Reader Rant: On This Gas Mileage Business . . .

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Here’s the latest reader rant, along with my reply!

Ray writes: It’s not really a question only responding to the article about gas mileage. I have a 2017 Lincoln MKC and I can’t believe how lousy the mileage is. I came from driving a Benz that was bankrupting me, so I leased my Lincoln and didn’t pay much attention to anything other than the look and feel of driving it. The engine which I now know is only a 4 cylinder (service tells me it’s a eco blaster and I can’t believe I’m driving a 4, I thought it was a 6, and believe me I’ve always prided myself with 8’s so driving what I thought was a 6……) and now confirming all this by your article suggest why it’s kinda gutless on the freeway, AND why it gets lousy mileage. I think it’s almost as bad as the Benz. And I had another Benz (420SEL) for years that got pretty good mileage. Point, hit the gas and one was there. Not so with this MKC. And on top of all that, it’s always needs refilling. They claim it’s why one needs to use the engine cut off feature. “That’s how they get the mileage to go up.” Give me a break!!

My reply: Amen, Ray. I test drive new cars each week and have been doing it since the ’90s and I have noticed gas mileage going down over the years – in spite of all the technology. A quick check of the specifications reveals why: Current cars are grotesquely overweight, which negates the advantages of the tech.

A very good friend of mine bought a Fiat 500 last year. This car ought to weigh no more than 1,800 or so lbs. It weighs close to 2,400 lbs. And so – big surprise – its best-case mileage is low-mid 30s on the highway. This car – a car this size – ought to be averaging at least 40 MPG and 50-plus on the highway.

The whole thing’s an outrage…

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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