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Canadian fuel consumption ratings are changing

(NC) The federal government is updating the test methods used to determine fuel consumption ratings for new light-duty vehicles to better reflect real-world driving conditions and behaviours. Fuel consumption ratings help consumers compare the fuel consumption of different vehicles for both city and highway driving.

Instead of the two test cycles for stop-and-go city driving and highway and rural road driving—the updated method will be adding three test cycles to account for air conditioning usage, cold temperature operation and higher speeds with more rapid accelerations.

As a result of the new five-cycle testing, fuel consumption ratings will actually increase by about 15 per cent for most vehicles compared to the two-cycle ratings, according to Natural Resources Canada. Values may increase by even more for some vehicle technologies. This is not because manufacturers are producing less fuel-efficient vehicles; it is because the 5-cycle test accounts for more factors that better simulate real-world driving conditions and behaviors.

Vehicle manufacturers submit the fuel consumption ratings and supporting data for their vehicles to Environment Canada. It is the government's role to ensure that fuel consumption ratings continue to be derived in a controlled, repeatable and standardized manner for every vehicle regardless of which manufacturer submits data.

Ultimately, the ratings are intended to give car buyers comparative information about the fuel consumption of different models based on standard tests. The ratings appear on EnerGuide labels that are affixed to new vehicles at new car dealerships and on Natural Resources Canada's website. A vehicle's actual fuel consumption will vary from published ratings, depending on how, when and where a vehicle is driven.

If you're wondering why you can't get the advertised fuel consumption ratings for your vehicle, you might want to brush up on some fuel-efficient driving habits. Natural Resources Canada has plenty of them at

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