Miles per tank

How far can you drive on a tank of gas? The most accurate way of figuring this out is to drive the car with a full tank of gas until you run out of gas. Obviously, this approach has some problems. In fact, somewhere I read that Toyota doesn’t recommend running out of gas in a Prius. (If you do this, carry a container with a gallon of gas, which should be enough to get you to a gas station to refill your gas tank. Sadly, I didn't when I ran out of gas.)

A safer approach is to play “chicken” by creeping up to what might be the maximum travel distance from a full tank of gas over a period of several fill-ups—and keeping accurate records about how much gas you put in the car, when, and distance traveled. Noting how many miles traveled after the fuel gauge shows “E” (empty) might be a good idea, too. (For more about how many miles after “E,” click here.) At some point, rather than run out of gas and be stuck somewhere, you’ll decide on some maximum distance you’re comfortable with, and declare that maximum “close enough.”

This chart is a result of the second approach. It shows the distances traveled on each full tank of gas. On average (i.e., according to Excel), I’m filling up the gas tank every 410 miles. The “outliers” on this diagram show that I could comfortably drive 450 to 460 miles on a tank of gas in warmer months, probably 480 miles. After 480 miles, I better find a gas station fast!

Or I can just hope for the ideal maximum number of miles from each tank of gas, as described here.



This chart shows I could comfortably drive 450 to 460 miles on a tank of gas, probably 480 miles--comfortably. After 480 miles, I better find a gas station fast!