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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 Technik65.7mpg54.3mpg
Audi A6 2.0 TDi SE 57.6mpg  56.1mpg  
Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI 245 quattro SE47.9mpg43.4mpg 
BMW 118d SE62.8mpg 47.2mpg
BMW 320d Sport61.4mpg54.8mpg
BMW X1 sDrive20d Efficient Dynamics 62.8mpg50.8mpg
BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport50.4mpg42.2mpg
BMW 520d SE Efficient Dynamics 62.8mpg 54.5mpg
Fiat 500 1.2 Lounge 58.9mpg 44.3mpg
Ford Fiesta 1.25 82 Zetec50.4mpg42.3mpg
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 Titanium67.3mpg 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 ES67.3mpg  59.0mpg
Hyundai i10 1.2 Classic 61.4mpg 46.5mpg
Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi Active76.3mpg  54.4mpg
Hyundai i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi 136 Blue Drive Style62.8mpg 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 67.3mpg41.2mpg
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  32.2mpg30.7mpg
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 Elegance64.2mpg  57.5mpg
Mercedes-Benz S350L CDI Bluetec   36.7mpg 37.3mpg 
Mini 1.6D Cooper  74.3mpg 52.5mpg
Mini Convertible 1.6 Cooper 49.6mpg40.1mpg  
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 SE48.7mpg 44.1mpg 
Toyota Avensis 2.2 D-CAT 150 T4 auto  45.6mpg43.3mpg
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 54.3mpg52.4mpg
Volkswagen Eos 2.0 TDI 140 Bluemotion Tech Exclusive DSG53.3mpg 50.7mpg
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSi Match  45.6mpg  43.3mpg
Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion74.3mpg  51.8mpg  
Volkswagen CC 2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Technology GT DSG  51.4mpg 50.3mpg 
Volkswagen Jetta 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Technology S67.3mpg  48.4mpg
Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 Bluemotion Technology  TDi 140 PS62.8mpg49.6mpg
Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 140 Bluemotion Tech SE60.1mpg 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 Black60.1mpg 47.1mpg
Volvo S60 1.6 DRIVe 115 SE S/S  65.7mpg  50.1mpg
Volvo XC60 2.0 D3 DRIVe ES 2WD S/S49.6mpg38.3mpg