New ratings help drivers get real MPG before buying cars

Posted on: 11:19 am, June 10, 2013, by and , updated on: 11:27am, June 10, 2013

If you are in the market for a new car, miles per gallon might be your biggest concern.

Now the government-mandated labels should make comparison shopping easier.

Gasoline is about $3.50 per gallon and millions of drivers are constantly stuck in traffic.

Money and pollution have many drivers looking for a more efficient car.

Bob Perciasepe, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said that’s why the new fuel economy and environment labels include real world numbers when it comes to miles per gallon.

“The idea behind the new label is pretty simple,” Perciasepe said. “Our test methods are much more sophisticated than they were in the ‘70s.”

For decades the EPA has tested vehicles for fuel efficience and put miles per gallon numbers on new car windows.

Today in addition to mpg, cars are given a greenhouse gas rating, a smog rating and the cost to run the car for a year with gas at $3.70 a gallon.

Thinking of going electric? The new labels translate your electricity cost into mpg-e or miles per gallon equivalent so you can compare it to a gasoline powered car.

Perciasepe said, “We have electric cars, we have hybrid cars and we have lean-burning gasoline cars so we needed a label that would bring all that together so consumers could make smart choices”

To see the numbers before you head to the dealership, just log on to fueleconomy.gov.

Nate McMichael, an EPA communications specialist, said the site lets you compare cars side by side.

“The Chevy Cruze has a combined 27 mpg whereas the Focus has 31 and the Hybrid, the Prius of course has quite a bit higher at 50.”

Want to get real world mpg from real world drivers?

That’s also on the website.

Drivers of any model car can post their highway and city mpg.

“We hope that the information for that real world will enhance the comparability that we use on the labeling,” “You can do that research before you go to the showroom.”

The website also gives consumers a top 10 list of the most efficient vehicles.

You can opt out of electric and hybrid vehicles so you can see more common cars.