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Guest Message by DevFuse

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EPA test is totally unrealistic


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51 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   darrel.e.wise

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

Just got back from driving from Kansas City to Dallas and back and concluded that the EPA highway mileage test is totally a fantasy. I don't blame Ford. You can't expect the EPA results when they don't drive 70 mph for an extended time. If they would simulate Interstate highway driving they would get more realistic results. 9 hours at 65 to 70 mph produced 38.7 mpg. Am I upset? No. It is still way better than the 27 mpg I got with my previous car. So those of you who are expecting 47 mpg highway, I simply say to you. Stay off the Interstates and keep it under 60 like the EPA does. I used much less fuel on this trip than I did on all the previous trips.
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#2 OFFLINE   fusionTX

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

I should be getting my car in the next couple of weeks.

I probably won't have it a week before I turn around and head on an 1,100 mile trip to Florida.

I would be happy if I got 38 MPGs. I expect I will get lower.

 

My Camry does 33 to 34 on that Trip. Speeds are usually between 75 and 80.

I may experiment with the Fusion at different speeds for portions of the trip.

Either way it will be nice to be driving my new car.


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#3 OFFLINE   Toz

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:47 AM

I have never owned a car that could average almost 39 MPG at 70MPH.  That would make me happy.  That being said, I am hoping for a little bit better than that on my 20 mile 55MPH daily comute.


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#4 OFFLINE   Jmagg73

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:19 AM

Make sure you turn on the ECO cruise control in the settings. I went from 38 to 42mpg in a snap.
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#5 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:12 PM

38 is about what I can average in my 2010 on the interstate, but I can get it up to 50 if I try really hard. Then again I rarely go over 65 either, I stopped doing that when gas hit $2.50 a gallon.  I think EPA does not consider highway Interstate travel but the 2 lane rural highways instead. On those the EPA average of 48 MPH is more realistic. Also you figure in the brief spurt to 80 MPH in the test simulates passing someone.

 

EPA needs to add one more item to their list, and that is Interstate travel where you are driving up to 75 MPH for extended times. That would be much more realistic and what the vast majority of people consider "highway".


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#6 OFFLINE   terryb

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 02:44 PM

I should be getting my car in the next couple of weeks.

I probably won't have it a week before I turn around and head on an 1,100 mile trip to Florida.

I would be happy if I got 38 MPGs. I expect I will get lower.

 

My Camry does 33 to 34 on that Trip. Speeds are usually between 75 and 80.

I may experiment with the Fusion at different speeds for portions of the trip.

Either way it will be nice to be driving my new car.

I had a 1000 on mine before I went to Tampa.  I got arount 39 on the 70-75 mph Interstates.  The ACC was so cool I could just let it take care of the slight 'wrinkles' in the traffic speed.  Just don't let the 'toys' distrct you too much.

 

I'm waiting for your deal to close so I find out what my referral incentive will be.


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#7 OFFLINE   fusionTX

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:41 PM

I had a 1000 on mine before I went to Tampa.  I got arount 39 on the 70-75 mph Interstates.  The ACC was so cool I could just let it take care of the slight 'wrinkles' in the traffic speed.  Just don't let the 'toys' distrct you too much.
 
I'm waiting for your deal to close so I find out what my referral incentive will be.

Yeah I'm really looking forward to ACC on the trip. Hope the car arrives in time.
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#8 OFFLINE   TX NRG

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:51 AM

38 is about what I can average in my 2010 on the interstate.
 
EPA needs to add one more item to their list, and that is Interstate travel where you are driving up to 75 MPH for extended times. That would be much more realistic and what the vast majority of people consider "highway".


IIRC, Illinois interstates are 65mph (not that anyone obeys that) and other states are 70 or 75, with stretches of 80 or even 85mph for some lucky few (as long as they avoid the occasional crossing wild boar!). As you suggest, the EPA should include a steady state test for a set number of Interstate miles (say 50 miles) at 5 mph increments; 60mph, 65mph, 70mph, 75 mph, 80mph. Then people can quickly see what they should reasonably expect for MPG at the Interstate speeds they normally travel.
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#9 OFFLINE   tombarker13ffh

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:22 PM

I think they should at least have a better disclaimer than 'your mileage may vary'. It should say that averages will decrease so much at certain speeds, on average of course. Some people get better than others in different climates, elevations, etc. But they're not required to, so why would they?
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#10 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 05:48 PM

Indeed!


