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Hybrid Mileage Comes Up Short
By John Gartner

Hybrid cars are hot, but not as hot as their owners, who complain that their gas mileage hasn't come close to well-advertised estimates.

Don't knock the car companies for inflated claims: Experts say the blame lies with the 19-year-old EPA fuel-efficiency test that overstates hybrid performance.

Pete Blackshaw was so excited about getting a hybrid gasoline-electric car that he had his wife videotape the trip to the Honda dealership to pick up his Civic Hybrid. The enthusiastic owner ordered a customized license plate with "MO MILES" on it, and started a blog about his new hybrid lifestyle.

But after a few months of commuting to his job in Cincinnati, Blackshaw's hybrid euphoria vanished as his car's odometer revealed that the gas mileage he was hoping for was only a pipe dream. Honda's Civic Hybrid is rated by the EPA to get 47 miles per gallon in the city, and 48 mpg on the highway. After nearly 1,000 miles of mostly city driving, Blackshaw was getting 31.4 mpg.
 

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Let me get this straight: The ultra-hyped hybrid mileage claims made by Toyota and Honda are made possible because of the antiquated EPA testing regime? Furthermore, the "all-important" EPA MPG ratings aren't even realistic? Doesn't the EPA base the CAFE standards on these numbers?

What a freaking mess!

What is funny to me is that the high-profile celebrities rolling around in their Priuses looking down their noses at the rest of us for our "irresponsible gas guzzlers" aren't getting much better milage than my GTP which will pull about 33 MPG on the highway in the real world. As much as I can get upset about the marketing advantage this debacle gives Toyota and Honda, it's nice to see that they are beginning to pay a price for mileage not living up to the EPA rating.
 

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The best part is, I have seen Z06 Corvettes post 30mpg, but that was on cruse mode, mostly highway... but you get the point.

I think Honda needs to add more VTECK to there hyrbid engines.
 

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Originally posted by bigals87z28@May 12 2004, 04:23 PM
The best part is, I have seen Z06 Corvettes post 30mpg, but that was on cruse mode, mostly highway... but you get the point.

I think Honda needs to add more VTECK to there hyrbid engines.
Hahaha...I didn't want to mention it, but 6th gear in my 407 RWHP Camaro SS at 80 MPH translates into about 27 MPG on the highway. I guess the real world and that of the EPA are, shall we say, worlds apart!
 

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But surely you can't deny that these cars only put out a little water as an emissiion by-prodcut, and will save the world from Ozone depletion and certain human extinction. (sarcasm)
 

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i think that this is also reflective of what the car is. the honda civic in question is a mybrid (mild-hybrid) and not a full on hybrid like the toyota prius. of course the mileage is lower than a full on hybrid, because, unlike the prius, honda's hybrids use an electric motor to ASSIST the gasoline engine, not to power the car under city driving conditions. if this guy is not sitting stopped at lights most of the time, the gasoline engine would be running. low speed+running engine will almost always lower your mileage substantially.
 

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Toyota/Honda/Ford WANT to advertize the true MPG, but it's ILLEGAL in the US to post anything but the official EPA number. They need to either fix the test or amend the law.
 

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Originally posted by stewacide@May 12 2004, 04:38 PM
Toyota/Honda/Ford WANT to advertize the true MPG, but it's ILLEGAL in the US to post anything but the official EPA number. They need to either fix the test or amend the law.
Can you find where it says that it's illegal to post EPA and manfacturers estimate? The article states that the only mileage the manufacturers are REQUIRED to disclose is the EPA figure. I doubt it would be illegal for Toy/Ho/Fo to also publish an "Actual Mileage Estimate", especially if it's lower than the EPA number.
 

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Hybrid fuel milage sucks on the highway, since you aren't using any of the electric motor and there is no braking regeneration.

Gasoline is a hydrocarbon, therefore when burned 100% the only products are mostly water and some COv2.

So really, 30mpg in a 405hp Z06 is the same as 30mpg in a 85hp Civic Hybrid. The only real difference is in the actual efficiency re: combustion in the motor itself, and the Corvette likely beats the Civic in that regard - so save the trees, buy a 'Vette!



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My 1997 Escort has bested that hybrid regularly in mostly city driving by getting 35 mpg. When I toss in highway driving, I get regularly 42 miles to the gallon.

My car cost $10,000 new. 72,000 trouble free miles. Only had to replace front disc pads at 65,000 miles and a new set of front tires as well at that point. The rears are still going strong with about 10,000 miles left on them.

American cars are just as good as rice burners. And my car gets better gas mileage than the sticker said it would.
 

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While one has to give credit to Honda and Toyota for producing hybrids, I'm sure they (Honda and Toyota) don't have a problem with posting EPA ratings of mileage estimates. They get to charge a premium for cars that don't meet mileage expectations and are not much better than non-hybrid economy vehicles in regards to MPG. Furthermore, everyone loves them for making an evironmentally responsible vehicle. On top of that, they are legally protected because they are required to post EPA rated mileage estimates.

