Ask The Best and Brightest: Does Chevy Have More 30mpg Models Than Honda or Toyota?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

TTAC reader steronz writes:

“I’m sure you’re familiar with the advertising claim in the subject. I just noticed it on a billboard during my morning commute, sans question mark. I did a brief search to see if I could figure out what marketing math GM is using to back up this claim, but I’m coming up
dry. I did my own quick check on Edmunds and came up with the following list:

Chevy Honda Toyota
Aveo* 24-34 Fit 28-34 Yaris 29-36
Cobalt** 25-36 Civic 26-34 Corolla 28-37
HHR*** 21-30 CR-V? fail Matrix 26-33
Malibu 22-30 Accord 22-31 Camry**** 21-31
Malibu Hy 24-32 Accord Hy dead Camry Hy 33-34
Civic Hy 40-45 Prius 48-45

* GM may be trying to bill the Aveo5 and the Aveo as two different models. I’m not buying that.
** Cobalt numbers are for the elusive XFE model, but that shouldn’t make a difference
*** GM may be trying to bill the HHR Panel Van as a different model than the HHR, but I’m REALLY not buying that
**** If GM is indeed playing tricks with model counting, the Camry Solara could potentially count as a separate model here

I’m not even sure if I feel comfortable calling hybrid versions of regular cars as new models, but since it doesn’t give anyone an advantage, I’ll allow it. Therefore, by my count, Chevy has 5 models, Honda has 4, and Toyota has 6. Claim busted, right?”

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4 of 34 comments
  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 20, 2008

    Robstar, All you have to do is head out of town a ways. Gas is $2.95 or thereabouts in Madison, WI. Of course, we were there the other day and thought $2.95 was ridiculously expensive... it's $2.54 here in the Twin Cities. Yes, the price differential strikes me as crazy. And... $2.54 here... while we just RAISED our gas tax earlier this year. Go figure. My best guess on why we're so cheap... we have a couple refineries here. Perhaps transport, distribution, inventory and mixing costs help keep the price low. --- On the original topic... I'll bet you could flip the question over and demonstrate, conclusively, that GM had way more models getting UNDER 25mpg than Toyota. Not that GM would want to advertise that fact. Bonus: several of GM's gas-guzzlers are hybrids. That's smart marketing!

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Oct 20, 2008

    I'm guessing that Cobalt Sedan and Cobalt Coupe are counted separately. We really need a fuel mileage to weight ratio. People will say that a hybrid SUV is pointless but a big car that tows 6000# and gets 20 city is fairly impressive.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Oct 20, 2008

    For a humorous analogy of GM spending resources on manipulating numbers for meaningless marketing, I recommend that you watch Apple's new TV ad "Bean Counter". I hope you will understand the analogy. Just so you know where their priorities are.

  • SexCpotatoes SexCpotatoes on Oct 20, 2008

    Hey, at least they aren't counting the friggin' Volt yet.