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Thought I would share our latest 3090 mile trip experience during last week’s spring break with Outlook and some interesting observations.

We drove from Toronto, Ontario to central Florida in less than two days with an overnight stop in Columbia, SC. Total of 5 people (4 adults) with luggage; I felt the additional weight for sure. Going south, we drove in light snow, 7 hrs in heavy/medium rain, over the mountains, and against a strong headwind in Georgia and Florida. I got 20.8 mpg average mileage with speeds between 60 to 80 mph and a 40 minute stop and go at the border. On the way back, again heavy rain, wind, etc. I got 20.3 mpg average (similar speed range). Here are some additional observation points:

1.I got better mileage while driving in Florida locally (about 400 miles), with temperatures between 62–78 F, averaging about 23.2 mpg on a highway. A week of city driving never pushed the mileage below 17.5 mpg., even with AC on.

2.Switched to Mobile 1 synthetic oil about a month before the trip with about 14K miles on the odometer.. The % of oil life remaining dropped by 9 % during 350 miles while driving in the city. Then, the 3090 mile trip dropped only to 75% life remaining – awesome.

3.I noticed no difference in mileage or performance between 87 and 89 octane gas. I played with this going over the Appalachians and once in Florida.Actually, I think I got a slightly worse mileage with the higher octane gas. Didn’t feel it was worth trying the highest octane, though.

4.The tranny is frustrating. It was so painful, especially in the mountains. Constantly shifting to 6th gear, I was loosing torque in the middle of every hill. I had to really step on the pedal so it would downshift properly. It hesitated for a good few seconds and then reved up to 3-4K rpms (from 6th to 4th gear). I understand that the tranny is calibrated for maximum mileage but it is painful. Somehow, I didn’t think about trying the manual option, will do it next time.

5.I have the touring package with GY 19” tires. The pressure was set for 40psi (cold) but the label on the door says “min 35” and the max pressure for these tires is 44 psi (cold). So before we headed back I dropped the pressure to 37psi (cold). Not sure if this was the only factor in getting worse mileage on the way back but given that we had the same luggage, the same number of people and very similar or even better weather condition I think the difference in air pressure in the tires was most probably the contributing factor. Also, from the handling perspective I preferred 40 psi over 37 as these tires are high performance ones.

6.Loved the comfort of the drive. We did a 15.5 hr drive day one and 8 hrs the next day. Nobody was tired and nobody complained about the seats. We’ve been making this trip for 7 years already and drove an Odyssey before. I can say that I had a more pleasurable experience driving the Outlook; already looking forward to the next spring break trip.

7.Navigation system was a big, big help. We managed to find a detour in 20 seconds and saved ourselves 1.5 hr delay due to construction in one of the tunnels.

Overall, I am very pleased with the Outlook and the performance/comfort. The fact that we accommodated 5 people’s luggage without a roof rack or hitch mounted shelf solution was awesome. I folded down 1/3 of the rear bench so we had an L shape space for our stuff. My youngest daughter still had plenty of space left. Can’t wait for more trips now!:)
 
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