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Not all small turbo engines are more fuel-efficient says Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports isn't letting up on its testing of fuel efficiency claims for various vehicles. According to the publication, small turbocharged engines aren't delivering on the fuel efficiency claims by the manufacturers.

Small displacement turbocharged engines have become common in a variety of vehicles in place of larger displacement, naturally aspirated engines. The claim by the automotive manufacturers is that the small displacement turbocharged engines offer the same power as larger displacement engines and improved fuel efficiency.

Consumer Reports, however, states that in its real world testing many vehicles with turbocharged engines aren't as efficient as the manufacturers claim. The publication recently tested the 1.6-liter EcoBoost in a Ford Fusion and found that the turbocharged version has a slower 0-to-60 mph time than its competitors and achieved only 25 mpg in testing, making it among the worst for fuel efficiency in the recent crop of family sedans.

The publication also claims that the larger 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which promises the power of the V-6 with the fuel economy of four-cylinder engine, fails to deliver on either front.


2013 Ford Fusion

Chevrolet is also under fire for the 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder in the Cruze. Consumer Reports claims that real world performance wasn’t much better than the standard, naturally aspirated 1.8-liter engine and overall fuel economy was similar as well.
 
Ford and General Motors representatives offered similar statements explaining the discrepancy. "When you have an EcoBoost engine, you have the opportunity to have performance and fuel economy, but not at the same time,” said Ford Powertrain Communications Manager Richard Truett. “EcoBoost adds a dimension that you won't get by just making the engine smaller. We're telling the driver, it's up to you on how you want to drive."

"The Cruze turbocharged engine provides a much broader torque curve than a non-turbocharged engine, and that means better acceleration across the rpm range, making for a more fun-to-drive car,” said GM spokesman Tom Read. “However, if you have a heavy foot on a turbocharged engine, you're not necessarily going to see a lot of fuel economy benefits."

The EPA is going to investigate Ford after Consumer Reports and other owners have complained that fuel efficiency doesn't meet the automakers claims in the Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX.

Source: Consumer Reports



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By Samus on 2/5/2013 10:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
Hey Consumer Reports, why don't you learn how to drive a turbo before you judge them? You can't drive them the same way you drive a naturally aspirated engine and expect the same fuel economy. Not only is it bad for emissions (older turbo engines often failed emissions tests because the testing center driver lacked knowledge of how to dyno them properly) but without boost, they simply wont run efficiently.

That is to say, when accelerating, you must be at >50% throttle, and when coasting, you must be between 1800-2200RPM in a 4 cyl, 1600-2000RPM in a 6 cyl, and 1200-1500RPM in a 8 cyl. Anything under will bog it down, anything over will cause it to be 'boosting' when coasting, which needlessly produces power that will be released by the blow-off.

If you can't achieve these figured with the automatic they are equipped with, then you need to have the manufactures reprogram the automatics (most turbo's with automatics I've driven adhere to these figures) or get a manual.




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