I-Team Investigates: Hybrid car mileage claims

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New Jersey consumers are buying hybrids to get the most bang for their buck at the pump, but the cars may not deliver on the mileage they promise.

The News 12 New Jersey I-Team took standard and hybrid Ford Escape models on the same test drive along the Turnpike and Jersey City streets. Although the hybrid is marketed as getting 33 miles per gallon, it actually got 21.5. The standard vehicle, which costs less than the hybrid, got 21.8 miles per gallon.

Jonathan Linkov, who is an editor with Consumer Reports, says the magazine got similar results when it tested other hybrids, like the Honda Civic, which promises 48 miles per gallon. Linkov says the lofty mileage estimates from manufacturers are often inflated.

Automaker Ford defends its mileage claims, saying consumers must modify their driving to get the full benefit of hybrids. Ford says cars need to be driven under 25 miles per hour in the city, under 55 miles per hour on the highway and the air conditioning should be off. Many drivers say the restrictions are unrealistic.

Related InformationConsumer ReportshybridCARS.comU.S. Department of EnergyI-Team Investigates

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