When It Comes to the Great Turbocharger Debate, Toyota Wins Either Way

From our revolutionary hybrids to our consistently reliable gasoline vehicles, Toyota has always been an industry leader when it comes to mpg. Some of our competitors have countered with their own hybrids, but there’s also an increasing trend toward various forms of turbochargers, which are supposed to provide better mpg without sacrificing power. But do they really deliver? A recent report in Automotive News took a closer look.

Ford has been arguably the most prominent automaker when it comes to the new wave of turbocharger technology, with more than 600,000 units of its EcoBoost vehicles sold. About 400,000 of those have been F-150s, which get an EPA-estimated 22 mpg on the highway. Escape gets an estimated 33 highway mpg, and Chevy’s Cruze Eco is boasting an estimated 42 mpg on the highway.

But, the report said, real-world results are markedly different, partially because of how the EPA conducts its testing, but mostly because typical drivers negate any additional mpg a turbocharger would provide while they’re enjoying all that extra power.

As for the testing, it lasts 12 minutes, with a top speed of 60 mph and an average speed of 43.8 mph. But in a real-world road test, the Dodge Dart, which has an EPA rating of 39 mpg on the highway, ended up getting more like 33 mpg. In fact, one industry publication road-tested 11 turbocharged cars, and every one of them came in under its EPA highway rating.

On top of everything else, most turbochargers add at least $1,000 to the price of a car or truck. So for buyers looking to get extra mpg, help them get around all the guesswork by selling them a Toyota. Whether they go the hybrid route with something from the Prius family, or decide they want something sporty like a Corolla that can still give them great gas mileage, they really can’t lose.


~ by caseystone on July 1, 2013.

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