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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Columnists | 40 mpg claims grab headlines, miss mark | The Detroit News thanks to http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...es-anyone-actually-get-40-mpg-on-the-highway/.

Have you hit 40 yet? Not in age, but in miles per gallon? It's a target automakers are clamoring to surpass and one grabbing the attention of consumers.

Over the past year, the 40-mpg club has expanded fast with the launch of a series of small cars all claiming to reach this headline-making fuel economy milestone.
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Too bad detnews.com blocks archive.org via robots.txt.
Detnews articles get aged off...

This is one of my biggest pet peeves of car advertising. If it were up to me, it would be illegal to advertise only the highest number from EPA estimates. They ought to only be allowed to do one of these:
- advertise combined mileage
- advertise all three figures: city/highway, combined w/equal prominence. None of the current shenanigans where only the highway # is mentioned aloud or the highway # is in a large font while the other numbers (if present at all) are in a tiny font at the bottom of the ad.
 

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Columnists | 40 mpg claims grab headlines, miss mark | The Detroit News thanks to Ask The Best And Brightest: Does Anyone Actually Get 40 MPG On The Highway? | The Truth About Cars.

Too bad detnews.com blocks archive.org via robots.txt.
Detnews articles get aged off...

This is one of my biggest pet peeves of car advertising. If it were up to me, it would be illegal to advertise only the highest number from EPA estimates. They ought to only be allowed to do one of these:
- advertise combined mileage
- advertise all three figures: city/highway, combined w/equal prominence. None of the current shenanigans where only the highway # is mentioned aloud or the highway # is in a large font while the other numbers (if present at all) are in a tiny font at the bottom of the ad.
Yeah, the government should step in and protect morons who don't understand how a car works.
 

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OR... and stick with me, here... People should research what they spend their money on... Or maybe look at the sticker on the window of the very car they test drive and buy... :shocked:

Mike
 

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I don't see what the problem here is. If I have the keys to these cars personally, I will get 40 mpg in each and every one of them. Yeah, it is a little messed up that they don't tell you that you have to be an efficient driver to actually meet these claims, but each and every one of them I'm positive can and will make their advertised marks in the hands of a sensible driver in test-like conditions (well maintained, flat land, low wind, decent ambient temperature, CORRECT FUEL, correct tire pressures, etc.). I've had DIC values eclipsing 40 mpg in my Cruze, a 2011 LTZ at that. It can be done. What they don't tell you is that it WON'T be achieved by every driver. And their actually MPG tests aren't exclusively highway, where as the 40 mpg highway test IS. None of them actually say "40 mpg combined" except for the Prius.

They got 29.8 real world driving for the Cruze. 2011 Combined values are 28, and 2012 combined values are 30 mpg. I will assume they got 2012 for the sake of comparison, but that is EXACTLY what the EPA estimate is so what is the issue here????
 

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OR... and stick with me, here... People should research what they spend their money on... Or maybe look at the sticker on the window of the very car they test drive and buy... :shocked:


Mike
Yes...personal responsibility seems to be a lost cause these days!:)

I don't see what the problem here is. If I have the keys to these cars personally, I will get 40 mpg in each and every one of them. Yeah, it is a little messed up that they don't tell you that you have to be an efficient driver to actually meet these claims, but each and every one of them I'm positive can and will make their advertised marks in the hands of a sensible driver in test-like conditions (well maintained, flat land, low wind, decent ambient temperature, CORRECT FUEL, correct tire pressures, etc.). I've had DIC values eclipsing 40 mpg in my Cruze, a 2011 LTZ at that. It can be done. What they don't tell you is that it WON'T be achieved by every driver. And their actually MPG tests aren't exclusively highway, where as the 40 mpg highway test IS. None of them actually say "40 mpg combined" except for the Prius.

