The UK's Times Online is reporting that a study by "What Car?" magazine (also from the UK) has found that your car might not eke out quite as much mileage as the manufacturer told you it would. The average car burns 8 percent more fuel than it's supposed to, according to the study, and eight of the ten worst performers were small cars billed as particularly fuel-efficient--many of them hybrids.
The worst offender? None other than the poster child for environmentally conscious automobiles, the Toyota Prius. "What Car?" estimates that the Prius' fuel efficiency is exaggerated by a whopping 14 miles per gallon--it should be noted, however, that while the study claims that Toyota's figure for the Prius' mileage is 65 miles per gallon, the U.S. Web site for the Prius puts that number at only 55 miles per gallon (60 in cities).
Regardless of the true mileage of the Prius, it still handily beats the average car's.
The full results of the study will be published in the September issue of "What Car?" magazine.