Fleet News

CAP figures reveal fuel-saving impact

Advances in engine technology are helping motorists combat spiralling fuel prices, according to CAP.

Analysis reveals how smaller petrol engines in particular offer more miles per gallon, stronger performance and less pollution than ever before.

Since 2003 the average engine size in a small family car has reduced by 4% while power output has risen by 12% and combined cycle fuel consumption has improved by 16%. Average CO2 output has also fallen by 18% over the period.

David Saville, who runs CAP’s New Vehicle Data department said: “The automotive industry has made massive strides in improving the efficiency of engines and this is paying dividends for hard-pressed motorists who need more than ever to keep spiralling fuel costs in check.

“Take the example of a leading small family car, the Volkswagen Golf. Back in 2003 a Golf 1.6 litre petrol engine had a power output of 105 bhp, with a combined cycle fuel consumption of 39.8 MPG, and produced a CO2 figure of 170g/km. This vehicle would have cost £831.00 to fuel over 10,000 miles at 2003 pump prices.

“Move forward to 2011 and the latest generation Golf and we have a 1.2 litre pressure charged engine, producing 105 bhp with combined fuel consumption of 49.6 MPG and a CO2 figure of 134g/km. Fuelling this latest Golf over 10,000 miles at current prices would cost £1199.

“Without those new engine improvements the Golf would cost £1494 to fuel at today’s prices, proving how important engine downsizing and ever increasing efficiency is for the motorist’s budget.”

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  • alltorque - 18/05/2011 16:02

    I'm not convinced that fuel consumption has improved in the real world as much as the benchmark figures suggest. It's all very well using them to compare cars against each other, but the official combined fuel consumption figure is an utterly useless mechanism on which to base fuel budgets. For a start, car manufacturers have become much more savvy when it comes to optimising vehicles for the official test which are carried out in lab conditions - not on the road. The way engine management systems now work to improve fuel economy for the official tests, and how these have become far more competitive makes me wonder if the fuel consumption figures of 10 years ago were far more closely related to real world driving than they are now. Secondly, the projected figures are based on pump prices broadly similar to current levels. I wonder if anyone using these two years ago when fuel prices reached the low mid-recession levels is now finding their predictions for fuel spend were way out of step with what they are paying now. This kind of data should not be presented in a way that assumes people will automatically be offsetting the upward trend in fuel prices.

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