Since we questioned Motor Trend’s decision to claim that it got 127 MPG in a Chevrolet Volt without publishing a trip log, the buff book has apparently come to terms with the fact that the Volt is “as efficient as you want it to be.” In a piece dismissively subtitled “Yes, Your Mileage May Vary. Welcome to the Real World,” MT Editor-in-Chief Angus Mackenzie publishes MT’s Volt test trip log, but not before harumphing
For decades we have routinely published “MT Observed” fuel economy numbers as part of our road test data. And apart from the odd complaint that we journalists always seem to have a heavy right foot, those numbers have drawn few comments. Until our Chevy Volt test.
No surprise, perhaps. After all, 127 mpg is a pretty big number. But, as outlined on the next page, it’s a real number. It’s what we observed during our test.
Except that nobody (here at TTAC anyway) was surprised at the size of the number. Because of the Volt’s unique drivetrain, it would have been eminently possible to record 300 MPG, given enough recharges. What was surprising is that a publication would throw out a meaningless number and then wait a day (and a call-out) to condescendingly provide the raw data behind their test. And even then, still not point out that the Volt’s post-EV range efficiency (described by MT in terms of “EV/Gas miles”) was actually under 36 MPG (in line with tests conducted by MT’s buff book “peers”). Finally, it might have been appropriate for MT to explain that, on this particular test anyway, a Nissan Leaf would have needed one extra charge (over the night of the 22nd-23rd) but would have returned infinite MPG (though the 100 mile claimed range would have been properly tested on the 23rd). But there we go being inconveniently rude again… and who are we to turn up our noses at MT’s (belated) transparency?