Some of my colleagues are getting increasingly frustrated with the fuel economy in test cars being sometimes far off the official MPG figures.
Although the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) testing cycle is only supposed to be referred to as a benchmark, you still expect to be producing MPG close to these figures and in some new cars, you can end up way off the mark.
The NEDC test is performed in a laboratory that has set conditions including temperature and humidity. The 20 minute test is carried out with no additional in-car technology on or extra weight in the car, this is to ensure consistency but does not take into account different variants that will affect real-world mpg like driving style, weight, air con, weather or traffic conditions.
The Qashqai, with an official combined figure of 63mpg, has managed to buck this trend, regularly surpassing this figure on longer, motorway type journeys, sometimes achieving over 70mpg, without needing to turn off the air con or adapt my driving style too much, quite an impressive feat.
The fuel economy does not impress as much on city driving and short trips which sees the figure drop to as low as 50mpg, 20% off the combined figure. This figure is still competitive in the sector, but the economy difference between motorway driving and city trips has left me feeling a little dissatisfied.
Our long termer, the 1.6dci N-TEC +, also comes with some additional features to help drivers improve fuel economy including stop/start technology, advisory gear change alerts and cruise control.
As some cars becoming greener and more economical, this can sometimes be followed by a drop in engine performance, happily 130bhp is enough to excite most and the Qashqai is fun to drive, feels quick and handles well with good grip.
All in all the Qashqai continues to impress and has provided an all-round package that is clearly capturing the publics imagination with 27,156 new car registrations in 2012 so far resulting in the SUV ranking 6th most popular car this year to date.