I’ve been driving a manual (no tachometer) as my commuter city car. One-way is about 10 miles on level roads. Mostly 35 mph streets, but I usually drive at 40 mph with the flow of traffic. I have been driving in 4th gear at 40 mph. Feels right. According to an app that tracks my mpg, I’ve been consistently achieving the car’s published “city mpg” over the past year.
Recently, I gave a lift to a neighbor who told me to shift into 5th at 40 mph. I said nah. He said 5th gear at 40 mph would improve my fuel efficiency. I was doubtful. Then he offered to fill my tank if my mpg drops (but I had to drive in 5th gear everyday on those 35 mph streets for the rest of my tank). Well, he was right. My last full tank of gas in city driving was about 2 mpg higher (and now it’s well above the car’s published city mpg).
The downside was 5th gear at 40 mph feels weak. Like the engine is going to stall (but not even close, apparently).
Do you aim for fuel efficiency over power (or vice versa)?