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Ford pays the price for overstating C-Max fuel economy

Like Hyundai before it (but on a much smaller scale), Ford found itself embroiled in a miles per gallon (mpg) fiasco in 2013. Ford was found to have overstated the EPA fuel economy for its C-Max, and had to lower the mileage figures posted on the window sticker for the vehicle.
 
Ford reduced the EPA numbers for the C-Max from 47/47/47 mpg (city/highway/combined) to 45/40/43 mpg. In addition, Ford offered C-Max customers a $550 cash rebate as an apology.


2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
 
Joseph R. Hinrichs, Executive Vice President and President of the Americas for Ford Motor Company, has now admitted that customers are looking elsewhere following its move to reduce the EPA ratings for the C-Max.
 
C-Max sales for March 2014 tumbled 39.1 percent compared to March 2013, putting its monthly tally at 5,556. In addition, year-to-date sales have fallen 42.5 percent compared to this time last year to 9,677 units.
 
“We’re definitely seeing consideration on C-Max decline over time,” said Hinrichs. “We need to reinvest in the product because it’s a great car.”

Sources: The Detroit News, via Autoblog, Ford





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There are
By Shark Tek on 4/22/2014 12:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
There are many many cars out there with inflated MPGs.




RE: There are
By Spuke on 4/22/2014 12:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Learn how to drive and you'll get the stated fuel economy. My nephew got 49 mpg on a regular basis on his commute (which involves a long hill climb on the drive home). There are tips on how to get the fuel economy and you don't have to drive dangerously to do it either.


RE: There are
By tayb on 4/22/2014 12:16:54 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously. People buy these cars, drive them like they used to drive their mustang, and cry foul when the estimated numbers don't meet their expectations.

If you want fuel efficiency you have to drive fuel efficient. Coast to lights, engine braking instead of braking, don't exceed the speed limit, and don't rapidly accelerate. It's pretty simple.

My wife has a Prius and I can get 35 mpg or 60 mpg depending on how I drive. I won't bitch to Toyota because I'm not getting 43 mpg while I drive aggressively.


RE: There are
By Spuke on 4/22/2014 12:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seriously. People buy these cars, drive them like they used to drive their mustang, and cry foul when the estimated numbers don't meet their expectations.
This.


RE: There are
By h0kiez on 4/22/2014 12:30:22 PM , Rating: 1
You're right. People shouldn't care how their car's gas mileage is rated or if it's good, bad, or even accurate. We should just all drive a certain way and hope for the best, then assume if our mileage sucks, it's probably our fault.


RE: There are
By Nightbird321 on 4/22/2014 1:15:46 PM , Rating: 1
It's not always the consumers' fault, the mpg estimate should be based on the average driver, not the fuel efficient driver. Ford made the mistake of advertising the high range of what its drivers will get, and as long as most people are below it they will get upset.

I drive the Prius C somewhat carefully, I follow the pace of traffic but try to avoid disc braking and lead footing. This is more careful than most people, so I get 55mpg (less winter, more summer). More careful people than me get >60mpg, but the average person can get 50, and really bad lead footers get 40.

http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius%20c
Fuelly shows that Toyota nailed the estimate at 50

Compare that graph to the C-Max
http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/c-max

To get the same position on that curve as the C-Max original 47 estimate, Toyota would be advertising the Prius C at 60 MPG, and people would be angry at them too!


RE: There are
By BRB29 on 4/22/2014 1:23:40 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It's not always the consumers' fault, the mpg estimate should be based on the average driver, not the fuel efficient driver.


No, the mpg estimate should be based on a standardized test, not the average driver. The average driver is not a standard. While a standardized test may not necessarily accurately reflect real world mileage, it is the best way to draw objective conclusions between vehicles.


RE: There are
By Nightbird321 on 4/22/2014 2:33:37 PM , Rating: 1
Well, what caused Ford to revise the number down from 47 then? They should be familiar with the EPA cycle, yet consumer outrage won and objectivity lost...

