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I just bought a 2008 Honda Fit with 36,000 miles based on the fuel economy claimed by both the company and consumer's report. I traded in a V6 Honda Accord that got 21 miles to the gallon. I just went through my first tank of gas on the Fit - it got 22 miles per gallon. Is there any way I could get my money back based on false advertising? Or is there a way to change my driving habits to get better gas mileage?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Georgia Brown, Director of Education at National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) Remember the fuel economy posted is an average--some vehicles of that model will get better while others will get less. You are right about your driving habits. They do affect the efficiency of your engine. The website below has simple, yet money saving tips for driving more efficiently. Good luck!

Colleen McGee, Driving Instructor at Americas Driving School Hi Susan Here is a good forum on about gas mileage of Honda Fits. Depending on how you drive it, it can get more or less MPG. Were you driving mostly in the city? They also stress how important it is to be light on the gas pedal for higher MPG. Don't give up yet! Colleen M

Jenny Trostel, Partner at Anderson of Hunt Valley Go back to the dealer and ask them to check the car. There may be a reason why the fuel economy is low. The reports that you read about the Honda Fit fuel economy are accurate. It may need a sensor or another part that effects fuel economy.

Shelly LoCascio, Dealer Principal  at Irwin Lincoln Mercury Mazda All "mpg" is subject to driving conditions, driver habits and other variables like tire pressure etc. I guess I would tell you to contact the dealer and let them know that you are extremely disappointed as you were assured you would get much better mpg. Ask if they have any suggestions.

Breanne Boyle, Contributing Editor at Susan, Unfortunately I doubt it. "False advertising" as a legal claim is nebulous at best, plus all companies who make claims like gas mileage always cover it with disclaimers to protect against legal action. Their gas mileage is typically measured with a professional driver, in an empty car, in optimal conditions, so it can vary once its in the real world. For example, they were probably driving at a very steady pace, not in traffic or through lights on a street, which bring down your mileage. Tire pressure and weight in the car also changes this figure. For example, if your tire pressure is low, it takes more power to move the car, therefore using up more gas. If you have items in the trunk or car, this means the car is heavier and will bring down the mileage. If you tend to drive faster or pick up speed quickly after a stop, you burn gas much quicker. Here are some tips and myths debunked by Ask Patty that may help: In general you bought a car that should get better mileage if you follow a few of the tips in the article above.

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