Why does 2000 Accord give higher MPG than EPA?


I recently bought a 2000 Accord EX cpe, 4 cyl, 5 speed w/112k miles. Had new plugs and wires put in, tune up, and made a 4k mile trip (mainly Interstate) from KS->VA->VT->KS. I kept the speed at 68 mph (by Garmin Nuvi GPS not the speedometer). My MPG for the trip was 36.2. On servicing on my return, I had the air filter replaced; they said it was terribly clogged and I should now get better MPG. I recently made another trip KS->OR->KS and averaged 37.6 MPG over 3700 miles.

The EPA hiwy/city used to be 30/23 for this model but, after revising old values to fit present formulas, it’s 27/21.

A friend says my results are impossible, something must be wrong with my calculations. But I NEVER get MPG that low. What gives? Do I have a 1 in a million car? In city driving, I average 25-28 and on local highways 31-35.


The EPA makes estimations, and these estimations are usually on the low side, often far from real world numbers. Ignore the EPA and enjoy your real world numbers. Make sure the method of checking your using does not involve the gauge, use the fill/odometer method.


The mileage figures you quote are very close to what I get with my '97 Accord with the 2.2L 4-cylinder and a 5-speed. If I’m careful I can get 30 mpg driving on local roads around town, and on the highway I can get 35-36 mpg even at speeds higher than you list.

Keeping your highway speed below 70 is what does it. I make a 500 mile round trip on the PA Turnpike on a regular basis, and with the cruise control set at 75 I can get 33-36 mpg, depending on the weather and the wind conditions.

I don’t think your car is one-in-a-million, I think it’s just a good 4-cylinder Accord. Enjoy it.


By the way, I once made a 2,500 mile trip in a heavily loaded '99 Camry with the 4-cylinder and an automatic transmission, and that car delivered 36+ mpg for the entire trip, and we made no attempt whatsoever to keep our speed down. It’s not unusual.


I’ve checked the car’s odometer against mile markers on Interstates and it’s within 1% (the speedometer is not, it reads higher than by either the Garmin GPS speed as well as by timing a measured distance).
I fill the tank until the hose turns off, then refill the same way and then calculate the MPG from those figures; I do it from fill to fill as well as total mileage/total gallons.
Oh, another strange thing – I owned a '94 Civic EX 4 dr, stick, for about a year before trading for the Accord and the Accord is giving slightly better MPGs than the Civic did. ???


And you are complaining?

you must be driving sensibly!
Enjoy it!


There’s nothing unusual about your car. Lend it to a typical driver and he will get a more normal 30 mpg. Some of us penny-pinchers simply have driving styles that will consistently yield fuel economy much higher than the norm.

Your post may actually be a weakly-disguised boast rather than an actual question. To which I say, “Well done!”


You have a good driving technique and I do too. I can easily exceed the old EPA mileage number with our 05 Malibu, both city and highway numbers. Most people step too hard on the gas from stoplights and brake too much; don’t anticipate. My brother-in-law had a curious habit of constantly varying the gas pedal position. A friend would frequently use the brake on the freeway to maintain clearance with the vehicle ahead. It all makes me want to believe that some can’t drive right.


Many people complain that they don’t get as good a mileage as the EPA estimates. I seem to get almost exactly what the EPA says, and a few are like you and get better. The EPA estimates make a bunch of assumptions about driving conditions and speeds, etc. They are just estimates and some people will do better and others will do worse, which means they are really doing a pretty good job of estimating the average. Your driving habits and style is apparently good for fuel economy.


Acturally it seems most of the EPA numbers are higher than what most people get. However there are going to be some changes with the new models this year and many cars will get lower rattings even though no changes were made to anything other than the test procedure