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Old 09-09-2008, 10:05 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Québec, Canada
Posts: 213

2007 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: Epa & Mpg (hwy)???

Originally Posted by Asterixx View Post
Canadian advertised fuel economy is also artificially high because we've got bigger gallons. An American gallon is 3.8 liters, an imperial (Canadian) gallon is 4.5 liters. That's almost 20% larger, so you're obviously going to go 20% further. When I worked at the Saturn dealership the S-series were advertised at ~46MPG (right on the window of every car), while US EPA figures were 35MPG.

The funny thing is that gallons are not a legal measurement in Canada. Fuel economy figures are supposed to be posted in liters per 100 km, not MPG. This confuses most people, though - with MPG the higher the number the better, but with L/100KM the lower the number the better. Even though we've been metric for almost four decades most people relate to MPG better - most likely because we see American commercials. This works in the manufacturer's favour in a deceptive way: Say you see a bunch of commercials on Peachtree TV or some other US network, or you see ads and road test in American car magazines for Civics, Fits, Yarises, Focuses (focii?), etc, and they all proudly state that the cars get ~35MPG. You then go to the local Chevy dealer and that Cobalt says 45 MPG on the window sticker. You think "WOW! 10 MPG better than the commercials I saw! And a Government of Canada figure, at that!"

The salesmen don't tell you that it's based on bigger gallons. They also don't tell you that every other vehicle on the road is going to have 20% higher figures than what they saw on TV.
In Québec people understand l/100 km probably better now than MPG (except older people), so that's not a problem. The ad for the Caliber I was talking about used the l/100 km rating, but included in smaller characters the MPG in imperial gallons. It has to be noted also that Canadian test conditions are made to show what a car can obtain if one drives with fuel economy in mind, so they're very optimistic, even more than old EPA ratings. For instance, the new Cobalt XFE is rated 5,4 l/100 km on the highway, meaning 43,5 MPG (US gallons, not imperial), compare that to 37 MPG in American testing.

I guess it can be confusing for Canadians who have one foot in Canada and another in the US through exposures to American TV and all.


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