Consumer Reports seems to be taking on a different tactic than it did a few months ago on fuel economy. The publication took Ford and the US Environmental Protection Agency to task for overstating mileage ratings on the C-Max and Fusion hybrids in late 2012. Then, earlier this year, CR said automakers were not delivering the promised fuel economy claims on vehicles with small turbo engines. Now the emphasis seems to be on getting drivers to change their driving habits.

Check out the Consumer Reports video below to see the consequences of going 55, 65 or 75 miles per hour. The CR team used a fuel meter to test out a few models on the highway. One of these test models was a four-cylinder Honda Accord LX. At 55 mph, they were able to get an amazing 50 mpg (and it's not a hybrid). At 65 mpg, it dropped to 42 mpg and at 75 mph, it went down to 36 mpg. The Toyota RAV4 and three versions of the Ford Fusion (including the infamous hybrid) showed similar results.

Loading up your car also hurts fuel efficiency. A bike rack drops the Honda Accord to 37 mpg; adding a wind deflector drops it to 35 mpg and propping up two bikes on the rack drops it to 27 mpg.

It turns out fuel saving options are more limited than we'd assumed. The technology in the powertrain matters, but if you really want to save fuel, you can lighten your foot on the pedal – or just take your bike off the roof rack and ride it to your destination.

<iframe width="628" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2uAjX5hm9cI?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



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  • 21 Comments
      filthyr91
      • 1 Year Ago
      What was the impact on mileage from using E10 vs 100% gas?
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      "One of these test models was a four-cylinder Honda Accord LX. At 55 mph, they were able to get an amazing 50 mpg (and it's not a hybrid). At 65 mpg, it dropped to 42 mpg" At 65 mph the Honda Insight actually gets 50+ mpg, and it is a hybrid, and always gets 40+ mpg. So, yes, being a hybrid does make a difference.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        If you look carefully at that quote, you'll see that "At 65 mpg, it dropped to 42 mpg". Same goes for the actual report. I'm guessing it was just a typo.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wish I could drive slow, especially when your at the top of a hill about to go down it.
      diffrunt
      • 1 Year Ago
      How much would side mirrors delete gain? All mirrors should be replaced by camera/screen.
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      I always laugh when I see ski racks on cars in the summertime. OK, you're cool; but you're also stupid with money.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      'Infamous Hybrid'.... So the point of the article is that the mileage is up to the driving habits of the driver (shocking, as my standard non hybrid Fusion is averaging 30mpg combined) and the hybrid is infamous. Good job....
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah . . . no. I drive electric.
      kEiThZ
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh. Nobody cares to save enough that they'll drive at the speed limit.
        Camaroman101
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kEiThZ
        i started driving at 55 in a 55 mph highway to boost my mpg a bit but was sick of getting hi-beamed and honked at all the time so i stopped
          BraveLil'Toaster
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Camaroman101
          Maybe we don't get out of the city enough, but here in Vancouver, actually driving the speed limit on the highway only ensures that other cars pass you. Some of them don't, even. I know! it's crazy! People actually doing the speed limit besides that one lone dude who's trying to save on gas. It's almost as if people take these safety guidelines seriously, instead of just deciding that the body count so far was meaningless, that lawmakers and police know nothing about what happens to people who drive way too fast, and that they don't know what they're doing when they pass laws like that. Convenience is far more important than the high likelihood of spinal injury!
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Aerodynamics are funny like that...
      Thereminator
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good thing that Spec mentioned he drives electric.Cant have Ronald Reagan wasting energy...turning in his grave.Besides,he's gotta save that energy for the Apocalyptic battle when he finally meets-up with Sammy Hagar! (on living-dead pay-per-view) : )
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can't drive 55!
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        I used to do 50-60 on the highway at about 1am on my way back from Los Angeles, stretched a car rated for 31mpg highway to 37mpg highway. When gas in California was approaching $5/gal, that really saved some cash!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Kids these days don't know who Sammy Hagar is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4IshbLp6es
        Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Oil companies love you because of that. They make billions because people can't take another 30 minutes to get somewhere.
          BraveLil'Toaster
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ryan
          No electrons?! How do they keep themselves together!?
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ryan
          See spec, if you had not driven electric, you oul her been totally evil. Fueling big oi!! Probably even racist! Oh wait...electric? So....wasting all of those electrons....fueling big utility! When children in other countries have no electrons!
        BraveLil'Toaster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Just like noone can afford a Tesla?
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Exactly. Very hard to drive 55 on highways. But please do, if the road is empty.
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