Has there ever been studies done to see how fuel economy in reverse compares to fuel economy while going foward?
I doubt you’d find one.
I’d say a reasonable estimate could be had by finding fuel economy going forward using only first gear. When looking at transmission specs., the gear ratios for reverse and first are very close.
First gear won’t get the car going fast enough for wind resistance to become a significant factor.
Well obviously, since forward BURNS gas, reverse would actually fill up your tank. That’s what I do instead of going to the gas station. Just drive around in reverse for a while.
I asked an engineer at Chrysler I know about this. After he was done laughing, he said “No.”
Although, you might expect it to be a little less for two reasons - one, because you have the extra idler gear in the reverse chain, you have more drivetrain friction; and two, because the car is not shaped for travelling in reverese, a slight amount more wind resistance (insignificant, as honkeytonkwillie correctly stated already).
So my educated guess is slightly worse, but possibly not measureable.
that should read “…a little more…”
Thanks for the laugh, I actually just realized the other day that on my truck when I drive in reverse my odometer does go backwards. Looks like I just founf a way to raise the resale value.