Fleet News

New cars are 5.4% less efficient than WLTP figures suggest, says What Car?

New petrol, diesel and hybrid cars are, on average, 5.4% less efficient than their official WLTP fuel consumption figures suggest, according to new research by What Car?.

It tested 56 new models under its independent True MPG test, to determine its real-world fuel economy. The figure was then compared to the manufacturer’s claimed figure.

On average, vehicles were 5.4% less efficient than the WLTP figures suggested, but the research revealed significant differences between models.

The worst performers were found to be more than 20% less efficient than their official figures, while the best performers were found to be 15% more efficient.

The tougher and longer WLTP emissions and type approval test was introduced in 2017 by the European Commission and became mandatory for all new vehicles from September 2018 onwards. The WLTP test replaced the previous New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) type approval test, which dated back to the 1980s, with the aim of providing more accurate fuel consumption figures for new car buyers.  

The new WLTP test is significantly more accurate than the NEDC test, according to What Car?’s figures. In a previous study of 159 vehicles tested under the NEDC protocol, there was an average discrepancy of 20.2% between True MPG and the manufacturer quoted figures - with the worst performers as much as 40% less efficient than advertised.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “For years, most buyers have taken the official fuel economy figures with a grain of salt. 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.”

What Car? publishes its True MPG data on its website.

Worst real-world MPG performers:

Make

Model

Engine

Trim

Average True MPG

WLTP Combined

Shortfall

Volvo

XC40

T4

R-Design Pro

27.1

34.8

-22.1%

Volvo

V60

D4

Momentum Pro

40.1

49.5

-19.0%

Renault

Clio

TCe 100

Iconic

44.4

54.3

-18.2%

BMW

3 Series

320d

Sport

47.2

57.6

-18.1%

Volvo

XC40

D4

First Edition

35.4

42.7

-17.1%

BMW

3 Series Touring

M340i

M Sport

28.0

33.6

-16.7%

BMW

1 Series

118i

M Sport

36.3

42.8

-15.2%

Volvo

S60

T5

R-Design Plus

32.5

38.2

-14.9%

Ford

Focus

1.5 Ecoblue 120

ST-Line

52.4

61.4

-14.7%

Kia

Sportage

2.0 CRDi 48V

 

GT-Line S

 

35.7

40.9

-12.7%

 

Best real-world MPG performers:

Make

Model

Engine

Trim

Average True MPG

WLTP Combined

Improvement

Honda

CR-V

2.0 i-MMD Hybrid

SR

47.4

40.9

15.9%

Mazda

MX-5

2.0

GT Sport Nav+

45.1

40.9

10.3%

Skoda

Karoq

1.5 TSI

SE L

44.2

40.5

9.1%

Dacia

Logan Stepway

Tce 90

Comfort

47.7

44.3

7.7%

Skoda

Superb Estate

2.0 TDI 150

SE

54.8

51.5

6.4%

Peugeot

Rifter

1.5 Blue HDi

GT Line

50.5

47.9

5.4%

Volkswagen

Polo

1.0 TSI

Beats

51.8

49.6

4.4%

Seat

Ateca

1.5 TSI

FR

44.5

42.8

4.1%

Audi

Q5

40 TDI

S line

39.0

37.7

3.4%

Citroen

Berlingo

Puretech 110

Flair

41.1

39.8

3.3%

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