Saturday, May 19, 2007


No, not the teenage girls' magazine.

No, not an average score in footbal (two touchdowns and a field goal).

No, not the Kip Winger song.

The miles per gallon on the new flagship hybrid Lexus. They boast 28.7 mpg, but a test driver only got 17 mpg. Shameful.


Tim said...

Shameful for Toyota, the driver, or the EPA?

It's shameful for the EPA b/c the mpg tests they run do not reflect reality. Do you know ANYONE who gets the max EPA rated mpg in their car? (Actually, as EPA is a federal agency, it's shameful for various lobbies and idiots, but we won't go into that.)

It's shameful for car dealerships who says, "Yeah, this car gets 28.7 mpg." This is misleading, since 99% of the people who buy the car will not drive in such a manner or environment so as to achieve such high mpg.

Finally, it's shameful for the driver who doesn't know how to drive efficiently, most likely. The article didn't state exactly how she drove the car, but hell, I bet I could get 17 mpg in the 60 mpg Prius if I drove like a maniac. The author (Sue) mentioned driving on a test track and 120 mph straights -- well, when you drive 120 mph, you're not gonna get good mpg. If she did indeed drive the car in a more performance oriented manner than the typical driver on a typical road, and she is saying it's bad news that she only got 17 mpg...maybe she just doesn't realize that driving crazy leads to bad mpg. I guess it's either shameful that she misleads the audience (probably for the sake of making drama for her article), or else it's shameful that she's an idiot behind the wheel.

Finally, even at 17 mpg, the car is doing pretty good all things considered. How many 438 hp cars do you know achieve over 20 mpg? Maybe, maybe the Corvette, if you stick to open and flat highways and drive 55 mph. Plus, I bet that Lexus weighs about 4000 lbs. How is the Lexus doing against the cars it's competing against? As an engineer, I would've liked a nice chart for comparison in the article.

Tim said...

Hmm, my grammar is shameful, too. I talk like the lol cats. U has a smell.

Cleaty said...

Wow! Nice insight. I am glad you are so passionate about this stuff. I think it is useless to put a hybrid engine into anything if you aren't going to try to increase efficiency in other ways too, like reducing weight, reducing HP, etc. I agree, it is shameful!

Tim said...

Here's an article where a guy is suing Honda b/c he gets poorer-than-expected mpg in his Civic Hybrid.


Idiot. Why? 1: It's not Honda's fault. They just advertised with EPA numbers. If you're gonna make a $25,000 purchase, based largely on mpg numbers, don't you think you should do a little research into the numbers first? It's like playing blackjack without ever looking at your cards.

2: If you want high mpg, you have to drive intelligently. I know Prius owners who get as little as 39 mpg, while others get as high as 57 mpg. And the reason for the difference is clearly evident in their driving habits. I'm taking a bold, uninformed leap here, but I'm betting that guy doesn't drive in a fuel-efficient manner.

By the way, EPA is revising their testing for mpg. Based on numbers I've seen, they do a very good job of reflecting reality. There should now be some drivers that get better than EPA estimates, and some who get lower, instead of pretty much everyone getting lower.