MPG Figures Cited as Too Optimistic

As vehicle manufacturers aim to boost gas mileage on the vehicles they sell in order to meet tough fuel economy and emissions reduction standards, some of the advertised mpg figures have come under criticism.

In the United Kingdom, a survey carried out by Motorpoint, a leading car supermarket has revealed that 83 percent of motorists believe manufacturers are exaggerating miles per gallon figures.

Part of the issue stems from a significant jump in posted claims, Motorpoint has noticed an increase in average fuel economy claims from 49 mpg Imperial (40.8 mpg U.S.) in 2010, to 54 mpg Imperial (45 mpg U.S.) today.

The UK currently boasts some of the highest fuel prices in the world at £1.34 per liter (which is approximately $9.70 per gallon U.S.) thus for many car shoppers, fuel economy is a top priority and shoppers want to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth when it comes to gas mileage.

Motorpoint’s survey clearly struck a nerve, receiving over 2,000 responses. The company says that due to the sensitivity of the issue it’s imperative for manufacturers to declare easily attainable fuel economy figures and is doing its best to make sure fuel economy information is readily accessible to car shoppers.

The criticism in the UK has been reflected in other parts of the world. Across Europe, officials and auto industry executives are under increasing pressure to revise the method by which the Union measures fuel economy and emissions to better reflect real world driving, since the current system is deemed as too optimistic.

Here in the U.S. meanwhile we’ve witnessed a number of lawsuits against manufacturers for reputed false claims of fuel economy figures, the most publicized being
that of Heather Peters, who claimed here 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid wasn’t able to achieve the gas mileage advertised by the manufacturer.

Back in the UK, Motorpoint is aiming to do what it can to reassure car shoppers.

“All fuel efficiency readings are readily available to our customers to assist in their decision making from our broad range of makes and models,” said the firm’s Managing Director David Shelton. Said readings include posted urban, extra urban and combined mpg figures.


  • Jim Jones

    Car Manufacturers always mislead on there mpg claims with saying it gets 40 mpg ( HIGHWAY ). Who drives their car on the highway 100% of the time? My last car before my 2010 Prius claimed 34 mpg ( HIGHWAY ). The best I could ever get was 29 mpg and that was 60% of my driving on the highway. Odd thing is my Prius is rated at 50 mpg yet right now I’m getting around 56 mpg the past 2 tanks. Figure that one out.

  • Rong544

    Being a person who learned long, long ago that hurrying seldom saves time and always adds stress and cost to any trip, I am not surprised that people don’t get the sticker milage.

    I don’t do jackrabbit starts. I do look ahead and if I see a light turn red I decelerate as soon as possible without breaking coasting when I can. I use the brakes as little as possible (leave a gap and don’t tailgate) and I use cruise control as much as possible. If you do these things, you will achieve close or better than the sticker milage. If you don’t, it’s on you. However, watching my fellow travelers racing to red lights, racing from green lights and constantly changing lanes to get a few car lengths ahead and often not, I would guess that very few people get anywhere near their potential milage.

  • Van

    Rong544, spot on!!

  • shecky vegas

    Wait, wait, wait. You’re saying the automobile manufacturers LIED to us, just to get us to buy their product???
    Shocked. Shocked, I am…