Some drivers of late model cars, especially those with turbocharged small motors, may have noticed gas mileage wasn’t living up to claims. The Environmental Protection Agency has heard the grumbling and points the finger squarely at drivers, who the EPA asserts aren’t driving the cars correctly.
You’re doing it wrong on poor gas mileage
Many things don’t live up to the hype, but some things should at least come close. For instance, if one has gone to the time and trouble to borrow a huge amount of money to buy a car, the thing had better get close to the gas mileage that the manufacturer and the Environmental Protection Agency say it’s capable of.
A number of people are noticing their cars aren’t living up to the hype. Honda and Kia have both been sued for fuel economy claims that aren’t living up to the hype. Consumer Reports recently ran a story about cars with smaller, turbocharged engines to boost mileage were falling a bit short on the claimed mileage and given all this, according to AutoGuide, the EPA has decided to weigh in.
The agency says that people are getting poor gas mileage because they’re driving their cars incorrectly.
American people accused of incompetence
The EPA was actually contacted by AutoGuide for a response to the Consumer Reports article about poor gas mileage, or at least lackluster compared to the claimed mileage, in turbocharged and other “eco” model cars. The agency responded by saying that while it wasn’t aware of any discrepancy between claimed mileage and observed mileage, “advanced technology vehicles” would be more responsive to driver behavior.
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They further pointed out to the magazine that under “heavy loads,” meaning being driven hard or heavily laden, smaller turbos would perform similarly to larger engines.
Consumer Reports had noted that the EcoBoost Ford F-150 got no better mileage than the 5.0-liter V-8.
How one drives matters
Anyone looking at an “eco” model car, say a Ford Focus SFE from Gus Johnson Ford in Spokane, Wa., should bear in mind that it really does matter how one drives, otherwise poor gas mileage can be the result. BBC motoring show “Top Gear” once did a segment where they drove a Toyota Prius at full-tilt and then a BMW M3 sufficiently to keep up, well within that car’s capability. The M3 got better fuel mileage, which was verified, according to The Economist. The Prius got 17.2 mpg, the M3, 19.4 mpg.
According to a 2006 CNN article, just using cruise control on the highway can boost fuel economy by up to 30 percent.
Hypermiling, the practice of squeezing every last inch of travel from every last drop of fuel, according to Wired, is all about how one drives. Acceleration is done gingerly, barely feathering the pedal, coasting on hills, killing the engine at stop lights and an often illegal practice called “pulse and glide,” where one shuts the engine down and coasts where possible, all boost fuel economy.
A recent hypermiling record was set in May; drivers John and Helen Taylor, a pair of Australians, drove a Volkswagen Passat TDI, a diesel, 1,626 miles on one tank, achieving 84.1 miles per gallon, according to MotorTrend.
And on that bombshell – Prius segment starts around 3:28