I do see your point, it's just lost when someone gets 25% less MPG than than they budgeted for (using EPA rating). Not a particularly pleasant surprise on their first gas-up...

Cars that are more powerful will have their power used, my side of the argument is that the EPA test should account for 0-60 time and give a slightly different test to objectively get a more accurate rating for the average consumer. The people who want the oomph and doesn't care about 5mpg still won't care, the timid and invariant EPA cycle only hurts the budget-minded consumers who actually look at the EPA ratings.


RE: There are
By Philippine Mango on 4/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: There are
By Solandri on 4/22/2014 4:07:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
No, the mpg estimate should be based on a standardized test, not the average driver. The average driver is not a standard. While a standardized test may not necessarily accurately reflect real world mileage, it is the best way to draw objective conclusions between vehicles.

Exactly this. The point of the EPA mileage ratings isn't to predict the MPG you will get when you drive the car. The point is to have standardized ratings for all cars so you can compare their fuel efficiency while shopping.

The ratings could be completely unrealistic in terms of the typical driver. But as long as they're consistently unrealistic across all cars, they still provide useful comparison information for someone shopping for a new car.


RE: There are
By Spuke on 4/22/2014 2:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People shouldn't care how their car's gas mileage is rated or if it's good, bad, or even accurate.
Completely missed the point even though it was spelled out clearly. You're a dumb ass.


RE: There are
By GotThumbs on 4/23/2014 12:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
Each person's driving style DOES factor into their MPG results.

You can't remove that as part of any vehicles MPG ability.

To do so would be through individual ignorance/stupidity IMO.


RE: There are
By btc909 on 4/22/2014 12:41:57 PM , Rating: 1
Whatever. Manufactures test these cars at the perfect elevation in an area with a specific temperature range to maximize MPG. The biggest MPG liar is Hyundai & Kia. Ford isn't that far behind.

I'd still consider a C-Max. It'll do what I need it to do and if I get high 30's combined i'm good with that. The rear seat legroom could be better. I think the 2015 Fit is going to hurt C-Max sales even more. 3-36 MPG Combined, more cargo room, a far better back seat with more seat configuring options.


RE: There are
By FiveTenths on 4/22/2014 2:52:37 PM , Rating: 3
They don't actually drive the car on the road.

The EPA cycle is done on a dyno following a trace prescribed by the EPA. The point is not really to determine real word mileage, it is to compare one vehicle to another.

On top of that, the EPA does not require every vehicle to be tested. If a manufacturer has two different vehicles with the same powertrain and weight, they only test one and use the numbers for both.


RE: There are
By Spuke on 4/22/2014 2:53:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
a far better back seat with more seat configuring options.
Like what? Having a seat vs not having one? The Fit isn't a minivan.


RE: There are
By Nutzo on 4/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: There are
By FiveTenths on 4/22/2014 3:14:52 PM , Rating: 3
You are comparing a C-max, a compact car "C" in c max, to a mid-sized Camry and using size as a factor? Makes no sense.

"Larger,.... more room inside, and almost the same mileage" sounds like a Fusion Hybrid. Interestingly enough,the Fusion and Camry are in the same segment....


RE: There are
By Nutzo on 4/22/2014 4:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
And the Fusion has the same problems as the C-Max, lower than expected mileage (even though they still rate it at 47/47) and no spare tire.


RE: There are
By hughlle on 4/22/2014 12:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
the fact that ford had to reduce it's figured indicates that this quite clearly has nothing to do with driving style. Or did i miss the point of the issue, ford lying about performance to increase the appeal of its car.


RE: There are
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/22/2014 12:31:25 PM , Rating: 3
I think that's a bit harsh. I don't know of many people that buy a vehicle like a Prius or a C-Max hybrid to drive it like they stole it. These are the hippies that you see driving in the fast lane doing 65 in a 65 when the traffic flow wants to do 70 to 75.

The fact of the matter is, people who are extremely fuel conscious and are the ones that are meticulous about these types of things can't even hit the EPA ratings for the C-Max:

http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/c-max

Remember, these are people that actually take the time to record their MPG on a regular basis -- at EVERY fill-up. These aren't people likely to be hotdogging it like they would in a Mustang.

