Why do vehicle fuel ratings vary?
(NC)—Fuel consumption ratings are based on two test cycles: city tests, which simulate urban driving in stop-and-go traffic and highway tests, which simulate a mixture of open highway and rural road driving, typical of longer trips.
Fuel consumption ratings are meant to allow consumers to compare vehicles while being assured that the same testing procedures are being used by all manufacturers. While in many cases it is possible for a driver to meet or exceed a particular vehicle's fuel ratings, fuel consumption ratings are based on a specific testing protocol.
Here are a few things that can affect fuel consumption:
Your driving style and behaviour;
Vehicle acceleration, braking and driving speed;
Overall age and condition of your vehicle;
Temperature, weather, traffic and road conditions;
Drive systems and powered accessories such as air conditioning or heated seats and mirrors;
In addition, small variations in vehicle manufacturing will cause fuel consumption differences in the same make and model and some vehicles do not attain optimal fuel consumption until they reach about 6,000 to 10,000 km.
Published ratings are a useful tool for comparing vehicles before you buy, but they may not always accurately predict the fuel consumption you'll get. Natural Resources Canada has posted information on fuel consumption ratings and factors that affect fuel consumption, including tips to get the most fuel savings out of your new vehicle at www.vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca.
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