Got an e-mail from the owner of a 2011 Ford F-Series pick-up today.
It has the base 3.7 litre V6 engine, which I have driven (shared by Mustang, incidentally) and reported on - great engine, good power, good fuel economy numbers.
But he complains that he gets nowhere near the advertised fuel economy, and feels he has been duped.
He also mentions that the US EPA numbers are quite a bit lower than Canada's, even after adjusting for the difference in our gallon. The US numbers are actually closer to what he is recording in the Real World.
He says he has always been a GM loyalist but was swayed by these numbers, and he and some of his other Ford-owning buddies feel they've been misled.
Thought I'd share my response to him with all of you - comments and any further info any of you can share always welcome.
As you know, the mileage tests are conducted according to government-mandated protocols, which are conducted under very specific conditions - warm temperatures, etc. - and which are monitored pretty closely. The numbers the manufacturers report are what they got on those tests, and the purpose isn't necessarily to tell you exactly what YOU'LL get, but to provide a comparison for one vehicle versus another.
Sometimes, there are suspicions that engineers specifically tune the vehicles so they look good on these tests, as opposed to get the best mileage in the Real World, because these numbers are so important for marketing purposes - they swayed you, didn't they?
I don't know that anybody has ever proved that, but sometimes the gaps between the Transport Canada numbers and reality are greater for certain vehicles, which certainly raises some suspicion.
There was wide-spread complaining among consumers in the US a few years ago, especially w/r/t hybrids. It seems the EPA City numbers were WAY out of whack compared to what was achievable in normal driving. I'm not saying hybrid manufacturers 'cooked' the cars to beat the test, but for sure, the idle shut-off feature that hybrids have really generated great numbers.
The EPA modified the City test to reduce the impact of this effect, and I don't think Transport Canada has made a similar change to their protocol. This may be why the US numbers differ from Transport Canada. I don't know if the highway tests are different or not - might be worth looking into.
How long have you had the truck? As it gets a few thousand kilometres on it, the mileage should improve. Also, the way you drive, long trips versus short trips, etc., and cold weather - not that we've had a lot of it this winter - all affect mileage as well.
All of this may not change the way you feel about the truck, but maybe it helps explain the economy disparities a little.