I heard an interesting article on today's editipon of You And Yours on BBC Radio 4 - listen to the programme on this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r5s1r. The programme asked:
... does your car give the fuel economy it was advertised with? No? Well it may not be your driving. New research is blaming the manufacturers.
This may account for why many Toyota Prius owners are disappointed with the actual fuel economy they experience. According to the researcher interviewed on the programme, many manufacturers, especially in Europe, can 'tune' the car that is being tested for the official mpg figure. I was amazed to hear that they can blank off grills, remove wing mirrors, fit slick tyres, inflate tyres to high pressure as well as other 'tricks' like 'remove' the brakes by lifting off the calipers so that there is no friction contact between disc pads and brake discs. Apparently, the divergence between official mpg figures and actual mpg figurs has been increasing over the years - from about 7% in 2001 to 23% of late. Time to apply some consumer pressure, is it not?