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Camino LS6

General fuel economy question

15 posts in this topic

Lately I've been getting the impression that the EPA's numbers are very pessimistic vs. real-world numbers.

I know they were attempting to improve the ratings vs. the old system, but have they?

Or is it just as far off in the opposite direction?

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It seems to be inconsistent. Some EPA numbers are pessimistic (Pentastar V6/Hemi/ VW 2.0T) , some are optimistic (Ford Hybrids, Kia/Hyundai, Honda), some are right on (GM 2.0T, GM 3.6DI, Ford 3.7)

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You have a pretty good perspective on this Drew - considering all of the cars you've had for review.

Do you draw any conclusions about the accuracy vs. the old system?

Any winners/losers generally under the new?

Percentage wise, how much error would you say is average?

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Part of me wonders how much playing of the system goes on out there. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that GM and Chrysler are underrating their engines on purpose. It would also not surprise me to hear that Honda, Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai play to the test specifically at the expense of real world numbers. Ford tried this with their hybrids to out hybrid Toyota and got their fingers burned. All Ford/Lincoln commercials now state very clearly "Your mileage may vary with driving style and conditions"

VW is a mixed bag, but their DSG allows them to squeeze more efficiency out of otherwise mediocre performing engines (gas specifically). Ditto Nissan + CVT.

I don't know that any one manufacturer has a specific advantage or disadvantage as it is more specific to the engine/transmission combo.

However, the only cars that have consistently beaten their EPA numbers for me regardless of Engine/Transmission combo are the Chrysler LX cars and the Jeep GC/Dodge Durango.

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Automakers have always gamed the system wrt to gas mileage ratings. I guess if one were comparing cars they would need to consult a neutral source like Consumer Reports.

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Automakers have always gamed the system wrt to gas mileage ratings. I guess if one were comparing cars they would need to consult a neutral source like Consumer Reports.

consumer reports is not neutral.

  • Upvote 2

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Automakers have always gamed the system wrt to gas mileage ratings. I guess if one were comparing cars they would need to consult a neutral source like Consumer Reports.

consumer reports is not neutral.

More neutral than anything the automakers put out in their advertising.

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BTW, diesel cars tend to do way better than their EPA rating putting them at a marketing disadvantage in the real world against hybrids. I'm not sure why the EPA test screws with diesel cars so much..... when I had the diesel Passat and drove to Ann Arbor, I was doing arrest worthy speeds that cannot be mentioned public forum yet I still blew through the EPA rating on the way up there. I took it easy on the trip back and did even better.



Automakers have always gamed the system wrt to gas mileage ratings. I guess if one were comparing cars they would need to consult a neutral source like Consumer Reports.

consumer reports is not neutral.

More neutral than anything the automakers put out in their advertising.

not so... CR has their own agenda and they don't provide crosstabs of the information they collect. I would trust something like Fuelly way more.

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Thanks for the feedback!

I'm just getting the sense that the EPA's new system isn't all that great.

The old one wasn't either... but that one was almost always wrong. This one gets it right sometimes, but a lot of it you can blame on the manufacturers playing games.

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Fuelly looks interesting..going to give it a try---though I've never been bored enough to track my fuel economy. My own experience w/ diesels also seems that they were underrated as far as the EPA estimates.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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i've been collecting mine for pretty much 3 years straight... on my 99 3.1L. i could pass anyone the "excel" file (open document file) ... or just convert it to a .xls before i send it.

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I've been tracking my MPG habitually for years. I don't know why I started or why I continue. Gives me something to do while the pump's a-pumpin'.

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Thanks for the feedback!

I'm just getting the sense that the EPA's new system isn't all that great.

The old one wasn't either... but that one was almost always wrong. This one gets it right sometimes, but a lot of it you can blame on the manufacturers playing games.

This is very true. The old system was further out of wack, and ratings too high. Some got it, but it was rare.

The newer system is much closer. It really does vary widely depending on the car, especially those regular gas vehicles with "stretched" ratings like the 32mpg 4-cyl Equinox/Terrain, which can be done but not with most drivers. GM's tend to do close, as do others. I've always done well and over & beyond with most Honda/Acura 4-cyl and V6 cars especially, without trying. They are an example of better than ratings without going crazy, in many regards.

Hybrids and things like the aforementioned GM small utes, among SO MANY other's with halo mpg claims that all marketing and otherwise are focused on, are toughest to duplicate in reality it seems.

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