Your Fuel Economy Will Vary

Even though EPA recently improved its methods for estimating fuel economy, your vehicle’s fuel economy will almost certainly vary from EPA’s estimate. Fuel economy is not a fixed number; it varies significantly based on where you drive, how you drive, and other factors. Thus, it predict fuel economy precisely for all drivers in all environments. For example,the following factors can lower your vehicle’s fuel economy:

Aggressive driving (hard acceleration and braking)
Excessive idling, accelerating, and braking in stop-and-go traffic
Cold weather (engines are more efficient when warmed up)
Driving with a heavy load or with the air conditioner running
Improperly tuned engine or underinflated tires
Use of remote starters

In addition, small variations in vehicle manufacturing can cause fuel economy variations in the same make and model, and some vehicles don’t attain maximum fuel economy until they are "broken in" (around 3,000–5,000 miles). So, please remember that the EPA ratings are a useful tool for comparing vehicles when car buying, but they may not accurately predict the MPG you will get.

This is also true for annual fuel cost estimates. For more information on fuel economy ratings and factors that affect fuel
economy, visit

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