The Most Depressing Car Data Ever

I get in and out of a lot of test cars. For my daily commute, I’d say I travel in upwards of 70 new cars a year. Most of them have a trip computer of some kind that at least tells the average mileage or range. Then there are the more thorough trip computers like the one in the 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon, which I’m driving this week, that has average speed, instant mileage and the one I actually hate to see … travel time.

I can easily look at the car’s clock — I’m not that bad at math — to know I spent an ungodly amount of time this morning on Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway. However, staring between the gauges to see “1 h, 21 m” in digital blue ink after traveling my 23-mile one-way commute is not the way I want to start my morning.

There were no accidents during this morning’s commute. This is just a typical morning commute when a few drops of rain are falling. Of course, it’s not all bad. I do get to spend time in some great test cars — even if the commute is longer than I’d like.

Luckily, my commute home is usually a 45-minute trip where I get to enjoy the drive and the test car a bit more. That’s why I generally spend the morning playing with the technological doodads and the afternoon paying attention to the performance.

For the record, the TSX got nearly 29 mpg on my evening commute and then fell to 23.5 mpg after this morning’s 1-hour-and-21-minute commute. It’s rated at 21/30 mpg city/highway.

Feel free to complain commiserate about your own commute below and how you make the best of it. Would you want a "travel time" readout?

By David Thomas | April 26, 2011 | Comments (11)



My commute here in the Philly area is about 35 miles and is 1h 10 mins on one of those glorious Friday mornings when everyone-but-me has cobbled together a long weekend. I love driving and I dig my satellite radio. Commutes taste better with Sirius/XM. (I swear I'm just a subscriber, not a spammer)


This mornings commute was a b*tch.

Usually I cruiser from the bedroom to the bathroom, to the office in 10 minutes, including, sh*t, shower and shave.

First I dropped a contact lens, then I couldn't find a matched pair of socks.

Must have taken it to 12 minutes.


10 miles down the highway! I leave my house drive 3 miles down a windy two lane road then hit I-77 south. 12 minutes on a bad day


Wake up at 7:30, shower, out the door by 7:48. Sitting down at my desk by 8am. Gotta love living right near the highway on-ramp. :)


I've got you all beat -- my commute in Washington D.C. is 8.4 miles, according to Google Maps. How long does it take? Oh, only about an hour and a half. FML.


I used to commute 40 miles one-way, but after watching gas prices fluctuate like political candidates saying they're going to do something about it, I decided "enough" and moved to the city. Now, I live 2 blocks away from one job, and about 3/4 mile from the other. I ride my bike most days. I've gone from spending $400 a month on gas, to spending about $40 a month, and I'm healthier too. Best decision I ever made. And yes, I think Katie definitely wins.


I think Katie should get a bike.


Is that the advertised purpose of the time traveled doohickey? So it’s like the ticker in the mini convertible that just clocks how many hours you’ve had the top down?

Wow and sad face

From northwest edge of Chicago (Belmont/Harlem) to Elk Grove (14 miles one-way), I'm looking at a bit less than an hour out in the morning and a solid hour or more in the evening. Add some rain or snow and the trip goes stupid and fast (close to 3 hours one particularly bad evening).

I wonder if getting a job closer to home isn’t as much a solution as getting to see a new dash every week or so to help ease the pain ;)


Orlando, Fl I-4 Winter Springs to Dr.Phillips/Metrowest: 8 miles and usually 50 min to 1hr 20 depending if there is a crash. Without traffic its about 20 min.

Bob Wilson

Before starting my 10 mile, 20 minute commute, I hook-up the iPad and listen to podcasts on the road. Compared to local radio, podcasts are brilliant, Tivo for news. So I don't care who bought and screwed up the local stations and fired satellite radio over a year ago.

Bob Wilson

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