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Old 10-03-2005, 05:22 PM
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Consumer Reports analyzes miles-per-gallon claims

Many people will probably be familiar with Consumer Reports. They're a non-profit organization with a really good reputation for no-bias when it comes to reviewing products/services.

Anyway, they recently reviewed EPA fuel economy mileage claims for over 300 new vehicles.

Their conclusion: automakers are full of crap.

Interestingly, hybrid vehicles were found to be most deceptive when claiming specific miles-per-gallon.

Here's an excerpt:
Highlights of our study:
  • Shortfalls in mpg occurred in 90 percent of vehicles we tested and included most makes and models.
  • The largest discrepancy between claimed and actual mpg involved city driving. Some models we tested fell short of claimed city mpg by 35 to 50 percent.
  • Hybrids, whose selling point is fuel thriftiness, had some of the biggest disparities, with fuel economy averaging 19 mpg below the EPA city rating.
  • The EPA ratings are the result of 1970s-era test assumptions that don't account for how people drive today. Automakers also test prototype vehicles that can yield better mileage than a consumer could get.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:50 PM
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My experience is that the ratings aren't too far off, at least for Ford. My 2004 F-150 v6 is rated for 17cty/20hwy. I drove mostly city miles all summer and I've gotten 16-18mpg with the air on. On road trips if I'm not driving 70+mph or into a headwind I can usually cruise @ 60-65mph getting 20-22mpg. I keep a logbook of every fillup so I'm not just spouting BS here. Sarah's 4.6L v8 Cougar is rated 17cty/25hwy. We've never seen the 25 highway, but we are well over the 17cty. Lowest we've recored so far with that car is 18.5mpg on all city driving. Got 23-24mpg on mostly highway trips so again not far off.

Perhaps the biggest reason people don't see the good mileage is they can't keep their foot off the gas. Most newer econo cars I've driven are seriously lacking in the 'go' department, so you have to mash the gas pedal in order to go anywhere. Mashed pedal = sucking gas down. Bye Bye mileage. Both our cars have fairly decent pep to them (yes my truck is a v6, but it's a 5sp & does get it's *** moving surprisingly fast for a full size). Having the power there means we never have to get on it to drive around. Case in point, Sarah & I went to the mall over the weekend. In the lane next to us was a small 4 banger with one of those loud mufflers on it. We both made the left & I just was putting along @ 30mph & the cougar shifted into overdrive. His 4 banger was working hard in 2nd while mine was barely above idle, accelerating at the same rate. His engine was working alot harder then ours to do the same amount of work. Pretty simple mechanics when it all boils down.
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