Hybrid Mileage Claims Spur Lawsuit

A California man shocked that his Honda Civic Hybrid’s gas efficiency didn’t match EPA estimates has decided to file a class action suit against Honda for false advertising. John True spent an extra $7,000 on the hybrid model after seeing advertisements that claimed average city fuel efficiency of 49 mpg. True was horrified to discover that after 6,000 miles of driving, he only averaged 32 mpg.

The lawsuit claims American Honda Motor Co. has misled consumers in its advertisements and on its Web site. The suit notes that while the Environmental Protection Agency and automobile window stickers say “mileage will vary,” some Honda advertisements read “mileage may vary.” That implies that it’s possible to get the mileage advertised, said William H. Anderson, a Washington, D.C., attorney for True.

If John True did any research before plopping down the extra $7,000, he would have known that the EPA estimates are rarely accurate; Consumer Reports found that the actual performance of the Honda Civic Hybrid was 26 mpg, 46% below the EPA estimates. The EPA tests are based on outdated standards that always present overly optimistic estimates. The test will be tweaked to simulate realistic driving conditions starting with the 2008 model year.

Hybrid owner sues Honda over mileage claims [The Detroit News]
(Photo: billselak)

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  1. ptkdude says:

    I actually agree with the lawsuit. It is well known, particularly by auto manufacturers, that the EPA mileage estimates are a bunch of hooey. Yet they knowingly continue to advertise their product using this inaccurate information.

  2. gamble says:

    If anyone were too be sued here, I think the only logical choice would be to sue the EPA. I don’t see how the blame can be pinned on Honda for using the EPA mileage estimates. Even though most people know that the EPA estimates are not realistic, they are still the only accepted forms of mileage estimates. Honda shouldn’t be blamed for passing on information obtained from a government agency.

    That being said, there should be no suit here at all. I feel that every reasonable person knows that the mileage estimates aren’t reliable. Not to mention that there are so many other factors involved here such as how the guy drove his car. Maybe he drove it aggressively. Maybe he drives up hills a lot. Regardless, Honda shouldn’t be sued for saying what the government tells them to.

  3. gamble says:

    Oh, and also, since I didn’t make it clear, the EPA estimates are actually required to be displayed on every new vehicle sold. It’s not like Honda had a choice on whether to not display the estimates or to come up with their own and display them instead. By law, all new cars must display the EPA mileage estimates.

  4. Ptkdude, it’s illegal for them to advertise their product using any other fuel economy numbers.

  5. csmcdonald says:

    32MPG? Wow, my 2002 Hyundai Accent is averaging 35mpg highway and probably around 30mpg city. So what’s the advantage of a hybrid then?

  6. iota says:

    It’s the law to display the EPA estimates, but not to bleed their customers out of an extra $7000 for mileage claims they know are false.

    You can claim Honda was just obeying the law, you can claim the EPA is just doing their job. But this kind of underhanded advertising is simply unacceptable, and someone has to be held accountable.

    I’m rarely a fan of these kinds of lawsuits, but if this is what it takes to get the system changed, then so be it.

    It should be noted though that I’m currently in the process of finding a new car, so I think I’m probably a little jaded on the whole situation.

  7. Bulldog9908 says:

    What a moron. This idiot ranks right up there with the $54 million pants judge.

    Any reasonable person know you don’t get the advertised mileage.

    The article doesn’t say how much he’s asking for, but since it’s a class action suit, you can bet it’s a lot.

    (As others have pointed out, it’s not legal for Honda to use any other numbers in their advertising. Expect this one to get tossed out long before it reaches trial.)

  8. TexasAg03 says:

    Actually, I have always gotten the EPA figures (or at least within a couple of mpg) on every car I have ever owned. On a couple of cars (BMW 325 and Toyota Avalon) I managed better than EPA on the highway figures. Of course, I am talking about times when I drove normally which, for me, is still not driving easy. I tend to out-accelerate most other cars and drive about 5-10 percent over the speed limit. Maybe I have just been lucky…

    It may be possible to reach 49 mpg in a Civic hybrid, provided the car is driven to maximize fuel efficiency. I know I have read posts in other forums where the owners have claimed to do so.

  9. Bulldog9908 says:

    @csmcdonald: There is no advantage after you factor in the high cost of entry. It saves a nominal amount of fuel but costs a lot more money.

    Not to mention that over its lifetime, the Prius is more harmful to the environment than a Hummer. (Batteries, two engines, shorter expected lifetime, and toxic chemicals used in hybrids all play a role.)

  10. Bulldog9908 says:

    @TexasAg03: I have a Passat with the 2.0 turbo engine. EPA estimated highway mileage was 32 MPG. When driving gently on a 55 MPH highway, I can get 36-39 MPG pretty regularly.

    My truck (Chevy Silverado 1500) was advertised at 21 MPG highway. Best I can do is 20.

    The EPA estimates (at least until recently) were complete fabrications. They gave you a general idea of the actual mileage you’ll get, but for different vehicles, the real world will give you wildly different results. Certain vehicles will regularly exceed the estimates, and others will never get that mileage.

  11. MeMikeYouNot says:

    I agree with Bulldog previously–anyone knows EPA estimates are hooey and no one ever gets what they are rated at. I sold VW’s in the 80’s (diesel Rabbit anyone?) and people always complained that they didn’t get the EPA figures.
    I feel a sense of smugness for the guy who would spend that much more and then complain about the mileage.

  12. zamafir says:

    I’m with BULLDOG9908, My GTI and 2.0T Jetta both return manufacturer claimed mileage when driven at legal speeds on the highway. My Hybrid Camry does so as well (per highway, in town, and combined) – thus I’m always a little confused when people assert with all certainty that EPA figures are complete bunk.

  13. Sam2k says:

    He should have bought the non-hybrid…I average 35 mpg in my ’06 Civic. Of course, I suspect that if John True spent more time focused on his driving and less on frivoulous lawsuits he wouldn’t have this trouble. Obviously, his lawyer’s ego is creating drag.

  14. horned_frog says:

    I own a 03 Honda Civic Hybrid. I love it. The added benefits of a hybrid also include auto-switching the engine off at a stop light and (for the newer hybrids) running solely on the electric motor

  15. ptkdude says:

    @Tom Chambers over Mark Jackson: And if they know the EPA numbers are a bunch of crap, they shouldn’t advertise with them.

  16. manic5 says:

    I own a 2006 gasoline civic with manual transmission and I get 35 mpg in mostly city driving. What the hell is this guy doing in his car?

  17. TPIRman says:

    @Bulldog9908:

    Not to mention that over its lifetime, the Prius is more harmful to the environment than a Hummer. (Batteries, two engines, shorter expected lifetime, and toxic chemicals used in hybrids all play a role.)

