26 May 2008

European Fuel Economy

Now this's interesting. I'd always heard that European cars in general get higher fuel efficiency than US cars, so I looked it up briefly. Wikipedia, for example, says that a typical European car gets 47 mpg highway, 36 mpg city [Wikipedia: Gas mileage]. But then I checked the Smart Fortwo specifically, since it's got such horrible gas mileage. The exact same model of car the EU rates as 50 mpg while the US rates it as 36 mpg [Wikipedia: Smart Fortwo].

This makes me question our testing methods, and whether European cars really do get better gas mileage than ours. I mean, if we don't test things the same way, it's comparing apples and oranges. Anyone know more about this?

1 comment:

Thomas Siefert said...

The UK would measure fuel consumption in Imperial Gallon (4.54609 Litres) and the US it would be in U.S. liquid gallon (3.785411784 Litres).
there's still a difference but not nearly as dramatic.

Also when they say that we get better mileage here in Europe, I think they mean that our cars are on average smaller in engine size. A 2 Litre engine is generally considered large here.