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Fuel economy ratings happen on uneven playing fields

National Post -- Highlighted on the official EnerGuide sticker tag of every light-duty vehicle sold in Canada, the Fuel Consumption Guide is supposed to make car shopping easier. If NRCan’s guide was in any way realistic, it would be indispensable.

Our national fuel consumption guide has two problems. The first is that the numbers are almost always pure fantasy, aided by the proverbial tailwind. The second problem, the government’s estimates aren’t equally inflated.

Indeed, anecdotal and quantitative evidence suggests that the government’s ratings grossly exaggerate hybrid and small turbocharged engines’ fuel economy.
Post Driving’s C-Max Hybrid tester averaged 7.6 l/100km while Ford and NRCanada rate it for 4.1 L/100 km. Diesels, on the other hand, often match their published claims.


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Submitted Feb 24, 2013 By: Nicoalbum
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Author Topic: Fuel economy ratings happen on uneven playing fields Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
remay
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Feb 25, 2013 7:58:04 AM

I trust NO manufacturer, stick with CR Magazine!
Nancy&Len
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Feb 25, 2013 5:55:41 AM

All the manufactures over estimate the mpg of there cars.
MrLefty0706
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 25, 2013 12:31:13 AM

I have never owned a car that came close to the sticker mpg ratings.
humblepie
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 7:29:26 PM

the whole game is fixed
TelsaOR
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 4:05:37 PM

Are there any people out there dumb enough to believe these ratings? Oh wait a minute - Obama was reelected....
autotech46
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 2:14:08 PM

A lot of things change milage, from the weight of the drivers foot, tire pressure, temperature, and the lousy junk polluted gas we get stuck with! Can the government make it worse, I don't know but they will certainly try! All the time trying to make it look better.

We have a saying at the dealership: "You can tell when a salesman is lying to you, their lips move!"
katmandue
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:57:39 PM

That is because no one drives like they test them.
caddilac
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:55:37 PM


"Post Driving’s C-Max Hybrid tester averaged 7.6 l/100km while Ford and NRCanada rate it for 4.1 L/100 km....."

It would seem that Ford is 'fudging' the figures.

In other words, Ford is lying about their fuel economy numbers.

Track and road course testing is not typical of how or WHERE the average driver drives.

Fuel economy numbers should be quoted for 'real' driving experiences, such as ON PUBLIC ROADS IN REAL STOP&GO TRAFFIC, just like the average driver would experience on his/her daily trips.

2parrots
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:43:46 PM

pick a track & road course & testing all vehicles on both should give you a best overall figure
BigBlue5
Champion Author Spokane

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:43:24 PM

Very wise person, "Gramps001"
BeanoLI
All-Star Author Long Island

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:42:49 PM

SPLITRMAN got it right.
bigdipperMS
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:40:01 PM

If the testing is with ethanol free gasoline, the mileage is going to be higher.
Gramps001
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:35:19 PM

Believe nothing you hear and less than 1/2 what you see!
HawaiianGuy
Champion Author Idaho

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:35:01 PM

Even after the EPA overhauled it's process for determining fuel economy, which was almost always overly optimistic, we STILL have trouble with their numbers. With the overwhelming presence of ethanol-laced gasoline today, I wonder if the EPA is testing with pure gasoline, thus attaining fuel economy numbers using a fuel that is largely unavailable to the average motorist.
fullauto
Champion Author Reading

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:34:28 PM

'life' is not a level playing field. quit whining wussies.
fcdriver
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:32:05 PM

i would expect no less
Ken825
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:31:55 PM

Only ones I believe are the ones in Consumer's Reports.
splitrman
Champion Author Victoria

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:31:13 PM

We use very little ethanol in Canadian gas. We tend to use corn for animals and people.
Suzzoom
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:30:47 PM

They got Crash Test Dummies in Canada, too.
WTLITNG
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:29:34 PM

With ethanol in the tank, it doesn't matter what the mpg rating is.
AcuraTSX
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:28:57 PM

Everyone like the "home field".
oas
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:28:28 PM

Need an independent rating organization.
WestDriver
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:25:15 PM

I knew they weren't real life numbers, but I did think they were comparable. sigh.
oldiesman
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:25:14 PM

Don't believe in them much anymore.
Digger52
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:21:35 PM

Really??!
tdioiler
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:21:31 PM

Part of the 'mileage me vary' is driver input to the engine to get their expected performance. So small turbo get much lower MPG since the driver expects the V-8 kick, so they push the engine to 70% output. Where as their Hemi-V8 cousin is only pushed to 40%. The end results are disproportionate rates that don't match real-life.