The EPA combined for the C-Max is (re-rated) for 43 mpg. With over 300 drivers reporting, they aren't even cracking 40 mpg combined. And they DAMN sure weren't getting the 47 combined it was originally rated for.

Now take its direct competitor, the Prius v. It's rated at 42 mpg combined and people are getting damn near 42 mpg with over 400 drivers reporting.

http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius%20v

Me personally, I bought a diesel primarily for fuel economy concerns (and I need a wagon). My vehicle is rated at 29/39/33 (city/highway/combined) and I've been averaging 36 mpg combined after 10,000 miles of driving. My previous car was rated at 22/33/25, and I averaged right at 25 mpg after 30,000 miles of driving.


RE: There are
By Argon18 on 4/22/2014 1:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Me personally, I bought a diesel primarily for fuel economy concerns"

Same here, I went for a diesel (Mercedes Bluetec) and it gets *better* than the EPA estimates. And I even have a lead foot. Plus its silly fast with 204 hp and 369 ft/lbs. I love it.

It seems there's a pattern of gasoline hybrids delivering below EPA estimate, and diesels delivering consistently better than EPA estimates. I don't know how their test cycle works, but it seems to be off a bit from real world driving conditions.


RE: There are
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/22/2014 2:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I don't know what it is. Even when I was driving "hard" in the city, I've never seen less than 33 mpg on a tank in this vehicle even though it's rated at 29 city.

I've seen as high as 45 mpg on the highway from the trip computer while driving 65 mph on backroads, but that number of course dropped once I got into the city. The highest tank I've ever recorded (mixed driving) was 39 mpg.


RE: There are
By Solandri on 4/22/2014 4:34:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Yeah, I don't know what it is. Even when I was driving "hard" in the city, I've never seen less than 33 mpg on a tank in this vehicle even though it's rated at 29 city.

The peak efficiency for gasoline (and gas-hybrid) vehicles is around 45 mph. The peak efficiency for diesel vehicles is down around 30 mph. The EPA highway rating thus measures a point closer to the peak efficiency for gasoline engines (around 65 MPH in their new tests I think), and so has the unintentional effect of favoring gasoline engines. (The EPA city rating has a lot of stop/start cycles, so engine efficiency plays less of a role in that number than vehicle weight and regenerative braking.)

The result is that depending on the speeds you drive at, the diesel engine can do a lot better than its EPA rating. The gas hybrid doesn't have as much wriggle room before its mileage starts to drop. See the comparison chart Car and Driver put together for the same model SUV with diesel vs hybrid engines:

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2011-volks...

Don't blame the EPA for having a biased test. This type of inaccuracy is unavoidable when you try to compare a bunch complex curves by simply comparing the two same points on each curve. In the future, maybe we'll be able to pull our driving history from our car's computer to generate a personal driving speed histogram. You could then put that histogram on your smartphone. Tap it on the window of a new car at a dealer, and it'll download the vehicle's full MPG curve, and multiply and add up the two to give you an exact prediction of the MPG you'd get if you drove that car. But for now we're still printing three numbers on a piece of paper stuck to the window, so city/hwy/combined MPG is about the best we can do.

I should also caution that diesel is a denser fuel than gasoline, and has about 13% more energy per gallon than gasoline. So if you want a true comparison to gasoline (on a "I'm helping reduce oil imports" basis), you should be dividing the MPG you get on your diesel by 1.13. A comparison on the basis of price would of course be different.


RE: There are
By Keeir on 4/22/2014 2:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It seems there's a pattern of gasoline hybrids delivering below EPA estimate, and diesels delivering consistently better than EPA estimates. I don't know how their test cycle works, but it seems to be off a bit from real world driving conditions.


No...

Hybrids do many of things automatically that save fuel.

