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Study: Hybrids Can’t Match Fuel Economy Ratings


Hold onto your hats hybrid-loving drivers! A recent United Kingdom study reveals that almost every hybrid on the market doesn’t match its fuel economy ratings advertised.

Conducted by the website, a consumer motor page that is an advocate for transparency (as it relates to motor issues), reviewed 148,000 fuel economy reports submitted by car owners and revealed that about one in 39 hybrid models (either plug-in or self-charging) did not match its advertised fuel economy rating.


Even worse, some hybrids, a vast majority being plugins, also missed these rating by just over five litres for every 100 km; meaning if a driver purchased a PHEV, with hopes on spending about five dollars for every 100 km driven, then there’s a good chance they are spending closer to $13.

So, which models were the worst of the worst that hit Honest John’s list? Lexus NX 300h was at the bottom of the list, hitting 68 percent of the advertised target; next was Lexus RX 450h with 63 percent of its target; Toyota Prius Hybrid was able to reach 62 percent of its target; and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV had a shameful finish with a mere (just over) 42 percent.

Still, Autofile reported that there were some winners when it came to Honest John’s list, and despite the fact that they still didn’t hit their advertised targets, they came pretty close: Lexus GS 450h came in first with an achieved target of over 84.2 percent, Toyota Rav4 Hybrid came in second at 79.3 percent, and Kia Niro came in third at 77.4 percent.

Honest John does state that these shifts in fuel economy ratings can be pointed to lab testing discrepancies, as automakers have been fined when it comes to going over average CO2 emissions; therefore, to avoid fines, they optimize hybrids for lab tests, versus real roads.
Not too surprising.