DetNews: 40 mpg claims grab headlines, miss mark

Discussion in 'Other Cars' started by cwerdna, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,355
    1,945
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Columnists | 40 mpg claims grab headlines, miss mark | The Detroit News thanks to http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...oes-anyone-actually-get-40-mpg-on-the-highway.

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

    As I've mentioned before, 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 figure 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.
     
  2. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    17,713
    4,502
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I too agree, it's nuts to be able to advertise say 40mpg but in the city the car gets in the 20's... Both numbers should have to be advertised, not just thrown up in small print at the bottom somewhere.

    Sent from my EVO 4G using tapatalk.
     
  3. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,632
    256
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Most of these ads although they don't scream that it's highway do indicate it, so we know it is. That article talking about how cars missed 40 with a blend of city and mountain, well duh of course if you add in city you'll pull down the highway number!

    EPA consistent variable testing is the best thing we have to measure mileage. So, yes in real world the car may not get 40 on the highway; it may get 36. Or it may get 43. There's no reason to think the tests are unnecessarily optimistic--they certainly used to be but I think they are pretty good these days, at least based on anecdotal evidence with myself and what others find. Varies by car, though.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    27,553
    4,730
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    saw a chrysler 300 ad yesterday. best in class fuel consumption. right.
     
  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    9,570
    1,590
    South OC So Cal & the Flathead Valley, MT
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Maybe GM is COUNTING on their prospective buyers being dumber than buyers of hybrids. There have been several threads on PC over the years indicating a higher percentage of graduate & post graduate degrees among prius owners. Could it be that the opposite is true?

    Might it be a bunch of slow folks going down to the Cruze dealer, asking for the 40mpg Chevy ... only to find its the little stick shift model. So w/out thinking, they buy the one with the auto tranny - then never understand why they can't ger 40mpg?
     
  6. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    2,692
    768
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I can't understand why people do not know that it is false advertisings.

    Well, 40 mpg highway, a few minutes of your total driving excluding all the fuel burned from starting the car in your driveway, stop and go traffic until you reach the ramp of the highway.
     
  7. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    5,222
    859
    Northern VA (NoVA)
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    ...not to mention President Obama's speech writers upping it further to 50 MPG based on CAFE MPG (political) basis. Hopefully they backed off that after saying it once earlier in 2011.
     
  8. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    2,077
    277
    2014 Prius C
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    don't understand what the problem is: the efficiency standards always were based on CAFE. NHTSA has jurisdiction over cars not EPA, and this essentially boils down to EPA using EPA and NHTSA using CAFE which is based on direct dyno measurements not some additional convoluted math.

    EPA vs CAFE is new Standard vs Metric.
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    4,954
    994
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Well, there isn't any full-size hybrid car available, and it does have eight gears.

    GM isn't the only one doing it. Using the highest number has been the way since cars got official ratings. Ford and Hyundai/Kia have models that high. If Toyota and Honda had non-hybrids with that high a rating, they'd be crowing about it too.
     
  10. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    9,962
    1,866
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    There are big stickers on the cars before you buy them. That's part of the law. If someone trades in a suburban to get a 40mpg car and it falls short, they are still reducing fuel usage.

    Its not nearly as deceptive as some other advertising. If you buy a prius now split into multiple people, or a leaf you get to hug a polar bear:confused:
     
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,355
    1,945
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Yep, press releases like Chevrolet Cruze Eco: Hybrid-Like Fuel Efficiency Without The Price Tag help promote the misinformation campaign and it seems like the media ends up latching onto this message.

    What's the EPA estimated combined mileage of the '11 Cruze Eco AT? 30 mpg
    Want more? Gotta go w/the manual which gets you 33 mpg combined.

    50 mpg combined is ~51% better than 33 mpg combined.
     
    finman likes this.
  12. CPSDarren

    CPSDarren CPS Technician

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    533
    88
    Chicago
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    The "hybrid-like" advertising is pretty deceptive, even compared to an Insight, let alone a Prius. On the other hand, the Cruze Eco gets very reasonable fuel economy for its class. It's 1mpg more combined in automatic trim than the Corolla auto. It's a pretty decent car overall.
     
  13. Roadburner440

    Roadburner440 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    316
    58
    Hampton, VA
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Don't necessarily think the advertising is deceptive. It is that people choose to not do research themselves, or read the fine print. My father in law has a 2011 Cruze LTZ RS and he usually gets 28mpg city, and 33mpg highway. Which is pretty good for being what it is. I have never had trouble personally ever meeting or exceeding the EPA ratings. I also take into account that if I am in wall to wall traffic, or stopping/going constantly at a ton of red lights that the car will get considerably less. It is people mentality of instant gratification, or being able to spend money to fix an issue that causes problems with the way cars are rated. As they are somehow under the impression the car gets 40mpg no matter how you drive. First few times I drove the Prius I did not meet the ratings, but after coming here and adjusting the way I drive I exceed it with very minimal impact to my overall commute. Is going to take a culture change in the way people drive before we see any real world difference in fuel economy..
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    2,077
    277
    2014 Prius C
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    usually the people who look for small fuel efficient cars are extra-urban commuters; and they mostly get highway miles. The EPA numbers assume 55% city/45% highway, but for high mile commuters the spread is usually 20-30% city and 70-80% highway. YMMV

    Not to defend but they just know their target audience
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,355
    1,945
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    But GM also used "high" highway numbers to make claims like General Motors claims most 30+ mpg vehicles (this is before the EPA test changes that began w/MY08), which the press would just run with. Of course, that "30 mpg" is based on old highway EPA estimates and achieved w/the aid of badge engineering.
     
  16. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    1,656
    485
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Toyota's own website claims the Tacoma regular, access, and double cabs amazing get the same 19/24mpg with the same 2.7L/4sp auto! :rolleyes:
     
  17. tonyrenier

    tonyrenier I grew up, but it's still red!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    362
    42
    Green Bay, WI
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Those ads drive me nuts.
    Such deceptive advertising (by Automobile Companies? Couldn't be!), but most consumers (and don’t they consume) don't research and don’t want to (selective stupidity), and I'm sure they don’t look at the sticker in the showroom.
    Heck, I'd have to beat the snot out of my Gen. III at -10F to get DOWN to 40 MPG.
    Of course these are the same people who think the Tea Party is a "Grass Roots" movement.
     
  18. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    2,077
    277
    2014 Prius C
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    dubious and exaggerated claims.. how it is different from any other ads you see? Welcome to America! to my knowledge only Germany has enforceable laws against false advertisement.
     
  19. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,044
    2,966
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    England occasionally makes an advertiser stop using a false or deceptive advertisement.

    Tom
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,355
    1,945
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    While digging, I found this ad. Notice what mileage figure is mentioned and how...