in mid-December that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised its testing
procedures to give buyers a more realistic estimate of fuel economy figures
for cars, trucks and SUVs. The EPA has now posted a tool on
its website that lets you compare the "old" EPA ratings of your
vehicle with the new ratings based on revised testing procedures.
The new testing methodology takes into account higher
freeway speeds, more aggressive driving behavior, A/C usage and the effects of
traffic jams on fuel economy. The EPA testing procedures were last updated back in 1984.
Hybrids take the biggest hit with the new 2008 model year EPA changes. The Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid drop
from 60/51 (city/highway), 40/38 and 49/55 to 48/45, 33/34 and 40/45
respectively. That's a pretty tough pill to swallow for potential hybrid
Conventional gasoline vehicles can't escape the wrath of the
EPA either with the new 2008 guidelines. Autoblog
notes that of the 23 vehicles General Motors touts in TV advertising that
achieve 30MPG or better on the highway, 14 fail with the new EPA testing.