MPG On The Sticker Vs. Real World

So, you buy a new car that says you are supposed to get 29 MPG on the sticker, yet your car’s “calculator” says you are only getting 24 MPG. What the heck?

Remember that, on all of those MPG stickers, there is small pring, and that small print says “your mileage may vary.”

The Environmental Protection Agency requires that car manufacturers test each model using very specific instructions. The vehicle is put on a dynamometer. What’s that? It’s the automotive equivalent of an exercise bicycle. The car sits still, and the driven wheels turn a roller, to simulate driving. Then the driver follows a very specific set of instructions to simulate a bunch of “trips.” He or she will try to match the car’s speed to the exact speeds on a screen, as it leads them through a “course” of stop and go trips. And as long as the test driver stays within 2 mph of the specified speeds, the test is valid, and the automaker has an EPA mileage number.

The city test reportedly covers 11 miles of driving in about 31 minutes and has a maximum acceleration rate of 18 seconds for a 0-60 time.

The problem is, nobody drives exactly like that. Therefore, use the EPA mileage numbers for comparison shopping, rather than as-promised, real-world results. If you live in Essex, Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne and anywhere in the State of Vermont be sure to contact Handy’s Service Center for your auto repair needs!