Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Consumer Reports: New Car MPG Greatly Overstated

September 8, 2005

YONKERS, N.Y. – Government fuel economy figures posted on new-car window stickers can have shortfalls of up to 50 percent, according to new-car fuel economy test results published in Consumer Reports magazine’s October issue.The study monitored 303 2000-2006 model-year cars and trucks, finding that deficits in mile per gallon (mpg) occurred in 90 percent of the vehicles tested. City driving accounted for the largest discrepancies, noticing differences of 35 percent to 50 percent. Highway mpg fell closer to the EPA ratings.Hybrids, whose fuel economy has driven its popularity, turned in some of the biggest disparities, averaging 19 mpg below Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) city ratings. Business Fleet reported in March of this year that the American Automobile Association (AAA) was gearing up to use real-world fuel economy tests because the EPA's mileage ratings are based on 30-year-old tests dating back to the 1973 oil embargo. Those outdated standards fail to account for such modern factors as air conditioning, increased traffic congestion and the fact that many trips never go far enough to warm up the engine.At that time, AAA also endorsed the "Fuel Efficiency Truth-In-Advertising Act of 2005," a congressional bill that would require the EPA to update its fuel economy testing."Current EPA figures are definitely misleading and ultimately expensive for consumers," said David Champion, Senior Director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center.Assuming 12,000 miles per year of driving over five years and no further increases in gas prices, Consumer Reports figures show it will cost Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck owners $2,558 more in fuel than the EPA estimates, $1,742 more for Mercury Grand Marquis owners and $1,316 more for Nissan Quest owners. Put another way, when August gas prices hit $2.37 per gallon, the mpg shortchange effectively boosted the price for some drivers to $3.13 per gallon.The following vehicles showed some of the largest disparities:Jeep Liberty Diesel Ltd. (4WD) EPA CITY MPG: 22 Consumer Reports (CR) CITY MPG: 11 EPA SHORTFALL: 50 percentHonda Civic Sedan EPA CITY MPG: 48 CR CITY MPG: 26 EPA SHORTFALL: 46 percentChrysler 300C EPA CITY MPG: 17 CR CITY MPG: 10 EPA SHORTFALL: 41 percentChevrolet TrailBlazer EXT LT (4WD) EPA CITY MPG: 15 CR CITY MPG: 9 EPA SHORTFALL: 40 percentHonda Odyssey EX EPA CITY MPG: 20 CR CITY MPG: 12 EPA SHORTFALL: 40 percentBMW 745Li EPA CITY MPG: 18 CR CITY MPG: 11 EPA SHORTFALL: 39 percentDodge Ram 1500 SLT (crew cab, 4WD) EPA CITY MPG: 13 CR CITY MPG: 8 EPA SHORTFALL: 38 percentOldsmobile Alero GL EPA CITY MPG: 21 CR CITY MPG: 13 EPA SHORTFALL: 38 percentDodge Durango Limited (4WD) EPA CITY MPG: 13 CR CITY MPG: 8 EPA SHORTFALL: 38 percentFord Focus ZX4 SES EPA CITY MPG: 26 CR CITY MPG: 17 EPA SHORTFALL: 35 percent
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