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Fuel efficiency

Posted: March 29, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 29, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Yes, many cars in Europe of the same make and model have higher mpg ratings than their U.S. counterparts. The U.S. and Euro testing standards differ, as do the tuning specifications (such as fuel/air and ignition timing, computer mapping).

Euro standards can allow engine tuning which produces higher mileage but would fail to pass U.S. emission tests.

Many Euro economy models are tested with manual transmissions and less luxury options such as power everything because that is how most are sold in the European market.

As to conspiracy theories, yes governments want higher tax revenues and oil companies want higher profits, but auto companies want to sell more cars, and the higher mpg rating helps them do just that.

So much so that some car companies have cheated on their ratings by rounding-up on actual 39.4 mpg test figure to 40 mpg for marketing purposes. (The government does not actually test each model to verify the manufacturers’ claims, but caught this particular Japanese model in their random testing).

If you want better mpg, learn how to safely drive economically (without resorting to 55 mph in the HOV Lane). Most U.S. drivers show little knowledge of practicing fuel saving technics no matter how high gas prices rise (but that is another story).




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