With the internet, it’s easier than ever to gather information from around the world, but we don’t have to tell you that because you’re reading this via the internet right now! That information doesn’t always come with whole story, though, and one of the stories we’d like to clear up is the difference in fuel economy estimates used in the U.S. and those used in the U.K.
We’ve read your comments, comparing the fuel economy estimates on various Ford products on both sides of the pond, and asking why the U.S. models don’t get the same fuel economy as their U.K. counterparts. The difference is in the yardstick being used to measure the fuel economy.
The first difference is the size of a gallon. In the U.S., a gallon is four quarts. Declaring independence in 1776 excluded the U.S. from adopting the U.K. Weights and Measures Act of 1824, which created the Imperial System of Measurement. An Imperial gallon is 4.8 quarts. That’s a bit of trivia that creates a fuel estimate that’s 20 percent higher in Imperial MPG compared to U.S. MPG.
The next significant difference in the U.S. and U.K. fuel economy estimates is how the vehicles are tested. Monronies, also called window stickers, in the U.S. display the EPA fuel economy estimates for city and highway MPG, as well as a combined number. There are multiple test cycles used by the EPA to create these fuel economy estimates.
In the European Union (EU), the fuel economy estimates are also made up of several test cycles, with three figures reported: Urban, Extra-urban and combined fuel consumption. That’s where the similarities between the U.S. and the EU tests and fuel economy estimates end.
The specific driving cycles and conditions used to create the EPA and EU fuel economy numbers are quite different, and the fuel economy estimates generated under the EPA system tend to be lower than EU test results for the same vehicle.
So, while it appears that residents of the U.K. get vehicles with better fuel economy, the reality is that it’s just how the estimates are created. If it’s any consolation to U.S. residents, gasoline (or petrol as they call it) in the U.K. is considerably more expensive.