Do you ever feel frustrated that your car never returns its advertised fuel consumption figure?

You’re not the only one; this deflating mpg shortfall has been going on for yonks and motorists are quite rightly sick of it.

It reached a point a few years ago that motoring website Honest John invited visitors to submit the fuel economy they were getting in the real world, and since then, some 118,000 people have done just that.

The exercise found that on average, a car uses almost a quarter more fuel than it should, while the gap between the laboratory figures and those obtained under real-world driving conditions is at its widest point ever, with just one in ten hitting their official mpg.

One of the reasons behind new cars performing increasingly worse is because, since 2015, car manufacturers have been fined if the corporate average CO2 emissions of their cars exceeds 130g/km according to mpg and CO2 lab tests. So to avoid the fines, vehicles are increasingly optimised for the laboratory test at the expense of reality, but when was the last time you cellotaped over your door cracks?

Consequently, UK motorists are using almost 3,000 million extra litres of petrol and 2,609 million of diesel every year, producing 13.8 million tonnes of CO2 that should never have entered the atmosphere.

But it’s name-and-shame time: which cars are the absolute worst at hitting their official fuel consumption figure, and in contrast, which cars are most likely to meet their mpg in the real world?


When it came to delivering the advertised mpg, BMW’s X5 was found to be shortchanging motorists more than any other car, returning barely two-thirds of its official figure (66.9 per cent).


The Land Rover Discovery Sport in second place was only 0.6 of a percentage point behind (67.5 per cent), followed by the Audi A4 with 68.3 per cent.

Land Rover Discovery

Audi A4

Meanwhile, the Volvo XC90 and Fiat 500X were in fourth and fifth with 68.5 and 69.6 per cent respectively.

Volvo XC90

Fiat 500X

Completing the bottom ten was the Mini Hatch (70 per cent), Peugeot 308 SW (70.2 per cent), Range Rover Evoque (70.4 per cent – pictured), Ford Fiesta (71 per cent) and the Hyundai Tucson (71.3 per cent).

Range Rover Evoque

If you weren’t keeping tally, six of the bottom ten were SUVs of some sort.


So if you wanted to get the most miles for your moolah, which car should you go for? The magnificent Mazda MX-5, apparently. The radical roadster – which also won World Car of the Year in 2016 – was the only car to exceed its official mpg figure from Honest John’s data (101.5 per cent).

Mazda MX-5

Next best was the Toyota Verso (99.5 per cent), followed by another Toyota – the GT86 with 98.4 per cent. Despite Toyota’s emphasis on hybrid vehicles, note that neither are offered with a hybrid powertrain.

Toyota Verso

Toyota GT86

Fourth and fifth were the Subaru Forester (97.1 per cent) and Peugeot Partner Tepee (92.9 per cent), while sixth was the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (92 per cent) – the only model in the top ten that could be described as an SUV (pictured below).

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Completing the top ten was the Seat Mii (90.6 per cent), Volkswagen Jetta (90.4 per cent), Suzuki Swift (90.1 per cent) and Volkswagen Scirocco (88.6 per cent).

VW Scirocco R

Issuing its findings, Honest John said its data revealed how for many motorists, advertised fuel economy figures were simply too good to be true.

What about you though? How does your car fare in the real world? Do you often find your ride falls depressingly short of its official mpg or are you one of the lucky few that actually exceeds the figure? Tell us down there in the comments…

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