HonestJohn data rips into ‘official’ fuel data

  • Lab-based data not ‘real world’ driving
  • Average car using 24% more fuel than it should.
  • Audi A4, Hyundai Tucson, Mini Hatch, Ford Fiesta among worst
REAL-WORLD FUEL CONSUMPTION Image: HonestJohn / Newspress
REAL-WORLD FUEL CONSUMPTION: Is your car or bakkie getting the kilometres/litre that are promised – often on a sticker on the vehicle’s windscreen right there in the showroom? See if your vehicle is in the list below. Image: HonestJohn / Newspress

LONDON, England – The gap between advertised and on-the-road fuel consumption data is now (March 2017) at its widest yet with only one in 10 cars achieving their ‘official’ (read manufacturers’) economy.

That’s the conclusion of the latest data from UK motoring watchdog company HonestJohn.co.uk after the website analysed 118 000 Real MPG fuel reports submitted by UK drivers showed an average car now uses 24% more fuel than its maker claims.

The BMW X5 is the UK’s worst for Real MPG, achieving only 66.9% of its advertised consumption. Then come Land Rover’s Discovery Sport and Audi’s A4 with a respective 67.5 and 68.3%.

REAL-WORLD FUEL CONSUMPTION Image: HonestJohn / Newspress

Keep reading and check tables below to see if YOUR car is one of the guilty…

The Volvo XC90 (68.5%) and Fiat 500X (69.6%) complete the bottom five cars on sale right now for real world economy.

At the opposite end of the scale the latest Mazda MX-5 is the UK’s best Real MPG performer, with an average of 101.5% (ie, it uses LESS fuel than advertised). Second was Toyota’s Verso (99.5%) followed closely by the Toyota GT86 at 98.4%.


The final entries in the top five are Subaru’s Forester (97.1%) and Peugeot’s Partner Tepee (92.9%).

Real MPG was launched in 2011 after HonestJohn received thousands of complaints from its readers that their car could not match the ‘official’ European Community fuel consumption figures.

Published on the HonestJohn website,  Real MPG invites vehicle owners to submit how many kilometres their cars actually cover per litre (the UK measures it in miles per gallon) covering all major makes and models.

REAL-WORLD FUEL CONSUMPTION Image: HonestJohn / Newspress
REAL-WORLD FUEL CONSUMPTION: The best of the lot, showing how close real-world data was to that offered by the manufacturer. Image: HonestJohn / Newspress

Unlike official (laboratory-tested) data, Real MPG gives real-life comparative data and allows car owners and buyers to see how much on-the-road fuel a vehicle really uses.

One reason new cars have performed increasingly poorly is because, since 2015, automakers have been fined if the corporate average CO2 emissions of their cars exceeded 130g/km according to MPG and CO2 laboratory tests.

To avoid the fines, vehicles have, HonestJohn says, been increasingly optimised for the laboratory test at the expense of reality.

From September 2017, Honest John says, the current New European Driving Cycle (NEDC)) test for new cars will be replaced by a Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).

However, HJ suggests, while WLTP should be closer to actual driving conditions and involve longer distances and higher speeds, it will still be laboratory-based.

REAL-WORLD FUEL CONSUMPTION: Is your vehicle one of the worst-performers in the list above? Image: HonestJohn / Newspress

Honest John’s managing editor Daniel Powell told The Corner in a media release: “Real MPG has shown that, for most drivers, advertised fuel-consumption data are too good to be true.


“As a result, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to understand how much fuel a car will use or how polluting it will be.

“We welcome the introduction of WLTP but it remains to be seen if this new laboratory-based test will provide the realistic figures for which the public has been crying out.

“There’s clearly a need for change in the way that MPG is measured. Real-world figures don’t reflect those of laboratories.”

REAL-WORLD FUEL CONSUMPTION Image: HonestJohn / Newspress
BADGE OF HONOUR: The logo of the Honest John project to identify genuine top and bottom performers regarding vehicle fuel consumption. Image: HonestJohn / Newspress

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s