Drivers making outrageous claims about their vehicles

What are some of the more outrageous claims you’ve heard or read, where a driver says something about their vehicle that has 0 or virtually 0 chance of being true . . . ?

Here are 2 that quickly come to mind

the other day, on another website, a guy claimed that a “mid-1990s” Corolla would easily get fuel efficiency in the mid-40s, meaning easily over 40+mpg . . .

This one is seems outrageous to me, as I owned a 1995 Corolla 1.8 DX with a 5-speed stick for several years, literally a mid-1990s Corolla. And my dad owned it from new, so the car was only ever owned by my family. My dad never got that kind of fuel efficiency, and he was a very good driver, never one to race or drive fast. And when I had the car, the most I ever got was 37mpg, and that was mostly freeway driving.

and when somebody says the car should easily get 40mpg or more, that implies to me the average driver, average driving style, etc. should easily get 40mpg or more, in mixed driving.

Here’s the next case . . .

Years ago, a young guy claimed his essentially stock VW Mk1 GTI would do 250km/h. I was living in europe at the time, hence metric. I know for a fact the engine was bone stock, the only thing this guy had money for were bigger tires and rims, maybe lowering springs and k&n air filter. But that’s it.

sounds like he was daydreaming, in my opinion. Even downhill with a massive tailwind, I don’t see the car getting anywhere near 250km/h

Mind you, I never agreed with the guy. I just politely listened and kept my thoughts to myself. I just let it be, because he was having such a good time talking about his car

I just thought of another one . . .

Years ago, another guy I knew claimed his Jeep Wagoneer . . . the unibody one with the straight six that looked like the unibody Cherokee, think 1984 . . . got 40mpg. Needless to say, I also didn’t believe him, but kept my mouth shut. Seems even less likely than the Corolla to get 40+mpg

I realize it’s possible somebody’s going to say that it is theoretically possible to get 40-something mpg in their mid-1990s Corolla. But I would ask them . . . did they own such a car? Or are they merely saying it’s theoretically possible?

Had a friend in high school, claimed his 6 cyl duster blew off a 340 duster, riiight! We teased him that plymouth must build pretty crappy 340’s if that could happen.

Some time ago the US NAVY proved that leaving a pickup tailgate down did not improve MPG . My neighbor said that was not true and he got better fuel usage by leaving his down . It turned out he was driving slower and being more observant of bumps because he did not like the sound of the tailgate bouncing up and down.

People have a rich imagination when it comes to cars! A friend was shopping for a pickup ruck to pull his newly acquired 5th wheel camper. A relative no less had a Dodge Ram for sale which he claimed got 40 mpg!!!

I tactfully replied that this was possible only on a very long downhill stretch starting at to top of the mountain!!!

He did not buy the truck and got a Ford F-150 Heavy Half which had all the gear for trailer towing. Still has that truck.

This does not involve a car but a motorcycle. A friend told me once he had taken the north (narrow and sharp) overpass out of town on his '81 Harley SuperGlide at high speed. According to him he shifted into 4th at 115 MPH while rounding the curve on the overpass.
Not in a million years will either one happen; the 115 in 3rd or taking that curve at high speeds.

Some years ago a local state trooper in a Camaro while rushing to an accident out of town took it at 100 MPH and lost his life. There’s a bump in the middle which sends vehicles airborne a bit even at 60.
The Camaro hit the concrete guardrail and burst into flames. It’s believed that he died instanly from impact and it took a while to settle things down due to ammunition cooking off in the car. It burned the overpass badly enough that the state had to rebuild it.

As for the 115 MPH friend I let him ramble because he had just given me a tip about an old Harley flathead which I bought and still have today.

I have had a lot of Harley owners tell me how fast their bikes are. None of them had ever ridden a sport bike.


The sales person at the Toyota dealership swore I’d get 40 mpg with my 2009 Corolla. The best I’ve ever done was 34 on the highway, which isn’t bad but a good bit shy of 40.

A sales person lied?? Heaven forbid! :laughing:


Re the Mk I GTI, I owned one. 250 mph/150 mph was physically impossible. 90 hp + brick aero + super short gearing = 110 mph, maybe.

Outrageous claim I heard was a guy with a 1990-ish Dodge pickup with a diesel engine. He was claiming 26 mpg was easy. I didn’t argue, but my BS meter was pegged. He also claimed to be ex-Navy, but didn’t know port from starboard - is that likely?

I once had someone tell me that Ford’s were better than Chrysler’s.

wrongfully claiming to be a veteran might be worse than lying about the truck’s fuel efficiency . . . ?

by the way, the Doge diesel in question . . . was it a full size truck, or one of those relabeled small Japanese trucks with the 4 cylinder diesel?

Full size - Cummins diesel, weren’t they?

The best my 2007 Corolla ever did was on a highway trip at a leisurely pace and we got 37 mpg mostly because we had to drive slowly in the heavy traffic coming home after a long weekend.

I think my 2009 might approach 40 downhill with a tailwind but that’s about it. And @Mustangman, FWIW, I knew the salesperson was lying her butt off. Among other things, as you noted, she was a sales person, and besides, her lips were moving. I’d previously owned a 1977 Corolla with a 1.2 liter engine and I averaged in the upper 20’s, mixed city/highway. It was still an outrageous claim about a vehicle, so I thought it fit the topic. Sorry if you disagree.

Yes, Dodge trucks traditionally use Cummins diesel

And in addition to the ‘g’, I was also off on the year, more like a 2000.

My daughter gets 40 mpg Highway with her 2010 Corolla with the 5 speed manual. She never speeds, drives me crazy to ride with her, she is never in a hurry behind the wheel.

I have done 35 mpg with my 2012 Camry automatic, but since The Michelin enegerysaver tires wore out at 28,000 miles and I replaced them with Goodyear 90,000 mile fuelsavers it has dropped to 33. I usually travel with the cruise control set at 9 over the speed limit. Better ride and handling though.

I’ve heard many full size truck guys say they could get 20 mpg. A couple of examples: 98 k1500 4wd, extended cab with the 5.7 liter. 97 Dodge regular cab 2wd with 5.9 liter gas engine. I’ve owned similar examples of each. The best mpg (combined) I achieved with a 5.7 liter GM engine was 15 mpg in a regular cab 4wd. That was on a 30 mile one way commute 5 days a week. So pretty much “highway driving”. The 98 Dodge I owned was a regular cab 4wd with the 5.9 liter and averaged around 13-14 mpg. I think the window sticker claimed 17 mpg highway, on the epa test, and I believe that was in pre ethanol gas days. Now hitting 20 mpg might be doable in one of those trucks, but I don’t think there’s any way you can average 20 mpg considering the epa highway tests yielded lower than 20.

Can’t speak directly to the mpg of a corolla but mom’s 1990 Mazda Protoge 1.8 5spd returned 38mpg,39mpg,and 40mpg on three sucessive trips between here and where her parents lived in Oregon. Nearly all highway including some 70mph sections where that is the limit. Mid-High 30’s was the norm for highway driving.