” There is no low-cost way to change the overall gear ratio in your GTI, and a minor change would only produce a minor result.

It’s a performance car, designed for acceleration and power more than cruising and maximum mpg.

You’d be better off monitoring the tire pressures closely and eliminating any unnecessary weight in the car.

The final ratio is what it is.

Don’t assume that because the engine is turning 3K at 70 mph that it’s not running efficiently. Manufacturers put a great deal of effort into designing in fuel efficiency, and my bet is that your gearing is designed to get the best mpg possible while still getting aqequate performance. 3K at 70 is common now, and today’s engines with their better fitting, lighter, better balanced parts and lower reciprocating masses are quite comfortable at 3K.

Bummer. Gas wasn’t $3.50 a gallon when I bought it. Thanks for responding.

Yes, there is an easy cost effective way to reduce RPMs. Reduce pressure on the gas pedal.

Seriously, the shift points of an automatic transmission depend on specific factors. Usually, the most important factor is the position of the throttle. If you don’t push the accelerator as hard, your shift points should come down. Try it.