I made a determined effort to match the Renault Megane Scenic’s official combined fuel economy figure of 60.1mpg.
As a result, I made a long, boring journey between Peterborough and Bristol even more tedious, with a steady ‘drive at 65’ strategy that made me feel like I was 65.
The result, after more than 300 miles, was a fuel economy reading of 55mpg, which is better than the 45mpg average I have been getting up until now. It also matches the figure I have achieved in some of the most efficient fleet cars that aren’t hybrids, but it is still some way short of the claimed 60.1mpg combined economy figure.
This is also pretty impressive when you consider the Grand Scenic is effectively an automatic, but it’s clever EDC auto system can return the economy of a manual with the convenience of automated shifting (I have reviewed this system in detail in a previous test).
Whether it’s a driver or a fleet manager paying for the fuel, the extra effort is probably worth it in the long-run for two reasons.
Firstly, over 60,000 miles, the money that can be saved can’t be ignored. If you achieved 55mpg over the life of the car instead of 45mpg, you would save 243 gallons of fuel. Diesel now costs £6.29 a gallon on average according to the very useful fuel price checker on the Fleet News website, so the potential saving is £1,528.
Some fleet managers are being besieged by drivers complaining that their fuel reimbursement rates don’t reflect the actual cost of fuel, but what they really mean is the rates don’t reflect the cost of their driving style.
Achieving 55mpg is equivalent to a fuel cost of 11.4 pence per mile, but achieving just 45mpg is equivalent to a fuel cost of 14ppm.
With fuel prices continuing to rise, that’s a lesson that drivers including myself will have to learn on their increasingly slow journeys – full throttle; empty wallet.