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#11 OFFLINE   neod192

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:51 PM

I took a 142 mile trip today and got 36.4 MPG - in my dad's '13 Accord... I set the cruise control at 70 and just steered.

So what is so special about that Honda (EPA highway rated at 36 MPG) that it can beat the rating in real life driving? This was with 87 octane gas, 50 degree temps and 4 adults in the car. If I was to drive according to the EPA rules I could've gotten over 40 MPG.

Did Honda understate their rating? Why would they do that?

So why is the Fusion struggling to reach its EPA rating in real life? Why is the Fusion (not just the Hybrid) so inefficient at true highway speeds (70 MPH & higher)?

Edited by neod192, 30 March 2013 - 07:59 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:30 PM

I have never owned a car that could average almost 39 MPG at 70MPH.  That would make me happy.  That being said, I am hoping for a little bit better than that on my 20 mile 55MPH daily comute.

You will. 55MPH steady state driving you should see pretty close to 47 MPG depending on conditions. Favorable conditions and you'll beat that, strong winds and cold winter and you might only get 40 on that same trip

 

38 is about what I can average in my 2010 on the interstate, but I can get it up to 50 if I try really hard. Then again I rarely go over 65 either, I stopped doing that when gas hit $2.50 a gallon.  I think EPA does not consider highway Interstate travel but the 2 lane rural highways instead. On those the EPA average of 48 MPH is more realistic. Also you figure in the brief spurt to 80 MPH in the test simulates passing someone.

 

EPA needs to add one more item to their list, and that is Interstate travel where you are driving up to 75 MPH for extended times. That would be much more realistic and what the vast majority of people consider "highway".

I also have slowed down with the increase in gas prices and becoming more budget conscious. As I moved on from being a student living at home, to a starving college student, to being single living on my own and now to being married my priorities have changed and I've found that every penny saved on gas can be spent on more rewarding activities

 

I took a 142 mile trip today and got 36.4 MPG - in my dad's '13 Accord... I set the cruise control at 70 and just steered.

So what is so special about that Honda (EPA highway rated at 36 MPG) that it can beat the rating in real life driving? This was with 87 octane gas, 50 degree temps and 4 adults in the car. If I was to drive according to the EPA rules I could've gotten over 40 MPG.

Did Honda understate their rating? Why would they do that?

So why is the Fusion struggling to reach its EPA rating in real life? Why is the Fusion (not just the Hybrid) so inefficient at true highway speeds (70 MPH & higher)?

lolder can explain the engineering perspective better than I can, but it has to do with the engine sizing and the fact that our ICE shuts off in the EPA tests at highway speeds. Think about what happens in the Accord when the EPA test calls for deceleration. The ICE keeps running and burning gas. In our car, as soon as the EPA test stops accelerating the ICE can shut off and save gas. Many gas only cars can exceed their EPA highway mileage on steady cruising because of the way the EPA tests are designed. Think also about what happens during the EPA test when the Accord accelerates, that leads to increased fuel consumption in comparison with steady state driving. In steady speed driving the ICE in the Accord is much larger than what is needed, because the ICE needs to be sized for acceleration and climbing hills. In our hybrids when the ICE is on at highway speeds we're using a higher percentage of its available power because it has been downsized since we also have an electric motor. This leads to our engine working harder as a percentage of its total capacity to maintain those same speeds, that doesn't mean it is less efficient or worse...hybrids sacrifice highway efficiency in order to get better mileage in the city. Take a look at some of the posts under MPG Happy Talk. On city drives we're consistently seeing 50+ MPG, even 60+ MPG. Our current tank, almost 100 miles all city is currently showing over 51 MPG. And it's still only in the 40s in MN, imagine what it will do when it's 60 or 70 degrees! That's what hybrids are for, not cruising at 80 MPH down the interstate. Diesels are best for that.

