Piston Slap: Go Blue, Wither the Long Range Cruiser?


Hyundai Ioniq Blue, Image: Hyundai Rick writes:

Hi Sajeev:

With the demise of diesel cars and 21 gallon fuel tanks, I am on the hunt for a true long-range cruiser. The “old” diesel cars were big, comfortable and had a freeway range of over 800 miles. Not that I would actually drive 800+ miles in one sitting.

But, with highway construction and traffic delays being what they are nowadays, an 800 mile range boils down to a usable 500 or 600 miles or so of real range-free worries. And yes, I have been known to do a single day 1,000+ mile trip. So, a sedan or coupe (van maybe?), comfortable on a long trip, and reasonably reliable. I do a lot of overnight driving.

And, no “add a fuel tank.” Lets keep it stock. Suggestions?

Sajeev answers:

I can’t mention LS1+super tall T56 swaps either? Fine. 

Tough question, but perhaps the answer is a CPO 2016 Mercedes E250 Bluetec with its impressive 675 mile range. Slightly worse is the 2015 six-speed manual VW Passat TDI with 629 miles per tank. Which should do better than its 2014 automatic counterpart with 2 mpg less on the same fuel tank, though the EPA says otherwise? But I digress…

If a new ride is mandatory, the Cruze diesel looks pretty good with a robust 500 mile range. Except tall geared, large tank’d Jaguar and BMW luxobarges go further with more comfort … at least until they are regulated out of existence in their homeland? No matter, there’s competition from plug-in hybrids from the usual suspects (but don’t forget Hyundai!) and they aren’t likely to be banned from urban centers in Europe.

But who’s the real winner in the long-range cruiser battle?

Unless I perused fueleconomy.gov incorrectly, the 59 mpg Hyundai Ioniq Blue wins with a stunning 690 mile range. It’ll never be a Bluetec Benz on the highway but is it comfortable enough to drive for that long? If only your favorite automotive journalist (wink) was on the press car circuit, he’d drop everything and make a road trip from Houston to El Paso to find out!

EDIT: Looks like I did indeed peruse fueleconomy.gov incorrectly! You can get a seriously big fuel tank in trucks, how about 792 miles for a 2.7L Ford F-150?

[Image: Hyundai]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.