Dan Allen's Distance Driving Records

News: June 30, 2020
I have had my 2013 Mercedes S 350 BlueTEC 4Matic for almost six years. It hit 112,000 miles today. I have averaged 28.8 mpg over the life of the car so far, paying an average of $2.84/gallon, and this works out to $0.098/mi.

I set a new record today of driving 806.5 mi on a single tank of fuel. I drove from Idaho Falls ID, to St. George UT, and back up to Santaquin UT on the one tank. I also put more fuel in my tank than ever before after doing this: 25.1 gallons! It is a 21.9 gal tank officially.

News: July 18, 2015
My new S Class diesel is now a year old, and it just hit 27,000 miles. I averaged 29.3 mpg over the year, with a fuel cost of only $0.112/mile. My best tank was 35.7 mpg, and I have seen up to 755 miles on a tank, but I think I can do better.

News: July 18, 2014
Today was a bittersweet day: I traded in my 2006 E 320 CDI after 241,822 miles. It has been a great car, but the A/C began having problems and as we have been on our Freedom Tour, we need A/C. So, I bought a brand new Mercedes 2013 S 350 BlueTEC 4Matic in Fairfield CT. This S Class diesel may be able to go even further on a tank than my E Class.

News: July 11, 2014
Today my Mercedes E 320 CDI passed the average distance between the earth and the moon, which is 238,855 miles! This was about 50 miles west of Missoula MT at 11:00am.

News: February 20, 2014
Today my Mercedes E 320 CDI turned 225,000 miles. I have been driving 120 miles a day a lot recently and it has been often turning in 40-41 MPG on this drive if traffic does not slow me down too much.

News: September 5, 2011

909 MI @ 67 MPH @ 38.7 MPG = 2356946 MI^3/GAL/HR

There is a new winner for length, speed, and mileage combined! This trip was when I drove from Spring Lake Utah to the Silver Cloud Hotel in Bellevue WA via I-84, once again in my Mercedes.

News: April 12, 2011

1009 MI @ 66 MPH @ 35.0 MPG = 2330790 MI^3/GAL/HR

I have been thinking about a figure of merit for a single trip. The idea is to multiply the trip distance by average speed by fuel economy to get a figure of merit that represents the best blend of distance, speed, and economy. Using this criteria I searched through 59 trips and found a winner:

  • Mercedes-Benz E 320 CDI, February 27-28, 2007
  • 1009 miles from Paradise, CA to Spring Lake, UT via the Southern Route CA-99, CA-58, I-15
  • 66 mph average speed in 15 hours 23 minutes of engine-on time
  • 35.0 mpg (this trip had one mid-refueling stop)
  • 2,330,790 mi^3/gal/hr
I analyzed 135,000 miles of trips in my Mercedes and this particular trip achieved the highest score using the following Awk script:

  awk -F\t '$4 == "" && $5 == "" && $3 > 0 && $6 > 0' e320.txt |
  awk -F\t '{ printf("%0.f\t%s\n", $3*$6*$7,$10)}' | sort -n
The miles greatly swamp the speed and economy in this first pass at a figure of merit. So I divided the distance by 10, multiplied the mpg by 3 and left the speed alone so that all three measured values were of the same order of magnitude, using this script:

  awk -F\t '$4 == "" && $5 == "" && $3 > 0 && $6 > 0' e320.txt |
  awk -F\t '{ printf("%0.f\t%s\n", $3/10*$6*3*$7,$10)}' | sort -n
and this same trip still won!

Can anyone beat my scores?

Here is the challenge: Drive as far as you can at the highest speed possible but simultaneously at the highest efficiency possible, and can you surpass this?

Variations would be to see how high a score could be achieved on a single tank of fuel, or at a single stretch in one day without naps, or over many days with stops.

For example, I drove through all 48-states in 24 days. Here is how that trip would stack up:

  • Audi A4 Quattro, April 19 to May 13, 2000 (25 days, 7 hours, and 35 minutes)
  • 11749 miles through all of the Lower 48 states
  • 53 mph average speed in 218 hours 48 minutes of engine-on time
  • 26.6 mpg averaged over 11609 miles using 435.8 gallons with 39 refueling stops
  • 16,563,740.2 mi^3/gal/hr
What got me thinking about all of this was a trip I made just made.
  • Mercedes-Benz E 320 CDI, April 5, 2011
  • 622 miles from Pendleton, OR to Spring Lake, UT via I-84, I-15
  • 70 mph average speed over 9 hours
  • 39.6 mpg average
  • 1,724,184 mi^3/gal/hr

News: April 11, 2010

832.9 miles (1340 km) on a single tank of diesel in my 2006 Mercedes-Benz E 320 CDI.

  • Mercedes-Benz E 320 CDI, April 11, 2010
  • 832.9 miles from Issaquah, WA to Midvale, UT via I-90, I-82, I-84, I-15
  • 57 mph average speed in 14 hours 31 minutes of engine-on time
  • 39.4 mpg average, using 20.964 gallons from a 21.3 gallon tank
  • strong headwinds across Idaho and Utah prevented better results
  • 1,870,526.82 mi^3/gal/hr
 Created:  3 May 2011
Modified:  1 Jul 2020