They got 29.8 real world driving for the Cruze. 2011 Combined values are 28, and 2012 combined values are 30 mpg. I will assume they got 2012 for the sake of comparison, but that is EXACTLY what the EPA estimate is so what is the issue here????
Very well said...The EPA ratings are for the cars...NOT the drivers! My 2012 LTZ mileage is still getting better (all stock). Only just over 3K miles at the moment. DIC read 39.2mpg average when I parked it at work this morning. Last tank was 36mpg combined (~40% city, rest highway). So far I am pleased with the fuel economy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
And their actually MPG tests aren't exclusively highway, where as the 40 mpg highway test IS. None of them actually say "40 mpg combined" except for the Prius.

They got 29.8 real world driving for the Cruze. 2011 Combined values are 28, and 2012 combined values are 30 mpg. I will assume they got 2012 for the sake of comparison, but that is EXACTLY what the EPA estimate is so what is the issue here????
My big issue is automakers picking the highest number (highway on non-hybrids) then going around touting that. They end up using that as part of a larger marking campaign (e.g. GM has the x models or the most models of any automaker that get over 30 mpg [highway]) or there end up being articles like GM Offers 20 Models Over 30 MPG. It sure helps to have a lot of "models" when in earlier years, they had a whole bunch of badge engineered twins.

People go around throwing around that high number and they (including journalists, some of which are idiots when it comes to writing about anything automotive) jump to the conclusion that these "efficient" non-hybrids get almost hybrid-like mileage or in some cases exceed it. They almost always fail to compare the city and combined mileage or they compare apples to oranges (comparing a small weak car w/to a much larger and more powerful hybrid) like Chevrolet Cruze Eco achieves 40 mpg, no hybrid tech necessary | SmartPlanet or GM’s Cruze Eco: Fuel Economy Without the Batteries | BNET. I was able to dig up the press release w/such words: Chevrolet Cruze Eco: Hybrid-Like Fuel Efficiency Without The Price Tag.

At the time that 1st "article" was written, the '10 Camry Hybrid and '10 Altima Hybrid got 1 mpg better combined than a '11 manual Cruze Eco and 4 mpg combined better than an '11 automatic Cruze Eco (which would be a fairer comparison). Both those hybrids are larger, have much more interior passenger volume, almost certainly have faster acceleration (esp. the Altima Hybrid) and had 187 hp for the Hycam and 198 hp for the NAH.

Going back, here's an example...
What's the EPA highway estimate on an '11 Cruze Eco MT? 42 mpg
How about the automatic? 37 mpg
What's their combined mileage? 33 and 30 mpg, respectively

How about the '11 Cruze 1.4L turbo highway estimate? 36 mpg
What's it's combined mileage? 28 mpg

What's the combined mileage of the '11 Prius? 50 mpg

People will refer to the Cruze Eco as being a "40 mpg" or "40+ mpg" car when it's really a 33 or 30 mpg car, in combined mileage. 50 mpg combined is ~51% better than 33 mpg combined. 50 mpg combined is ~79% better than 28 mpg combined.

Does everyone live on a highway? Does everyone have a commute where there's no non-highway driving at all? Does everyone not get stuck in stop and go traffic or not idle at traffic lights?

Don't you think ad campaigns, press releases, "articles" like the above along w/word of mouth lure a percentage of people into "40 mpg" cars and cause some of them to pass over/rule out other cars that that actually are rated at 40+ mpg combined?

Side note: The 198 hp Altima Hybrid has been removed from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/fuel-economy-vs-performance/overview/index.htm since it's discontinued for the 2012 model year. The Bing cached version still has it: http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=ht...1&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=99641c67,ea3fc2a5. They achieved 32 mpg overall in their testing and got a 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds. As I posted at http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/25-s...-terrible-mpg-cruze-lt-auto-12.html#post10050 (and elsewhere, numerous times), CR in automatic, non-Eco Cruzes got 26 mpg overall.
 

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LOL, I seem to be the outlier who is getting better than EPA fuel economy. Then again, it helps that most of the trips done are 10 miles or more on rural highways lightly trafficked, and I know how to drive for efficiency.

Again showing how the driver makes the car, not the other way around. Like Sabine Schmitz getting a Ford Transit around the Nurburgring in 10:30 while Jeremy Clarkson needed a week to get his Jaguar around in that time.
 

