The 44mpg highway Civic hybrid

I'm tired of TV commercials for cars touting how completely awesome their MPG is. It was the new Civic Hybrid that pushed me over the edge, where they're all excited about getting 44 miles to the gallon on the highway.

First, highway milage is generally higher than city in gas powered vehicles. It's true on gas-only, and as far as I know on all electric-assist gas hybrids. So by emphasizing 'highway', rather than just talking about your milage, you're telling me you're giving me the higher of the two numbers.

Second, you're going on about 44 miles to the gallon. As I said on twitter, I get better than that. I drive a Chevy Volt, which is an electric car with an on-board gas-powered generator as backup power. Day to day, I get ∞ MPG. (I haven't bothered to calculate the mpg-equivalent of the electricity I'm using, but I live and charge in Seattle, so I'm guessing it's pretty high, and it's definitely cheap.) Driving back from Oregon on my last vacation at Seaside, I spent nearly the entire trip on gas power (only about 30mi on electric). For the entire trip, which included about 400mi of highway driving, I averaged 46 and a fraction MPG. And at highway speeds, the Volt is actually less efficient.

And even that I don't consider to be particularly great. But it's better than most, which is pretty sad.

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