yeah... but really the technology the automakers have they could do way better. Kinda of sickning. They praise a 3 mpg gain. I guess I shouldn't be so blunt, at least they are doing something like Sludgy is saying.
We can congratulate GM for this milestone but they should have been making this change on their whole line three years ago. Back in the 1960's all the car makers offered a highway version of their cars. Most of the reviews I saw on some of these cars over the standard version was 3 to 6 mpg at highway speeds. I remember a friend of mine who's family had a Dodge Colt back in the late seventies that had a T-shifter you pulled while on the highway to engage an OD. They need to bring back the highway option since many people have moved several miles out from many of our major cities.
Most of the cars on the road today could easily get an additional 4 to 5 mpg with the availability of a highway option performance package.
I know both my cars came with middle of the road gearing. It isn't the best for off the line performance but it also isn't the best for highway running either.
At least the one I was able to swap out my rear gears at a relatively affordable price. The new Highway car is being a bigger pain than I thought it would be to get better highway gearing for.
I have a nice 2.41:1 highway axle ratio in my Oldsmobile which combined with certain driving techniques is giving me an easy 20-22mpg.
My wife's Taurus is saddled with I think a 3.77:1 final drive which gives her a personal best of 27mpg highway. Although this puts the engine at it's most efficient piston speed from 56-67mph, I think it could pull just as well with taller gearing, being as it is a pushrod V6. Unfortunately, that's about the lowest ratio offered in the AX4N, and custom gears are expensive.
I bought my mom an automatic Cobalt this past winter and she see's 31-32 mpg combined driving. Now that they have this new XFE version, I may have to look into getting a five speed sedan for myself. It is an all around good buy, a very solid car for the price.