2016 Ford Transit 350 fuel efficiency

OK, I’m a geek. I love tracking the fuel efficiency (MPG) of my vehicles. I even go so far as to track the direction of my regular commute (I get slightly higher MPG on way drive to work than on the return when I’m driving into the afternoon wind).

Highway commute miles

I have a 13-15 mile commute on freeways that are usually not congested (one of the benefits of being a teacher is commuting before ‘rush hour’). Our instrument panel has a long list of information you can display, including the MPG that can be reset with the push of a button.

My commute is relatively flat (on I-80 in the Sacramento Valley, the highest I get is the overpass over the Sacramento River).

My methodology for determining my fuel efficiency:

  1. Get on the freeway and get up to speed.
  2. Put on cruise control.
  3. Reset the MPG reading.
  4. Just before I get off the freeway, I read the MPG.
    1. If there was traffic congestion that slowed me down that day, I don’t record that trip.
  5. On the way home, I repeat steps 1-4.

I’m also a believer in driving slower to save gas and lives (55 MPH is the truck speed limit on the freeway I use, while the car speed limit is 65 MPH). In light of this, I have collected about 30 samples at 55 MPH, and about 30 at 65 MPH (and a few at 70 MPH on a nearby section with a 70 MPH speed limit).

Fuel efficiency

Speed (MPH)556570
Average MPG23.520.516.5

For the data wonks among you, here’s a box and whisker plot of my data.

Long trips

We’ve taken the van on four long trips that include mostly highway driving. The average fuel efficiency in these 5,741 miles has been 17.0 MPG. On these longer trips I usually mix both 55 MPH and 65 MPG, but mostly 55.

Trip road descriptionTotal milesAverage MPG
I-5 from Sacramento to Portland, return on coast highway 1011,75417.3
I-5 Sacramento to Redding, then mountain highways/roads most of the rest of the trip99816.2
I-5 from Sacramento to Portland, return on coast highway 1011,61717.1
I-5 to Bakersfield area, then highways to Death Valley, then a few days in Death Valley, then Highway 399 to South Tahoe and Highway 50 back to Sacramento.1,37217.4


If you’re planning on purchasing a 2016 Ford Transit 350 I’d think it’s fair to say the van gets a fuel efficiency of 17 MPG with mixed driving, probably a bit less with mostly city driving, and up to 24 MPG on the highway with careful use of the gas pedal.