How to gauge your car’s true MPG

A vehicles’s fuel economy, i.e the makers’ ‘official’ figures and the inability of drivers in the real world to match them is a regular annoyance for many motorists. But one car maker is hoping to steer this trend and help car buyers choose an actual ‘real’ economical car. A new website lets drivers input details of their car and driving habits. It then gives an estimate of actual real world fuel consumption. The idea could catch on with VW bosses claiming the company is looking into offering a similar tool for its own cars.

The PSA Group, the French company behind Peugeot, Citroen, premium brand DS Automobiles, and the new owner of Vauxhall, has launched a web tool. By joining forces with independent consultants Transport & Environment and pressure group France Nature Environnement it has come up with a series of tests to measure real-world fuel consumption more accurately. The measurements on 58 of PSA Group’s models make it possible to estimate the real-world consumption of more than a 1000 versions of car.

So how does it work? 

You put the details of your vehicle into the website. There is one for Citroen, one for Peugeot and one for DS exclusively. If you simply input the make, model, engine and wheel size for your car, you get an initial miles per gallon fuel consumption figure. However, you have the option of entering more detail for a more accurate calculation.

Questions such as amount of passengers and the amount of luggage you carry. They move onto distance driven and how much of your journey is on a urban or rural road and motorways. Then at the end, it asks about driving style with multiple choice questions. At the end it gives the mpg you should achieve with that car. The whole test lasts about three minutes.

Does it really work?

Without checking the fuel consumption of individual models across the board, it’s impossible to say. However, it does seem to offer a much more realistic alternative to the official figures.

Will other car makers follow suit?

There’s every chance that in time they will. Greg Archer, director of clean vehicles at Transport & Environment, said: “In an era of ‘alternative facts’ and dishonest manipulations of emissions tests, one company has seen transparency and openness as the way to re-establish trust with its customers. More car makers need to follow its lead.” Volkswagen boss Matthias Muller told Auto Express that he believes his company will follow suit soon.

With more calculated real world MPG figures – this can only be a good thing with consumers having more information at their fingertips in being able to weigh up the real world cost implications of buying a new car, what with car insurance premiums rising, VED, this gives the consumer more information to make an informed decision within the buying process.

One issue we would raise is thought that manufacturers should also include older models not just the current line-ip