Realistic Gas Mileage Figures -- by Consumer Reports
The recent controversy over EPA estimated MPG versus what new car buyers actually get has not escaped our attention. Seems as if Consumer Reports may have heard the TreeHugger war cry: "Un-Pimp My Ride". In their just-published October 2005 issue, they report that "If more-accurate mpg figures were used to rate CAFE compliance, most automakers would fail to meet the standards our study shows". Praise the Lord and pass the ammo. The article goes on to say "The exaggerated EPA and NHTSA estimates forestall demand for more fuel efficient cars and alternative fuels". Consumer Reports offers, in closing, that "you can learn more about our fuel-economy test vs government tests, and see results for 303 vehicles, available free from Sept. 7 through Nov. 2 Click on Autos, then select "fuel Economy". We'll tell you only which car was the winner in the Family Sedan category, the one we think is most likely to be a good alternative for the SUV crowd. Get the rest from CR.Consumer Reports tested vehicle mileage using a protocol designed to reflect the stop and go driving most of us endure. They ranked the Volkswagon Passat GLS TDI (pictured above) as best in "Overall Miles Per Gallon" (28).
History threatens to repeat itself, as VW prepares to infect US car culture (again) with a fast replicating bug. As for the VW TDI product line in general, we hope Volkswagon gets it's quality program right where they want it, installs particulate filters on engines, and hauls plenty of wagons to the showrooms ASAP, because the biodiesel trend is fast approaching the tipping point.
TreeHugger especially appreciates the "just do it" mindset of Consumer Reports who, while the various Agencies and Congress mire themselves in the K-Street tar pit, will briefly put their testing resources where reality based thinkers want them most: in the public domain. CR shows plenty of other signs of "getting it". Let's raise our glasses TreeHuggers.