    Yes, it’s probably best “not to mention” that talking point because it’s a canard that has been thoroughly debunked. The “expected lifetime” numbers were seemingly pulled from thin air, and the environmental impact of manufacturing was vastly overstated relative to impact incurred by vehicle usage. At times, the author(s) of the “Hummer beats Prius!” white paper seemed to not even understand the scientific units being used. Details are available here, with another excellent article here and a bit more analysis here. And here’s a link to the original “Dust to Dust” report, along with the author’s rebuttals to some of the ensuing criticism.

    This is beside the point of mileage figures, which can indeed be misleading. I support the guy’s lawsuit. I don’t think he’ll win — the case seems to be based on a very fine semantic distinction — but it should bring attention to the fact that people need to research real mileage figures for their cars. It’s counterproductive for both the auto industry and the environment if people feel like they are being duped by mileage claims on either end of the efficiency spectrum.

  18. Thrust says:

    Great Lawsuit for the wrong reason. Everyone knows the EPA numbers are bullshit. He shouldn’t sue because the mileage isn’t as advertised, he should sue because his hybrid is giving him gas mileage he could have got in a non-hybrid. They hype these hybrid pieces of shit as great for the environment, and terrific on the wallet, and that’s more full of crap than GW Bush’s head.

    Hybrids cost more than ICE-only cars. Many-to-most have about a five-year lifespan due to the batteries, which cost such a staggering amount of money to replace, you’d be better off buying a whole new car. The odds of you recaping the higher price for the car through better gas mileage is slim, even less so once the warranty expires because repairs are more expensive on a hybrid.

    Want to save money on gas? Get a Yaris, Fit, or something similar. Hell, my Matrix almost gets as good gas mileage as his hybrid.

  19. synergy says:

    I’m wondering what the guy was doing to get such low mileage. I have a 5 year old Honda Civic and I’m getting 28-30mpg. I’ve known a couple of people who own the hybrid and they would tell me that they usually got about 40mpg. So… I’m really wondering about his terrain and driving habits.

  20. castlecraver says:

    @Johnny: Thanks… you beat me to the punch. Science FTW.

  21. bohemian says:

    @Bulldog9908:

    Our Passat turbo gets about the same range as your getting. The worst mileage was with four people in the car and every bit of available space packed with gear. We did 32-26mpg on the highway overloaded.

    We paid for that vehicle in total about equal to what this guy paid in extra costs to get a Prius vs. a regular car.

    Next on my list is a used VW beetle TDI diesel. Rumored to get 49-55mpg.

  22. lizzybee says:

    I’ve always found the EPA estimates to either be accurate to a little low. I average about 38-41 mpg in my 2000 Echo, highway and city combined. Highway is usually about 43-45 mpg. My previous car, a 1995 Metro got very similar mileage, both in line with EPA estimates.

  23. balthisar says:

    Here to reiterate the EPA estimates. It’s the US government that generates them, and it’s the US government that forces manufacturers to display those values on the window stickers, and it’s the US government that forces the manufacturers not to advertise any other values.

    The EPA test is *not* accurate for hybrids, and it’s no longer accurate for conventional engines, either. It *only* measures exhaust output at a variety of engine RPM’s the simulate speeds. There’s no accounting for rolling resistance, such as that which is minimized by aerodynamics or low rolling resistance tires.

    Also CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) is calculated using these EPA values.

    As for EPA values, if I drive sanely at 65 mph, I can easily get 29 mpg in my car with a 24 mpg highway EPA estimate.

  24. not_seth_brundle says:

    I think the “will vary” v. “may vary” argument is a sure loser. Putting aside that it’s a bit pedantic, it probably IS possible to attain the EPA esimate.

  25. Lacclolith says:

    @csmcdonald: The advantage? Snobbery, of course.

    While I’d wholeheartedly agree that the EPA needs a complete overhaul of their MPG certification, it needs be said that the majority of people who own hybrids don’t drive them properly. See, the trick is that hybrid vehicles CAN get similar mileage, but you’ve got to use special techniques while driving to erk out the extra miles (for instance, you have to take special care to keep your speed steadily under 70MPH while driving on the interstate, or allowing the car to come to a rolling stop as opposed to using the brakes).

    What they don’t tell you is that the majority of these techniques will save you just as much petrol when applied to a standard vehicle. I routinely see 30 MPG in my 1993 Nissan 240SX just by observing some common sense driving techniques.

  26. Tomsk sez so long Ash78, and thanks for all the fish! says:

    Seeing as how he payed $28k for a Civic Hybrid, you kinda know Mr. True ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed, so how would he know his lawsuit is 110% baseless, especially considering he’s targeting the wrong party (i.e. Honda which, as has been pointed out, is required by law to use the EPA’s currently hyper-optimistic estimates in advertising and on the window sticker)?
    Also, to get 32 mpg from a Civic Hybrid, I’d think you’d have to be driving the living shit out of it (nailing the accelerator from a standstill, cruising at 80+, slamming on the brakes at the last possible second, etc.). But as I said before, if he’s dumb enough to pay that much for a Civic Hybrid, he’s probably dumb enough to assume it’s the car that’s the problem and not him.
    If the judge doesn’t throw this out straight away, my faith in this country’s legal system will dwindle just a little bit more, and that’s saying something.

  27. catchthefever says:

    He should be suing the U.S. Government for allowing testing done in a lab, as opposed to road. [www.fueleconomy.gov]

    According to a January 11, 2006 NYT Article, the EPA knows how they allow the estimate to be computer are BS. [select.nytimes.com] and [select.nytimes.com]

    The first I remembered the NYT reporting this was on July 31, 2005 [select.nytimes.com]

    Estimates also do not factor in that most people drive like assholes, gunning it from redlight to redlight, and from bumper to bumper on the highway, as well as sitting on a freeway during rush hour.

    My Honda Prelude’s sticker read 22/27 when I bought it. I frequently get between 28 and 31 MPG driving it as a commuter vehicle. Even though I have the ability to drive it around like a semi-asshole (it is a 4-cylinder VTEC), I do not.

  28. tweaked says:

    i’ve got to agree. considering that so called ‘hypermilers’ can get upwards of 80 mpg by manipulating their driving habits on an unmodified hybrid car, i would think it would be somewhat difficult — nay, impossible — to argue that the 17mpg variance in his own results wasn’t just caused by driving conditions and his own crap driving habits. they don’t even need to be crappy — just accelerating and driving aggressively destroy hybrid mileage.

  29. tweaked says:

    @Lacclolith:

    i should clarify. when i said agree, i meant with YOU! haha.

  30. swalve says:

    It IS possible to vary 17 mpg off of the estimates. The more power you ask of the engine, the more gas it will eat. Drive like a lunatic, you’ll get bad mileage.

    And Consumer Reports can’t be trusted to have accurate numbers, they just do surveys and don’t correct for driver habits.

    The EPA estimates can only be compared to each other, and only for that model year. All it says is: this car will make xx MPG on these tests. Nothing else.

  31. TechnoDestructo says:

    I have always gotten at least EPA fuel economy

    You “EPA numbers are optimistic” folks need to do something about your lead feet.

