Ever wonder why you can’t seem to get the miles per gallon that you were promised when you purchased your car? A Whatcar? report has shed some light on the subject,
looking closely at the stated MPG figures for the allegedly most economical cars in the UK and comparing them to their actual values. Studies show that some of the ‘most economical’
cars on the market drain between a quarter and a third more fuel than figures suggest, costing the average motorist hundreds of pounds extra per year!
Despite many cars achieving values in excess of 70MPG, most struggle to break the 50MPG barrier throughout day to day usage. So what is the cause of these fallacies? According to Whatcar? these ‘official figures’ come from ‘New European Driving Cycle’ testing, which consists of intervals of short runs on a rolling road, where the car is put through an acceleration phase, cruises for a brief period, and is then decelerated under closed experimental conditions. All manufacturers lines are subject to this testing, so there is no deception at work, these test are performed on the basis that it will create a level playing field which all cars can be tested upon.
However all is not as it seems, some manufacturers manipulate their cars for the testing period, studies highlighted the propensity for manufacturers to cheat the system by tuning their engines for maximum efficiency during the test, i.e. a turbocharged engine could be tuned to ensure the turbo charger did not kick in during the test cycle, the engine could then be returned to it’s original efficiency level, including the turbo charger, yielding a far greater level of fuel consumption overall!
The whole system is clearly in need of renovation, If car makers are able to manipulate their engines before a test run, then return the car to a less efficient state, then the whole premise of a fuel efficient and eco-friendly vehicle becomes purely a deceptive marketing technique.
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