Some Cars Donít Match Fuel Economy Ratings
Are hybrids worth all the hype? Recent reports suggest some hybrid cars aren't living up to their fuel economy standards. Most notably, Consumer Reports said Ford's two newest hybrids, the Fusion and C-Max, failed to meet their 47 mpg fuel economy rating in road testing, only reaching 39 mpg and 37 mpg, respectively. KTRH Car Pro Jerry Reynolds happens to own a C-Max, and says the report is overblown. "There's a break-in period where these things get better as you go," he tells KTRH. "I think a lot of it has to do with how you drive it." Reynolds notes his C-Max initially was in the upper 30s for fuel economy, but is now getting close to 47 mpg. "The car learns your driving habits, and learns to adjust itself to peak performance," he says.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now investigating the claims against the Ford hybrids. Ford Motor Company said it is aware of the claims and will fully cooperate with any probe, but the company also notes that driving styles, conditions and other factors can cause mileage to vary. Reynolds agrees. "I think at the end of the day they're gonna find out this thing really does get within the standards of the EPA, which is a 3% one way or another (within the standard) fuel economy."
The improved fuel economy doesn't mean hybrids are for everybody. "For someone that drives a lot in town where the vehicle can be driven on battery primarily, the hybrids are awesome," Reynolds says. "But, for some people it's not gonna make sense." He points out that those who do a lot of highway/freeway driving at high speeds will benefit more from a fully gas-powered car. Nevertheless, whether you like them or not, the Car Pro says hybrid cars aren't going away. "Hybrids will be a big piece of our future in America as we downsize and as we get better fuel economy."
Listen to the Car Pro Jerry Reynolds Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Newsradio 740 KTRH