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April 10, 2021

Are Canadian gas consumption stats misleading consumers?

Filling the tank is just one of the costs of owning a car, but with gasoline prices rising toward $1.40 a litre, it's the one most carbuyers are focusing on, according to Consumer Reports.

But, when it comes to Canadian cars in particular, fuel-economy figures are complete and utter nonsense, says Brendan McAleer.

The numbers are generated by industry, from standardized lab tests not real life road conditions and are extremely difficult to replicate, he maintains.

If you want better data, assuming that the car or truck you're looking at is also available in the U.S., try converting American numbers to get a slightly more realistic idea of how much your new vehicle is going to cost you.

Keep in mind that the U.S. gallon is smaller than the Imperial gallon: to get a figure in L/100kms, click here.

Of course, gas is just your most publicized expense when it comes cars. For an all-in figure when comparison shopping, look to PriceMyRide.

The site takes all those numbers you've been trying to crunch, digests them, and then gives you a figure laying out how much your car will cost you monthly — insurance, gas and maintenance included.

You can play with the variables, comparing specific car models and figuring out how much a hybrid will really save you month-to-month, for example. When a vehicle is selected, a monthly "cost of ownership" fee is displayed.

Assuming you believe the estimates to begin with, do fuel costs influence your car buying decisions? To what degree? Has your fuel usage met expectations?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...