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Dec 16, 2005
Wilmington, NC
Next year or so, the EPA is going to revise (downward) its MPG ratings. The estimated MPG has been running about 4 MPG lower than the actual highway mileage. How many of you equal or beat the EPA's present estimated highway mileage, and what are you driving?
I get mpg nearly identical to EPA in both my Ford Ranger and Chevy Cavalier, both with over 50K now. I'm sure that regular maintenence, correct tire pressures and conservative driving style are relevant.
'03 Hyundai Sonata 2.7L V6.

MSRP EPA estimates: 19/27

My results to date: 21/32

The current EPA estimates' only validity are as a controlled testing procedure for comparison purposes. The numbers were never meant to reflect true fuel economy under actual driving conditions. If the upcoming revision results in even lower MPG ratings, A> the EPA will have proved beyond doubt that it's being run by morons, and b> the EPA will have additionally proved it has arrogantly classified the entire motoring public as morons.
37-40MPG highway at 70+MPH, car is rated at 35MPG. 1996 Saturn DOHC 1.9L, 146K on the odo.

2004 Saturn Vue, Honda 3.5L V6, usually 21-24MPG. Highest: just under 30MPG running under 60MPH on country backroads. Lowest: 18MPG in short-trip winter weather. EPA Rated 20/28.
'05 Civic DX coupe w/AT

EPA rated 29MPG city / 38MPG Highway
lifetime average over the first 10,700 miles = 41.4MPG

Originally posted by Ray H:
The current EPA estimates' only validity are as a controlled testing procedure for comparison purposes. The numbers were never meant to reflect true fuel economy under actual driving conditions.


And I wonder if the folks in the northern states that have long cold winters, and drive less than 25 minutes per trip on the highway, might find the EPA numbers more in line with they see.
'97 Subaru Impreza, 5sp 2.2L EFI norm. asp.
EPA estimate was 23/30. Car has over 149,000 miles, and I average 32 mpg

BTW, I live in a WAY north of Texas, drive 20 minutes to work, have a 'high mileage' car, and STILL average better than the EPA highway numbers
I do cheat a little though. We have an attached [unheated] garage, but I do plug in the block heater on a timer. For the short time I have it running, it brings the water temp up to about 90F. I figure for the nickel it costs in electricity [we've got relatively cheap rates here], it's worth it to start my car at 90 degrees every morning. Now if I could just convince the boss to let me plug it in at work......

Both my Volvo's get EPA city, the 87 740 wagon beats the sticker by 4.5 - 5 mpg highway and the 97 960 beats the EPA highway by 2.5 mpg. Both cars are rated at 20 city and 25 highway.
My present & past vehicles have gotten as good as or slightly better than the epa ratings. Those vehicles include a Volvo, 86 Saab turbo, Jeep GC 4.0, and now my 2000 Subaru. The EPA test is a controlled test and should be used to comare vehicles very well. Most people I know who complain about the EPA and their milage don't know how to drive and don't care. JMO
My 2005 Subaru OBS is used nearly exclusively on the highway. EPA sticker says 30MPG, I get about 27 when I pull my small enclosed trailer, right at 30 when I drive interstate speeds, and over 31 when I drive 2 lane roads at 55-60MPH. That's on 10% ethanol, which according to some causes a fuel mileage penalty (I don't see it though).
The EPA should create personalized fuel economy estimates.

It can take into account your driving record and how many times vehicles registered to you have failed any state-mandated safety or emissions inspections. Simply enter your SSN and let it do the rest...
I ALWAYS get better than EPA estimates. But, on automatic transmission cars, it don't get much better. Have a brand-spanking new Forester that we just got 24 city on first tankful, and just came back from an almost all highway trip averaging 29. It's rated 23/28. Drove all around 70 mph, top speed 82. Sat in traffic for 6 minutes (I timed it!) to go 0.4 miles once. Stopped twice to let the dog out and eat, and stopped at two different relative's houses. So, 29 is excellent.

On a Saab 9-2x (a Subaru Impreza wagon in better clothes), manual transmission, rated at (I think) 22-29, I've never gotten worse than 24. I only got worse than 30 HWY once, and that was in Florida averaging upper 80's, and hitting a traffic jam around Tampa for 30 minutes...I still got 29! I have gotten as high as 34. Usually set the speed control on about 76.

Other cars very similar...autos get higher, but just by a little, manuals get much better. And, people say I drive the manuals harder than most people...what they don't understand is that I DO accelerate briskly, but, I also use judicious amounts of speedy coasting combined with looking ahead at traffic patterns to minimize speed changes. To me, it's fun.
we have 9 cars amongst 5 people in my family (including my fiancee). We log every single tank for each and every car. We also have logs going back to the 1960s.

Every one of our cars beats the EPA estimates, often by more than 1-2 MPG.

We dont live in the middle of nowhere either... we live in one of the most densely populated areas of the world.

Driving gently and maintaining properly are the keys.

There are two options if you dont meet EPA estimates: (1) you live in a super-high traffic area like DC, Houston, etc. or (and more likely), (2) you dont know how to drive properly...

Some folks might blame oxygenated gas, alcohol in your gas, etc. Sorry, can't say I havent beat EPA estimates while using fuel from places where on the pumps there is a claim of up to 10% alcohol.


super-high traffic area like DC

One time I made the 15-mile trek to work leaving the house at 7:30am.

It took me an hour to get there and I got 16MPG, according to the Scanguage.

Normally, thankfully, I don't leave that early, and by the time I do normally leave, I get close to 30MPG if not more, according to the Scanguage.
01 Maxima, 5 speed. EPA ratings of 21/28 mpg.

My driving consists primarily of mixed cycle (~65% city/35% Hwy) getting 24-25 mpg. Best mileage managed was 28 mpg hwy, but driving at 55 mpg without the A/C.
I've had people that didn't believe my fuel mileage. One guy had the same vehicle I had, and consistantly got several MPG less than EPA. We once went on a 26 hour round-trip business trip, and I proved to him it was simply a difference in right foot technique between us. Some people move that right foot more than they think, even when cruising, and that is wasteful. He is one of those people that gets better mileage by using the cruise control. I proved to him I beat cruise control easily while still averaging the same speed, because I would allow the car to build up speed on the downhills while allowing speed to drop to it's lowest at the top of each hill. Cruise control varies the pedal position too much. This difference is only apparent if the roads aren't TOO flat nor TOO steep. It was a real eye-opener to him....but, even after his bad habits were pointed out to him, I don't know if he ever worked on it enough to show improvement.

The Honda Odyssey is one of those vehicles that gets numerous complaints about it's MPG. Well, we beat it every time but once or twice, and both times it was due to excessive city idling. We actually got over 30 mpg twice on the HWY, averaging 65-70 mph by using the "fastest at the bottom, slowest at the top" technique. But, that engine is SO responsive to the request for power, if you aren't gentle, you will suck up gas getting that 4400 lb monster to accelerate quickly...which it WILL do! Wonderful engine, but, not good MPG under anything other than a feathery foot on the skinny pedal.
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