Video: Consumer Reports Unimpressed With Small Turbo Engine MPG

Faced with rising oil prices and emissions restrictions, automakers the world over are downsizing the engines powering their cars. While consumers are snapping cars equipped with these engines up, the oft-skeptical Consumer Reports has reported that these turbo engines are failing to deliver the fuel economy and performance they promise.

Once again it is Ford in the hot seat with Consumer Reports, which singles out both the 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter EcoBoost engines in the new 2013 Ford Fusion sedan. Consumer reports found that the 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine in the Ford Fusion delivered an average of 25 mpg, which was up to 6 mpg less than a non-turbo competitor (in this case, the Nissan Altima). That also falls short of the 28 mpg EPA rating.

The 2.0 liter Ecoboost engine fared even worse, delivering just 22 mpg, rather than the 26 mpg as rated by the EPA. Both engines also fared poorly in acceleration, with the EcoBoost 1.6 taking 8.9 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph, the slowest car Consumer Reports tested. The EcoBoost 2.0 was also slower than equivalent V6-equipped vehicles by an average of a full second. Consumer Reports also skewers the Chevy Cruze with the 1.4 liter turbo engine. The Cruze delivers essentially the same average mpg(26 mpg) as the non-turbo 1.8 engine, though in this case performance is notably better.

Sales of turbocharged vehicles are expected to triple by 2017 though, so automakers and consumers better figure out how to make these engines work. We think it is fair to ask; how much blame do the drivers bear? Can you really create a powerful turbo engine and expect consumers to drive it in a manner that promotes fuel efficiency?It seems to us that many people may lack the right-foot restraint necessary to reach the claimed fuel economy figures, whether it’s a hybrid or small-displacement gas engine. Maybe the EPA really needs to refine its testing methods as well. Regardless, turbo engines are here to stay, so we all better learn to get along.

Source: Consumer Reports


Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.