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Motorweek came to a very different conclusion. At least the TDIs beat their EPA estimates.

http://sev.prnewswire.com/auto/20090908/CG7212308092009-1.html

OWINGS MILLS, Md., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- MotorWeek, television's longest running automotive series, and Cars.com, a leading online automotive shopping destination, have teamed up for the Power & Economy Drive to determine which shade of green makes the most sense for consumers. The Power & Economy Drive is featured on MotorWeek episode 2902 which begins airing on PBS Saturday, September 12 (check local listings).


"We hear a lot about fuel economy these days, but we wanted to know which cars deliver fuel efficiency without compromising power and performance" said John Davis, MotorWeek host and executive producer. "MotorWeek, and members of Cars.com's editorial staff, got behind the wheel of three hybrids, two clean turbocharged diesels and a compact car to find out what's behind the fuel economy numbers."


MotorWeek and Cars.com took six cars with the highest government fuel economy ratings to the mountains of Western Maryland for a typical weekend family outing. The gas sippers tested were the 2010 Toyota Prius, 2010 Honda Insight, 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, 2010 Audi A3 TDI, and the 2009 Smart ForTwo.


Each car was equipped with a data recorder for monitoring driving and engine performance. The cars were put through the paces, covering 500 miles of extremely challenging terrain over three days, with one car reigning supreme in terms of overall comfort, performance, handling and of course, fuel economy.


"We found the Prius, in the end, offered a really top-notch interior, a peppy ride and great mileage," said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief of Cars.com. "There were several close competitors, but the Prius's new look and frugal ways won us over."


The full report airs on MotorWeek episode 2902. Here are the results of the MotorWeek and Cars.com Power & Economy Drive by the numbers:

Car Type Drive mpg EPA mpg
2010 Toyota Prius hybrid 49.2 50.0
2010 Honda Insight hybrid 40.5 41.0
2010 Audi A3 TDI diesel 38.2 34.0
2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel 36.2 34.0
2009 Smart ForTwo gasoline powered 35.3 36.0
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid hybrid 32.9 39.0
 

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I saw a Prius board posting about how reviewers always drive the car at 70 mph which is apparently a dead spot in the Prius's efficiency :rolleyes: So they blame the driver instead of the car? Seems to me that if a car forces you to change your driving it's not a fair comparison.
 

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I saw a Prius board posting about how reviewers always drive the car at 70 mph which is apparently a dead spot in the Prius's efficiency :rolleyes: So they blame the driver instead of the car? Seems to me that if a car forces you to change your driving it's not a fair comparison.
If you're in a contest, play to win and that means setting the rules in your favor. If the Prius needs to be driven slower than the other cars should also be driven at their peak efficieny speeds, like upshifting the Jetta early or not racing light to light.
 
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