Same issue with hybrids. They really need multiple testing methods instead of two.
alkarn
Champion Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:20:32 PM

Hmmm.
Titan_62
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:20:23 PM

Thanks for posting
erndog0331
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:20:02 PM

OK
Settjec
Champion Author Little Rock

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:19:42 PM

IG MOS
BPonRTE66
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:18:35 PM

Who cares!
badbonita
Champion Author Syracuse

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:16:57 PM

Okay, who was really surprised by that information?
dieselfiendSC
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:16:13 PM

So how are we supposed to compare?
Holly123
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:16:08 PM

Okay ....
7SPEEDY7
Champion Author Flint

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:12:24 PM

interesting
ntass1
Champion Author Edmonton

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:12:11 PM

Your mileage may vary.every one drives differently.
fedupMN
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:10:44 PM

Fuel economy ratings are a joke. To many variables not enough information on how the figures were determined, not to mention the actual drivers and their driving habits.
FortVancouver01
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 1:10:43 PM

Not much different in the US. What I get on my TDI does not even resemble the sticker. The sticker must have been generated by the oil barons that do not want the truth to be published.
highdesertman
Champion Author Albuquerque

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:36:32 PM

Current U.S. government mileage tests were developed in the 2008 model year based on straight gasoline engines. They provide a reasonable comparison between vehicles in that class and are fairly close to real-world results, although as they always say, "The actual mileage you get will vary based on your driving habits, traffic conditions, and other factors." The problem in both Canada and the U.S. appears to be centered on the ratings for small turbos and gas/electric hybrids, classifications that barely existed when these tests were devised. The obvious answer is that both governments need to come up with new testing protocols for these technologies that more accurately predict actual outcomes and provide a meaningful basis for comparison among different classes.
PissedATthePump
All-Star Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 12:15:14 PM

Another Fraud.
Nicoalbum
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 11:43:27 AM

I'm it would be more economical and fair to strip the EnerGuide stickers off the windows and send the NRCan department packing
mrselfdestruct
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 11:38:11 AM

Govt picking winners and losers, enjoy our northern neighbors.
TomT2Lee
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 11:28:44 AM

Just another incident where government interference leads to a poor outcome. I am very pleased with my VW Jeta TDI. It far exceeds the rated MPGs.
Alaydown
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 11:28:38 AM

One person posted below that he would rather see the metric system imposed on us and get rid of miles per gallon. Of course all that would do is confuse 99 percent of Americans and hide the truth of how bad the car's fuel economy is. It is typical of liberals to want to hide the truth. Aside from common sense that the metric system stinks, it makes even less sense to switch to it as the cost would be astronomical not to mention the confusion on what it means for your car or anything else. What would you rather hear: the temperature is 70ºF or 21.111ºC; your weight is 175 lbs or 79kg 378.66g; 398 miles for a tank of gas or 640.52 kilometers; you have an 18 gallon tank or 68.137 liter tank; 25 miles per gallon or 10.6287 kilometers per liter?

As for hybrids, they are still a waste of money. It takes over 100,000 miles to break even on gasoline spending compared to any gasoline powered economy car. That doesn't even factor in the cost of replacing that expensive rechargeable battery. Anyone who has owned anything with a rechargeable battery (laptop, GPS, electric razor, etc.) knows they don't last the life of the product.
kag2010
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 10:38:17 AM

every one drives differently
mastermariner
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 10:23:18 AM

When you drive, what you see is what you get, every one drives differently
Rhino8of8
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 10:20:26 AM

Higher efficiency at the speeds "tested", rather than at speeds "used" in normal conditions.

Manipulation based on foreknowledge. Not fault of the manufacturers - fault the test procedure not matching real-world.

Get the test to match reality, then the auto manufacturers will then be testing their improvements to how people will actually use their products. And consumers won't be getting so disappointed... ok, not as disappointed (since the rest of mileage depends on driving style).

Yes, this article is for Canadian testing, but my thoughts apply to EPA testing as well.

[Edited by: Rhino8of8 at 2/24/2013 11:21:28 AM EST]
Discovery02
Champion Author Colorado Springs

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 10:03:52 AM

Your noisy neighbor to the south has the same problem with inflated MPG ratings on new cars.
Buck_on_Bass
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 10:03:45 AM

The report suggests that Canada's fuel economy numbers are less accurate than the EPA's numbers.
msf1527
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:17:00 AM

Ok
Norm10
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:14:42 AM

As long as they are established consistently, they may not be perfect, but you can still do comparisons between vehicles. I just wish they would stop giving miles per gallon rating to electric vehicles and come up with something related to electricity consumption per mile and driving range.
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