For example, the EPA testing regime, found here http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.s...

forces Diesel cars to be constantly varying thier rpm to meet certain output requirements. A "good" driver seeks to chop off peaks and valleys. This increase fuel economy versus the EPA testings. A hybrid chops the peaks and valleys off automatically through eletric interchange which means the EPA numbers already reflect (to a certain degree) good driving habits, which in turn reduces the amount "above" EPA that a good driver can get...

Diesels and Gasoline cars can often acchieve far above thier "Highway" EPA rating, by simply locking into one gear in cruise control where the EPA assumes a driver, even on the Highway will be varying speed considerably. Again, a Hybrid (and CVTs to a certain extent) already smooths this EPA curve, giving less benefit.


RE: There are
By Philippine Mango on 4/22/2014 2:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
The real reason Hybrid tend to get worse fuel economy than they should is because the companies marketing such vehicles know their demographics. They know the people buying these vehicles are buying them with fuel economy in mind so they either cheat on the test or outright lie about their test results and submit false results to the EPA. They wouldn't feel compelled to misrepresent the fuel economy numbers if it didn't benefit them, so that's why you see it. Some automakers are better than others about giving accurate fuel economy numbers.

As for why diesels get better fuel economy in real world compared with the EPA numbers, it's because the EPA test procedure isn't ideal for diesels and it's a bit more difficult to manipulate compared with Hybrids where they can easily program the computer to "detect" the EPA test procedure, allowing the car to get better fuel economy just for that test by disabling certain features like alternator charging or running off the hybrid battery for a greater percentage of the test.


RE: There are
By FiveTenths on 4/22/2014 3:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
The issue seems to be with the EPA cycle for hybrid vehicles not really working. As opposed to, every manufacturer is lying, but only about hybrids.

According to Consumer reports, the Toyota Prius and Camry Hybrid scored better mileage in their tests than they did on the EPA cycle. This doesn't really seem to jive with your argument.

The diesel can't "detect" the test but hybrids can? What? So, according to this logic the hybrid is capable of getting mileage, as shown by the EPA estimate, but just chooses not to when not being tested.


RE: There are
By Spuke on 4/22/2014 2:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember, these are people that actually take the time to record their MPG on a regular basis -- at EVERY fill-up. These aren't people likely to be hotdogging it like they would in a Mustang.
It is harsh because my nephew did it EASILY and repeatedly. No trickery needed. Just didn't drive it like a 2015 Mustang with the line lock engaged. He also records his mileage for every drive. He got tips from other owners so I KNOW there are owners that get rated mileage from their C-Max's. Lastly, he's friggin anal!


RE: There are
By foxalopex on 4/23/2014 2:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
Actually one little known feature of EV based cars such as the Volt I own is that you can drive with a lead foot. I don't tend to use my entire battery in a day of normal use so I have plenty to play with by flooring it everywhere I go. :) The car doesn't roar like a gas one redlining but it's a lot of fun getting thrown back into your seat. I never use to drive like that with my corolla because it would just eat gas then.


RE: There are
By BZDTemp on 4/23/2014 5:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Congrats to you nephew, but you're over simplifying. Also I'm betting that long hill climb also means there is a long hill descent :-)

Getting the stated fuel economy of course depends upon how one drives, but it also depends a lot on how your commute is so it is not that simple.

Most people will likely be able to get better mileage if they change their driving style. But hitting the promised numbers might not be possible.


RE: There are
By Drafter on 4/22/2014 4:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
Cars with higher efficiency have a higher numerical hit in achieving the advertised MPG for the same basic percentage. I have a Prius commuter and I've noticed that my MPG can be as much as 10mpg above or below the rated number. If I just sort of "drive" it normally, I'll usually get close to the advertised 50mpg. But if I drive really hard on the throttle, it will be closer to 40mpg and if I use hypermiling techniques it will get 60mpg. It's all in how you drive it. The +/- 20% mpg is the same for less efficient cars but the number's aren't as high because you're dealing with a smaller base number to begin with. I can't speak for the C-max though.


RE: There are
By Solandri on 4/22/2014 4:47:07 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, if you really want to be comparing fuel efficiency, you shouldn't be using MPG. You should be using its inverse - gallons per mile (or gallons per 100 miles). That automatically removes the illusory big numbers you get with high MPG.

