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EPA Issues New MPG Estimate Methods, Dropping an Average 8%-12%

Posted By G Monkie On February 23, 2007 @ 11:46 pm In G Living | 1 Comment

The federal agency that creates official fuel mileage estimates for every new car and light truck sold in the United States is changing the way it creates those numbers.

The EPA has now released estimated figures showing how 2007 models would have been rated using both the both old and new methods. Most vehicles will end up with lower mileage estimates, whether they are fuel-efficient gas-electric hybrids or big-engined trucks and performance cars.

The Toyota Prius, the nation’s best-selling hybrid model and the most fuel-efficient, is estimated to see its mileage rating drop 20 percent to 48 mpg in the city from the old estimate of 60 mpg.  Its estimated highway mileage should fall almost 12 percent to 45 mpg from the current 51 mpg. Toyota officials said Friday they’re not concerned about the drop in the Prius’s estimated mileage because almost all other vehicles’ are dropping as well.

Using current mileage figures, the Prius uses 326 gallons less fuel over 15,000 miles than the average car, which is now estimated to get 25 mpg.  Using the new figures, the Prius uses 346 gallons less than the average car, which is estimated to get 22 miles per gallon. The Toyota Yaris, a subcompact gasoline-only car, will get its city mileage rating cut nearly 15 percent to 29 mpg from 34.  Its highway estimate will drop 10 percent to 36 mpg from 40 and its combined estimate will fall about 13.5 percent to 32 from 37 mpg, according to the EPA.

Under new testing procedures, fuel economy for the manual transmission version are estimated to drop 11 percent to 8 mpg in the city from 9 previously, with highway mileage falling 7 percent to 13 mpg from 14 mpg in the earlier estimate.

Among gas guzzlers with wider ownership, the four-wheel drive version of the F150 pickup, the nation’s best-selling vehicle from , is estimated to have its city mileage rating drop 14 percent to 12 mpg, while its highway mileage estimate will drop about 11 percent to 16 mpg.

The Dodge 1500 Ram pickup truck, the rival to the F150 from DaimlerChrysler, will see its overall mileage trimmed 6 percent to 15 mpg, and its city mileage fall 7 percent to 13 mpg.

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