So after my wife got a new Ford Escape 1.6 turbo and 28mpg I have desided I will now have to modify my 05 FWD V6 Vue to try to match her. I drive 70 miles each day to work about 90 % on the highway at highway speeds during rush hour on I-95, Alexandria Va to Quantico Va, so 70 to 80 mph when traffic is good and 25 mph when bad. Today I can get high 23 to low 24 mpg and for this quest we will say I get an average of 23.7 mpg.
Step one I will lower the Vue next week 2 inches using Megan springs and new KYB shocks and struts and then post my new mpg average, higher would be nice.
Step two I will extend my front air dam a few inches post new numbers.
Step three I will add side skirts and then post new numbers.
Step four I will add a rear diffuser and post numbers.
I dont see underside mods since I dont have a lift.
I would love to hear from anyone who has done anything like this or has any good ideas on other realistic ways to gain mpg.
I do have two rules 1 truck can't look hoop tee and 2 can't cost alot.
BTW I know I will not get 28 but I do hope for 26. With this truck on pure gas I have gotten 29 before but with the crap gas here in Northern Va 26 is all I can hope for.
In my research popular mechanics did everything Im doing except they did not lower the car and no rear diffuser and gained 2.6 mpg. see link
Within your definition of "can't cost a lot" (springs, shocks, struts), you should have plenty of room for investments. I recommend something that can help you test and hone the various driving techniques and strategies that can be used to increase your fuel economy. ScanGauge II, UltraGauge, or a bluetooth OBDII device that can interface with your smartphone. If your Vue has a DIC (driver information center) with fuel economy readout you can get started without something like that but you don't get as much info or control.
Have you checked a forum for your vehicle to see if you can get away with just springs, shocks and struts? That might mess with your suspension geometry, producing undesirable side-effects and consequences to driveability and longevity.
Welcome to the forum fro a fellow Virginian! I actually used to work in Quantico. I-95 between Quantico and Alexandria doesn't really qualify as highway driving. Too much traffic. The new Escape with the Ecoboost Turbo does get really nice mileage, I doubt you will do that well in a Vue V6, but you can certainly try. I don't think lowering or aero mods will get you that far, not on that stretch of road. I'd be looking more towards driving technique, and maybe a warm air intake, possibly combined with a partial grille block in the winter. Instead of investing in suspension, I would take a close look at the tires. A nice set of LRR tires may gain you a couple MPG. I would look at the Michelin Latitude Tour and the Michelin Defender. Both are excellent LRR choices that are quiet and ride nice.