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'True MPG' revealed by fuel economy tests
The figures for fuel economy produced by the government are often too optimistic, says leading UK motoring magazine What Car?, after conducting a series of tests disproving government MPG figures.
As part of the test, more than 60 cars were driven over a variety of roads, from urban areas to motorways, as opposed to being run in a laboratory environment. In each one of the 60 cases, the engineers running the tests failed to achieve the government's fuel economy figures.
What Car? concluded its tests provide more realistic fuel economy data sets.
"The cars were run heavier than they are in the lab," said the magazine's editor-in-chief Chas Hallett in an interview with the BBC.
"What your car really does to the gallon is top of the agenda of every motorist, or indeed every car buyer. With ever-rising fuel prices, this situation is not going to get any better."
The government say their figures are only an 'indication' of fuel economy.
"I welcome What Car?'s initiative to provide supplementary information to help consumers estimate fuel economy for their specific driving conditions," said Norman Baker, the local transport minister to the BBC.
However, he does not accept the charge that the government have overstated their fuel consumption figures.
"The official test provides an indication of the relative fuel economy of different cars, but is not the whole picture," he added.
He also said that in reality, fuel economy is delivered by the motorist and car insurance policy holder.
"Naturally, fuel consumption varies greatly depending on driving conditions, as well as the way the car is driven. No single test can represent the fuel consumption individual drivers will experience on the road."