Miles Per Gallon – Why it is lower in real life

Can you really trust the fuel consumption figures quoted by the manufacturer and how is it worked out? I was interested to find this out as I always seem to get about 20% less than the official figures.

How do they work it out?

Well there are two tests the ECE-15 called the urban cycle which simulates a 2.5 mile trip at an average speed of 11.6 mph and a maximum speed of 31 mph with a cold engine and the EUDC (extra urban cycle) which lasts 6 minutes 40 seconds at an average speed of 39 mph and a top speed of 74.6 mph. The combined figures are an average of both tests.

That seems fair

Well, it is – kind of, the tests are actually carried out on rolling roads and the tests are carried out at 25 degrees centigrade, so all the things we have to put up with as punters are not taken into consideration such as running the heater / air conditioning, listening to the radio, opening the electric windows, using the heated windows and the biggest culprit punching a hole in the air with your car.

Thats not fair

Now it all make sense how my figures are so low in comparison to the official figures, I also assume that I can’t have the most economical driving style as when I ask around other people seem to get closer to the official figures than I do.

So what MPG can I expect?

I take 20% off the official combined figures and that seems to be pretty close to my real MPG, if you drive really carefully you may be lucky enough to get only 10% less but it seems that you will always get less.

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