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Funny, my "42MPG Highway" eco averages 41.8MPG in combined driving.
Ditto. And that's not really babying it.

I really do not understand the attraction to hybrids. They are not 'greener' in total lifecycle. They do not get better MPG than the best non-hybrid alternatives (Cruze Eco manual for example). They cost more than non-hybrid alternatives and have additional maintenance costs, making them illogical economic choices. What they do give you is that big HYBRID badge so you can shout blind ignorance to your fellow drivers.
 

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Ditto. And that's not really babying it.

I really do not understand the attraction to hybrids. They are not 'greener' in total lifecycle. They do not get better MPG than the best non-hybrid alternatives (Cruze Eco manual for example). They cost more than non-hybrid alternatives and have additional maintenance costs, making them illogical economic choices. What they do give you is that big HYBRID badge so you can shout blind ignorance to your fellow drivers.
I'm about 60/40 Highway/City. My "City" is bumper to bumper central NJ traffic twice a day, and about 75 miles of putzing around town on the weekends. My highway-only mileage is about 47-49 at 80MPH, with lots of slowing down for morons and reaccelerating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I really do not understand the attraction to hybrids. They are not 'greener' in total lifecycle. They do not get better MPG than the best non-hybrid alternatives (Cruze Eco manual for example). They cost more than non-hybrid alternatives and have additional maintenance costs, making them illogical economic choices. What they do give you is that big HYBRID badge so you can shout blind ignorance to your fellow drivers.
Sure they are in terms of total lifecycle. If you have credible evidence and sources to disprove that, I'm all ears. And no, I'm no, the thoroughly debunked CNW junk science that refuses to die and offshoot "articles" and other garbage (e.g. Top Gear) does not count as credible.

They do get better mileage than the vehicles you cited, esp. in city and combined mileage, w/o resorting to manual transmissions which are extremely unpopular in the US. Unfortunately, CR did not test an Eco versions of Cruzes, but you can see where hybrids ranked at Most fuel-efficient cars and Best & worst cars review, fuel-efficient vehicles if you want to look at another set of ratings.

Yes, they do have higher upfront costs than a non-hybrid model. However, often comparisons are made between totally unequal cars to "justify" how hybrids aren't worth the price (e.g. comparing the cheapest subcompact or compact econobox that's missing a whole ton of features vs. a midsized Prius).

As for "additional maintenance costs", what are those? Brakes last forever on hybrids due to regenerative braking. Many folks have gone past 100K miles on their original brakes on their Priuses. Also see CTV British Columbia - Hybrids prove very reliable - CTV News and Prius maint. records at Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity - Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

2nd gen and 3rd gen (and I believe 1st gen) Priuses have no timing belts. 3rd gen Prius has no drive belts. Priuses have no torque converter, alternator, starter nor a reverse gear. 3rd gen Prius has gone to 10K mile oil change intervals due to required (IIRC) synthetic oil.

So far, it sounds like you're the one shouting blind ignorance. There's an incredible amount of anti-hybrid FUD and misinformation floating around. I and other hybrid enthusiasts can only do so much as to set the record straight. If I can set it straight here w/you and a few others, so much the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm about 60/40 Highway/City. My "City" is bumper to bumper central NJ traffic twice a day, and about 75 miles of putzing around town on the weekends. My highway-only mileage is about 47-49 at 80MPH, with lots of slowing down for morons and reaccelerating.
Are you getting this from the DIC? Are you resetting it when your engine is warm? Sounds unlikely given results like First Drive Review: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco Six-Speed Manual
Our drive consisted of 120 miles on the freeway, from Los Angeles to San Diego. We decided not to use the cruise control, and made no attempt to hyper mile. We wanted to see what kind of real-world freeway gas mileage we could get. During our drive we cruised at speeds north of 70 mph with light traffic. With only one quick stop to switch drivers, we recorded an average of 44.1 mpg...
FWIW, the same guys got 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco Gas Mileage: We Get 34 MPG--Which Is Fine in their MT (actually 34.4 mpg cumulative, which isn't that far off from EPA combined estimates).
 

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I'm not going to slam Hybrids or their owners. I owned one and I have two close relatives that own Prius.

