Audi TT TDIThe timing couldn’t be better. Just over week after #dieselgate kicked off, here we are about to drive 370 miles on the MPG Marathon 2015 to see what sort of economy we can achieve in the real world.

And we’re doing it in an Audi TT TDI. Yes, an Audi TDI. But don’t worry. This one’s Euro 6-compliant. That means it’s unaffected by the diesel software scandal (so there’s no risk of our result being protested).

This year, things are centred around the rather wonderful Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire. Today, we’re doing a southwards loop, tomorrow it’s a westwards one. The tank is sealed and we have an in-car tracker, plus a strict set of waypoints to visit and timed checkpoints to hit.

The average must be 30mph; any slower and we’re penalised. So we can’t creep around at 19mph trying to eek out the miles. With a mix of roads from A to B to M, it is indeed pretty real-world.

The briefing’s just about to kick off and we’ll be liveblogging from the TT’s passenger seat when we’re not driving. Dieselgate has many people asking the question, so we’re here to provide an answer: just what mpg can you get from a VW Group 2.0-litre TDI..?


Day 1: overnighter

We *just* missed out on going to bed with a ‘7’ in our heads. As we pulled into the car park, 70.1 clicked back to 69.9. Which means tomorrow’s drive downhill to the main road is going to be the most eco drive ever seen on the MPG Marathon.

Otherwise, it’s continued to be easy. Grippy tyres and roll-free suspension mean brakes are entirely optional; more importantly, looking way ahead means they’re not even necessary when junctions, red lights and traffic appear.

But it’s getting competitive. Paul’s been staring at the MPG readout continually and I’ve been trying to do all I can to push up the economy.

Light weight helps, natch: and the car had two big bottles of water. So I downed ’em. That’s at least a kilo we don’t have to drag uphill, right?

Day 1: lunchtime

Audi TT eco day 1 01

First leg done, and the most eventful part was trying to work out how to use the sat nav, how to reset the trip computer, how to find the odo, how to tune in 6Music. The in-dials display looks lovely, but isn’t the most intuitive of things to use.

Eventually, we got underway, for an easygoing combination of 50mph cruising and trying to lose as little speed as possible at roundabouts. TTs grip well. TT TDIs build momentum willingly as well – too willingly, so the need to ease back on hills makes it painfully frustrating at times.

Now we’re underway again, and I’m blogging from the passenger seat. Paul is the lead sponsor and is currently experiencing all this. Never has a TT been driven with more restraint.

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