Hiroshi Masuoka, a multiple Dakar Rally champion, gives tips on driving the Mirage for best economy.
He knows what he's talking about: he achieved 26.48 km/L [ 3.8 L/100km / 62.3 mpg US ] in a demonstration eco-drive.
Video is from Mistu Malaysia (via paultan.org):
Sub-titles from the video (slightly edited by me):
While the Mirage boasts a 21km/L fuel-consumption, two-time Dakar Rally Champion, Hiroshi Masuoka managed to up the ante to an impressive 26.48km/L!
In this second episode of our Mirage video series, Masuoka-san lets in on the secrets to become a skilled driver like him.
My name is Hiroshi Masuoka. I'm a two-time Dakar Rally Champion: in 2002 and 2003
You managed to achieve startling fuel-consumption results in your Eco Runs which is above the 21 km/L advertised! Mind sharing with us your tips?
Basically the Mirage was developed to achieve good fuel-efficiency. On the other hand, driving behaviours of an individual would also affect fuel-consumption.
- And one of the biggest tips: How you step on the accelerator when you start moving the car makes a big difference. Usually people would step more than half of the accelerator... when a soft start is just enough. So only step up to 1/4 of maximum 1/3, of acceleration. That first acceleration after you start the car really uses a lot of fuel. Not many people know this.
- Another big indicator is the RPM. Every time you drive, don't only look at the speed; look ar the RPM, too. The maximum you should go for is 2,000 RPM so you'll get a good (fuel-consumption) result.
- Now, the city and highway, these are two different scenes, right? When it comes to city, usually the speed is 50-60 km/h. In that case, 1,500 RPM is quite enough. That should be the maximum. When it comes to highway, where your speed averages between 80-100 km/h, try to maintain 2,000 RPM.
- And another tip is, in your everyday drive, please pay attention to the engine's sound. The louder it is, the more fuel you're using.
Now the video doesn't say so, but obviously he's talking about driving the automatic CVT-equipped car.
Because there's no way you could hold 2,000 RPM at 80-100 km/h (~50-60 mph) on the highway with the 5-speed!
We already know from our RPM/speed/gear charts for the 5-speed that 2,000 RPM puts you at ~70 km/h (~43 mph) in top gear. 100 km/h (~60 mph) has the engine buzzing away at ~3,000 RPM!
(Note to Mitsu: give us the option of a taller 5th gear!)
See also: Mirage fuel-economy driving tips