Consumer Reports Claims Small, Turbo Engines Don’t Return Expected Mileage

Some small turbocharged engines don’t return expected fuel economy numbers, Consumer Reports suggests. In a newly published blog, the magazine says that small turbocharged engines such as the ones in the 2013 Ford Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost and the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze not only fail to achieve EPA fuel mileage ratings, but are also sometimes slower in acceleration tests as compared with similar cars that use larger naturally aspirated engines.

2013 Chevrolet Cruze RS left front 1 300x187 imageIn the publication’s testing, the 2013 Ford Fusion with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder was slower in acceleration tests than the Toyota Camry (2.5-liter), Honda Accord (2.4-liter), and Nissan Altima (2.5-liter). Observed fuel economy for the Fusion was 25 mpg, while the three competitors’ observed fuel economy was 27 mpg, 30 mpg, and 31 mpg, respectively. The 231-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost in the Fusion Titanium achieved 22 mpg in testing, compared to some V-6 models tested that averaged 25 and 26 mpg.

During a Motor Trend comparison, we drove the Ford Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost with a manual transmission and found that 0-60 mph and 45-65 mph passing acceleration was mid-pack among our six cars. Observed fuel economy numbers were fifth place, ahead of just the Chevrolet Malibu 2.5. The Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost is rated 25/37 mpg, while we averaged 24.9 mpg in testing. While the Fusion was equipped with a manual transmission, our five other testers were fitted with automatic transmissions.

Consumer Reports also found the Chevrolet Cruze with the 1.4-liter turbo was barely quicker to 60 mph than the base model and its naturally aspirated 1.8-liter engine, with an observed 26 mpg average. Improved feel at lower engine revs was noted, however, over the base engine. In a fuel-economy focused comparison, the manual-transmission Cruze Eco tied two other competitors for first place in 0-60 mph acceleration and was slightly slower than average in passing tests. Not all findings were negative; Consumer Reports was impressed with the performance and economy of turbocharged 2.0-liter engines from German automakers.

Source: Consumer Reports

By Jason Udy

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