Now, imagine if GM made a hybrid that got lower than expected mileage. I'm sure the press and special interest groups would be all over them for falsely advertising their vehicles. But, unfortunately, GM hasn't even stepped into the ring yet (with the exception of the mild-hybrid trucks).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Originally posted by 72lemanscvbl@May 12 2004, 09:33 PM
But surely you can't deny that these cars only put out a little water as an emissiion by-prodcut, and will save the world from Ozone depletion and certain human extinction. (sarcasm)
Hybrids still use a gas engine. I know you had sarcasim, but just pointing it out.

I would rather see a E-85 Camaro or Corvette that burns cleaner then a 4cyl civic that cant get out of its own dust, and both get equal MPG.
 

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In the article on wired.com, it states that manufacturers are prohibited from showing any mileage numbers besides the EPA numbers. Which, by the way, are derived from emissions tests, not actual fuel consumption.

I always thought it was pretty strange that my Audi gets better fuel economy (22/27) than its EPA rating (18/24). Now I understand why. This really makes things like CAFE look pretty ****** stupid now. The EPA will have to overhaul their rating methods completely or face severe public backlash. I suspect it's already starting.

For whoever it was who said that the Civic being a mild-hybrid has anything to do with it, you're missing the point. According to the EPA, the car should be getting around 48mpg in the city, but it's only getting 32mpg. The Prius should be getting 60mpg by the EPA, but even Consumer Reports said it wasn't getting that much out of it.

Those of you who have read my posts about hybrids before know what comes next: If you want great fuel economy, buy an old Festiva, take out the back seat and drive consevatively. You'll get better mileage than one of these fancy hybrids for a tiny fraction of the cost, and if it breaks, throw it out and buy another one for $300. Insurance is practically nil on one of those, too.
 

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:lol:
My 9-5 is supposed to get 19 City, 26 Hwy.
In reality, I get 24 city, 34 Hwy.

And it ain't a hybrid. I'm more than ecstatic... expecially with gas at $2.59/gal
 

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On all highway, my 2004 Jetta TDI (65-75 mph) has yielded 50+ MPG and a city / highway I have gotten 46-47 mpg. This car is driven as a car, rather than having to pay attention to various driving techniques in order to get the best fuel economy. I still think the TDI is perhaps the most fuel efficent car on the market.
 

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Originally posted by bigals87z28@May 12 2004, 08:41 PM
Honda's Civic Hybrid is rated by the EPA to get 47 miles per gallon in the city, and 48 mpg on the highway. After nearly 1,000 miles of mostly city driving, Blackshaw was getting 31.4 mpg.
man, the gasoline civic rating shouldn't be too far off that, and in real-world driving should be approaching 40 mpg. very disappointing! i was excited about these hybrids, based on the fact thjat they'd be significantly more economical, but getting 32 mpg in a hybrid civic negates any benefit to paying $2000 more.
 

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Originally posted by JeffS@May 13 2004, 05:22 AM
On all highway, my 2004 Jetta TDI (65-75 mph) has yielded 50+ MPG and a city / highway I have gotten 46-47 mpg. This car is driven as a car, rather than having to pay attention to various driving techniques in order to get the best fuel economy. I still think the TDI is perhaps the most fuel efficent car on the market.
And yet people continue to say that hybrids are a better solution than small diesel engines...
 

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Originally posted by awalbert88+May 13 2004, 01:08 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (awalbert88 @ May 13 2004, 01:08 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-JeffS@May 13 2004, 05:22 AM
On all highway, my 2004 Jetta TDI (65-75 mph) has yielded 50+ MPG and a city / highway I have gotten 46-47 mpg.  This car is driven as a car, rather than having to pay attention to various driving techniques in order to get the best fuel economy.  I still think the TDI is perhaps the most fuel efficent car on the market.
And yet people continue to say that hybrids are a better solution than small diesel engines... [/b][/quote]
guess it's the economy versus environment debate. get tons of miles out of a comparatively dirty system (ie diesel), or get fewer miles out of a cleaner system (ie these current hybrids).
 

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Originally posted by paul8488+May 13 2004, 02:34 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (paul8488 @ May 13 2004, 02:34 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 13 2004, 01:08 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-JeffS
@May 13 2004, 05:22 AM
On all highway, my 2004 Jetta TDI (65-75 mph) has yielded 50+ MPG and a city / highway I have gotten 46-47 mpg.  This car is driven as a car, rather than having to pay attention to various driving techniques in order to get the best fuel economy.  I still think the TDI is perhaps the most fuel efficent car on the market.

And yet people continue to say that hybrids are a better solution than small diesel engines...
guess it's the economy versus environment debate. get tons of miles out of a comparatively dirty system (ie diesel), or get fewer miles out of a cleaner system (ie these current hybrids).[/b][/quote]
No it is not. Higher fuel consumption = higher CO2 emissions. Only things that diesel emit higher than gas engines is NOX and particulates and they are working on that. It is a question of whether you are worried more about smog (NOX) or global warming (CO2). Modern engines (gas or disel) have so low NOX emissions that the slight bit extra from diesels does not matter much.
 

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This is like adding insult to injury - the injury being the extra cost people paid to get these - sometimes above MSRP.

On the other hand, I'm sure GM would love to have the "problem" of people paying over MSRP for its own Hybrids. Oh yeah, there aren't any hybrid GM cars.... <_<

But perhaps that is a good thing?

At least GM could hurry up and finish the work on DOD, isn't Chrsyler introducing it on their 300C already?
 
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