Comparing using percentages kinda corrects it, but it doesn't correct the baseline. 20% saved at 25 MPG is twice as much fuel saved as 20% saved at 50 MPG. So the 50 MPG vehicle would actually need to save 40% to match the 20% savings of a 25 MPG vehicle. Using 1/MPG corrects for all of these misleading distortions.


By Philippine Mango on 4/22/2014 1:02:02 PM , Rating: 1
This is such bullshit that they haven't investigated the fuel economy claims on the Fusion hybrid. Ford successfully got the EPA to believe their claims that the fuel economy on the Fusion Hybrid were accurate but never actually bothered to test the vehicles, just the C-Max Hybrid.




By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/22/2014 1:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. The Fusion Hybrid is having the exact same problem. It's rated at 47 mpg combined, and people are getting around 40 mpg.

http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/fusion%20hybrid

Even on the EPA's site, people are only averaging 39.9 mpg (91 drivers reporting):

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&...


RE: They need to investigate the Fusion Hybrid!
By Nutzo on 4/22/2014 3:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
The Fusion is rated at 47/47, yet the reported average is 39.9 (and that is with the number skewed by someone reporting an unlikely 53 MPG)

Meanwhile, the Camry Hybrid (XLE) is rated at 40/38, and the average is 38.2

I think Toyota is doing a much better job on the EPA ratings.


RE: They need to investigate the Fusion Hybrid!
By Spuke on 4/22/2014 3:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and that is with the number skewed by someone reporting an unlikely 53 MPG
That number is not skewed. Some people actually know how to drive.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/22/2014 3:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
In this case, I'll fall back on Occam's razor ;)


RE: They need to investigate the Fusion Hybrid!
By alpha754293 on 4/22/2014 3:46:17 PM , Rating: 3
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

I got 74.7 mpg coming back from lunch today in my 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid.

And yesterday, when I was going home from work, I got 53.1 mpg (which is a 21 mile commute). And no, there is nothing that I do special. I set the cruise for 69 mph (speed limit is 70 mph in Michigan) and I stay in the 2nd lane (from left, only because there's a LOT of truck traffic down here, and they're usually going only 55 or less). Merging onto the highway, I am at about the 60% power mark (not exactly lead foot, but I'm not exactly being a granny merging on either). And then once I cross the border and I'm in the city roads in Windsor, I'm doing about 37 mph (60 km/h) (traffic prevents me from going much faster than that).

My current lifetime average is 39.0 mpg after 28700 miles and it's about a week before it's one-year anniversary. And that includes the pre-PCM update which upped the max speed the electric motor can run at from 62 mph to 85 mph (so when I'm coming down from the River Rouge overpass on I-75, the gas engine shuts off). It's not 47 combined lifetime average because it didn't start off that way, but I'm getting 45-50s nowadays with the weather warming up and my not needing the heater anymore.

So it IS possible. And the only real change to my driving style is that I do accelerate a little bit slower (trying to maximize using the electric motor to get going from a traffic light, but if it isn't really safe for me to do so or I'm holding up traffic, I will tip into it a little more, even though it's contrary to fuel economy goals of owning a hybrid. And I also brake a lot "gentler" and a fair bit earlier, and it will NEVER cease to amuse me the people that race to red lights (which if I time it properly, I end up blowing by them anyways).

But that's about the only real change to my driving style.

Read the article below. They actually do a pretty decent job at explaining it.

Pity that I can comment more on it, but that's what my own personal experiences are driving in my own personal 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid (that weighed in a 3772 lbs), which I don't thinkk that either the Camry or the Prius can touch.

Oh, and P.S. it's only the LATEST Camry (and Prius) that passes the IIHS small overlap rigid barrier crash test. The 2013 and earlier model years of Camry and Prius also did not pass the test (I consider a "pass" being getting a rating of "acceptable" or greater).

