A survey of so-called turbo-charged engines by Consumer Reports found that they don’t live up to their marketing claims.
The consumer testing organization compared the performance of numerous small-displacement turbo engines against conventional, naturally-aspirated engines and discovered that the small turbos didn’t produce the acceleration or fuel economy that automakers have claimed.
Consumer Reports noted that small turbocharged engines generally have a higher fuel economy rating from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, in testing, Consumer Reports found that the engines produced significantly lower fuel economy than the EPA ratings indicated.
General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) Chevrolet Cruze, for instance, comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine or a higher end 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine. In its testing, Consumer Reports noted that the turbo engine only marginally outperformed the standard engine in acceleration, while obtaining the same fuel economy.
Similar results were obtained from Ford‘s (NYSE:F) Fusion model. Fuel economy and acceleration for Fusions with higher-priced turbocharged four cylinder engines trailed similar sized sedans with conventional engines from Honda (NYSE:HMC), Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Nissan (PINK:NSANY).
In December, the EPA agreed to review fuel economy ratings for Ford’s Fusion and C-Max hybrid vehicles after Consumer Reports testing found that the vehicles consumed significantly more gas per mile than the ratings said they should.