My '08 Civic Hybrid and was getting a calculated 40 city/50 highway, 42 overall (I do a lot of city driving). It was pretty unengaging to drive and the CVT transmission tended to exacerbate engine and road noise (Typical Honda complaints).

I had some problems with the regenerative brake booster and hybrid battery early on, thankfully under warranty. I also had problems with the alignment of the rear suspension, the front power windows, and the sunvisors. And lots of squeaks and rattles. In all fairness, a lot of those complaints were common to all 07-08 Civics, not just the hybrid.

The straw that broke the camel's back was the level of service I received from the local dealerships when I came in for the warranty repairs. I never wanted to be 'that guy' but I was just as unhappy to see them as they were to see me or my car. They weren't used to having that many problems with a car, and frankly I wasn't used to having that many problems with a car either. Around the 1 year mark they got everything sorted out and I didn't have any issues. And I ended up selling it to a coworker who has had no further issues.

I'm on my third tank of gas with my Eco and I'm seeing a calculated 33 city/50 highway. The Cruze so far is much more fun to drive, feels much more solid, is quieter and more comfortable and I enjoy having a manual transmission. Fingers crossed on the troublefree bit...this is my first Chevrolet and I intentionally avoided the first model year cars.

Also, the Civic's DIC economy gauge was off by 10% too. Must be the industry standard :D
 

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Sure they are in terms of total lifecycle. If you have credible evidence and sources to disprove that, I'm all ears. And no, I'm no, the thoroughly debunked CNW junk science that refuses to die and offshoot "articles" and other garbage (e.g. Top Gear) does not count as credible.

They do get better mileage than the vehicles you cited, esp. in city and combined mileage, w/o resorting to manual transmissions which are extremely unpopular in the US. Unfortunately, CR did not test an Eco versions of Cruzes, but you can see where hybrids ranked at Most fuel-efficient cars and Best & worst cars review, fuel-efficient vehicles if you want to look at another set of ratings.

Yes, they do have higher upfront costs than a non-hybrid model. However, often comparisons are made between totally unequal cars to "justify" how hybrids aren't worth the price (e.g. comparing the cheapest subcompact or compact econobox that's missing a whole ton of features vs. a midsized Prius).

As for "additional maintenance costs", what are those? Brakes last forever on hybrids due to regenerative braking. Many folks have gone past 100K miles on their original brakes on their Priuses. Also see CTV British Columbia - Hybrids prove very reliable - CTV News and Prius maint. records at Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity - Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

2nd gen and 3rd gen (and I believe 1st gen) Priuses have no timing belts. 3rd gen Prius has no drive belts. Priuses have no torque converter, alternator, starter nor a reverse gear. 3rd gen Prius has gone to 10K mile oil change intervals due to required (IIRC) synthetic oil.

So far, it sounds like you're the one shouting blind ignorance. There's an incredible amount of anti-hybrid FUD and misinformation floating around. I and other hybrid enthusiasts can only do so much as to set the record straight. If I can set it straight here w/you and a few others, so much the better.
Fair enough, point well made and taken. I admit I have a biased opinion against hybrids, but I believe that position has some merit (wait a minute, isn't that the definition of bias... ahem).

Why were hybrids developed? To save fuel cost, returning overall greater MPG than a non-hybrid alternative. Look at the example where the hybrid and non-hybrid models are easily compared - Civic.
Civic sedan, EX automatic, $20,500, 28 city, 39mpg highway, 32 combined
Civic hybrid, CVT, $24,000, 44 city, 44 highway, 44 combined

Using 15k miles per year and combined MPG ratings, $3.50/gallon unleaded, hybrid saves 127 gallons per year, or $450. Payback period for the hybrid is 7.7 years at current prices. Questionable proposition if you ask me. Even worse when you consider non-hybrid alternatives that get near hybrid MPG.

But, your mileage may vary!!
 

