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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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SOS, DD
By Beenthere on 2/5/2013 1:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Most people fail to understand that their driving style can alter the mpg by 30% or more. The car maker certified mpg rating is from a standardised chassis dyno test that sorta represents what the EPA believes is a normal consumer driving style. Naturally with people paying a lot of attention to these mpg ratings, the engineers tune the cars to get the best mpg in the standardised test, as is normal and reasonable. The problem is that most people don't drive exactly like the standardised mpg test and as a result they don't get the same mpg.

This isn't rocket science or deception, it's just a different driving style from the standardised mpg test - which an educated person should already know after 20+ years of EPA mandated mpg labeling.

FWIW, I've never had any difficulty meeting the advertised mpg in numerous vehicles but I know how to drive conservatively. I also know that in city traffic you'll rarely ever come close to the advertised city mpg in most cars due to the length of time of the traffic lights, how many stop signs there are, how slow the traffic is moving, how much rubber-necking there is, etc.




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