  32. geeniusatwrok says:

    Hybrids lose their advantage when driven long distances at highway speeds, just like this whiny twerp did. They excel in stop-go urban traffic. if you want high economy and drive long distances, get a Yaris, Fit, or a diesel VW when they come back next model year. Jeez, dude, do a little research before dropping that kind of money.

    My old Passat got as high as 38mpg at reasonable (well, under 80mph) speeds which was better than the EPA number. My new A4 at best gets 28 despite being essentially the same car, though it’s probably heavier being all-wheel drive and the engine is slightly larger (1.8t vs. 2.0t), but that’s about the EPA number.

  33. Base MSRP on the Civic Hybrid is $22,600, and the most expensive I could make it on the Honda website is $28,974 and that’s only by checking every single stupid option ($1200 body kit? $230 gauge trim kit? $500 CD changer? sure!). Unless this guy really overloaded on the options, he really overpaid for this car. Sounds like he’s trying to get out of it by having a lead foot and getting litigious.

    Driving style makes a huge difference in mileage (and apparently more so on a hybrid). I’ve managed to get both 12 mpg (on a race track) and 42 mpg (on a long highway drive with broken A/C) with the same car. Just because he doesn’t get the numbers with his car, doesn’t mean someone else can’t get the higher mileage numbers with his car. Would be easy to test, get one of those crazy hypermilers in his car.

  34. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Tom Chambers over Mark Jackson: From the linked article: “True plunked down $28,470, at least $7,000 more [than] a comparable nonhybrid Civic EX”

  35. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    32 MPG on a hybrid? This guy must be stomping the gas pedal. Hybrid cars are like regular cars.. If you’re constantly flooring the gas pedal, you’re going to get crappy gas mileage.

    I think this issue has been discussed all over the internet on various hybrid car forums.. You have to change your driving habits in order to get anywhere near the EPA estimates. I guess we can tag this story as “moron driver”.

  36. CasterOil says:

    I wonder what fuel consumption Al Gore Jnr was getting when he cracked the ton in his Prius whilst inebriated.

    20 miles and two lines per gallon?

  37. Amy Alkon says:

    How you drive and the kind of traffic you drive in, and the kind of driving you do (stop-and-go city or open highway) all makes a difference in the kind of mileage you get. Going to the carwash brings down your mileage (they leave the car running and it isn’t in auto-stop [a feature on my Honda Insight – don’t know if it’s on the Civic also]). Being stuck in a parking garage…being stuck in traffic…any time you’re just sitting there or stop-and-go, you’re bringing down your mileage average. My car has regenerative braking (braking powers the battery) and does best if you don’t floor it from a stop sign, and if you also don’t have a lead foot in general. I learned all this stuff from driving it, but also from the Honda Insight boards where people are extremely helpful.

  38. Onouris says:

    Everyone knows mileage statements are inaccurate for ‘average drivers’. The figures are worked out under exact conditions and probably represent the best possible numbers you could ever get from that car. But they are still a good comparison to other cars that are tested in the same way.

    You don’t sue broadband ISPs for advertising the fastest possible speeds when you don’t actually get that most of the time.

    There are so many things that could seriously affect mileage, many aspects of how you drive, many aspects of who or what is in the car, traffic, and such, it would be night on impossible to claim numbers that were even right.

  39. Onouris says:

    I would kill for an edit button. Night should have been nigh.

  40. bmwloco says:

    I’m so, so glad I work at a VW Dealership. More reality, less fluff.

    Just wait until next year. VW has some cool stuff coming. TDI is where it’s at.

  41. dbeahn says:

    @csmcdonald: Don’t you watch South Park? Driving a hybrid means you get to love the smell of your own farts. It’s the smug factor…

  42. Chicago7 says:

    My guess is that this guy is a leadfoot, like most drivers and he wants to blame somebody else for his bad mileage.

    Or, he’s a plant from GM. That could be, as well.

    The EPA tested these cars under standard conditions and got this mileage. It is possible that Honda modified the cars causing less mileage, but seems unlikely. Although, anything is possible, GM screwed up their whole fleet back in the 70s to save a few pennies per car.

  43. bostonguy says:

    Just to chime in on how bad this guy must have been driving: In 2005, my wife & I drove from Boston, MA to Myrtle Beach, SC (about 900 miles).

    In our 1995 Honda Accord (which was 10 years old at the time), we got about 36 mpg! With 2 large adults and a good amount of luggage, etc!

  44. jacques says:

    The EPA also changed their testing standards for the 2008 Model Year. I drive an escape hybrid, which lost about 6-8 MPG from last year to this year. I’m beating it by at least 5 MPG even on a new engine.

  45. Major-General says:

    Over at http://www.fueleconomy.gov, the comparison between 2007 and 2008 measurements results in the Civic hybrid getting 40/45 (42 combined) versus 49/51 (50). As for 7K more than a regular Civic likely he payed a premium at the dealer for a hybrid. Like people used to do with the Prius.

  46. B says:

    i never pay any attention to the EPA numbers. My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I like it.

  47. fairweather says:

    @B:
    You must be driving a hummer then because that’s 0.00198 miles per gallon.

  48. bilge says:

    In mixed driving, I get 38 mpg on my Civic Hybrid. When I take a road trip, I hit 50 mpg with no problem.

    If I could go back to 2002 when I plunked down my cash for it, I’d get a used Civic instead and throw a big party with the difference in price, especially since I got a new job a few months ago and don’t drive to work anymore.

  49. bilge says:

    Though “payed” is a word, I’m sure most of you mean “paid.”

  50. eli_b says:

    @article:

    ‘Consumer Reports found that the actual performance of the Honda Civic Hybrid was 26 mpg’

    On a HYBRID? What is the point in that?

  51. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I actually get exactly what my car is EPA rated at..I can only figure this guy is making a long highway commute at 85 MPH. Even in a conventional car, mileage takes a nosedive for every 5 MPH over 55.

    32 MPG seems pretty pathetic, yes, but I’d be interested in seeing how this guy drives. Because the hybrid mileage numbers are probably calculated for absolutely ideal conditions, it doesn’t take much variation to drag them down.

    And yes, of course manufacturers are going to take the most optomistic conditions for their estimates. Duh.

    If you’re that cheap about gasoline or that concerned about energy conservation and/or global warming..try driving slower.

    (As a side-note, I took a highway road trip today and was amazed at how many vehicles went screaming past me while I was poking along at 70 MPH.)

  52. Onouris says:

    @eli_b:

    So that there’s a planet left to actually drive on?

  53. scooby2 says:

    Sounds like he is driving it “like its stolen”. I don’t city drive much but even driving wide open 70-80 mph, I average 32-34 mpg in my 2006 Civic. EPA estimated 40 mpg highway which is not too far off.

    I am able to hit 40 mpg highway if i stick it on cruise at 70 mph.

  54. ToddMU03 says:

    When you buy a hybrid you also have to change your driving habits. You can’t just mash the gas pedal down and expect to get the estimated mileage. I have a regular Civic and I get over the EPA estimated mileage because I adjusted my driving habits.

