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Old 02-23-2007, 12:01 AM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default Car mpg ratings going down

Car mpg ratings going down

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...ids-usat_x.htm



Quote:
Fuel-saving gasoline-electric hybrid cars don't save as much fuel as thought, according to new government fuel-economy ratings available to the public for the first time.
The new ratings go into effect beginning with 2008 models, a few of which will soon be on sale. But now it's possible to tell what rating 2007 and older models would get using the '08 standards.

The government's fuel-economy website has a program than makes the comparison. T Click on the button that says "Compare Old and New MPG Ratings." It shows that vehicles typically bought for their fuel efficiency use significantly more fuel than the previous ratings have said.

Toyota's (TM) Prius, best-known and best-selling gas-electric car in the USA, drops to 48 miles per gallon in the city under the '08 testing procedure, from a 60 mpg rating under the current system — a 20% decline. Its highway mileage rating falls about 12%, to 45 mpg.

The Ford (F) Escape hybrid, which uses a gasoline-electric drive system similar to Toyota's, goes down about 12%.

"What the cars get hasn't changed. It's just the numbers on the sticker," says Toyota spokesman Mike Michels. The lowered Prius rating is "probably more reflective of real-world experience," he says. "We hear people getting 46 to 50. I have one, and I get 48.

"If the (new) numbers contribute to customer satisfaction, that's a good thing," Michels says.

"I got near 60 (mpg) on the first tank, then never anywhere near that after," says Martha Ehrenfeld, a teacher who lives in San Francisco. The 48 mpg rating "makes me feel better, because that's about what I get. I was wondering what I was doing wrong. It's still better than most cars."

Tests the government has used for mileage estimates were created in the 1970s and haven't reflected today's driving environment. They have assumed, for instance, that people don't use air conditioning and don't drive more than about 60 mph.

After years of complaints from motorists and environmental activists that the Environmental Protection Agency estimates were too optimistic, the agency announced last year that it had come up with tests that include faster driving speeds, quicker acceleration, hotter and colder temperatures, and the use of air conditioning. It said it expected mileage numbers to drop about 10% when all types of vehicles and drivetrains were considered.

The change is good news for hybrid owners, says Bradley Berman, editor of HybridCars.com and owner of a 2006 Prius and 2003 Civic (HMC) hybrid.

"It's great that consumers will have a better sense of what they may expect on the road," he says. Berman says he gets gas mileage in the 40s on his Prius in short city drives near his Berkeley, Calif., home and a bit less on his Civic.


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Old 02-23-2007, 03:15 AM   #2
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FINALLY.

Now we can hopefully get realistic mileage numbers.

Here is a link to the site that compares old and new:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorSelectYear.jsp

According to that site the old 2002 WRX numbers were:
20/27 (with a combined 23).
The new numbers are:
18/25 (combined 21)

That is a hell of a drop in actual numbers.... and they do seem fairly accurate - I average between 24-27 mpg on mostly hw driving.
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:52 AM   #3
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[quote=Hazdaz;17151748]FINALLY.

Now we can hopefully get realistic mileage numbers.

Here is a link to the site that compares old and new:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorSelectYear.jsp

According to that site the old 2002 WRX numbers were:
20/27 (with a combined 23).
The new numbers are:
18/25 (combined 21)
QUOTE]

Wow the new numbers are DEAD ON for my experience. I always get 24~25MPG in highway and 17~18 in the city. I'm very glad to see this change.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:17 AM   #4
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They reflect cruising speeds on the highway of 70-75 more accurately. The old ratings were more realistic for 60 mph cruising speeds, which is pretty rare on open highway.

Tom
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:11 AM   #5
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I was getting 28-30 mpg on average with my 02 wrx consistantly =/

(before and after modifications)
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:55 AM   #6
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I thought the WRX's highway mileage would be affected more than it was, with that screaming 5th gear ratio. Oh, and how does the sedan get 21 combined, and my wagon gets 20 combined, but we're both 18/25?
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:02 PM   #7
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I still don't understand how a dynamometer test (per their description of the test procedures) can account for weight / aeryodynamics differences in vehicles.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsir View Post
I was getting 28-30 mpg on average with my 02 wrx consistantly =/

(before and after modifications)

Unless you drive like a grandma, my BS Flag has to come out. I drive almost exclusively HW on my 100 mile (round trip) commute, and I have never gotten above 28. Ever.
Let alone "consistantly" getting above that number.

How fast do you drive? And more importantly, how do you calculate your mileage?
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:53 PM   #9
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I too get 27mpg on the highway, either at 60mph or 80mph. But on my daily commute (short distances, city and highway) I only get 22-24mpg. But 18 seems low, even when I go on the Dragon (floored all day) I still get 20mpg.
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:42 PM   #10
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Our 2.5i legacy gets 32-33 highway. Thats going about 70-75. Hardly ever do I see mpg drop lower then 27-28.
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattejb View Post
Our 2.5i legacy gets 32(23)-33(27) highway. Thats going about 70(75)-75(80). Hardly ever do I see mpg drop lower then 27(21)-28(22).
(xx) = Adjusted for reality on planet Earth figures
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:39 PM   #12
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I seriously have my doubts that some people even know how to calculate their personal MPG figures.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazdaz View Post
I seriously have my doubts that some people even know how to calculate their personal MPG figures.
I seriously typed up the same thing as a response to your previous post, but I didn't have the hearts to post it.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loudsubbie View Post
I too get 27mpg on the highway, either at 60mph or 80mph. But on my daily commute (short distances, city and highway) I only get 22-24mpg. But 18 seems low, even when I go on the Dragon (floored all day) I still get 20mpg.
same here, both before and after mods
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyLR View Post
(xx) = Adjusted for reality on planet Earth figures
I had a 2.5i MT5 for over a year and averaged 26 mpg. I drove the SNOT out of that car. Driven like a normal person... it would get over 30 mpg on the highway... however, that was no fun.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumball View Post

I still don't understand how a dynamometer test (per their description of the test procedures) can account for weight / aeryodynamics differences in vehicles.
Aero drag is proportional to Cd * frontal area * speed^3... It is calculatable if you know those three things and can be simulated by the dyno.

