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16 Hybrid Vehicles With False MPG Ratings

December 13, 2012

With gas prices high, car shoppers want vehicles that are rated well when it comes to fuel economy, but there's been a disturbing trend developing where manufacturers seem to be fudging the numbers in order to sell more vehicles.

A number of hybrid cars have been shown to fall far below their fuel economy claims when put through real-world tests, according to an article on this past week. This comes on the heels of Hyundai admiting their advertised fuel economy numbers were incorrect.

The article cites 16 hybrid vehicles that resulted in a lower EPA combined mpg estimate when tested. The list is topped by the Ford C-Max SE, which had a 47 combined mpg that when tested by Consumer Reports only had 37 mpg overall.

The reason car manufacturers can get away with false numbers is because the EPA only audits a small percentage of vehicles. Furthermore, the EPA has to rely on vehicles provided by the manufacturers, which can be altered to perform better on the tests. Car shoppers should definitely take fuel economy claims with a grain of salt and check user-reported sources such as,, and before deciding on a vehicle.

Here is a list of the hybrids Consumer Reports tested and their findings.

Make & modelCR overall mpgEPA combined mpgDifference
Ford C-Max SE374710
Ford Fusion Hybrid SE39478
Toyota Prius C Two43507
Toyota Prius44506
Honda Civic Hybrid40444
Infiniti M35h25294
Lexus ES 300h36404
Buick LaCrosse (4-cyl., eAssist)26293
Honda Insight EX38413
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid33363
Lexus RX 450h26293
Lexus CT 200h40422
Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE38402
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid19201
Toyota Highlander Hybrid27281
Toyota Prius V Three41421
Chevrolet Malibu Eco29290
Honda CR-Z EX (manual)3534-1

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About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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