  55. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Wow. I’m an aggressive driver & My P.O.S. `99 Neon gets about the same milage as that Honda. Thats with me doing 75-80 for nearly 2 hours every week day.

  56. Buran says:

    I routinely match the EPA estimates … because I drive in a way similar to the assumptions made while running the test. If you drive like a moron, you are not going to get the estimated numbers.

    How can a lawyer argue this BS with a straight face? It’s been known for years that this is true. This lawyer should be fired, in my opinion. Next thing you know this idiot will claim that the sky is green.

    And something is already being done about this — the tests for MY08-up are already updated!

  57. Thrust says:

    Ok. Here’s the problem with Hybrid MpG ratings. If they test the car in stop/go traffic it will run entirely electric, with infinite miles per gallon. If they stomp the pedals it will use gas, if they take their dear sweet time it won’t. One guy’s test only reflects the miles per gallon on HIS driving methods on THAT street.

    Oh, you wanna know how to get good miles to the gallon simply by how you drive, get a standard and learn to drive it properly… Plus my matrix’s brakepads will end up with less wear because I downshift instead of break.

  58. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    The guy traded in a Mercedes E320, and while that doesn’t automatically make him an aggressive driver, he’s probably used to being able to use the horsepower. If he drives the same way with a civic hybrid, he’s probably nullifying any advantage to having the electric assist.

    I remember watching an episode of Top Gear where the host was trying to get a 1000 HP Bugatti up to its top speed of 253 MPH. He explained that the first 300 HP would get it well past 140, and the extra 700 HP was needed just to get the extra 113 MPH. The point being that at some point, wind resistance becomes a major factor, and the road horsepower needed to maintain a vehicle at a certain speed increases sharply with vehicle speed.

    The laws of physics still apply to a Civic hybrid, and it’s going to take a heck of a lot more horsepower (and fuel) to maintain 85 MPH than it does 55 or 65 MPH. So yeah, if he’s “driving it like it’s stolen,” then he can’t expect 50 MPG. The Honda might be efficient, but it can’t work miracles.

    The lawyer can sue away, but I don’t think he’ll get anywhere. Besides, that whole “mileage may vary” phrase seems like an instant legal loophole.

  59. TexasAg03 says:

    @ MEMIKEYOUNOT
    I agree with Bulldog previously–anyone knows EPA estimates are hooey and no one ever gets what they are rated at.

    Like I said, EVERY car I have ever owned has gotten mileage equal to or very close to the EPA ratings, so please don’t tell me I never get the rated mileage. I have a lead foot; generally I accelerate quickly and brake hard and late, however, I don’t speed all that much – mostly

    Maybe it’s because I don’t do 80+ on the highway…

  60. FLConsumer says:

    The Honda Civic Hybrid only gets 26mpg?!?!? WTF? I’m driving an Infiniti M45 (the older one with the true 4.5 L V8 engine) and I get 21.7 mpg city (Tampa traffic at that!), 28mpg highway. It’s a full-size sedan, longer than many of the smaller pick-up trucks which have become popular. I don’t exactly baby the throttle either.

  61. whitespider says:

    So. Feeling the hate towards the EPA… may I add.. alot of Prius owners beat EPA, in fact, we as highest EPA reported MPG owners excell at it. I personally got my Prius two weeks ago and started to use a technique called Pulse and glide starting with right after I filled for my third tank, and my average now, according to the touch screen that does my MPG math, says on the 114 miles of this tank that i’ve done, I average about (as of this comment) 50.2 MPG… not the 60 EPA says, but damn good for a first time driver such as myself and especially for a car that just before this tank was doing no better than 40, ever.

    It takes some practice and reading (Don’t reinvent the wheel, let the rest of the internet’s massed minds help you) to get higher than EPA, but (especially with a car that reports MPG as the Prius) it is very much possible and done very often.

    I hope I helped with my comment.

    To be fair to the topic a little more: All EPA are inflated, so if you get one that is 49 MPG and don’t get it, don’t worry.. whatever car you woulda gotten instead woulda gotten worse anyways.. say a 49 MPG does 35, then a 35 MPG car will get like 27 maybe.. just to say. So you do pay for ‘more’, just the number isn’t as high as you want…. maybe it can be though, if you read what I said above.

  62. Trai_Dep says:

    So some jerkwad sues a hybrid for optimistic EPA MPG standards? A right-wing tool IMO. I hear, according to the same standards, that Hummers get 20-odd MPG.

    Everyone knows the EPA standards are wildly optimistic. However, everyone also knows that relatively, a car with high EPA standards does better than one with low ones.

    This guy has an agenda. If he was really concerned, he wouldn’t pick a hybrid.

  63. j-o-h-n says:

    It’s all about your technique. I have a “Scan Gauge” which I have in the past used to read out “Check Engine Codes”, but this vacation I used its realtime MPG readout to optimize my mileage — I was getting upto 24mpg pulling a trailer with a extended cab 4×4 F150 at 65. 70 was a little lower; 75 and up was bad news. It was more work, but with this I found that with good technique I could consistently beat the cruise control.

    Also, your mileage will depend on where you live/drive — mileage was much better in Nebraska than in Colorado for example.

  64. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Onouris: How does a hybrid burning a gallon of gas every 26 miles help the planet v. a gasoline car that buns a gallon of gas every 26 miles?

  65. Onouris says:

    @not_seth_brundle:

    Anyone can drive like a moron and make any car abysmal. Then you get stuck in traffic or around town and oh look, not burning a crap load for the hell of it.

  66. obfusciatrist says:

    If the crux of the lawsuit is the change in wording from “will vary” to “may vary” then I’ll be happy to testify for Honda.

    We were very early adopters of the Hybrid Civic (probably one of the first 20 in northern California in April 2003) and for the first 2 years got about 50 miles per gallon.

    We’re now up to 140,000 miles on it and while the mileage has declined for freeway driving at reasonable speeds it still gets about 46 and about 41 over a full tank of “about town” driving.

    Style of driving really impacts mileage on it. I regularly have to drive between SF and LA (thus the 140,000 in four years) and if I’m in a hurry I’ve had as low as 35mpg (going more than 80 most of the way) and if I’m not (70-ish) it is still in the high 40s.

  67. TexasAg03 says:

    @trai_dep:
    So some jerkwad sues a hybrid for optimistic EPA MPG standards? A right-wing tool IMO.

    Right wing?? Where do you get that? Maybe he is right wing, or maybe he is just tool. Period.


    I hear, according to the same standards, that Hummers get 20-odd MPG.

    Where did you hear that? Even owners and defenders of Hummers admit to its low mileage.


    Everyone knows the EPA standards are wildly optimistic. However, everyone also knows that relatively, a car with high EPA standards does better than one with low ones.

    Once again, not “everyone” knows this. I have never owned a car that wasn’t, at least, close to the ratings.


    This guy has an agenda. If he was really concerned, he wouldn’t pick a hybrid.

    Agreed.

