Comparing MPG – An important factor when buying a new car

In 2012 Kurt Neibuhr for Edmunds stated that, if a person wanted to find the best indicator of their automobiles real-world fuel economy, they should combine a car’s highway and city mpg figures together and use the averaged result. When it comes to buying a new car, fuel economy is one of the biggest factors that influence the decision-making process. Having an idea of a car’s fuel efficiency will give you a better idea of what your monthly fuel costs are going to be and could also help you decide between specific car models. If you’re looking for a new car, it’s a vital number that you need to know.

The question thus becomes how to determine a car’s mpg and how to best compare the mpg of several cars to see which one is the best. To that end we put together a blog today to give you lots of great information that will help you to do just that. Enjoy.

The easiest way to determine the mpg for a specific new car is to take a look at the window sticker when you’re at the dealer’s lot browsing around. All stickers have a specific section that the EPA uses to put information on the three main numbers that people are looking for, city, highway and combined MPG.

While the smiling salesman at your car dealership would love you to believe that those numbers are accurate, the fact is that few cars will actually achieve the mpg on their EPA sticker in the real world. About the only way to actually achieve those numbers would be to drive in perfect conditions, on an open road with no stops and no curves and driving at a very specific and controlled rate of speed.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

That’s why it’s never a good idea to get too attached to the MPG numbers given on the window sticker. All new cars starting in 2013 will be sporting the EPA’s new fuel economy label, one that makes a point of making the combined mpg figure larger and also adds information about fuel cost estimates and how the car will affect greenhouse gases.

If you’re looking for a better tool to compare MPG you’ll definitely want to surf to the US Department of Energy’s website. At you can actually look as far back as 1984 to find the mpg of any motor vehicle. Not only that but they have retroactively adjusted mpg ratings to account for the EPA’s revisions of 2008.

One feature that is very interesting is that you can get a personalized readout based on the car you drive, the type of driving that you do and some other factors. Once you input that information you’ll be able to see what the cost should be to fill up your tank, how much it would cost to drive 25 miles and also the amount of fuel that you would use and a lot of other interesting information. If you have a few minutes it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

Many people believe that checking a car maker’s website is an excellent way to get fuel economy numbers but the fact is that many automakers will only display the highway MPG number on their website. If you’re looking at an automobile that’s not exactly known to be fuel-efficient, like a full-size SUV, you’ll most likely have to really dig to find any information about the MPG and, in some cases, you won’t find it all.

With gas prices steadily climbing, purchasing an automobile that gets excellent MPG is vital if you don’t want to spend a fortune on gasoline. Even a 5% difference in MPG could equal a decent amount of savings over a year’s time and so, if you’re keen on using as little gas as possible, buying a car with excellent MPG is definitely the best decision that you can make. Just do yourself a favor and don’t believe everything that the EPA sticker tells you.

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