Consumer Reports questions small turbo engines' fuel economy promises

Consumer Reports tests find many turbocharged engine claims fall short.

Although small turbocharged engines are marketed as delivering the power of a large engine, with the fuel economy of a smaller one, Consumer Reports (CR) tests have found that they often fall short of expectations. Many turbocharged cars tested by CR have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with bigger conventional engines.

"While these engines may look better on paper with impressive EPA numbers, in reality they are often slower and less fuel efficient than larger four and six-cylinder engines," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports.

The full report can be found online at

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