• Aug 1, 2008

In an effort to expose the underreported truth behind the government's corporate average fuel economy ratings (CAFE) and to define more accurate fuel economy estimates, the team over at Cars.com has created their own True Mileage Index. The consumer website points out the flaw behind CAFE is that the adjusted calculations misrepresent the numbers posted on new car windows, and the actual fuel economy consumers will realize on the road (e.g., although Honda earned a 2007 CAFE rating of 33.5 mpg, no Honda has a combined mileage of better than 31 mpg). Like the CAFE calculation, the True Mileage Index analyzes a number of factors. However, Cars.com places more weight on actual sales volume, and less on alternative fuels (like E85). Their math places Honda's True Mileage Index at a more realistic 24.9 mpg. In a nutshell, don't get overly excited when you hear that the 2020 CAFE number is going to be 35 mpg -- it's likely to only increase your future vehicle's actual fuel economy by a few mpg.

[Source: Cars.com]



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  • 26 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a more accurate ranking system, job well done.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As for safer cars, I think my old Dart can take a better hit than cars made these days. Solid steel bumpers work great against todays cars with built in crush zones.

      I think cars are quite safe enough, and it's time to start concentrating on making better drivers. Pay attention to your surroundings, at all times, not just when you need to change lanes. Always assume the other guy is going to do something stupid.....

      BTW - My V8 Dakota gets better numbers than the EPA states, and that's at 70mph. For some reason it doesn't do any better when I drive slower, either.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A '98 Corolla a death trap? Well so was the 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo, but what a way to go!

      But in all seriousness, the 911's oversteer is pretty aggressive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i own a 2007 Civic Si sedan similar to the one depicted in the autoblog article and i get

      30 mpg combined trumping fueleconomy.gov's 26 compined mpg and cars.com ??? they did not sufficiently provide the correct EPA estimate for the 2.0l

      but from a real life driver with tons of VTEC, real gas milage should not always be lower than the estimate
      • 6 Years Ago
      With all this rage about gas prices and mpg, TMI is a very fitting moniker.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Haha, very good point. Cars.com is trying to be like Edmunds, and that's like CompUSA trying to be like Best Buy. Close, but then again, no so much.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Milage depends heavily on the type of driving you are doing. I have a '02 Sentra SE-R Spec V... rated for 28 mpg highway. On my commute to work I regularly get 30-31 mpg. I also have a '96 240sx... which is my weekend toy. Its rated at 27 mpg. This car, however, I drive much more spiritedly... and struggle to get more than 24-25 mpg.
      • 6 Years Ago
      2 whiney kids in the backseat and 4 stops on a Saturday afternoon will kill any thought of gas milage as the gov't. reports.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "(e.g., although Honda earned a 2007 CAFE rating of 33.5 mpg, no Honda has a combined mileage of better than 31 mpg)"

      Is the Civic Hybrid still a Honda? Is 42 mpg combined better than 31?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually let me add that if its a 2007 model year we're talking about, the Civic Hybrid was rated at a combined 50 mpg at the time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      First of all you can't compare CAFE numbers with EPA fuel economy estimates. They're not the same thing. Second, it all has to do with how you drive. My EPA fuel economy rating for my 2005 Focus is 29 highway, yet I regularly get 32-34 highway because I drive the speed limit. Coming up with a better average is fairly meaningless because not everyone drives the same way. I know based on my driving that I get about 10% better than EPA numbers. I make my vehicle purchasing decisions accordingly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My Fusion 2.3L is rated at 20/29.

      According to car's computer, I get 26/40.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Fusion's computer calculates city/ highway?
        • 6 Years Ago
        26-40... that's a wide margin of error, lol. Me thinks your computer is optimistic on the high end =]
      • 6 Years Ago
      BTW, I realized my comment sounded like boasting; sorry, didn't mean to be. I'm not gas-saving expert like really hardcore hypermilers, but I do try to learn some true facts, and decide for myself whether it makes sense. Then I try to apply it - consistently.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well...that's still better than most. Most people are just idiots...both in the way they act and the way they drive.
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