The MPG Smackdown: The Clunker vs. the Hybrid

The Puzzler

TOM: I know the answer. He got as good gas mileage in the beater Voyager if he drove it downhill all the time.

RAY: No, you knucklehead. He drove it when it was full of people. OK, now think about it. Let's say the Prius gets 40 miles per gallon per 5 people, right?

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: For 5, that's 200 people miles per gallon. The Voyager holds 7 people, so at 28 miles per gallon, or maybe a little bit better, that's 7 times 28, that's 196 people miles per gallon.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Twenty-eight, well it's almost as good as the Prius.

TOM: It is. So if you've got a crowd you can have a heap.

RAY: So who's our winner this week?

TOM: The winner is Jennifer Hendricks from Brookfield, Illinois. And for having her answer selected at random from among the pile of correct answers that we got, Jennifer is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which she can get our CD collection of four classic Car Talk Shows, called Four Perfectly Good Hours.

RAY: And are they four perfectly good hours?

TOM: Well, they're no worse than what you're doing now.

RAY: Oh, that's a powerful selling point. Did you come up with it all by yourself, or was that our crack marketing team at work here?

TOM: That came from the consultants. Anyway, this collection of four classic Car Talk Shows can be yours Jennifer if you want it, for being this week's puzzler winner, and congratulations.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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