So sure, you can buy Camrys that are closer to their EPA estimated fuel economies, but just don't crash into a tree or try to avoid a head-on collision. ;o)

(The Prius "passes" because they went with a deflection strategy instead of actually managing the crash energy, which means if you have a row of trees, you're still screwed.)

2012 Camry Small Overlap Crash Test IIHS
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNG7Nm9XDko

2014 Camry Small Overlap Crash Test IIHS
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjCapVqQ4j0

2013 Prius Small Overlap Crash Test IIHS
www.youtube.com/watch?v=v43kRbOz3YU

2014 Prius Small Overlap Crash Test IIHS
www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQjZZyHdTyc

cf. www.caranddriver.com/features/why-is-the-epa-so-bad -at-estimating-hybrid-fuel-economy-feature


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/22/2014 4:27:30 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, maybe I'm crazy, but I'd be PISSED if my car was rated at 47 mpg combined and I averaged “only" 39 mpg after nearly 30,000 miles taking all the commendable precautions that you do to achieve good fuel economy. I would have expected to achieve 47 mpg average over those 30,000 miles if that was the combined rating and even higher after the PCM update.

My previous cars were an '06 Mazda 3s and an '11 Sonata 2.0t. Both were rated at around 25 combined and I was able to hit that mark and maintain it over nearly 80,000 miles with the Mazda and 30,000 miles with the Sonata. I didn't hypermile or do anything special to achieve those numbers; I drove the Mazda pretty aggressively because it was a great handling vehicle that begged to be revved and tossed into corners. And I tended to mash the pedal in the Sonata a lot because...TURBO :).

With my fuel-conscious current car (seriously, who is going to be hotdogging it in a station wagon that doesn't have RS in front of its name or AMG after its name), my driving style has changed from aggressive to normal. Not speed racer, and not grandma. I match my driving style to the vehicle. And as such, I've been exceeding EPA.

Or maybe I’m just accustomed to vehicles performing similarly to their EPA ratings. For a vehicle to be rated at 47/47/47, I would expect to get 47 mpg or very close in just about any situation if I’m driving like a normal person. I say that because with my old Mazda, if I was driving in the city, I always got at least 22 mpg and when driving on the highway, I at least got 30 mpg (it was rated 22/28/25).

Truth in advertising, eh?


RE: They need to investigate the Fusion Hybrid!
By alpha754293 on 4/22/2014 5:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

So...a couple of things @Brandon.

1) If you read the Car and Driver article about EPA fuel economy testing and electrified vehicles of all kinds, it shouldn't take you long to realise that a testing procedured developed in the '70s (!) doesn't work so well for electrified vehicles in 2013-2014.

No. 2, it takes a bit more research and education about what happens in the fuel economy tests (some people actually think that a fuel economy tests consists of you put a certain amount of gas in a car, and then drive it a certain distance, and then distance divided by that amount = fuel economy. But in reality, a "fuel economy" test actually has very little, if anything, to do with fuel economy at all. (It's calculated based on emissions, through analytical chemistry.) And yes, I've actually had people give the whole deer-in-the-headlight shocked face when I tell them that fact.

3) You know what the difference is between 39 mpg and 47 mpg? In 100 miles, it works out to be 0.436 gallons. In other words, if I were to drive the 250 miles (give or take) from Detroit to Toronto, it would JUST barely work out to be a gallon. Which is also why in countries that have adopted the metric system (and the US being the ONLY first world, industrialised nation NOT to do so), they've all switched to consumption as a metric of fuel efficiency (L/100 km) because that actually tells you more about the real changes.

It's like if you plot a graph of fuel consumption vs. mpg, 5 mpg difference on a truck will be far more beneficial than a 5 mpg difference in a Prius. Going from 20 to 25 mpg in the truck would save a gallon per 100 miles vs. going from 45 to 50 mpg in a Prius would save only 0.2222 gallons over the SAME 100 miles.

But a LOT of people read the whole drop from like 47 to 43 as like "zOMG....Ford's lying to us!!!!" (when in reality, it's a drop of about 0.2 gallons per 100 miles). Not very many people know or realise this or is necessarily cognizant of this.

