Toyota Prius

Honda Civic Hybrid
Hybrids are the big losers with the EPA's new testing

DailyTech reported 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 buyers.

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.

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