2016 Smart Fortwo Won't Hit Magic 40 MPG

The next-generation Smart Fortwo, expected to go on sale in North America shortly, won’t achieve the magical 40-mpg benchmark in highway driving, reports Car & Driver.

Fuel economy for the Mercedes microcar will stay similar to the current generation at 33 mpg city and 39 mpg highway when equipped with the automatic transmission. Manual models will get the same highway fuel economy, but give up 1 mpg on the city cycle.

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EGR-equipped Buick Regal Hits 40 MPG

The current Buick Regal is an excellent car. I know, because I have one parked in my garage (it’s sweet). Still, it could be better- and the guys at the SouthWest Research Institute (SWRI) have figured out a way to enhance the mid-range Buick so that it produces fewer harmful carbon emissions and gets better fuel economy.

Can’t beat that!

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QOTD: Time For An End To Manufacturer Measured MPG Numbers?

TTAC’s inbox was inundated this morning with reports of Hyundai’s revised mileage claims, which remove a number of its vehicles from the 40 MPG club.

According to Hyundai

Procedural errors at the automakers’ joint testing operations in Korea led to incorrect fuel economy ratings for select vehicle lines.

Maybe it’s time for a new way to measure fuel economy standards?

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Wall Street Journal Misses Its Mark With The Dart

It’s the kind of mistake that only a blogger (said with a contemptuous sneer) would make. The Wall Street Journal reports that

“U.S. regulators rated a new Chrysler Group LLC compact car with highway fuel-economy of 41 miles a gallon, a move that fulfills a key element of the company’s 2009 federal bailout and cleared the way earlier this year for majority owner Fiat SpA to increase its stake in the Detroit auto maker.”

They got it wrong.

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Fiat 500 Finally Gets The 40 MPG Brass Ring

A couple tweaks have finally pushed the Fiat 500 to the magical 40 MPG mark – but only on manual-equipped version.

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Question Of The Day: What Was Your Worst… Automotive Prediction?

I saw the future as clearly as day.

The Honda CR-Z. A beautiful machine that would finally marry that elusive dream couple, sport and fuel economy, for less than $20,000.

It had to be a hit. Just had to…

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Chevrolet Spark Misses The 40 MPG Mark

Glancing at its diminutive footprint and tiny engine specs, one would expect superlative fuel economy from the Chevrolet Spark, right? Wrong.

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Dodge Dart Gets "Aero" Package To Break 40 MPG

Looks like the Dodge Dart will apparently break 40 MPG adjusted in the end…but you’ll need a special option package to do it, just like its chief domestic rivals, the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze.

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900 Miles And Runnin': Searching For Truth In A Rented Elantra

Sometimes the stars align. Last week’s article about the “Consumer Watchdog” Elantra fuel-economy press release had ruffled some feathers and aroused my personal curiosity regarding the Elantra’s alleged thirst. And then — wouldn’t you know it — I found myself with a chance to run South and visit a few friends. The time frame was short. Had to be there and back in 36 hours, covering about 435 miles each way. And the nice people at Enterprise were willing to rent me a 2011 Elantra for a two-day stretch at a total of $50.36.

This was my math: (900 miles/23.5 mpg) * $3.18 = $121.78. That would be the cost of running my Town Car. A mythical 40mpg Elantra plugged into the same equation would cost $71.55. Difference of $50.23. Clearly some sort of sign, right? Might as well rent the Hyundai and conduct a highly [s]non-[/s]scientific test. Along the way, we’d ask the usual questions: How well does the Elantra hold up in rental service? Is this the class killer some people want it to be, or the mid-packer described in TTAC tests up to this point? Can’t this thing go any faster? What time is lunch?

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Fuel Economy Fudge-Gate: An Update

There was troubling news at the end of last week, as Automotive News [sub]’s Rick Kranz reported that an unnamed automaker was quietly accusing another unnamed automaker of tweaking its EPA fuel economy tests, arguing

There’s a noticeable difference between the mpg number posted on some cars’ window sticker and an analysis of the data submitted by automakers to the EPA.

We’ve tried to get several automakers to comment on the accusation, but nobody wants to touch it. But, as we’ve looked into the issue, a few more details have surfaced that seem worth sharing. Hit the jump for the latest…

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  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.