4) The mass of the vehicle has quite a LOT to do with it since there's a direct relationship between the kinetic energy and the mass (k.e. = 1/2 * mass * v^2). So the fact that my car is tipping the scales at 3772 lbs, which I presume is quite a bit heavier than your Mazda 3 and your Sonata - 200-400 lbs is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to fuel economy. (I pretty much have almost every bell and whistle thrown into my car save for some of the safety features like lane departure and BLIS and stuff like that, but everything else is in.)

5) The thing that I ALWAYS ask people who complain about fuel economy not matching the EPA estimate is "okay...then you come up with a test that last less than 20 minutes that will be equally applicable in Death Valley in the summer as it would be in Alaska in January, in Colorado, and in Florida, on the wide open road of Iowa, to the stop-and-go traffic that is New York City. Go. I would LOVE to see what they come up with. Even if you were allowed five tests (like it is today) - oh...and it also has to be equally applicable to a Mitsubishi i-MEV as it is for a Bugatti Veyron. Go. (And as they work through it, they realise what an immensely monumental task it is) so unless they can come up with something better, the 40-year old EPA estimate of a yard stick is what you've go on. And for BEVs, they can't actually run the EPA tests - because....you guessed it - no emissions. ;o)

And the fact that I can get like B-car HIGHWAY fuel economy-like numbers in a MUCHHHH larger CD-car as my COMBINED fuel economy - people were like if you want an economic car, why not get a little tiny car like a Smart fortwo? (BTW, given it's size, it's NOT overly efficient or economical).

So yeah...it always amuses me when I read people's comments on here about ANYTHING fuel economy related. It would probably help a LOT if people actually READ Title 40 of the CFR Part 86 and also the Federal Register to educate themselves on the topic. But c'est l'internet. So....what else can you expect (of people)?

I actually had one of the Canadian customs agent (very cute girl) who was like "Is this a hybrid?" "Yeah." "I can hear it! Or I mean, I CAN'T hear it." Her attempt to be funny I guess. But she was very cute. (However irrelevant that might have been.)

And edit - I'm actually at 28850 miles, and coming home today (20.6 miles commute) I got 44.7 mpg. Not too shabby for a car that's quite large (for its class) and that will actually do it's job and protect me in the event of a small overlap crash (unlike some others - *cough cough*). ;o)


By Keeir on 4/23/2014 2:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
Alpha, that's a bunch of BS rationalisation.

FACT: EPA testing procedures are done to all cars the same way (except BEVs/Plug-in Hybrids)

FACT: Your "47" rated car performed at 39 MPG over a ~30,000 miles and 1 year. 18% Lower than rated!. This is -common- on Fusion Hybrid powertrains.

FACT: Over 100,000 miles, consumers will be spending ~1,500-2,000 more on fuel than EPA estimates would lead than to believe over a different car that acchieved its 47 ratings. This is a significant monetary impact that could/should influence car buying choices.

FACT: Some cars rated at 33 are performing at 36 or over along the same/similiar intervals interval for multiple drivers. Its not just the Fusion or not just Hybrids.


RE: They need to investigate the Fusion Hybrid!
By Nutzo on 4/22/2014 5:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
And my record for the 6 mile morning commute in my Camry Hybrid is 78 MPG, although I usually average in the low 50's

Of course it helps that I have a 300 foot elevation drop between home & work. The return uphill trip home only averages around 30 MPG, which is still double what my old 4 cyl got on the same drive.

I've averaged over 50 mpg on longer highway trips (30-60 miles), even when the trip was slightly uphill.

However, my overall mileage is only 37 MPG mainly due to my short 6 mile commute, and that is often cut to a couple 3 miles trips when I stop at the store on the way home. Short trips hurt Hybrid mileage, as does cold weather.

As for the crash test results, that was a new test that happened after the 2012 Camry was designed. Most cars designed before this also failed. You should look at the specifics for the test. Even though the Camry technically failed, the results (i.e possible injuries) were not much worse than many cars that passed. As I don't go around running into trees (at least not in my 30+ years of driving) I'm not to worried. If I'm going to crash into a tree, I'll just be sure to hit it with the middle of the car :)
In all the other more common crash test the Camry is highly rated.