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My only interjection between hybrid and non hybrid (assuming they are purchased NEW).
Cruze ECO $19,000
Prius $27,000

You are looking at roughly 5-7 years to gain back any money on your investment, and by then most people will be ready for a new car and you may have to replace the batteries in your hybrid by then. The only real reason to buy a hybrid is because you want one. It won't save you money and as a WHOLE from manufacturing to the day it is scrapped the Prius makes more pollution than any other car or small truck currently available in the US. Not to mention they are dull as dull can be. I have never driven a more boring car than a hybrid.

So Hybrid people, keep telling yourselves you are saving money and the planet, I will sit and continue to laugh at you and your uninteresting, egg shape vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Fair enough, point well made and taken. I admit I have a biased opinion against hybrids, but I believe that position has some merit (wait a minute, isn't that the definition of bias... ahem).

Why were hybrids developed? To save fuel cost, returning overall greater MPG than a non-hybrid alternative. Look at the example where the hybrid and non-hybrid models are easily compared - Civic.
Civic sedan, EX automatic, $20,500, 28 city, 39mpg highway, 32 combined
Civic hybrid, CVT, $24,000, 44 city, 44 highway, 44 combined

Using 15k miles per year and combined MPG ratings, $3.50/gallon unleaded, hybrid saves 127 gallons per year, or $450. Payback period for the hybrid is 7.7 years at current prices. Questionable proposition if you ask me. Even worse when you consider non-hybrid alternatives that get near hybrid MPG.

But, your mileage may vary!!
The Civic hybrid unfortunately is a lackluster hybrid, even with its redesign for model year 2012. FWIW, at Affordable hybrids, hybrid owner costs (you'll need a subscription to see it). They do the unfair comparison of a Corolla LE (since it's compact vs. the midsize Prius and lacks many features of a Prius) to a Prius II and say that after 5 years, the Prius is $750 ahead. They take into account more than just fuel. From Which are the most affordable hybrids vs. standard cars?
Cost factors we considered include depreciation, fuel costs, insurance, interest on financing, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax. Of those, depreciation makes up the largest portion, a whopping 48 percent of owner costs in the first five years. We factor in depreciation, assuming that owners will trade in their vehicles after five years, a typical ownership period.
As for "to save fuel cost", is that really the goal? If it does lead to a lower overall cost, great, that's a side benefit. When the 01 Prius came out in the US and began shipping in August 2000, reegular gasoline averaged $1.46/gal per U.S. Retail Gasoline Historical Prices.

How about using less of a non-renewable resource, more than 1/2 of which we import, much of which resides in volatile regions of the world and/or in regions where the people and governments don't like us much? Somehow, some of that money ends up in the hands of people who want to blow us up and kill our troops. How about putting less CO2 into the air, as a result of burning fossil fuels? How about recapturing some kinetic energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat and brake dust? How about not unnecessarily burning fuel at low speeds and while idling?

People are willing to pay for features like sunroofs or V8 engines. How much money do those save you? What's the "premium" on a BMW? What's the payback period?

Also consider Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn: ‘Clean’ Cars are Patriotic | GreenCar.com and Video: The true cost of gas in the U.S. is closer to $15 a gallon.

For your edification, these might debunk some of your myths, see Environmental - Prius Wiki and Lifespan/Operating costs - Prius Wiki.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
You are looking at roughly 5-7 years to gain back any money on your investment, and by then most people will be ready for a new car and you may have to replace the batteries in your hybrid by then. The only real reason to buy a hybrid is because you want one. It won't save you money and as a WHOLE from manufacturing to the day it is scrapped the Prius makes more pollution than any other car or small truck currently available in the US.
Sigh.... the usual hybrid myths and FUD that refuses to die.

The HV batteries in Priuses are warranted for 8 year/100K miles in most states and 10 years/150K miles in CA and CARB states. See http://www.toyota.com/about/news/product/2010/09/09-1-2011Prius.html and many other sources, including the warranty booklet.

As for your second statement, that is COMPLETE BULL. That comes from the thoroughly debunked CNW junk science that refuses to die. Please provide your source and provide some numbers. Then take a look at Environmental - Prius Wiki.
 

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OK, take all that away and assume you are correct 100% you are still $8000.00 in the hole off the bat. Debunk that #.
 
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