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Another hybrid misses the mark on gas mileage

Posted by: Erik Bjornstad

Another_hybrid_misses_the_mark_on_gas_mileageTwitter is great for catching breaking news.

We were looking on Twitter today and there are numerous references to a new report by Consumer Reports, breaking the news that they've finished testing out the Honda Accord Hybrid and found it wanting with respect to the big reason hybrid owners buy them in the first place - gas mileage.

The Accord Hybrid is advertised to get 47 mpg.  That's what the sticker on the window says at the showroom. They use an EPA test protocol to derive these figures and the figure is actually supposed to be pretty accurate.

But that's not what Consumer Reports found when they road-tested the Accord Hybrid. Instead of a sweet 47 mpg, the actual road-test gas mileage came out at 40 mpg. Ugh.

Paying More On the Stick AND More At the Pump

What does a 7 mpg gas mileage difference mean for thos who bought it? Someone who drives 13,000 miles a year (250 miles a week) and pays $3.75 a gallon for gas is going to end up spending an extra $180 a year on gas. If they live in California or some place where gas is more like $4.50 a gallon, they're spending an extra $220 a year.

This exact same kind of story broke about a year ago when we wrote a similar blog in February 2013 about how Ford and Kia got in trouble for exactly the same thing - their hybrids were falling well short of the high MPGs that their customers were expecting.  And we calculated out similar extra costs when the differences in mileage were translated to dollar figures.

So $180-$220 may only look like 3-4 bucks a week. Heck, that's a Starbucks a week. But for most of these people, that's not the point. An Accord hybrid starts at $29,150 but typically runs in the mid-30s after bells and whistles.  They're paying thousands extra for the promise of not paying much at the pump. '

It's looks like Honda is going to have to practice their damage control on this one.

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This post was published on June 24, 2014 and was updated on January 21, 2016.

Topics: Cars and Light Trucks, Gas Mileage, Car Care