City Mileage Vs. Highway Mileage: Which Is Better or Worse For You?

For the average person, the difference between city and highway mileage may take time to clear. 

Generally, City mileage is worse than highway mileage. City streets are often in a lower condition than highways, causing extra automobile wear. Sometimes city miles are preferable. Stop-and-go traffic may be less beneficial for your car’s engine and gearbox than highway travel.

This blog post will take a closer look at the pros and cons of both driving types to help you make the best decision for your vehicle.


Comparison Table Between City Mileage Vs. Highway Mileage

 City MileageHighway Mileage
Average Cost of Gasoline per Year$1,500$1,200


Better forCity drivingMore traffic and stop-and-go
Worse forNot as good for long highway tripsFewer stops for gas


Price of Car$18,000$22,000


initial priceMore expensive to operate in the long runBetter for highway driving
Total Cost of Ownership over 5 years$23,000$21,400


Ownership cost typeThe lower total cost of ownershipHigher total cost of ownership



What is city mileage?

City mileage refers to the fuel efficiency of a vehicle in an urban environment. It is typically expressed in miles per gallon (MPG). City mileage can be affected by many factors, such as traffic congestion and stop-and-go driving. Hybrid vehicles usually have better city mileage than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

City mileage is an important factor to consider when choosing a vehicle. If you do a lot of driving in an urban environment, you will want to select a vehicle with good city mileage. Hybrid vehicles are a good choice for urban drivers.

What is city mileage?

What is highway mileage?

Highway mileage measures how fuel efficient a vehicle is on the highway. The higher the number, the more fuel-efficient the car is. This number is also expressed in miles per gallon (MPG).

A few things can affect a vehicle’s highway mileage, such as the engine type, the vehicle’s weight, and the car’s aerodynamics. But, generally, the more fuel-efficient a vehicle is, the better its highway mileage will be.


Comparison Factors Between city mileage vs. highway mileage

Here are seven comparison factors between city mileage vs. highway mileage:

  1. City mileage is often lower than highway mileage because city driving often involves stop-and-go traffic, which can significantly reduce fuel efficiency.
  2. Highway mileage is usually higher than city mileage: Highway driving typically involves fewer stops and starts, allowing cars to maintain a steadier speed and improve fuel efficiency.
  3. City mileage may vary depending on the traffic conditions: If traffic is particularly heavy, it can impact a car’s fuel efficiency.
  4. Highway mileage may vary depending on the road conditions: If the roads are in good condition, cars can maintain a steadier speed and improve fuel efficiency. However, if the roads are in poor condition, it can reduce fuel efficiency.
  5. The number of stoplights may impact city mileage: If there are a lot of stoplights, it can reduce fuel efficiency.
  6. The number of tolls may impact highway mileage: If there are a lot of tolls, it can reduce fuel efficiency.
  7. The number of pedestrians may impact city mileage: If there are a lot of pedestrians, it can reduce fuel efficiency.


Which type of mileage is worse for your car?

Your vehicle may rack up city and highway miles. So that you can make an informed decision the next time you’re in the market for a new car, Toyota of Orlando will explain the differences between the two.

Highway miles

Some individuals think that driving on the highway is bad for your car. After all, while driving on the road, you’re quickly covering a lot of ground. That can’t be good for the engine’s health. Okay, to some extent. Sure, keeping up a high pace for a long time is taxing on the engine.

However, unlike in the city, there is no congestion on the highway. On the highway, drivers often keep the same pace for extended periods. You can strengthen this and significantly reduce the strain on your engine and gearbox by using cruise control. Highways are usually in decent repair, so you won’t have to worry as much about damaging your car’s suspension if you drive on one.

Highway miles

City miles

“City miles” refers to the distance traveled mostly inside a city or a nearby suburb. Due to the presence of pedestrians, vehicles, and traffic lights, your driving pattern will likely consist mostly of stops and starts. It’s more challenging on the engine, gearbox, and brakes than it may seem. Additionally, city driving may reduce your MPGs and cause your vehicle to use more gas than usual.

Your car’s suspension will be tested by the increased frequency you face road maintenance hazards like potholes, curbs, and speed bumps. As a result of the increased number of road signs and the constant start-and-stop motion of the surrounding traffic, the risk of an accident increases dramatically. Overall, it’s more taxing on your vehicle to drive through the city.


Why Doesn’t My Car Get Better MPG on the Highway?

You may be getting worse gas mileage in the city for various reasons. That’s because, first and foremost, commuting through the city puts more strain on your vehicle’s engine than cruising down the interstate. This is because your car’s engine needs to constantly work harder to stop, start, and change speeds when driving in the city. This affects MPG since it uses more gas (and oil).

On the other hand, while driving on the highway, it’s important to keep a constant pace. Since the engine doesn’t need to work as hard to keep up with the car’s speed on the highway, it’s easier on the engine than driving in the city, so long as you don’t exceed the speed limit.


How can I maximize my gas mileage in the city?

Fortunately, there are certain strategies to increase the gas economy in the city that do not compromise safety. The greatest thing you can do is to drive cautiously, with measured acceleration and deceleration and as little time as possible spent at a halt or with the engine running. Also helpful is regular auto maintenance; when an engine isn’t clogged with old oil, it can do its necessary tasks with less effort and save gas.

You want to buy a new automobile, but you want to make sure it gets a good gas economy. Feel free to peruse the selection of brand-new cars we currently have in stock.

Read More: 6 Steps On How To Reverse Car Mileage

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between city and highway mileage?

For starters, your car’s engine will wear down faster in the city than it would on the highway, so that’s why. This is because, as you navigate city streets, your car’s engine will be continually revving up and down. Because of the increased use of gasoline (and oil), MPG drops with each passing mile.


Are highway miles easier on oil?

The roadway is much easier on a vehicle. Regardless of how fast or slow the car moves, the engine’s task is reduced to maintaining a consistent speed and RPM. Your machine, transmission, and drivetrain will take much less of a battering on the highway than in the city, where you’re more likely to make frequent stops and starts.


Do highway miles improve a vehicle’s durability?

Long trips at a high-speed place significantly load the car’s engine. Yet, interstate driving is easier on your vehicle. The extended journey will allow your battery and alternator to charge fully.


What mileage is too high?

If you drive more than 13,000 to 14,000 miles a year in your car, you are doing it excessively. If you keep up with your car’s maintenance, you can get another 200,000 miles out of it.


What is considered high mileage on a car?

Due to the high price and regularity of care required for vehicles with over 100,000 miles on the odometer, they are often considered unreliable.


Does driving on the highway clean the engine?

The engine may be put to good use, and there are occasions when high speeds and maximum acceleration are required. Under these conditions, a clean machine may be maintained by maintaining optimal combustion temperatures.


What engine is best for highway driving?

You can get by on the highway with a 1.2-liter engine, but experts recommend a 1.4- or 1.6-liter engine. City driving requires frequent stops and starts. Therefore compact cars with under two liters of displacement are ideal. The fuel efficiency of a smaller engine will rise in this setup.


Finally, Where To Drive?

You will do more stop-and-go driving and idling in the city, which is tough on your transmission and brakes. You might also get lower gas mileage because of traffic congestion. However, highway driving can be just as hard on your car. 

These higher speeds stress your vehicle’s systems, resulting in increased wear and tear. So if you want to prolong the life of your car, try a mix of city and highway driving. Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons of city vs. highway mileage, which do you think is better for your car? Let us know in the comments below!

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