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  1. #11

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    I just thought I'd add, that my MPG has improved a little since my initial post. Now I'm getting about 47 average, and actually had two tanks (mix of city and freeway) that got over 50 (51.1 and 50.4). These are REAL MPG numbers (figured from the gas pump not from the onboard display), though to get those numbers in the 50s, I had to be careful not to drive over 70. If I drive up to 75 (normal driving) it goes to about 46-47 average. Still not bad at all.

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  3. #12

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    I donít think that Consumer Reports is flawed. I drive a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid and after 60K miles, average just between 34-35 mpg these past 2 years! My mileage is based directly from the odometer. My HCH always carries about 10 pounds of my "office" supplies around and a Yakima bike rack on top. I do a lot of mixed driving, city and highway, and don't accelerate fast. I usually keep at 70-80 mph on the freeway. I only use 87 gasoline. I've tried different oils, a new air filter and tried so many different ways to get the most fuel efficiency out of my hybrid, but still at get about 35 miles per gallon at best. Do I have a lemon? Or is the truth really an average of 37 mpg?

  4. #13

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Don't ever expect to meet anywhere near EPA numbers with a bike rack on the roof. When I put a bike rack on top of our Jetta diesel wagon, I can lose up to 5 mpg. Put actual bikes up there and I've lost more than 10 mpg.

    Therefore I never put the rack on unless I plan to carry more than one bike. For most of my bike carrying, I need to only carry one bike with myself or at most one passenger, so I fold down the back seat and pop the bike into the cargo area, but I guess you can't do that on a Civic hybrid.

    Roof carriers are better for the bikes (and the car's paint job), but a hitch mount will not harm your fuel economy.

  5. #14

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Oh, and another thing...80 mph, is not really the best speed for fuel economy. Aerodynamic drag increases with the square of the speed. Plus you have that bike rack.

    You don't have a lemon. Lose the rack and drive at 65 mph and I'm sure you'll gain a good 10 mpg if not more.

    Cars, even hybrids, are not capable of miracles.

  6. #15

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    I truly wonder how both Consumer Reports and the EPA do their tests. Both say you'll never exceed your EPA ratings, but my 1996 Celica (rated 28/34) routinely gets 35-37 mpg on road trips. On one trip, I kept it under 60 mph the entire time and got 40 mpg!

    Similarly, my father got a new Prius, and after a couple of tanks of gas at 42 mpg, he kept it exactly at the speed limit for an entire tank of gas. The result: 62 mpg on a tank, mostly on the highway!

    Speed kills gas mileage far more than any of us would care to admit. My 2000 Echo has never exceeded 35 mpg, but it's a tall box and I routinely drive it at 70-75 mph.

  7. #16

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    The EPA tests are fairly unrealistic compared with my personal driving as well as the driving described by most who don't achieve EPA estimates. The maximum speed for the EPA highway test is 60 mph and the average is 48.3 with no stops ( the exact speed profile is at: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml ). Now I don't know where you may live but I'd have a very hard time finding any place where I can average 48 mph with no stops and not get run over driving only 60 mph.
    Another thing about hybrids is that the electric portion of the drive train can be optimized to provide anywhere from zero benefit over the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) to the full capability of a pure Electric (~150 mpg), depending on the amount of battery and the expected power that the electric motor is designed for. Since the test they were designed for is the EPA test, it is highly likely that they optimized the design for those tests. I would expect performance to drop off significantly outside those test parameters and the evidence clearly shows this is true.

  8. #17

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    "Roof carriers are better for the bikes (and the car's paint job), but a hitch mount will not harm your fuel economy."

    A hitch mount will harm your fuel economy. It will be less than the effect of a roof rack, and will vary somewhat depending on the shape and aerodynamics of the vehicle, but it will reduce your mileage somewhat.

    The roof rack is a killer, especially for a relatively small vehicle with good aero, e.g., HCH or Prius. If I only need to carry one bike, it rides in the back seat, where it fits nicely with the front wheel removed. No impact on mileage, and a bug-free bike. The Yakima goes on the roof if multiple bikes must be carried, but stays off at all other times.

  9. #18

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Expect a 10% higher MPG on the EPA estimates than what you get. And this is for all vehicles, not just hybrids.


    1. The AUTO COMPANIES actually test their vehicles, and the EPA does random checks of a few vehicles every few years. So you guessed it, the auto companies most likely "fudge" the tests alittle to make their vehicles look more efficient.

    2. The test are done in labs, so the conditions can be perfect (ie. No idiot drivers, good temperatures, etc...), unlike the real world.

    I saw this on both the internet and a local television newscast.

    So this is, in effect, a problem with all vehicles, not just hybrids. But the only reason why hybrid cars get more negative attention is that hybrids were designed for high mileage, so they are expected to get their EPA estimates.

    I'd just like to say to Consumer Reports, try an MPG check using the same conditions on a gas-guzzling SUV, and tell me how it compares with its EPA estimates.

  10. #19

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid

    Umm, I just completed 450 km in my Passat from Springfield Mass. to home in Canada. The US EPA numbers say I should have gotten 38 mpg on the highway. The Canadian government tests state 42 mpg.

    I got exactly 42 mpg, with the cruise control set at 70 mph, through the Green Mountains.

    Some cars CAN meet EPA in "normal" driving. I happen to own two: VW TDI diesels.

  11. #20

    Consumer Reports Retracts flawed Hybrid


    I actually get about 51 mpg on the HCH on flat-land driving like the Green Mountains :-) if I can just lock the cruise at 70 mph. This is a bit (25%) better than you report with your VW, it meets EPA estimates AND I actually can fit in the Civic while the VW is quite cramped.

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