Consumers Reports recently tested a variety of vehicles for fuel economy, and (not to my surprise) found that 90% of the 303 vehicles tested don't obtain the EPA estimate that's printed on the window sticker. Among the worst performers in the test were hybrid models in general (averaging 19 MPG lower than EPA estimates), the Jeep Liberty diesel (11 MPG instead of the EPA city estimate of 22), and the Chrysler 300C Hemi (10 MPG compared to its EPA city rating of 17). While I'm not surprised that results were lower than the EPA numbers, I'm downright shocked at how much they differed. I can only imagine that the testers used a technique somewhat similar to the average drag racer's Sunday driving habits (actually, it's explained on CR's website, but not in enough detail). The recent energy bill made only minor changes to the post-testing calculations used in the EPA testing, and did not change the actual laboratory procedure to better reflect modern driving habits.


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