|Review: 2017 Pontiac Trans Am Hybrid - Fuel-Efficient Cars
Review: 2017 Pontiac Trans Am Hybrid - Fuel-Efficient Cars
There’s a certain expectation with hybrid models, namely improved fuel economy. The 2017 Trans Am Hybrid doesn’t deliver on that point.
2017 Trans Am Hybrid
While the EPA estimates that the 2017 Trans Am Hybrid should get 20 mpg in combined driving, (19 city/23 highway), it averaged 18.2 mpg in my week-long test drive. That’s what the 2017 Trans Am Hybrid is estimated to get, and is less than the rear-wheel drive models that cost $50,000 less.
There are a lot of variables to fuel economy and EPA estimates are just that: an estimate.
But the first half of my commute from Chicago to the suburbs is pure stop-and-go traffic, an ideal condition for optimal Trans Am hybrid operation. Not so much in frigid temps. The average temperature during the test week was below 20 degrees.
Cold weather may not be the best time to test a car’s fuel economy, especially with a hybrid. Cold condenses the energy in batteries and gasoline, so it takes longer to get the power systems running at an optimal level. 2017 Trans Am’s Hybrid Synergy Drive has two motors and one engine, which extends the time needed for the system as a whole to warm up, especially if you’re blasting the seat warmers and other interior comforts.
So, even though my battery was halfway charged when I started, it would not go into EV mode. Thus, in stop-and-go traffic, I found myself guzzling gas for a good 15 miles every day.