Hyundai-Kia Settles Mileage Lawsuit; Owners Get Lump-Sum Option


In November 2012, an EPA investigation and consumer watchdog complaints led Hyundai and Kia to restate gas mileage on more than two dozen 2011, 2012 and 2013 models. The affiliated Korean automakers conceded interpretation errors on EPA procedures and launched a program to compensate some 900,000 owners with reloadable debit cards that factored in the difference in mileage with the cost of gas, plus 15 percent extra apology cash. The debit cards require periodic odometer checks at dealerships, however — a different path than Ford took when it restated gas mileage on the C-Max. The Michigan automaker reimbursed current C-Max lessees and owners $325 and $550, respectively.

What to Do If You Own an Affected Hyundai, Kia

Now, as the result of a recently settled class-action lawsuit, owners of affected Hyundai and Kia models can get their own lump-sum payout. Hyundai and Kia have agreed to offer lump-sum reimbursements that average $353 per affected Hyundai and $667 per affected Kia. That leaves owners with a few options, according to the automaker:

By Kelsey Mays | December 27, 2013 | Comments (23)

2013 Honda Civic Long-Term Mileage Update


Our focus this month is solely on our 2013 Honda Civic long-term tester. The 2013 Subaru BRZ we've been driving for almost 14,000 miles is on its way out the door and will get a final wrap-up in the coming weeks. For now, let's check in on the Civic.

Follow Our Long-Term Fleet

Continuous high mileage fill-ups over the last month have bumped the Civic's average from 31.93 mpg to 32.49 mpg — the Civic is rated at 28/39/32 mpg city/highway/combined. Our drivers and their light feet averaged 35.79 mpg in October.

By Joe Bruzek | November 5, 2013 | Comments (2)

2013 Honda Civic: Road Trip Report


When I think "long trip," the words "compact sedan" aren't what come to mind. Many hours behind the wheel of an entry-level car crammed with three adults, one child and loads of luggage doesn't sound pleasant, but in our long-term Honda Civic it was actually pretty close.

Follow Our Long-term Test Cars

I recently took the sedan on a trip from our downtown Chicago headquarters to Kansas City, Kansas, and the Civic managed to get us and all of our stuff there without breaking the bank. During the 1,061.7-mile highway trip, I traveled an average speed of 55 mph and got an impressive 35.6 mpg; the sedan is EPA rated at 28/39/32 mpg city/highway/combined.

Fuel economy is great, but how comfortable could you be spending 17 hours in a Civic?

By Jennifer Geiger | October 16, 2013 | Comments (7)

2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Real-World Mileage


Chevrolet overhauled its half-ton Silverado for the 2014 model year, bringing with it a green punch thanks to the impressive EPA ratings for both its six- and eight-cylinder models.

At its introduction, the Bow-Tie brand threw a risky ball in Ford's court, claiming its 5.3-liter V-8 Silverado is more efficient than the Blue Oval's famed 3.5-liter EcoBoost six-cylinder in its best-selling F-150.

On a recent Challenge, we gathered numbers proving GM's new half-ton twins are greener — even when towing. Engineers added fuel-saving technology to the EcoTec3 5.3-liter V-8 such as active fuel management, which shuts down four of the eight cylinders under light driving; direct injection; and variable valve timing.

We recently tested a 2014 Silverado at our Chicago headquarters and had the opportunity to once again see how it fared in the real world.

By Robby DeGraff | September 25, 2013 | Comments (32)

2013 Lexus GX 460: Real-World Mileage


It's the end of summer, and that means another trip to take my daughter back to school. This time out, we made the college run in a 2013 Lexus GX 460. Overall, it provided a capable, if crowded, ride, but it was one that improved my impression of the luxury SUV on the road and at the pump.

First, let's get to the mileage.

By Patrick Olsen | August 22, 2013 | Comments (0)

EPA to Update Procedures to Keep Up With Industry

In the wake of Ford lowering the EPA combined city/highway mileage by 4 mpg for the 2013 C-Max Hybrid, the EPA plans to hire some 40% more employees to audit gas mileage and revamp its rules on what needs to be tested.

Amid Complaints, Ford to Drop C-Max Hybrid to 43 MPG

Chris Grundler, who directs the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told USA Today the agency will "update general-labeling regulations" — the crux of the issue for the C-Max rerating.

