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Old 08-15-2008, 03:28 PM
Status: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong" (set 3 days ago)
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,774 posts, read 21,084,837 times
Reputation: 9359


My 1991 Toyota Camry is only EPA rated at 21/29 according to Fuel Economy.gov; yet I have rarely got less than 28 mpg per tank and typically get 33 mpg. Interestingly, the 4 user estimates on the site are also 33 mpg. For comparison, a Prius gets 46 mpg.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/***/findacar.htm (broken link)

Has anyone else notice used cars that get much better than their EPA ratings?
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:59 PM
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,254 posts, read 15,286,799 times
Reputation: 9413
The EPA changed the way they tested mileage this year, and went back and changed all their old data to the new standards. It used to be that the EPA estimate was slightly higher than most people got; now it seems to have gone the other way.

The new tests involve more stop-and-go, more use of the air conditioner, use in colder conditions, higher speeds, and, as it says on their website "more aggressive driving" - I think they mean as far as getting on the gas quicker and harder.

There is really no good way of getting an overall comparison number - cars are tuned differently and there is no one speed or set on conditions where every car gets the best mileage possible. My old BMW M3 got better gas mileage at 70 than 55, because of some mapping peculiarity in the VANOS.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:07 PM
1 posts, read 2,442 times
Reputation: 11
I am pleased to read of the EPA estimate error on the 1991 Camry 4 cylinder model. I have driven a 1991 4 cylinder automatic Camry wagon to work (52 miles round trip) for the last 6 years. I typically drive like a maniac but around 3 years ago I tried a sedate driving style (right hand lane, no abrupt accelerations, driving the speed limit, etc.) and I documented 35+ MPG for my 97% highway commute. I was thrilled yet confused by the EPA estimates. I deduced that during 1991 Toyota was on the verge of becoming a world power that would rival the big three and the EPA may have "adjusted" mileage ratings in order to slow down what would eventually become a hostile up-ending of the big three.

Last edited by jeff zimmerman; 05-27-2012 at 09:08 PM.. Reason: error
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:12 PM
3,983 posts, read 5,746,733 times
Reputation: 4039
^ Yeah, I highly doubt that. You have to put into perspective that MPG wasn't nearly the factor in an auto purchase in 1991 that it is today. Most small, 4 cylinder vehicles got 35+ MPG on the highway... even the American made ones.
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