Eight in ten drivers get better fuel economy than EPA rating

Eight in ten drivers get better fuel economy than EPA rating

An analysis by the American Automobile Association found that 8 in 10 drivers reported getting better fuel economy than the EPA rating for their vehicle. But testing revealed that driver behaviors and environmental conditions, rather than vehicle shortcomings, are likely responsible for fuel economy variance.

The biggest differences were in vehicles with manual transmissions 17 percent higher fuel economy than EPA ratings and diesel vehicles, 20 percent higher. Minivan owners reported fuel economy that was equal to or slightly lower than EPA ratings.

In the next phase of AAAês fuel economy testing, to be released in late 2015, researchers will measure the impact that specific driving behaviors, such as acceleration rates and idle time, have on an individual driverês fuel economy.

Driving at higher speeds also affects fuel economy, said John Nielsen, AAAês managing director of the Automotive Engineering and Repair Division. –Driving just five miles per hour above 50 is like paying an additional 19 cents per gallon for gasoline,” he said.

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