Posted by Sage Marie
If you're a car shopper, or simply "just looking" you may be wondering why MPG numbers seem to have gone down for new cars since the 2008 model year. For the most part, the answer is that EPA testing methods have changed.
In 2006, the EPA realized that the earlier tests used to calculate fuel economy figures didn't accurately correlate with average drivers' driving styles or fuel economy experiences. For example, the tests assumed an average speed of 48 mph, with the air conditioners turned off—conditions that the EPA realized did not adequately represent typical use. As a result, the EPA decided to adjust the test methodology. These adjustments resulted in slightly lower (by 10%-20%) EPA fuel economy numbers.
Many would argue that the new EPA numbers are easily beaten with efficient driving habits. Owners of the original Insight, for example, regularly achieved higher fuel economy numbers by driving conservatively.
The bottom line is: EPA fuel economy ratings essentially provide information useful for an apples-to apples comparison between similar vehicles, but ultimately your driving habits and vehicle maintenance practices—as well as other factors—will greatly influence the fuel economy numbers you actually achieve. Want to try to increase your MPG? Try these simple gas-saving techniques.
Tags: Gas Mileage, Fuel Efficiency, Fuel Economy, MPG
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