Automakers like Ford, Hyundai, and Kia have been under fire recently for selling cars that fail to deliver on the fuel economy promised by their EPA MPG ratings. In a bid to distance itself from those automakers finding themselves in hot water with their customers, Mitsubishi is planning to be more open with its customers about what kind of fuel economy its models can achieve in real world driving.
The plan is to start with the company’s upcoming Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which carries a “claimed” 140+ MPG rating. Mitsubishi’s UK director, Lance Bradley, explains that hybrids often don’t perform as well as advertised in terms of real world MPG, making setting expectations for Mitsubishi’s high-profile PHEV launch critical. “Customers came back saying it only did 90 MPG. It’s crazy (to think) that’s bad, but it’s all relative to the official figure,” he explains. “We’d like to do a graph, maybe just a figure, starting with the PHEV but then rolling it out to other cars. It would come from customer information,” said Bradley, suggesting that early adopters or auto journalists could input their real world MPG to make it clear to prospective owners what they should expect.
If the move is embraced by Mitsubishi customers, expect to see real world MPG stickers start to appear on cars like the Outlander Sport (which I loved, when I got to drive it) and the Mirage CVT (the highest EPA rated MPG car in the US that’s not a hybrid) sometime next year.