MPG Marathon 2016

Ford Mustang V8 wins fuel economy challenge!

MPG Marathon 2016A 5.0-litre V8 Ford Mustang has won the 2016 MPG Marathon fuel economy challenge, despite its official fuel consumption being just 20.9mpg.

It won because two days of skilled driving saw that figure improved by a staggering 75 per cent – after 450 miles of careful motoring, the real-world MPG of the Mustang rose to a heady 36.6mpg.

The percentage improvement is the highest ever seen on the MPG Marathon, the UK’s biggest and most high-profile annual fuel economy challenge. The Mustang even bettered a Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo which, at 27.4mpg, posted a ‘mere’ 48.5% improvement over its paltry 18.5mpg official figure.

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This year, a broad range of cars took part, including high-efficiency diesels, high-tech hybrids and hydrogen models, commercial vehicles – and even a Moto Guzzi motorcycle (which achieved 86.9mpg).

Winner of the overall highest fuel economy prize for a conventional car was a Mazda 2 1.6D, which averaged 88.9mpg. That’s an improvement of 5.8mpg over the official average.

Some expected to return over 100mpg in some of the supermini diesels entered. However, this year’s course was described as “the toughest MPG Marathon yet” as organisers aimed to make it as real world, and thus relevant to motorists, as possible. Motorway routes were largely eschewed in favour of cross-country courses, city centre challenges, dual carriageways and suburban passes.

The best overall fuel economy was achieved by a pre-production Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which averaged 109.1mpg. However, as the entrants were unable to frequently plug the car in during the 450-mile drive, this figure is actually 61% LESS than the official average: NEDC figures say the Prius should average 282.5mpg.

In other words, even careful driving will see Prius Plug-In Hybrid owners achieve 173mpg less than officially claimed, if they can’t actually plug the car in…

Event organiser, Jerry Ramsdale, said: “The diversity of vehicles in the event this year was tremendous, and showed just what can be achieved by adopting a level of eco-awareness from behind the wheel.

“The achievement of the crew in the Ford Mustang was astonishing – our highest improvement ever in the history of the event – and it shows that even the most potent performance cars can be relatively economical if driven sensibly.”

Mitsubishi at London Fashion Week 2016

Mitsubishi tells UK owners, your fuel economy IS correct

Mitsubishi at London Fashion Week 2016Mitsubishi Motors UK has written to all of its British owners to confirm they are not affected by the 25-year fuel economy test rigging scandal that has engulfed its Japanese operations.

The letter follows an earlier statement mailed to owners warning them that there was a fuel consumption issue with Japanese-market cars – but that there was no evidence UK cars were affected.

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“I’m now pleased to be able to confirm for certain, following a detailed independent investigation, that no vehicles produced for UK and Europe are affected,” said Mitsubishi UK MD Lance Bradley.

Bradley states to customers that coverage around the fuel economy issue has not been entirely accurate: “The facts are that the company discovered that it had been submitting data from driving tests used in the USA to measure fuel economy, rather than driving tests required in Japan.”

Mitsubishi HQ has now confirmed cars sold in the UK and Europe are unaffected by the Japanese-market wrongdoings.

Bradley also echoed criticism from motoring experts that mainstream news outlets are confusing the Mitsubishi fuel economy rigging scandal with the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.

“This is not the same as the ‘emissions’ issue that has been revealed at Volkswagen.

“The testing data that has been wrongly presented relates to fuel consumption performance, not emissions into the environment.”

Top 10 most economical cars

Top 10 most economical 2016The most economical cars of 2016 continue to get ever-more fuel-efficient. Recent introductions have broken new ground for fuel economy and mpg with more models now returning more than 90mpg.

A by-product of good fuel economy is low CO2 emissions, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions: the latest Euro 6 models also have low NOx emissions to cut inner-city pollution.

But which are the most economical cars on sale in the UK? Here’s the full rundown of the greenest cars you can buy – and every single one of them emits less than 100g/km CO2.

FYI: We’ve taken figures from the official European NEDC test, and we’ve included regular petrol, diesel and hybrid cars, but not plug-in hybrids as these models will only give maximum economy if the batteries are fully charged.

1: Peugeot 208 1.6 BlueHDi 75 S&S – 94.2mpg


Two models share the honour of being the UK’s most fuel-efficient car on sale. First up is the diesel-powered Peugeot 208 which, in latest facelifted 1.6 BlueHDi 75 S&S guise, averages a heady 94.2mpg, combined with sub-80g/km CO2 emissions.

2: Toyota Prius – 94.2mpg


If diesel power isn’t for you, the new Toyota Prius also averages 94.2mpg courtesy of its petrol-electric drivetrain – with the added benefit of zero-emissions EV running at slow speed. It’s roomier than the Peugeot too – and has ultra-low CO2 of just 70g/km.

3: Peugeot 308 1.6 BlueHDi 120 S&S – 91.1mpg

Peugeot 308

If you really want a Peugeot but really need more space, the larger 308 is very economical too: the 1.6 BlueHDi 120 S&S version averages 91.1mpg, making it three cars on sale in the UK to officially average more than 90mpg.

4: Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi 95 S&S Econetic – 88.3mpg

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling car and it offers an ultra-economical Econetic version of the 1.5 TDCi diesel that averages a heady 88.3mpg.

5: Hyundai i20 1.1 CRDi 75 Blue – 88.3mpg

Hyundai i20

The latest Hyundai i20 is a well-regarded supermini and the roomy five-door averages 88.3mpg in three-cylinder 1.1 CRDi 75 Blue diesel guise.

