I've made many trips through December and am still getting great MPG even though the gas in both NC and VA are on winter mixtures. I am stunned to see so many people on here with newer cars than mine getting completely ****ty gas mileage. I was thinking that my recent trip to the mountains of VA (one of those extremely steep hauls) would kill my mileage but I still managed 23MPG all mountain driving and I managed 27MPG all highway mileage. I do have to say though that the 4WD did impress me in the extremely heavy snow storm we had. While the F-150 and Toyota Tacoma both got loose on steep iced inclines the Element seemed to be the safer choice of the three with it never feeling loose and not once "fish tailing" in slick spots.