By alpha754293 on 4/22/2014 5:41:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I pulled the 2012 video because they didn't ran it for the 2013 model year since there were no changes to the door hinge structure or the A pillar structure since the 2012MY.

I used to work in crash safety engineering (at a supplier, not OEM), so SORB was like my life. Kinda literally.

The test description actually states "The test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole." so even if you weren't planning on running into trees, people DO (often) swerve to try and avoid a head-on collision and if they don't or can't swerve enough to avoid it, they end up in a small overlap crash situation. And in a 2009 study conducted by the IIHS, nearly 25% of all fatal or crashes with serious injuries were small overlap.

And to say that you don't go running into them is like saying that car crashes won't happen to you - which WOULD be a true statement until the day that it does. And sometimes that it isn't even your fault. It doesn't have to be. So if a drunk driver cross the grass median and is about to get into a head-on collision with you and YOU swerve, that's all it would take to put you into a small overlap condition. It's kinda how my faculty advisor's wife died probably almost 16 years ago.

And as one of my aerospace/rocket engineer friend says - the difference between engineering airplanes vs. cars is in aerospace you engineer for IF it will crash. For cars, you engineer it for WHEN it WILL crash. (And that there are greater limitations/restrictions imposed in vehicle engineering than there are imposed on aerospace engineering.) It's why people buy cars that get good safety ratings. They can go around thinking that they'll never crash all the want, but when they do - BOY...I'd want to be protected in the safest vehicle (amongst other attributes as well, like space, fuel economy, etc.), wouldn't you?


By Spuke on 4/22/2014 3:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
91 lead foots is all I see.


So yea...
By Arkive on 4/22/2014 12:29:39 PM , Rating: 2

In other news, telling the truth is often less profitable.




RE: So yea...
By purerice on 4/22/2014 4:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
aaaand, no.

Had Ford been more upfront early on they would have had fewer sales, yes, but the backlash and lost business since the revelation of the truth has been more damaging than any initial gain.

"Ford cheats on MPG" will stick in car buyers' heads for quite a while causing Ford to lose sales in all product divisions. If they can't be trusted on something as simple as MPG, what other GM-style life or death issue are they lying about?

American manufacturers are doing their best to give business to Asia and Europe.


Worrying about trivialities?
By Dorkyman on 4/22/2014 2:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, so the "official" overall EPA estimate drops from 47 to 43. Yes, it's good to be accurate, but we're down in the trivial here.

Consumer Reports had a great table this month showing the overall cost of ownership. Gas is just one factor, and the difference between 47 and 43 will hardly make a difference in the overall number.

By the way, the Prius came in at about $0.45/mile. The bulk of the conventional ICE cars are around $0.65-0.75/mile. A few of the luxury guzzlers are around $1.20/mile.

So a real-life difference between 47 and 43 results in an increase in operating costs of about $0.007/mile (7/10ths of a cent a mile). The moral of the story in my view is that the major gain in efficiency is in going hybrid in the first place. After that it's all small incremental gain.




Lesson learned
By masamasa on 4/22/2014 4:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
Don't lie about the 'actual' numbers and your customers won't think you cheated them. When are these goons ever going to learn? Advertising is general is borderline fabrication of truth more often than not.




gas mileage
By Richard875yh5 on 4/23/2014 8:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
we all know how you drive has a lot of bearing on what kink of gas mileage you'll get, but I'm sure the EPA compares and apple to an apple.




Ford
By Richard875yh5 on 4/24/2014 8:28:00 AM , Rating: 2
I find Ford making a lot of false claims in their ads. It fools many people now, but in time it's bound to hit them back.




By vision33r on 4/24/2014 1:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with hybrids and Diesels also is that people set unrealistic expectations. They drive like they used to and then miss the stated MPG and cry foul but never complain about their old cars hitting EPA MPG.




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