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EPA to look closer into Ford hybrids’ mileage claims

It’s been a well-known fact that Ford has been making quite a bit of noise to the great mileage that the Fusion and C-MAX hybrids boast, claiming that their mythical 47 mph city/highway/combined mileage easily rivals the Toyota Camry and Prius models.

When Consumer Reports (CR) tested the vehicles, they found that both hybrids’ MPGs were quite overstated; well that might be a bit of an understament actually because this is what they actually said: “these two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we’ve seen among any current models.”

According to CR’s tests, the Fusion Hybrid delivered 35/41/39 city/highway/overall mpg, while the C_MAX Hybrid managed 35/38/37 mpg.

These findings were enough to spur on the Environmental Protection Agency to decide on testing the two Ford hybrids again.

We must mention that there is a difference in the way that both these institutions gauge the cars that they drive. For one Consumer Reports always buys the car that they test and don’t accept ads, and they also drove the two hybrids for two thousand miles before installing a “precision fuel meter” in their fuel lines – so a much more accurate and real-world measurement.

After the installing of their fuel meters they proceeded to test the vehicle in an urban environment, including a standard course on the Connecticut test circuit, making several stops and also letting the vehicles idle for a predetermined period of time. The highway mileage was obtained by driving both the vehicles at 65 mph on the same part of the highway. What this all boils down to is that the Consumer Report made some great tests.

It should be mentioned that CR’s auto test chief mentioned that the great majority of the vehicles that they test are within 2mpg of EPA estimates, these are way off, however even so he conceded that the Fusion and C-MAX are still great vehicles when it comes to fuel economy, just that they’re not as great as the advertisement claims.

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