Most Drivers Get Better MPG than EPA Estimates: Study

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Most Drivers Get Better MPG than EPA Estimates: Study

That MPG figure on your vehicle sticker might not be as accurate as you think.

According to a recent study, thousands of vehicles found real-world MPG values significantly vary from the estimates given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AAA conducted the study and found that more than 8 in 10 drivers got better fuel economy than what’s estimated by the EPA. In fact, U.S. drivers are reporting that they get 12 percent better fuel economy than window-sticker estimates, which might be surprising to some considering numerous automakers have had to revise their figures in the past few years for being too high.

SEE ALSO: Mazda Seeks 50 Percent Better Fuel Economy by 2020

The study found that diesel owners are reporting 20-percent higher fuel economy while those with manual transmissions got 17-percent better MPG. Unfortunately owners of vehicles with turbocharged engines aren’t as lucky. Although the technology helps maintain performance while improving fuel efficiency, V6 turbo owners are reporting nine-percent lower fuel economy than estimates while turbo-four owners are seeing four percent less.

Of course driving habits play a major role in just how many MPG you get, and it’s likely that turbocharged vehicle owners have a bit heavier of a foot. In contrast, diesel owners benefit from plenty of torque, which means their gas pedal probably sees a bit less usage.

Discuss this story at our alternative fuel forum

  • Brad Barefoot

    Very true, we bought a 2013 Ford C-Max. Fords taken a lot of heat about the fuel economy numbers on the C-Max stating 47 mpg.. I routinely achieve 51 to 58 mpg around town, and from 45 to 49 mpg on the interstate. On the Ford Social website I’ve defended Herbie’s (car’s name) honor more than once when talking about these numbers. I tell them you have to fully master the art of the slow start/stop, turn on ALL your economy setting, turn on your cruise control and … don’t drive the car like you stole it ! Fuel cost, bought Herbie when gas was high, at 3.75/3.65 per gallon gas, after just 14,000 miles I’ve mastered the driving style and out of the first 17,000 miles close to 10,000 miles were driven on the battery. Or to put it another way we have saved close to $2,900,00 in fuel cost. My biggest owner’s thought ….stopping the oil changes at 3,500 miles, we now do the changes at 5,000 miles. Great Job Ford ! Now just give us the Transit Connect Van in a hybrid, then sign us up.

  • smartacus

    i don’t see hybrids mentioned. Perhaps they are not proud of their results?