Don’t Believe The Hype

Mon 24th May 2021

Motoring brands are misleading the car buying public by misrepresenting the true MPG economy on some of the leading models according to new research.

Consumer affairs publication, What Car? has investigated the claims of some 96 new vehicles launched in the last year and found that on average the vehicles missed their quoted economy figures by 6.3 per cent.

While a low percentage may not seem like a big deal to some who are keen to own the newest of the new cars, there are some cars which are way out of line with their advertised MPG. The BMW 4 Series diesel for example achieves 26.4 per cent lower than the published economy. That difference could cost an additional £380 per year in fuel.

While most manufacturers will claim that their MPGs are achievable, most are unlikely due to the normal way we drive. So while the independent test may drive gently and within the speed limits, the What Car? test will use a set of rules to achieve a True MPG. These include keeping the climate control to the same temperature, and always starting the engine at the same temperature on every car. The so-called Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure is repeatable to one per cent, making it difficult for manufacturers to dispute the figures.

It wasn’t all fibs from the motor industry, some vehicles actually performed better than the advertised MPG, with the Ford Ranger 2.0 diesel Thunder actually improving by 18.9 per cent.

“From SUVs to small hatchbacks, our True MPG test results show there are still significant differences between the claimed and actual fuel economy figures of many models,” said Steve Huntingford, What Car? editor.

“So it's important for buyers to do their research before they buy. 

“Our True MPG tool is unique to the industry and gives new car buyers an accurate idea of their vehicle's real world fuel economy.”