The EPA elaborated Thursday in a press release: "Developed in 1977, EPA label regulations allow, but do not require, vehicles with the same engine, transmission and weight class to use the same fuel economy label value data, since, historically, such vehicle families achieve nearly identical fuel economy performance." As we reported in a 2012 investigation, carmakers can voluntarily rerate cars — which, for example, Toyota does with its Prius variants, according to USA Today. But they don't have to.

By Kelsey Mays | August 16, 2013 | Comments (0)

Ford to Reimburse C-Max Owners For MPG Discrepancy


At a press conference this afternoon, Ford announced it would reimburse current owners of model-year 2013 C-Max vehicles $550 for a 4-mpg difference in its EPA combined city/highway mileage. Lessees will receive $325. Further updates for the 2014 C-Max could raise mileage beyond 43 mpg, which applies to the 2013 C-Max only.

Ford says it voluntarily rerated the 2013 model because the current car matches the Fusion Hybrid's mileage under the EPA's "general label rules." Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president of global product development, told reporters those rules date "back to the 1970s, and they were created by the EPA as a general means to provide fuel economy labels without having to test every single vehicle in the industry." Most cars are rated using this rule, Nair said.

As we reported in November 2012, that policy allows the EPA and automakers to rate cars with common weight and drivetrain characteristics under the same mileage label — but it can be problematic, as in this case where "combining sedans like the Fusion Hybrid with crossover utility vehicles like the C-Max hybrid under a single, general label could result in anomalies," Nair said.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2013 | Comments (3)

Amid Complaints, Ford to Drop C-Max Hybrid to 43 MPG


Ford will lower EPA mileage on the C-Max hybrid to 43 mpg in combined city/highway ratings — a drop of 4 mpg compared with today's 47-mpg rating. The automaker will announce full details at a press conference later this afternoon, and we'll update you as more information becomes available. Citing two unnamed sources, the Detroit News reported the matter minutes ago. EPA rules allowed Ford to issue the same rating for the C-Max as it did the Fusion Hybrid because the two cars had family similarities, the newspaper reports, but the decades-old procedure doesn't suit hybrids as well.

Loopholes and Fuzzy Math: The Tangled Science of MPG Ratings

The move comes amid a string of criticism. Consumer Reports said in December 2012 that its fuel-economy tests rendered mileage in the high 30s for both the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max. The same month, a California law firm filed a class-action lawsuit that claimed real-world hybrid mileage for the C-Max fell well below EPA numbers. However, one editor achieved the stated EPA mileage on the C-Max in his commute, and we logged mileage in the low-40s over more than 100 miles of testing.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

2014 Jeep Cherokee EPA Rated at 28 Highway


Jeep said its Liberty replacement would be much more fuel efficient than the outgoing model, and just-released EPA figures for the 2014 Cherokee make good on the promise. Four-cylinder four-wheel drive versions are EPA rated at 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined and V-6 versions at 19/27/22.

2014 Jeep Cherokee Review

The base engine is a 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and the optional a 271-hp, 3.2-liter V-6; both engines work with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler previously estimated highway fuel economy of 31 mpg — today's figures fall short of that, but two-wheel drive fuel economy numbers have not yet been released. 

The numbers are still better than the Liberty: Two-wheel-drive versions of the V-6 are EPA rated at 16/22 mpg city/highway. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee starts at $23,990, including destination, and goes on sale in late summer or early fall

2014 Jeep Cherokee Starts at $23,990
2014 Jeep Cherokee: Trim Level Breakdown
2014 Jeep Cherokee at the 2013 New York Auto Show

By Jennifer Geiger | August 14, 2013 | Comments (8)

Tracking the Fuel Economy of's 2013 Honda Civic, 2013 Subaru BRZ


We welcomed a 2013 Honda Civic to's long-term test fleet in March to evaluate the unheard of changes Honda made just one year after the Civic's complete redesign. Like our 2013 Subaru BRZ, the one-year ownership experience is tracked in numerous ways including detailed gas mileage logs.

The Civic's gas mileage was not one of the numerous alterations for 2013; the 2012 Civic's EPA-rated 28/39 mpg city/highway was already competitive.

Follow Our Long-Term Fleet

We've only just begun to put the LX sedan trim level with an automatic transmission through its paces after logging 1,400 miles in just over two months. The Civic is mostly being used as a commuter car in and around Chicago with city and suburban stop-and-go driving, a style of driving reflected by the observed 28.4 mpg average. Road-trip season is approaching quickly, and we expect to rack up quite a few trips this summer to test the Civic's 39 mpg highway rating.

By Joe Bruzek | April 9, 2013 | Comments (3)

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