One of the many cons being perpetrated upon the car-buying public is that the very small, very turbocharged four cylinder engines being served up as replacements for “thirsty” V6 and even V8 engines in larger vehicles especially are money-savers.
Hell, they hardly save much gas.
And they cost in other – hidden – ways.
Consider, as an example of the trend, the stats of the 2019 Subaru Ascent vs. those of the Chevy Tahoe. The former is representative of the New School while the Chevy is as Old School as it gets in anything new.
Both are big – and heavy – vehicles. Each seat up to eight people in three rows. But the Ascent – which is a car-based crossover SUV – has a very small-for-its-size engine, just 2.4 liters and 260 hp to haul around its 4,430 lbs. (that’s empty, before even the driver climbs on board). The EPA says it gets 20 city, 26 highway – best case.
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I have been test-driving this vehicle for several days and am averaging 22.8 MPG, according to the car’s computer.
The Tahoe is also a big vehicle and a much heavier vehicle – by more than 1,000 lbs. Because it’s a truck-based SUV, with a heavier-duty frame and truck-type 4WD gear (including a two-speed transfer case) vs. the Subaru’s lighter-duty all-wheel-drive system. Unlike the Soobie, the Chevy has a big V8 under its hood – 5.3 liters and 355 horsepower, which is more than twice the size of the Subaru’s engine and almost 100 hp stronger.
And yet, it hardly uses much more gas.
The EPA says 16 city, 23 highway – which amounts to a difference without much distinction of just 4 MPG in city driving and 3 MPG on the highway. I’ve driven several new Tahoes over the…