What Are the Most Inaccurate Numbers on the Window Sticker?

2016_outback_windowsticker

Virtually everything on the Monroney sticker can be negotiated.

The Monroney, better known simply as the window sticker that adorns all new cars for sale, tells vital information about the vehicle, its engine size, trim level, installed options, and, of course, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

The listed price is typically a starting point for negotiation, and the sticker will tell buyers of any added market adjustments or unnecessary options.

There’s one number, though, that isn’t negotiable and has a long reputation of not even being accurate:

The EPA estimated fuel economy.

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What the New CAFE Standards Mean for Auto Buyers

White House Infographic, fuel economy standards

There has been a lot of news this week regarding the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issuing new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The reports seem to suggest the government has gone lax on the issue of fuel economy because most Americans don’t seem to care about it.

One analyst, however, suggests the opposite may be true. Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at IHS Automotive, read the entire 1217-page midterm report that discussed the standards (something probably 99 percent of journalists didn’t do, including me).

She wrote in Forbes, “The (CAFE) standard and NHTSA projected figures for the 2025 model year targets, however, have now been revealed as a projection rather than a legal requirement. The report is supportive of the progress and direction of the existing standards. The agencies believe automakers can meet the challenge, and that consumers want it.”

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