8 out 10 Drivers Exceed Factory Posted Fuel Consumption Figures

19 June 2015 - By Eugene Herbert

Hi Folks…


All new vehicles should have some indication on the windscreen that relates to the manufacturers stated fuel consumption. Whether these are realistic or not is up for debate, but given our need to drive more economically, this does give us some guidance on what is possible.


Whether or not you and I as drivers can and do achieve such figures we may never know. Therefore it is of interest to note the research from US which gives us somewhat of a more definitive answer as indicated in the subject line.


Eight out of ten drivers attained better fuel economy than the posted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rating, according to a new AAA study of data collected from FuelEconomy.gov.


The study also revealed that owners with manual transmissions, diesel-fuelled light-duty trucks and V-6-powered sedans reported significantly higher fuel economy, while owners of turbocharged V-6 -trucks and turbocharged four-cylinder sedans reported lower mpg.


Minivan owners reported real-world fuel economy that was equal or slightly lower than the EPA ratings.


Driver behaviours and environmental conditions, rather than vehicle shortcomings, are likely responsible for most fuel economy variances, the study found.


"If you drive aggressively, with heavy acceleration, hard braking and driving at higher speeds, your fuel economy is going to suffer," said John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of automotive engineering and repair. "Driving just five miles-per-hour above 50 is like paying an additional 19 cents per gallon for gasoline."


The findings came after a comprehensive review by AAA engineers of 37,000 records submitted to the EPA, representing more than 8,400 vehicle make, model, and year combinations.


In conducting this analysis, AAA engineers identified a list of vehicles that were frequently reported as failing to achieve the EPA's mileage rating. The majority of these vehicles, including the scrutinized Hyundai and Kia models, have since been retested and, in some cases, mileage ratings were revised. AAA selected three additional vehicles — a 2014 full-size pickup truck, a 2014 large sedan and a 2012 medium sedan — for further testing.


Given the reduced   cost of fuel and the US gaining greater independence from imported oil this may not be so critical for them, but in SA we should be more conscious of the need to work toward a reduction in fuel consumption.


Till next time - Drive Safe and watch your fuel consumption, you could be in that 20% that achieves better than the manufacturers numbers.


Eugene Herbert



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