6: Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 ECO – 88.3mpg

Renault Clio

Renault can’t quite match French rival Peugeot for claimed fuel economy but the 1.5 dCi 90 ECO version of the Clio is still impressive at 88.3mpg.

7: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi 95 S/S Ecoflex – 88.3mpg

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall’s long-running 1.3 CDTi diesel engine remains very fuel efficient with the stop-start-equipped 95hp Ecoflex version capable of 88.3mpg.

8: Citroen C4 1.6 BlueHDi 100 S&S – 85.6mpg

Citroen C4

The Citroen C4 is a forgotten family five-door hatchback but that hasn’t stopped the firm making fuel efficient stars: the 1.6 BlueHDi version averages over 85mpg.

9: Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi 75 ISG – 85.6mpg

Kia Rio

Kia can’t quite match brand partner Hyundai’s heady fuel economy with its 1.1-litre CRDi 75 Rio, but it’s still good at 85.6mpg.

10: Toyota Yaris Hybrid – 85.6mpg

Toyota Yaris

If you want a fuel efficient supermini but really don’t want diesel, take the Toyota Yaris Hybrid: its 1.5-litre petrol-electric drivetrain returns a claimed 85.6mpg.

Not found a car here that’s quite right? Here we bring you 10 more of the UK’s most economical cars – and you’ll note, not a single one officially averages less than 83mpg…

11: Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi 110 S/S Ecoflex – 85.6mpg

Vauxhall Astra

The new Vauxhall Astra is the 2016 European Car of the Year – and it’s a fuel-efficient car too, with a 1.6-litre CDTi 110 S/S Ecoflex version returning 85.6mpg.

12: Volvo V40 D2 – 84.1mpg

Volvo V40

Volvo’s new 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine is fuel efficient in all applications. The very greenest is the 120hp version in the V40, which averages 84.1mpg.

13: BMW 116d ED Plus – 83.1mpg

BMW 116d

The pace of BMW’s EfficientDynamics models may have slipped down the rankings a little but the rear-wheel drive 116d ED Plus still impresses with 83.1mpg.

14: DS 3 1.6 BlueHDi 100 S&S – 83.1mpg

DS 3

Posh MINI rival DS offers an ultra-economical version of the DS 3 which, in 1.6 BlueHDi 100 S&S form, averages 83.1mpg.

15: Fiat 500 1.3 95 MultiJet – 83.1mpg

Fiat 500

Fiat’s stylish 500 is a regular UK best-seller. For those seeking ultimate fuel economy, the 1.3-litre MultiJet 95 version will average 83.1mpg.

16: Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi 105 Econetic – 83.1mpg

Ford Focus

Another UK best-seller that averages 83.1mpg, the 1.5-litre TDCi 105 Econetic Focus offers great fuel economy to the masses.

17: Mazda 2 1.5 Skyactiv-D – 83.1mpg

Mazda 2

Can you resist the temptation to seek fuel economy in the fun-to-drive Mazda2 1.5 Skyactiv-D? 83.1mpg will be your reward if so.

18: MINI One D – 83.1mpg

MINI Hatch

The MINI Hatch is also brilliant fun to drive, meaning you’ll have to show masterful restrain to achieve the 83.1mpg claimed by the three-cylinder One D. We challenge you…

19: SEAT Toledo 1.4 TDI Ecomotive – 83.1mpg

SEAT Toledo

SEAT’s understated Toledo is a very roomy budget-priced car. For ultimate money-saving ability, choose the Ecomotive version and 83.1mpg will be your reward.

20: Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI Bluemotion – 83.1mpg

Vokswagen Golf Bluemotion

The final car to average 83.1mpg is the Volkswagen Golf in economy-optimised 1.6-litre TDI Bluemotion guise. Forget dieselgate, this is a very fuel-efficient car in real-world use, full stop.

Filling station pumps

2017 real-world emissions mpg test approved by EU

Filling station pumpsThe European Commission has approved a new Real Driving Emission (RDE) test in response to criticisms the current NEDC fuel economy test is outdated and misleading.

From 2017, the RDE test will become part of the type approval process for all cars sold in Europe. It will include an element of ‘real world’ driving using a portable emissions measurement system.

This means that emissions testing will move outside the laboratory for the first time, enabling real-world driving emissions to be compared with laboratory-tested results.

The news comes after The Sunday Times and testing company Emissions Analytics discovered that many Euro 6 diesel cars far exceeded lab-tested results in real-world driving.

The average variance was a hefty 4.4 times the legislated limit but some cars were far worse, particularly in terms of NOx emissions.

The firm did, however, report improvements over outgoing Euro 5 emissions of nearly 50%; “We believe the manufacturers, anticipating this legislative change, have really stepped up their game and the results are encouraging, although still mixed,” said Emissions Analytics CEO Nick Molden.

Car makers agree – but are concerned

European car manufacturers have agreed that “a new and fully updated Real Driving Emissions test is needed to better measure NOx emissions”.

The European car makers association, ACEA, did however add that “the decision is by no means the end of the discussion on RDE, as what was greed is just a partial set of evaluation conditions for real driving emissions”.

Mr Jonnaert, Secretary General of ACEA said: “ACEA calls on the Commission to urgently deliver a complete proposal for Real Driving Emissions by June or July at the latest for a positive decision in the regulatory committee. We need to make more progress on clarifying all testing conditions to ensure a robust RDE regulation could commence from September 2017.”

He did add that car makers are worried. “Automobile manufacturers remain concerned about the piecemeal approach the Commission is taking in preparing this proposal.

“This is not smart regulation. We need clarity in advance so that we can plan the development and design of vehicles in line with the new requirements.”

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