  68. eli_b says:

    @at the first Onouris reply:

    you can get double that in a prius. don’t get snarky.

  69. engunneer says:

    @THRUST:
    > He shouldn’t sue because the mileage isn’t as advertised, he should sue because his hybrid is giving him gas mileage he could have got in a non-hybrid.

    Anyone can get “hybrid-like” mileage in a non-hybrid, and visa versa. It’s all about how you drive. It IS possible to get teh EPA numbers in every car – just drive it right. If I go the speed limit, and there’s no traffic, I can EASILY get 53 MPG in my Prius. Since I go a bit faster (to make up for the traffic), I get closer to 47MPG, BUT it’s my fault and I know it. If this guy doesn’t realize that how he drive affects is mileage, then he’s an idiot. Cars don’t magically get a certain mileage no matter what.


    > They hype these hybrid pieces of shit as great for the environment, and terrific on the wallet, and that’s more full of crap than GW Bush’s head.
    > Hybrids cost more than ICE-only cars.

    It’s called the Hybrid Premium for a reason. Yes, the cars cost more, so does every other consumer item that has newer technology than other devices in the same class. Compare normal DVD with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. Are you willing to pay the HD premium on a device that handles this new technology? Personally, I’m not, but some people are – it’s called being an early adopter. Hybrid costs are going down with time, just as they are with HD technology. A Civic hybrid is now only $4000 more than the normal one, with 40% better mileage. The Civic hybrid has only been out a few years, and has already had half of its “premium” cut off.

    In the case of the Prius, it uses the EXACT same engine as an Echo, but with altered valve timing, which improves efficiency on the engine by itself (Atkinson-Miller cycle, instead of the standard Otto cycle)


    > Many-to-most have about a five-year lifespan due to the batteries, which cost such a staggering amount of money to replace, you’d be better off buying a whole new car.

    Without data, this is an opinion. The standard warranty on a hybrid is 7 years/150,000 miles, including the ENTIRE hybrid system. NO hybrid manufacturer has EVER, to date, needed to replace a battery under warranty. In any case, do you replace your engine every time you need a new head gasket? Hybrid batterys get damaged about as often as head gaskets, and take less work to fix, since you only have to replace the damaged cell, not the entire thing. Each cell costs about the same as a head gasket too.


    > The odds of you recaping the higher price for the car through better gas mileage is slim, even less so once the warranty expires because repairs are more expensive on a hybrid.

    One of the assumptions you are making is that gas is the only cost that figures into it. How much have you paid in brake work over the past 10 years? That’s about how long a typical hybrid goes before even needing new pads. A friend of mine’s ’02 Prius with 85,000 miles has less than 10% wear on his pads at this point. How often do you need an oil change in your non-hybrid? I’m guessing every 3000 miles? In a hybrid, it’s 5000, and you can get away with 7000 if you really need to. All the engine components last longer, too. Starter motor can’t go bad, it doesn’t even have one. Same with the alternator. The transmission has fewer components as well, so it’s less likely to fail. Those are the other “hard” cost savings. You also get reduced emissions (90% less NOX emissions, for example).


    > Want to save money on gas? Get a Yaris, Fit, or something similar. Hell, my Matrix almost gets as good gas mileage as his hybrid.

    I bet you could even get better mileage than his car if you drove it right. If this particular guy is an awful driver, it’s nno wonder he’s doing poorly. The first time consumer reports tested a Prius, the only got 32 mpg, but that’s because they left it running overnight.

  70. The Walking Eye says:

    @engunneer: How often do you need an oil change in your non-hybrid? I’m guessing every 3000 miles? In a hybrid, it’s 5000, and you can get away with 7000 if you really need to.

    I get 7000 to 10000 miles between oil changes, and it costs me $50 a year to change my oil. There’s no reason to change your oil as often as 3000 miles in just about every car, and 5000 to 7500 miles will keep everything in good working order.

    I think this case will ultimately get thrown out because he’s sued the wrong entity. Honda has no choice but to publish only the EPA estimates, unfortunate though they are. I really fault the guy for not doing his research and willingly paying a premium for the hybrid.

    I’ve got a Grand Prix GTP, and driving rather aggressively I get a combined 23 mpg and this is after IN changed their gas formulation and I put on high performance tires. Prior to that, I got an overall 26 mpg. When I go exclusively highway and keep it under 80, I easily get 28 mpg, which is what it’s rated for.

  71. mac-phisto says:

    i swear i was following this asshole to work the other day. goddamn peddle junkie. gas, break, gas, break. 55, 30, 55, 30.

    some ppl just don’t get the concept of “coasting”.

    incidentally, i was told by a mechanic that the EPA fuel efficiency standards were different for hybrids. his explanation was that typical vehicles have to pass the test w/ the a/c running, but the hybrids don’t. i can’t substantiate this, but maybe someone more knowledgeable could pipe in.

  72. gamble says:

    @engunneer: Like THRUST, I too drive a matrix and the manual gives two recommended maintenance schedules depending on how you drive. One had oil changes occurring every 5000 miles and the other every 7500 miles. If you think about it, whether you have a hybrid or not shouldn’t really affect the oil change schedule. And, according to Toyota at least, it doesn’t.

  73. Trai_Dep says:

    @TexasAg03:

    The Hummer H2 ranges from 10 mpg to 13 mpg, according to dealers… It has an EPA rating of 18 mpg/city and 23 mpg/highway with an automatic tranmission.

    – San Diego Tribune


    And this being a relatively (cough) miserly (cough) H2. And it’s EPA vs real world EPA spread is roughly 80% worse. Much larger discrepancy than any hybrid.

    The point being that, if the guy wanted to target a vehicle that had the most unrealistic spread, why’d be pick a hybrid?

    Odds are it’s because he has an agenda. And a right-wing one.

  74. B says:

    @fairweather: I drive a Hummer that’s towing another Hummer, just in case the first one breaks down.

  75. spideyman says:

    I can see his point for wanting to sue, but he must also realize that mileage also depends on how one drives. If most of his driving is on the freeway and he is driving say 70 – 75 mph, there is no way he is going to come close to that kind of mileage. I bought a 2007 Toyota Prius (hybrid) in April of this year. The sticker says EPA Mileage Estimates: 60 mpg / 51 mpg, but the best I have gotten thus far is 53 mpg and I average about 49 mpg which is a lot better than many vehicles on the road, BUT I drive the speed limit which makes a big difference. Most of my driving is done on 2 lane roads with speed limits of 55.

  76. lucidpsyche says:

    Dude, this guy is an idiot. I drive the exact same car, and my current average for the car is around 40 mph. This includes the 10 mph I have to go at some fairgrounds for over a mile four or five times a week. I was just in Philadelphia with this car, and even with gigantic hills and my daily commute not exceeding 35 mph, I was getting 39-40 mph. On my way from Philly to DC, the first 10 miles after I got gas I averaged 50+ mpg. The rest of the way — not including traffic jams — I was going between 60 and 75 mph, and I still averaged 45 mpg (INCLUDING the traffic jams).

