Whiny fuel economy/EPA story on NBC

I saw a very whiny story on NBC news the other night - complaining about cars not getting nearly the mileage their owners were led to believe by the EPA stickers. This always happens when gas prices go up
and the media is complicit in the "blame the EPA for my lousy mileage" mentality. There was NO MENTION of driving habits, maintenance or inflating tires properly.
They even had the nerve to criticize the EPA for neglecting to let the car idle in traffic for a while during the test. DUH... should you complain that your mileage won't be quite up to the estimate if you are NOT MOVING while your engine is running?
Assuming the tests are fair across manufacturers, I believe it's pretty easy to achieve the EPA numbers (at a minimum) in everyday driving if you drive conservatively and take care of your car. My 4-cyl 87 Camry was rated at 25/31 and I consistently made 27 or 28 mpg around town for the 15-1/2 years I owned it. It easily did 40 mpg or better on the highway at 65. My current 03 Matrix is also rated at 25/31 and I am consistently hitting 30 mpg in mostly suburban driving. It's not quite as good as the Camry on the highway (35 or so) but I also drive it faster.
Come on people, if you are myopic enough to buy gas guzzling cars, let the tires go flat and drive with a lead foot, then at least stop complaining... and please.... LEARN HOW TO DRIVE
Thanks for reading my little rant...
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Mark wrote:

I saw the stories too. For the most part, most people get below the EPA. YOu have to remember not all areas of the country are flat, at a constant temp, or have other conditions that maximize economy. In Nebraska, i don't think any of my cars have really exceed the sticker. Usually under. My 96 s10 2.2 does about 17/23 in normal weather.
Bob
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On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:00:23 -0600, Bob Urz wrote:

I'm like Mark here. I generally do better than the stickers. But, I have almost always lived in rural or suburban areas, and when I have had to travel I was generally going the OPPOSITE way from the gridlock, so I usually had smooth sailing. On cars rated 25-30, I did 30-37. Where I live now I can run my cars in their most effecient ranges and manage to consistantly run 5 or more MPG over EPA. I have a Chrysler LHS that during the fall I was gettin 30 MPG overall with. It does have a lot to do with driving habits. Toyotas don't seem to mind being pounded on; my GTS gets better mileage at 70-75 than at 40MPH. The Chrysler needs to be driven like you have an egg between your foot and the throttle to get the kind of mileage I was getting, and does much better at 45-50 or 62MPH. At 70 you can watch the fuel guage drop.

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Mark wrote:

Same old story - nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions. And the media is quick to ell us It's Not Your Fault - it's "THEM".
--
- -
Rex Burkheimer
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On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 06:38:08 -0800, Mark wrote:

The last time prices went up, there was a story on NECN (New England Cable News) where they were interviewing a guy, at the pump, complaining about the high cost of gas...while filling up his EXCURSION!!!
If you're gonna cry about it, buy a Prius! What a fool.
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It also depends what state mandates the gasoline formulation, IMHO. My Highlander, here in Northern California runs low 20's on highway. In Idaho, Washington or Oregon I run about 10% better. I probably drive a bit hard to get best mileage but In summer I am over 17 in town and about 21 on highway with V-6 AWD. about 23 up north Ron
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Mark wrote:

You can stop there....Calling the stuff on TV at 6:30 pm "news" is false advertising. Especially true for NBC and CBS. At least Dan is leaving the "news" department and working full time for the tabloid departement (60 minutes). He was always better suited for National Enquirer style of semi-fictionalized reporting than for honest news reporting.
Ed
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I think a lot of it also has to do with traffic. Here in So. Cal I can get 34mpg hwy in my '94 Saab 9000 cse if there is no traffic and I'm not stop and go. If I do wind up in stop and go traffic my mileage drops to 17-20 mpg.
I've also been tracking the MPG in my '04 Pilot. In town/traffic I get about 14-15mpg. In open road driving I can get 18-20mpg. Not bad for a 6cyl SUV IMO.
Craig
snipped-for-privacy@email.com says...

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Mark wrote:

Agh! You used the "A" word. Whole hypothesis falls apart in huge crumbing mass of little bits.(oddly not unlike legos?)
The problem is that the test is outdated and has a 20mph speed for city and a 45mph for highway, with very gentle cycles inbetween. Manufacturers gear the cars to do well at those exact speeds, of course, so as to satisfy their fleet/type efficiency requirements, so you get silly data that isn't close to reality.
All it really does is tell you a range compared to other vehicles. A Pruis will get better mileage than all but about a handful of vehicles, for instance. The numbers are moot beyond that.
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I know with my car, once I hit 45 it'll go into OD and have the TCC kick in. It's rated for 30 mpg on the highway and last time I took it for a trip I got ~38 mpg. You're right though, it's more for comparison then real world numbers.
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What year/make/model is it?
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It's a 93 Grand Prix with the 3.1 V6. My dad had a 92 Lumina with the 3.1 also and got about the same gas mileage.
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