10/10/2012 08:28 | By Ian Dickson
Top 10 cars with the highest fuel consumption (MPG) improvement

MPG Marathon: the cars that beat their official fuel economy figures

MPG Marathon: the cars that beat their official fuel economy figures
Previous1 of 11Next
Share this Gallery

When is the last time you ever achieved anywhere near the official fuel consumption figures for your car?

These official figures are tested in perfect, lab-like conditions when in reality we often have little hope of achieving them when we're always stopping at traffic lights, driving through towns and overtaking on the motorway.

But is it really impossible to better the figures quoted by car makers? The MPG Marathon is an annual event that aims to discover just. Over a course that spans nearly 400 miles, and taking in a variety of road types and speeds, with strict time limits to ensure the competitors don't dawdle along at 30mph on the route, the MPG Marathon is as representative of everyday driving as possible.

And these are the cars that miraculously beat the manufacturers claims - by quite some margin, too. We've also included the prices of a representative journey from London to Birmingham, 126 miles in total, using the current average prices of £1.40 for a litre of petrol and £1.45 for a litre of diesel.

The key to great fuel economy is smooth driving and maintaining momentum without braking or accelerating suddenly. Give it a go - you might be surprised by the results...

Top 10 most economical cars
Real-world mpg: the biggest car fuel economy losers
Extreme fuel economy: how green could your car get?

10/10/2012 13:35

Any car, driven with sense and i dont mean like a mobile scrooge, just driven at resonable progress, will do more than the maker claims. Lead foots and agresive driving have and always will kill MPG.


I have an Alfa, its fitted with a 2ltr petrol, latest 'Tech' and is suposed to return a combined figure of 36.6 MPG.

To do a route from where i live to work, some 68 Miles i have done some experimental driving just to see what can and cant be done just by yourself and by employing different driving styles, this is what i have found... Now if driven with high spirit, changing gear late, languishing in a high gear, braking hardish and generally doing most things one does without engaging thought, it will struggle to get 21 MPG

Conversely, drive the car and use forethought, laying off the brakes, using gears to slow momentum, and short changing, over the same distance and the same route, i can get 45+MPG and yet the journey time between the two points is less than 4 minutes difference, also, by driving and thinking about what your doing, and for me at any rate, makes the journey a tad more fun.


This article just goes to prove, (So,Ok this 'Test' has been done over a set route and under monitored conditions per-say) learn to drive correctly, use forethought and you can beat the quoted MPG of any car, save money as well to boot. Bargin.

10/10/2012 23:12
I have a 2011 VW touran with 1.6 diesel (its a very flexible unit even for a large car). It's not even the Bluemotion version but I have averaged 58 mpg on it with 7 people on board from Sheffield to London by driving normal at motorway speeds. The trick into getting the best fuel economy on the motorway is to not accelerate on hills, instead ease the pedal a little bit & then go back to speed on straights or down hill.

I travel to Slough from Sheffield & back very often & have managed 70mpg on this car combined from my in laws in Slough to my home in Sheffield with 2 people on board & it normally only takes me around 2 and a half hours with an average speed of 63 - 65 mph.

The official average consumption of my car is 55 mpg.

11/10/2012 10:02
The cars used on this test are tuned and set up to give max mpg , with service intervals of 9k and high charges we ordinary motorists are going to struggle to match the figures. Pleased to know cars are getting better considering the high retail prices and fuel costs most of the pleasure of motoring has gone, this is a bit like moving the chairs on the deck of the titanic we must find ways of reducing our energy use or our way of life will not be possible. Watch the fuel/energy costs rise this winter and the big companies increase profits!!
Agree, my 54 Range Rover 3 litre deisel auto is supposed to do 25 mpg max. Since I got it 5 months ago, it has averaged 28.2 on routine journeys and even topped 31 on a long run.
11/10/2012 09:30

This article is rubbish, because the official figures are on the Combined cycle, whereas your London to Birminghamwas probably on motorway, so should be compared to the claimed Extra -Urban figure.

So i doubt the cars would actually exceed the official figures by much, certainly not 20% +

27/11/2012 14:12

I drive a 2010 Citroen C5 VTR+NAV 2.0HDi 160bhp, to and from work 38 miles there and 38 miles back home.

4.7 miles are town driving, 13.3 miles are motorway driving, the remaining 20 miles are A and B roads varying from 30-50mph. A reasonable mix of roads, with many extremes of traffic, from stop-start to cruising and even the odd tractor thrown in!


the offical figures for my car are 55mpg. The car regularly turns over 61.3mpg (average per tank, reset at each refuelling) the overall average since it was last serviced is 57mpg.


I generally use Shell or Total fuel stations. On one occasion where i thought I was getting a bargin of 8p per litre off at Sainsbury's, the car struggled to achieve 49mpg - despite performing the exact journeys!


There are too many factors to blame the way the car is driven. A car with average less mpg in winter - auto choke, heaters, heated windows, air-con maybe to demist windows, the vehicle is left idling to wait for ice to melt!


It's just a case of people learning to drive properly and getting to know how the car is happy to be driven. Think logically - most cars can do 30mph in 2nd gear but the engine will drink fuel like theres no tomorrow. whereas 30mph in a higher gear will be less fuel consuming!

15/01/2013 17:13
Bmw 520D Efficient dynamics model does 61mpg and only £30 a year road tax.  Its bound to be more economical than your no 7 choice - Jaguar XF and there are quite a few more up to 2.0 Litre to beat this.
02/12/2012 18:14

Running a VW polo Blue motion 09 .

80 mpg is possible but low 70mpg the norm on a run, locally low 60's.

The Polo is no slouch as rapid enough when you want.

BUT the bug bear is the particulate filter and re generation , the first time it did not regenerate properly

' so had to go to garage to be regenerated only 26000 miles on clock. Not cheap as they also replaced a faulty valve, £160 later.

Tyre choice is also important , when i fitted winter tyres the Mpg is reduced.

Head wind and tail wind makes huge difference.


Most combustion engines that do say 88 mpg usually one person in car, & tested round a flat track.


10/10/2012 17:03

Ever dreaming of dating a rich man? Everything is possible. please search “Rίсhh00κμρ”.You will meet millions of rich men there.

progress, will do more than the maker claims. Lead foots and agresive driving have and always will kill MPG.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

Latest Cars videos

Get the Bing Weather App for Windows 8 (© Microsoft)

More on msn Cars