    And I don’t know how the heck Consumer Reports managed 26 mpg. Was it in an ’06 or later car? As I’ve said, I drive in areas with TONS of hills, and my mileage has NEVER been lower than 36 mpg. In fact, I’ve been able to get 70+ mpg at times (okay, so it was for only a mile after a new tank of gas, but it wasn’t all downhill.)

  77. lucidpsyche says:

    @not_seth_brundle:
    A hybrid burning gas at 26 mpg often is rated an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle. Since it emits less pollutants than a non ULEV-rated gasoline car, it’s better for the environment.

  78. suburbancowboy says:

    Gas mileage varies dramatically from driver to driver depending on their driving habits. In a non-hybrid car, the guy who jams on the gas when the light turns green, and speeds up to red lights and jams on the brakes is going to burn a lot more fuel than the person who accelerates gently, and coasts to red lights.
    I am not sure of the rules for hybrids, but there is a corect way to drive them to maximize fuel efficiency. I believe heavy braking actual stores kinetic energy in a hybrid.

  79. Lee Jones says:

    We just purchased a 2007 Honda Civic hybrid. It’s all in how you drive. Steady acceleration and gradual stops make a bid difference. So does your A/C.

    My wife drove it from California to Georgia through Colorado. Even going uphill and cruising at 75 to 80 mph she averaged 43 mpg. In case it matters, she had a laptop plugged in at the time, too.

    When I drove 100 miles round trip up the I-10 and I-15, keeping to the speed limit, I got 49 mpg.

    Even on surface streets, running the A/C (it’s hot here right now), we get 39 to 41 mpg. This guy is in California, too… so how does he drive?

    Yeah, it doesn’t hit the EPA levels, but I’m happy getting 40 mpg.

  80. SwatLax says:

    My wife and I own a 2004 Honda Civic Sedan. We average 32 mpg, with a all time best of 36 mpg, and I am by no means a feather-footed driver.

    If this guy is truly getting 32 mpg from his hybrid, he’s gotta be carrying some junk in the trunk. Oh yeah, and he’s wasting everyone’s time.

  81. arachnophilia says:

    i see these adds on tv for a ford escape hybrid, which gets less than 30mpg. and they’re advertising that like it’s great. and those are the EPA numbers that are very, very generous.

    what, exactly, is the point of having a hybrid if it gets less MPG than your average non-hybrid honda civic? it seems to me that something is very wrong here…

  82. stunna18 says:

    This guy has a valid claim. The EPA is more to blame for this than Honda though. There is a problem with the disclaimer that states your mileage may vary. The estimated mileage goes in favor of everyone but the consumer and suggests that you drive in a manner that is highly impossible these days. Numerous police officers advise that driving with the flow of traffic is acceptable as long as you’re not passing cars.The flow of traffic is usually 10 mph over the speed limit and in places like Atlanta it’s 15. (watch “A Meditation On the Speed Limit” for a great laugh and a dose of reality) If you don’t agree with me try driving the average speed of 48 mph from the EPA highway test. Most highways are 55 and up.

    Don’t get me started on the issue of the load weight. If I buy a vehicle that seats five then I plan to seat five at some point. Period. One could say the EPA really hates the environment if they test emissions on a car and assume only one person is driving in it. Everyone should be able to fill their trunk and not have to worry about a huge loss of mileage. Most people use trunk space as a determining factor for purchase. If you can sell SUV’s to people with the selling point, “you can carry more stuff and your whole family”, then you must factor in a much higher load weight into the equation.

    To ignore the real driving conditions and not offer a true average of the best possible mpg and the worst possible mpg is very irresponsible and highly dishonest. It amazes me that it’s taken so long for a lawsuit of this kind to surface. Just because it’s common knowledge that someone is in the business of screwing you doesn’t make it right.

  83. Elhigh says:

    Going after either the EPA or Honda is foolish IMO. Not addressed is the guy’s driving style, which will make or break the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

    The claim of “mileage will” v. “mileage may” is specious. He’s looking to win the lottery, and Honda is the one holding the bag of cash. He thinks he’s found a loophole that can be exploited.

    I can consistently get 30 mpg from my carbureted 1987 Toyota Pickup. If I try hard at it, I can get that all the way up to 35, but I have to go slow to do it.

    My guess is that Honda will settle.

  84. Onouris says:

    @Thrust:

    You’d be surprised what a difference little things can make to price over a long period.

    For example turning a central heating thermostat down by 1 degree celcius.

  85. @arachnophilia: The point of the Escape/Mariner hybrid is that, *if* you want an small-to-midsized SUV for its particular attributes (storage space, AWD, height for visibility), you use less gas and create less pollution if you buy the Escape Hybrid rather than a similar, non-hybrid model. You have to compare like to like to see the point. Other hybrids use the boost of the electric motor to get more power out of a smaller gas engine, rather than to improve mileage.

    Hybrids most benefit those who do more city than highway driving, who don’t drive long uphill slogs, and who don’t drive with lead feet. For me, with a 25-minute highway commute from home to work, I’d do better on mileage with a smaller, lighter car than I would with a hybrid, but (with tongue firmly in cheek) your mileage may vary. {Prof. Jonathan}

  86. techcommdood says:

    This is actually kind of amusing. After looking at the Hybrid and the regular model, I bought a 2006 Civic EX (standard tranny, all-gas engine) thinking that the extra cash for the hybrid wouldn’t be returned in gas savings… I was right. My non-hybrid (now a year old) has seen an all-around average of 35 mpg, with highway travel at 42 mpg. I’m a happy camper!

  87. Skiffer says:

    I own an ’04 Civic Hybrid, average 40 mpg over city/highway.

    I did not buy a hybrid to “save money” on the mileage (otherwise I would’ve bought a smaller car), but:

    A) Hybrids are a bridging technology for hydrogen cars and need to be supported/developed. (Hydrogen’s a whole different debate. But I work in the nuclear field, and nuclear hydrogen is our only real hope of energy independence.)

    B) The extra “hybrid premium” was only about $2K in my case. I can expect to re-coup that in gas savings compared to a non-hybrid civic (maybe a bit more or less) – But that’s money I pay to Honda and not to Exxon.

    Fuck oil.

  88. Canadian Impostor says:

    I average over 30mpg in my turbocharged german car. It cost less than a Prius. It’s actually fun to drive.

  89. anatak says:

    It’s one thing to use the standards in your advertising that you are forced to use, its quite another to base your entire marketing campaign on something you know to be a lie. If you know those EPA estimates are wrong, then why use them? You are required to use them in advertising IF you are citing mileage numbers. Nobody forced them to make all of the claims they’ve made based on knowingly untrue stats. Why not make your ad campaign on something that will hold water? What Honda is dealing with here is the same problem any manufacturer has in advertising: When you make a claim, you are opening yourself up to scrutiny and potential law suits. Fact of life in America. His beef is not with the EPA. HoMoCo is to blame for their own advertising.