 

In our 2006 Accord Hybrid we could get 40-45 MPG steady state cruising on the highway at 55 MPH in favorable conditions (warm but not enough to need A/C, no wind). In the Fusion we'll get 50-55 MPG in those same conditions. Both cars can exceed their EPA rating in highway cruising under the right circumstances.


Edited by hybridbear, 30 March 2013 - 09:35 PM.

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#13 OFFLINE   ketel0ne

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:37 PM

This page always makes me laugh. 

 

http://www.fuelecono...schedules.shtml over 1 minute to get to 50mph in the test. Is never over 60mph and when at 60 it is for less than I believe 2% of the entire highway test. The highspeed and city are just as whack. 


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#14 OFFLINE   tombarker13ffh

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:11 AM

"EPA needs to add one more item to their list, and that is Interstate travel where you are driving up to 75 MPH for extended times. That would be much more realistic and what the vast majority of people consider "highway"."

I believe the auto industry has too much of an influence on the matter to allow that to happen. In fact I'm sure they are spending a lot of resources to stop that from happening. If the epa ratings came out saying 47/47/35, Ford wouldnt sell as many as 47/47 and 'your mileage may vary' fine print. There's just not enough power in the consumer to change these things for the consumers best interest.

Edited by tombarker13ffh, 01 April 2013 - 02:12 AM.

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#15 OFFLINE   tombarker13ffh

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:26 AM

"Observe the Speed Limit
(New Information)

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph.

You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.26 per gallon for gas." -fueleconomy.gov
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#16 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:26 AM

Lets all go back to horse and buggy! Then we can measure it as miles per pound of grain! :)   At least then we can find jobs for people in cleaning up the streets.   :happy feet:


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#17 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

"EPA needs to add one more item to their list, and that is Interstate travel where you are driving up to 75 MPH for extended times. That would be much more realistic and what the vast majority of people consider "highway"."

I believe the auto industry has too much of an influence on the matter to allow that to happen. In fact I'm sure they are spending a lot of resources to stop that from happening. If the epa ratings came out saying 47/47/35, Ford wouldnt sell as many as 47/47 and 'your mileage may vary' fine print. There's just not enough power in the consumer to change these things for the consumers best interest.

Sadly I think you're right. The automakers are very powerful and wield a big stick...plus it's really only hybrids that have the potential for grossly inaccurate EPA test ratings compared to real world driving


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#18 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:53 PM

Sadly I think you're right. The automakers are very powerful and wield a big stick...plus it's really only hybrids that have the potential for grossly inaccurate EPA test ratings compared to real world driving

This is true, in a non Hybrid, it is easy to surpass the highway EPA, but not so much in a Hybrid.  When I test drove a used MKT Ecoboost I got above EPA in it, 23 MPG combined. It was rated 16/22.  Heck I even got 31 MPG on a tank when I first got my 2010 Fusion Sport when I drove to the Dells. Havent been able to do it after that, but It did do quite well, considering how hard I drove it. 


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#19 OFFLINE   terryb

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:56 PM

Folks, I think we are dissing the EPA test unjustly.  Does the test actually try to emulate "real world driving"?  In texas or Colorado or Pennsylvania?  Little old lady, stoner, 16 year old?  It is a multi-mode fixed procedure for each vendor to follow to provide a comparitive baseline value.  There is no way for somebody to formulate a test to match your MO in the car.  Exactly how many factors would need to be considered to give you conficence in a number ?How many speeds?  How many temperatures?  How many tire sizes, gas grades, rates of acceleration, etc., etc.

 

It's fine for filling up these threads with rants against big companies and ineffective government but I don't see much constructive outcome.  Maybe FMCs reporting of customer reported data?


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#20 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:36 PM

No, just a more realistic test to simulate interstate speeds in addition to Rural road speeds and City driving.  City driving is pretty darned close, and no arguments there, but the vast majority of people regard Highway speeds as Interstate which is 65 MPH or higher, not the 55 MPH of Rural state highways.  Not much to ask for, just one more parameter that most people will better understand.


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