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WTF-SPORT: MPG Data-Diving with the Lexus GS F-SPORT

Sections: Fuel Economy

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The fuel economy displays in the 2013 Lexus GS F-SPORT.

Here is an example of the fuel economy data you can summon from the 2013 Lexus GS F-SPORT’s Enform infotainment and telematics screen. On the left is a breakdown of my daily MPG averages for the test week (Overall: 23.6; Best: 26.7), while on the right is a minute-by-minute breakdown of my fuel economy over the last 10 minutes of driving time– tall bars mean good fuel economy, short bars mean bad fuel economy. (Lyndon Johnson photo.)

I told you we’d talk about this: Our test 2013 Lexus GS F-SPORT, sporty though it was, still offered an in-depth look at fuel efficiency when asked.

Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat: The GS F-SPORT is rated in EPA testing at 28 MPG highway. I didn’t get there. Ever. And unless your commute involves a lot of straight, flat, 55-MPH highway cruising, you probably won’t either. Faced with a car this willing to romp, even cheapskates like me are challenged to maintain a judicious right foot. The best I managed was 26.7 MPG, and that was with a lot of 45-MPH highway cruising and mental self-flagellation every time I had the urge to make that sweet, sweet 3.5-liter V6 sing. Otherwise, I was solidly in the low 20s, on average.

However, in my momentary quest to see how close to that 28 MPG highway number I could get, I stumbled upon a cool feature in the Lexus GS F-SPORT’s Entune infotainment system– one that could tell me how I was doing on fuel economy not only day-by-day, but minute-by-minute.

Once I discovered this capability, I made it a point to go back to the fuel economy screen and hit the “Update” button often. I tried to remember to do it once a day. This resulted in a week-long picture of how my fuel economy fluctuated in the bigger picture. Looking back on the week, I could see that my fuel economy was worst at the beginning and end of the test week, when I was excited by the car’s performance and later wistful that the car would soon leave me.

Meanwhile, the Consumption screen showed me how my rate of fuel use fluctuated on any given trip, allowing me to see which sections allowed me to do a lot of coasting– those would be the minutes with tall bars indicating an efficiency of 40 MPG or better– as well as seeing which sections of my commute required me to pull long hills or perform a passing maneuver on a slow-moving log truck– those would be the shortest bars indicating the worst fuel economy. This screen was broken down by the minute, and showed a constantly refreshing display of the previous 10 minutes of driving. Based on this information, a window in the lower right corner of this screen showed my estimated driving range remaining.

When splurging on a nearly $60,000 high-performance luxury sedan, fuel economy often is not the top priority, but it was pretty cool to see that Lexus included such features for fuel economy data geeks like me.

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