EPA Gas Mileage ratings going down for 2008

Finally, the EPA will revise their 20 year old testing methods, so that the window stickers on cars will have some sort of value. The current EPA ratings are only useful as a loose comparison between one model and another – they generally have no bearing in reality with regards to what sort of mileage you will get. See, the current EPA tests don’t take into account things like cold weather, air conditioning, moderate acceleration, or real highway speeds.

The new testing procedures will incorporate these factors, and try to give a more realistic picture of real world gas mileage. As such, you’ll see drops all across the board in EPA ratings – some very significant. Hybrids will be hit the hardest, as very few people see 60MPG in their Prius. Mid 40’s seems to be more realistic – that’s a big hit. I’d expect to see city mileage drops for most SUV’s as well – I tend to get around 9-10 MPG in city driving with the A/C on in mine; a far cry from the 13 on the sticker.

I’m glad to see this change – it’s been a long time coming, and it’s nothing but good for the consumer. The only problem is that we will see some confusion while there are 2007 and 2008 models on showroom floors across the nation. The average Joe may be confused at the big mileage difference between the mileage, when it’s just a ratings difference and nothing mechanical.
Via Automotive News.

Published on December 14, 2006 in Gas Mileage

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