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Can You Go Farther in a VW Atlas or a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk?

Can You Go Farther in a VW Atlas or a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk?
2018 jeep trackhawk, 2018 volkswagen atlas

if you were driving entirely on the highway, which would run out of gas first: a 2018 volkswagen atlas or a 2018 jeep grand cherokee srt trackhawk? this seems like a really, really stupid question with a really, really obvious answer.

and yet! here we are, wondering if it really is that obvious (spoiler alert: it's not) even though we (well, i) just argued that the trackhawk is a gas-guzzling behemoth and should be taxed appropriately despite the boatloads of fun it provides when driven in its proper environment: a track.

that's because our time with the atlas has been a bit frustrating when it comes to refueling. we've driven more than 300 miles only three times before filling it up since we bought it in december. our average fuel economy of 18.7 mpg equates to 347 miles of driving before emptying the atlas's tank — not terrible, but not outstanding.

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that means it's time for some math. if we assume we meet the epa's highway fuel economy for both vehicles while driving, then multiplying that figure by the vehicle's fuel tank capacity should give a rough idea of each suv's theoretical maximum range.

  • 2018 volkswagen atlas 4motion: 18.6-gallon fuel tank; 23 mpg highway; 427.8 miles of range
  • 2018 jeep grand cherokee srt trackhawk: 24.6-gallon fuel tank; 17 mpg highway; 418.2 miles of range

in this hypothetical world where we aren't flooring the accelerator of the trackhawk at every (safe) opportunity, we'd run out of gas only 9.6 miles before the atlas. one measly highway mpg more from the trackhawk and it would best the atlas by 15 miles.

which would i choose for a long trip? right now, the trackhawk. the fun of it combined with its nicer interior and much better uconnect multimedia system outweigh the lesser theoretical range and added cost of premium fuel. i'd only choose the atlas if i needed a three-row vehicle — and i don't have five friends. if that's the cost of never needing to switch to the atlas, well ... i'm good with that.

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