What’s The Real MPG Of New Cars?

Wed 10th Jun 2020


A damning report from an influential motoring magazine has revealed that the official literature of many car brands is misleading when it comes to a true miles per gallon.

What Car? tested 56 cars which are on sale in showrooms today and found that in more than a fifth of cases the cars were less efficient that claimed in brochures and on websites. On average, new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles were 5.4 per cent less efficient than so-called official figures that are quoted by the manufacturers. 

The figures come despite tougher tests which were introduced in 2017 by the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), and are mandatory for all new vehicles.

The What Car? research did find that some cars are more efficient that their official MPG, with the Honda CR-V and Mazda MX-5 leading a list of a number of cars performing better than published on MPG.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, BMW, who had three cars in the top ten said: “BMW is constantly working to further reduce fuel consumption. 

“The WLTP test is designed as a standardised method of comparing vehicle efficiency. 

“It is conducted in a laboratory environment to ensure that all vehicles are tested in exactly the same way and under the same conditions, so that consumers can compare the relative efficiency of different vehicles with confidence.”

Despite varied results in the research, the What Car? True MPG chart shows that official fuel economy figures should only be used as a guideline and buyers should consider a range of factors when purchasing a car.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car? said: “Our research shows that while the latest test is more accurate, there are still large differences on some makes and models, which is why it's important for buyers to do their research before buying,' he said.

“Our free True MPG tool is unique to the industry and helps give new car buyers an accurate representation of their vehicle's real-world fuel consumption.”