Something that has bugged me for years is the fact that car manufacturers can get away with advertising amazing fuel MPG figures that no real world driver can actually achieve!
Going back to my days of working at a main dealer showroom the site of an angry customer waving a brochure around pointed at the MPG chart meant only one thing. Their car wasn’t living up to expectations. This usually resulted in weak excuses from me, shrugged shoulders from the service department and apologies from the Manager.
The fact is that as long as the manufacturer can prove that the vehicle did actually manage these figures at some point they can print them in the brochure. The reality is that these figures are achieved under strict test conditions with a driver probably half the weight of a professional jockey using the best tyres possible on a perfect road at the correct temperature. Not to mention gradual acceleration and clinically precise gear change.
Just as we all drive everyday right?
In the real world unless it’s a brand new vehicle the tyres will have various wear grades on them, the roads are like a Baghdad high street and the weather conditions… And our actual driving usually involves a combination of sharp braking to avoid the last minute lane changers, speeding up to beat the lights whilst changing up/down either too early making out teeth judder or too late forcing the engine to beg for mercy.
It’s high time the government intervened and set up a more realistic and accurate testing approach that reflects our true driving. But having said that sometimes I wander who is in charge here – the government or the car manufacturers?
In my own experience (and that of many colleagues) taking 20% off the brochure figures will give you truer MPG figures on most vehicles. This along with reading real reviews and speaking with current owners should put you in the picture.
Finally if you’re not happy with the MPG figures that you are getting remember it’s not the dealerships or salesman’s fault but do by all means take it up with the manufacturer. Some are actually quite helpful!