  90. sampleminded says:

    I own a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, and one of the reasons I bought it was the write up in consumer reports. I urge people who have memberships on the CSR website to check it out, there is a review and the reviewer says they get about 43mpg, no where did it say 26mpg.

    In my own driving the best I have gotten for a tank of gas is 46mpg. The worst is 42.3mpg. I bought the car in February and have driven 4k miles since then. Using the onboard computer I have tracked my milage, I average 44.2mpg over those 4k.

    One does need to change the way they drive, but it becomes a little like a video game, you have the computer feedback, and you want to make it go higher. The trick is to use Cruise Control as much as possible. On the highway if I drive slowly and close behind a truck, It will stay over 50mpg. However I try not to tailgate or drive dangerously.

    I want to testify against this lying dumb-ass. The jury is invited for a ride around the hill country.

  91. Trai_Dep says:

    In several decades (or more) hydrogen engines *might* be a solid alternative*, except let’s focus on what we can do now as well?

    * of course the hydrogen model the Bush administration (based on refining hydrogen from OIL instead of water) removes whatever oil-independence benefits the technology might have. Why? So he and Cheny’s oil buddies continue to rake it in. Everything they touch, they destroy. As it stands, hydrogen is a corporate welfare boondoggle. Dump it until they do it right.

  92. Canadian Impostor says:

    @trai_dep: Hydrogen as a fuel for cars is a really stupid idea. We don’t have any hydrogen. We have things that we can get hydrogen out of, but that takes energy. The correct idea is instead of using electricity to crack water into hydrogen, we should use full electric cars.

  93. Skiffer says:

    @trai_dep: Petroleum-based hydrogen is the easiest and will be the earliest form of hydrogen production – it isn’t the desired final outcome, but it’s a bridging step like hybrids. The final goal is water-based hydrogen, particularly thermochemical from helium-cooled nuclear reactors. And yes, all that is about 50 years away…

    But you need to start somewhere…

    And what we can do now is support hybrids. They’re not the magical gas-savers that they’ve been marketed as, but hybrids are better over their ICE counterparts, and are a step towards the final outcome of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

    (I.e, “Civic hybrid” uses more gas than “Honda Fit” just like “SUV” uses more gas than “compact…but “Civic hybrid” uses less gas than “Civic ICE”)

    For me, I wanted a sedan, not a compact. And by getting a hybrid instead of pure ICE – I give my money to the auto OEMs and not to the oil companies, and help support R&D into electric motors, batteries, etc which will spillover into the future hydrogen vehicles.

  94. Skiffer says:

    @Jason: We don’t have full-electric consumer vehicles because of their range – battery technology sucks…

    But supporting hybrids helps support R&D into better battery capacity…which will eventually allow fully electric consumer vehicles.

    Even though consolidating all waste generation at an electric power plant is desirable, it also takes energy (and has inefficiences) to make electricity…

    The ultimate goal with hydrogen is to bypass the electricity (and oil) part and use high temperature heat (~1000 degC) to instead do direct thermochemical water splitting

  95. TexasAg03 says:

    @trai_dep:
    The Hummer H2 ranges from 10 mpg to 13 mpg, according to dealers… It has an EPA rating of 18 mpg/city and 23 mpg/highway with an automatic tranmission.


    – San Diego Tribune


    And this being a relatively (cough) miserly (cough) H2. And it’s EPA vs real world EPA spread is roughly 80% worse. Much larger discrepancy than any hybrid.

    The point being that, if the guy wanted to target a vehicle that had the most unrealistic spread, why’d be pick a hybrid?

    Odds are it’s because he has an agenda. And a right-wing one.

    According to the EPA, they don’t rate the Hummer H2, so I don’t know where the Tribune got its figures. The H3 is rated at 15/20 or 15/19 depending on transmission (2007 figures). I have a friend with an H2, and these figures are about right.

    I did find a quote on Car and Driver’s web site where they state the EPA rating on an H2 SUT to be 10/13, but I don’t know where they got this figure either.

  96. nachas101 says:

    @TexasAg03:
    Okay, I just can’t take it anymore.
    Driving a steady 80 miles an hour is far more fuel efficient than stompin on the gas at every stop.
    seriously. Some of you folks are very confused.
    I know, how could that be?
    Simple physics. It takes far more energy to move from 0 to 1 mile per hour than it takes to maintain 1 mile per hour.
    duh.
    And let’s keep politics out of this. Who cares if you think buying a hybrid is better for the environment? It really likely isn’t. Nickel is a dangerous element and is toxic to produce. And what will we do with the old batteries?
    But that’s not the point. This isn’t a right vs. left thing and to try and frame it as such is silly and a waste of time.
    This guy is a nut who bought the hybrid for the ‘mystique’ of saving on gas. The truth is, we don’t know how he used it. We don’t know why his mileage is so mediocre. So let him sue. He’ll lose.
    And if you manage to get mileage close to EPA figures, good for you. Stay out of the left lane on the highway, let me pass you, and we’re going to be just fine.
    Me? I drive a 2005 honda accord LX. The EPA says my car is good for 24 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway.
    Last fill up? 19 mpg. I live and work in the city, so it’s 19.
    When I have been on mixed driving, I got 24-25.
    I suppose that I’ll have to test out pure highway numbers, but in the meantime, the EPA testing standards are stupid and remain stupid.
    A hybrid premium for the civic LX of $2k (good or you negotiating that deal) for an extra 10 miles per gallon would take you about as long as you own the car to make up. Net savings? $0.
    Per honda’s website: 2007 civic sedan comprably equipped msrp: $18355, 2007 civic hybrid: $23195.
    That reflects a premium of $4830.
    That’s a lot of gas.

  97. jlrolin says:

    This guy does have a valid claim. Even if it isn’t Honda’s fault, and the EPA requires the MPG to be on the advertising sticker, Honda can put pressure on the EPA to change these standards. One person going to the EPA will do nothing, but going after a car company may get Honda’s backing as well so they don’t get sued.

    Also, not everyone knows the EPA mileage is highly optimistic. So he has a valid case is saying he did not know. I think this will hopefully make the EPA check their standards.

  98. nachas101 says:

    @jlrolin:
    Valid in what sense?
    He is suing Honda because the vehicle he purchased doesn’t obtain mileage the EPA forces them to put on their vehicles.
    And every single car manufacturer out there has been pressuring the EPA to update and modernize their tests for 2 decades (at least!).
    Frivolous law suit, unless he can prove intentional misrepresentation of the product.
    The EPA’s testing procedures were just recently revamped, and they still suck.
    This is why Congress is spinning its wheels (pun intended) trying to enforce higher mileage averages. The ‘efficiency’ of the vehicle is not static, it is fluid and changes with each driver and their personal lifestyle. You might drive my car and get 24 mpg. I get 19.

  99. TexasAg03 says:

    @nachas101: @TexasAg03:
    Okay, I just can’t take it anymore.
    Driving a steady 80 miles an hour is far more fuel
    efficient than stompin on the gas at every stop.
    seriously. Some of you folks are very confused.
    I know, how could that be?
    Simple physics. It takes far more energy to move from 0 to 1 mile per hour than it takes to maintain 1 mile per hour.
    duh.

