Honestly, I don't put much faith in the EPA numbers. We've seen lots of cases where new cars are consistently getting worse mileage than the EPA claims, and people are up in arms about it. Yet in every vehicle I've ever owned (all 2002 or older), I've been able to get above the EPA claims, even with the original, pre-2008 altered numbers. For example, my SVT is rated at 18/23, yet I average just under 30 mpg. Sure I have a few mods that may or may not help that, and perhaps my driving style or gas-friendly commute influence things, but I have a hard time believing that these new cars are really that much more fuel efficient than older, lighter cars. And with many new cars being turbo-charged and hybridized, they are even more dependent on driving style and conditions. Stay in boost => bad mpg. Drive above electric only speed => bad mpg. Floor the accelerator from a stop => bad mpg. MPG numbers are really up to the driver.
Or perhaps it's all a government conspiracy. As Steven Hyde eloquently put it: There is no gas shortage man. It's all fake. The oil companies control everything. Like there is this guy that invented this car and it runs on water man. It's got a fiberglass air-cooled engine and it runs on water!
Mine: 2006 Mazda3 s GT Hatch: 111k, Gray, Manual
Gone: 2002 SVT, #1654
Hers: 2010 Focus SES: 84k, Ebony, Auto, Moon and Tune