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2006 Toyota Prius - Mileage Discrepancy

Dear car talk-your column runs next to one touting a new model of any car and at the end gives the MSRP and MPG rating. None except hybrids and electrics come close to the MPG that is supposed to be reached for new cars. What’ gives? Judi

What mpg do you think that number is?

BTW, this is not the folks that write the column but is a forum of folks that read and answer questions for fun. Some professional mechanics, some scientists and engineers, some knowledgeable DIYers.

But I am willing to take a crack at the answer if you’ll tell me what mpg number you think is supposed to be the mileage.

Estimated MPG is primarily used to compare similar other vehicles. EPA requirements are very complicated. Most drivers will not achieve the posted MPG.
I once had a V6 coupe that got 35MPG in mixed driving, it was totaled in an accident, replaced it with a nearly identical (make, model, drive train) coupe two years newer, that car got 25 MPG.

I beg to differ. My car is rated for 15 MPG city and 25 MPG highway and 19 MPG combined.

One they way back from the outer banks I peaked at 29 MPG

Average for the trip was over 27 MPG.

Disclaimer: the MPG readout is typically off by about 0.4 MPG (overstated) in normal back and forth to work driving, but less than 0.2 MPG off on road trips. This was a road trip.

Lifetime average is sitting at 21.3 MPG currently. Under the new (since 2008) EPA testing methodology, I’ve found the EPA ratings for new cars is almost bang on correct as to what the average consumer can expect in real world conditions. And it’s not particularly difficult to better the stated MPG numbers either.

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That is unreal…

It’s rated at 25 mpg hwy. and you got 27 mpg. For real.

None , are you saying you absolutely know this as fact . I have beaten the listed MPG several times in all of our vehicles and not reached it at several times . Driving pattern’s and traffic make a big difference.

The “City MPG” rating for my car is 18, and the mfr states that most drivers will get between 14-22 mpg in local driving. In the warmer months, I average 23 mpg in local driving, and occasionally I can wring 24 mpg from it on local drives. My winter figures are typically 21-22 mpg in local driving.

Its “Highway MPG” rating is 25, and I almost always can achieve 26 mpg on highway trips. On one occasion, I managed to get 29 mpg on a long highway trip. And, I am not a slow driver.

I don’t think the OP is referring to CAFE mpg ratings for any specific car. I think she believes the 54 mpg hype the last administration created as a requirement for future fleets. Only hybrids and electric vehicles, as she says, come close.

I am guessing, but I think she believes ALL cars and trucks are supposed to get 54 mpg. That’s why I asked where she got the “supposed to be reached” remark.

So far she hasn’t posted back.

That could well be.
Back in the days when I had a second job in a large department store, there had been some news articles about small merchants who offered customers a 2% discount if they paid cash, instead of using their credit card. I had more than one customer tell me “You HAVE to give me a discount for paying with cash”. Ummm… no…

Similarly, around the same time, there were a few news articles about authorities on the state level who were contemplating “open enrollment”, which would allow parents to send their children to schools in districts other than the one where they lived. (Note: This was never enacted into law)
In my capacity as a school counselor, I had more than a few parents tell me over the phone that they were coming to register their child in my school, even though they resided elsewhere. Trying to provide them with reality was rarely successful, thus resulting in a wasted trip to my school for those folks.

As the old saying tells us…
The Devil is in the details.

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Indeed. The point was I making was that it’s perfectly reasonable that anyone can exceed the EPA numbers in contrast to the OP’s statement

One can have 2 people drive the same car for 2 consecutive weeks and the mileage may be far better or far worse from one driver to the other.

E.G. any car will meet or even exceed the EPA published fuel mileage figures; lead foot issues aside. I think the OP really needs to provide an example of what she is talking about.

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My best friend seems to think that the gas pedal and the brake pedal are to be used alternately, and in an abrupt manner. When I drive his car and employ more gentle acceleration as well as coasting to a stop light–rather than jamming on the brakes at the last minute–I am able to improve his gas mileage to a great extent.