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DO YOU EVER get close to your car’s official fuel economy figures? No? Then you’re not alone.


It’s not necessarily because you’re a lead-foot, or even that the car manufacturers are telling porkies. The problem lies with the test procedures, which are based around low-speed driving and very light acceleration. The economy figures are accurate, but they’re not representative of real-world driving.


Our colleagues at What Car? have just launched True MPG, which promises more realistic economy figures.


“With rising fuel prices, the miles-per-gallon issue is high on every motorist’s agenda. Countless car buyers are frustrated that they don’t match the official government fuel figures. True MPG will allow motorists to select a car personalised to their driving needs and budget. We hope that it will become invaluable in the complex and emotional car-buying process,” says What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett.


What Car? tests vehicles using a portable emissions-measurement system. The car is driven by two experienced engineers over a variety of roads including motorway, A- and B-roads, and through towns and villages. The data from the testing considers driving style, changes in altitude, ambient temperature and humidity and engine temperature. Some fiendishly clever number-crunching goes on to be sure the results are consistent and repeatable.


Having visited the True MPG website, what I find especially useful is the way you can adjust the results to match the kind of driving you do.


There’s no towing economy figure, although it is something which Practical Caravan and What Car? have discussed. Watch this space.


For now, here are the headline figures from the first round of testing.

What Car? True MPG

Combined average miles per gallon test figures

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDm 140 Lusso  62.8mpg  58.9mpg
Audi A1 1.4 TFSi Sport  53.3mpg  46.9mpg 
Audi A4 2.0 TDIe 136 SE Technik 65.7mpg 54.3mpg
Audi A6 2.0 TDi SE  57.6mpg   56.1mpg  
Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI 245 quattro SE 47.9mpg 43.4mpg 
BMW 118d SE 62.8mpg  47.2mpg
BMW 320d Sport 61.4mpg 54.8mpg
BMW X1 sDrive20d Efficient Dynamics  62.8mpg 50.8mpg
BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport 50.4mpg 42.2mpg
BMW 520d SE Efficient Dynamics  62.8mpg  54.5mpg
Fiat 500 1.2 Lounge  58.9mpg  44.3mpg
Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 Zetec 50.4mpg 42.3mpg
Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi Econetic  78.5mpg  62.1mpg
Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 115 Zetec  67.3mpg  43.1mpg
Ford Focus 1.6T 150 Ecoboost Titanium   47.1mpg   35.1mpg
Ford Focus Estate 1.6 TDCi 115 Titanium 67.3mpg  42.3mpg
Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec  53.3mpg   42.8mpg
Ford S-Max 1.6T 160 Ecoboost Titanium S/S   40.4mpg  29.8mpg
Ford S-Max 2.2 TDCi 200 Titanium  42.8mpg  39.6mpg
Honda Civic 2.2 i-DTEC ES 67.3mpg   59.0mpg
Hyundai i10 1.2 Classic  61.4mpg  46.5mpg
Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi Active 76.3mpg   54.4mpg
Hyundai i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi 136 Blue Drive Style 62.8mpg  53.5mpg
Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Style five-seat     41.5mpg  40.4mpg
Jaguar XF 2.2D 190 Luxury    52.3mpg  42.1mpg
Jaguar XK Convertible 5.0 V8  25.2mpg  24.9mpg
Kia Optima 1.7 CRDi 1  57.6mpg  49.3mpg
Kia Picanto 1.0 2  67.3mpg 41.2mpg
Kia Rio 1.25 1 Air  56.5mpg  46.4mpg
Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi Ecodynamics 1  88.3mpg   70.6mpg
Kia Sportage 1.6 GDi 1 2WD   44.1mpg  40.7mpg
Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 HSE   32.2mpg 30.7mpg
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2.2 SD4 190 Prestige 5dr auto  43.5mpg    36.4mpg
Mazda MX-5 1.8i SE   39.8mpg  35.1mpg  
Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Blue Efficiency Elegance 64.2mpg   57.5mpg
Mercedes-Benz S350L CDI Bluetec    36.7mpg  37.3mpg 
Mini 1.6D Cooper   74.3mpg  52.5mpg
Mini Convertible 1.6 Cooper  49.6mpg 40.1mpg  
Mini Countryman 1.6T Cooper S All4    42.2mpg  38.6mpg
Nissan Micra 1.2 DIG-S Shiro  65.7mpg  44.1mpg  
Nissan Note 1.4 N-tec+ 47.9mpg  44.5mpg   
Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi N-tec 2WD (without stop-start)   57.6mpg    49.5mpg
Peugeot 107 1.0 Allure  65.7mpg   52.3mpg  
Peugeot 3008 1.6 THP 156 Active  38.7mpg   36.5mpg 
Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 104g  70.6mpg  46.0mpg   
Peugeot 5008 1.6 HDi 112 Access  51.4mpg   36.9mpg
Renault Grand Scénic 1.6 dCi 130 Dynamique TomTom S/S   64.2mpg   48.6mpg 
Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI 170 SE 48.7mpg  44.1mpg 
Toyota Avensis 2.2 D-CAT 150 T4 auto   45.6mpg 43.3mpg
Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i T Spirit (pre-face-lift)    70.6mpg  52.2mpg
Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i VVT Ecoflex SXi S/S 5dr   51.4mpg  50.8mpg
Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTi 165 SE S/S  54.3mpg 52.4mpg
Volkswagen Eos 2.0 TDI 140 Bluemotion Tech Exclusive DSG 53.3mpg  50.7mpg
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSi Match   45.6mpg   43.3mpg
Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion 74.3mpg   51.8mpg  
Volkswagen CC 2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Technology GT DSG   51.4mpg  50.3mpg 
Volkswagen Jetta 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Technology S 67.3mpg   48.4mpg
Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 Bluemotion Technology  TDi 140 PS 62.8mpg 49.6mpg
Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 140 Bluemotion Tech SE 60.1mpg  54.8mpg   
Volkswagen Polo 1.4 85 Match  47.9mpg  34.2mpg 
Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 105 S    55.4mpg  47.2mpg
Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 Black 60.1mpg  47.1mpg
Volvo S60 1.6 DRIVe 115 SE S/S   65.7mpg   50.1mpg
Volvo XC60 2.0 D3 DRIVe ES 2WD S/S 49.6mpg 38.3mpg