Energy to move it is also easily calculatable and can be simulated by the dyno.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:27 PM   #17
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have you ever read how they do the epa tests? its crazy unrealistic,,
From frequently asked questions about the EPA fuel economy:
www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml)

The test used to determine the city fuel economy estimate simulates an 11-mile, stop-and-go trip with an average speed of 20 mph. The trip takes 31 minutes and has 23 stops. About 18% of the time is spent idling, as in waiting at traffic lights or in rush hour traffic. The engine is initially started after being parked overnight.

The test used to determine highway driving simulates a 10-mile trip and averages 48 mph. The maximum speed is 60 mph. The test is run with the engine warmed up and has little idling time and no stops.

After driving the FEH for several months, it is hard for me to imagine how the EPA got higher MPG for city test over the highway test, especially if it was a new FEH.

- City test is with cold engine and average speed is low, a case where I get worse MPG.

- The highway test has warmed-up engine and averages 48MPH, which seems to be in FEH “sweet” spot for getting best fuel economy (and there is no wind drag in EPA test).

Even when considering the EPA city estimate is lowered by 10% and the highway estimate by 22% from the laboratory test results, it still does not make sense.

Reading posts from others at several FEH group sites, it appears almost all of us get better fuel economy on the highway than we do in city driving. There are of course exceptions of those who drive long stretches at 35-45MPH, but that is closer to the EPA highway test than it is to the city test.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:13 PM   #18
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My computer reads around 31mpg on my 15 mile, 55mph commute to work. I'm only on my 2nd tank, so I haven't been able to calculate my mileage yet. (First tank was me hotrodding everywhere and the needle read slightly below full when I picked up the car.) Driving to the Y and grocery store that is 2 miles away is killing my mileage though.

I'm convinced I could easily get 32mpg by going 65 or 70mph on the interstate.

~~Quentin
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazdaz View Post

Unless you drive like a grandma, my BS Flag has to come out. I drive almost exclusively HW on my 100 mile (round trip) commute, and I have never gotten above 28. Ever.
Let alone "consistantly" getting above that number.

How fast do you drive? And more importantly, how do you calculate your mileage?
During the year I owned the car I got 3 speeding tickets (unfortunately), so I certainly wasn't driving slow. I just don't drive with a lead foot like majority of america does I guess. Don't speed up/slow down/speed up/slow down for no apparent reason and try and pull your foot back off the accelerator a little while you're driving. It doesn't take much to make a big difference, while still maintaining the same speed. (thx vac gauge)

I calculated by just dividing miles driven by the amount I had to put in to fill the tank. I know it isn't the most accurate thing in the world, but I've driven several cars with mpg computers and have never had a problem beating the current epa ratings by at least 1-2mpg.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frdawg View Post
The test used to determine highway driving simulates a 10-mile trip and averages 48 mph. The maximum speed is 60 mph. The test is run with the engine warmed up and has little idling time and no stops.
That's something that needs to change. OEMs design the powertrain to get great mileage in this test (45-55mph driving), while many/most highways are 70mph limit and drivers average 65-75mph. If the standard got closer to the real world useage, official numbers would go down (more aero drag) but real world numbers would go up (design is closer to real world usage). Adding a multiplier to the current results doesn't change the design parameters; it just placates consumers.

Tom
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromer View Post
Aero drag is proportional to Cd * frontal area * speed^3... It is calculatable if you know those three things and can be simulated by the dyno.

Energy to move it is also easily calculatable and can be simulated by the dyno.
Yup. I'd much rather they use the same formula to calculate the drag, than actually drive the vehicles on the open road.

You can just imagine the amount of error if they were to do that. "Sorry Subaru, Toyota and Pontiac we happened to test all your cars with a 10 knot headwind. Your EPA figures are going to suck this year. Meanwhile the Big 3 had their trucks tested with a 15knot tailwind. 25mpg trucks all around!"
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:48 AM   #22
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Glad to see it. While we have had trips where we get 52MPG in the Prius, in-town we've never even come close to getting 60MPG over a whole tank. These revised numbers definitely are more realistic and seem to be relatively inline with the adjustment occurring with non-hybrids like the Civic.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:23 AM   #23
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While the Prius and Civic hybrid are both hit the hardest with the new testing methods, it looks like all vehicles are taking a ~10% hit in freeway economy.

I'm still trying to figure out how the EPA got 60mpg with the Prius in a 30 min city run after a cold start. The Prius hardly turns off the engine until the coolant is warmed up, and that takes about 5 minutes. My drives typically had the Prius getting about 25mpg until it warmed up. The rest of the drive must really lend itself to the "pulse & glide" technique that hypermilers do when shooting for 100+mpg.

Daily driving (22mi commute mostly freeway) I get 25mpg consistently in my wagon. Long trips get me 26-27mpg easily and I can get that mileage daily if I can keep my foot out of it. Best ever was 31mpg driving 55-60mph for most of it.
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