    I never said this wasn’t true. I agree with you that a steady travel is more fuel efficient than jackrabbit starts, but, at some point, higher speeds will cost you a great deal to maintain. The drag force varies with the square of the speed, as I’m sure you know.

    And let’s keep politics out of this. Who cares if you think buying a hybrid is better for the environment? It really likely isn’t. Nickel is a dangerous element and is toxic to produce. And what will we do with the old batteries?
    But that’s not the point. This isn’t a right vs. left thing and to try and frame it as such is silly and a waste of time.
    This guy is a nut who bought the hybrid for the ‘mystique’ of saving on gas. The truth is, we don’t know how he used it. We don’t know why his mileage is so mediocre. So let him sue. He’ll lose.

    I never brought politics into the discussion. Someone suggested this guy was a right wing tool, and simply stated that he was a tool and wondered where the right wing idea came from. I don’t care for hybrids either, and I also question their environmental friendliness, especially at the end of life for the vehicle.

    And if you manage to get mileage close to EPA figures, good for you. Stay out of the left lane on the highway, let me pass you, and we’re going to be just fine.

    I do, and always have gotten close to EPA mileage. I also stay out of the left lane unless I am passing someone. I do about 74-75 in a 70 mph zone. I was simply responding to the statement someone made about everyone knowing that the EPA figures were wildly optimistic. Not for me and most people I know.

    Me? I drive a 2005 honda accord LX. The EPA says my car is good for 24 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway.
    Last fill up? 19 mpg. I live and work in the city, so it’s 19.
    When I have been on mixed driving, I got 24-25.
    I suppose that I’ll have to test out pure highway numbers, but in the meantime, the EPA testing standards are stupid and remain stupid.

    Wow, I have owned two V-6 Accords, and my wife drove a 1991 Accord for ten years. I got better mileage than you in the V-6 and my wife’s car was better. Once again, I’m not driving like an idiot, but I am guilty of the jackrabbit starts and stops, so I am not blocking traffic by any means. I don’t floorboard the accelerator pedal every time I take off, but I do drive way more aggressively than most.

    A hybrid premium for the civic LX of $2k (good or you negotiating that deal) for an extra 10 miles per gallon would take you about as long as you own the car to make up. Net savings? $0.
    Per honda’s website: 2007 civic sedan comprably equipped msrp: $18355, 2007 civic hybrid: $23195.
    That reflects a premium of $4830.
    That’s a lot of gas.

    This is exactly why I won’t buy a hybrid. There is no way to justify it economically, and I just don’t see enough benefit environmentally over a good, economical gas or diesel engine.

    For the people that have never gotten close to EPA, I am not arguing with what you say, I am just saying that the figures are close to what I, and many of my friends, achieve. No politics involved, just what I have found in discussions about our cars/trucks.

  100. nachas101 says:

    @TexasAg03:
    Didn’t mean to imply I was attacking you…
    I took issue with one thing you said and just kept writing!
    :-)
    I do drive like an idiot (a safe idiot?), and I haven’t managed to get more than 21 mpg since I got the car.
    I live in the city (Chicago) and rarely get out. Why I own a car is pretty silly – I need it to run groceries and the occasional hop to mom and dad’s house. Other than that, I just drive around the city running errands and back and forth to work. I used to take public trans, but got tired of it taking an hour when I can get to work by car in under 15 minutes.
    I’m not sure why I don’t get better mileage….
    I usually don’t hammer on it, and although I can be pretty aggressive (but safe), I am usually not.
    I always write my mileage on the receipt at the gas stations and my last three tanks were 18.99, 17.72, 19.20, and 18.69.

  101. econobiker says:

    All of these people who go hybrid with an automatic transmission are noodle heads who could save money by driving a stick shift standard fuel auto without a/c.

    I have a 1995 Dodge Neon 4door standard shift 5 speed with no air conditioning- (a/c died and I put on a non-a/c drive belt). It has 225,000 miles!!! It gets between 36-39 mpg average highway/local on 89 octane gas for driving from city stop-n-go to 80mph highway.

    I also keep my tires pumped up to the max psi specification versus the mush level most tire/auto tune up places adjust tire pressure to. I’ll take the slightly rougher ride for using less gas or wearing out tires early…

  102. hemaphore says:

    i love how the epa can endorse the whole concept of a hybrid vehicle and completely overlook the environmental impact of manufacturing the batteries for them.

  103. grico says:

    49 MPG average for city driving, key word there is average. Audi claims my car gets 20 MPG city, but I get a 45 MPG average on city streets. MPG is dependent on a lot of things. How you drive the car, air temp, how you accelerate, how you brake, up hill/down hill. I rented a hybrid car on my last trip, and i was getting 80-90 MPG in San Fransisco and San Jose.

  104. erica.blog says:

    If he’s getting a discrepancy that bad in a Hybrid Civic, he’d probably get about 15 mpg in a regular Civic. He must have some pretty bad driving habits.

  105. gte910h says:

    1: Hybrids have 2 motors, not 2 engines. A motor is a component of an engine. They also take out components out of the engine, such as the transmission….

    2: “Batteries, two engines, shorter expected lifetime, and toxic chemicals used in hybrids all play a role”

    Toxic Chemicals? Do you mean the 100% recyclable batteries that people pay you $250 to take off your hands for those self-same heavy metal compounds? I’m oh-so-worried someone is going to throw those away. Its like decrying gold pollution: it is a solved problem that the economy will keep solved.

    3: You do need to replace batteries, eventually, to keep it going, but the replacement battery my Prius will need only cost $2500 in 2005. Battery prices are always going down, and that’s cheaper than the new transmission that most automatics would need around the same time period (@150k Miles), if it is even still that expensive.

    –Michael

    What the prius uses instead of a transmission: [www.cleangreencar.co.nz]

  106. Rusted says:

    I’ve always gotten better then the EPA rating. It’s how one drives. Lawsuit is just silly. More lawyers who should be unemployed.

  107. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I just came back here to note that I went on vacation and my 1998 Ford Escort got 41 MPG on highway. SUCK IT, HIPPIES. :)

  108. Omega_P says:

    I don’t know if anyone else notices but when the EPA estimates are displayed it states to be used for COMPARISON PURPOSES ONLY. That’s right the EPA performs the MPG test so you can compare one vehicle to the next since the test they perform are consistent across the board. Even after they changed the MPG test for 08, it’s still in laboratory conditions.

  109. mpk says:

    “A California man shocked that his Honda Civic Hybrid’s gas efficiency didn’t match EPA estimates”

    It says **estimates** !!!! I’m shocked that such a lawsuit doesn’t get immediately thrown out. We all know that mpg is very much related to where and how one drives.

    It is like spending money. “Hey, my $1,000 didn’t last as long as Jimmy’s $1,000! I’m gonna sue somebody!!!”