The truth about MPG

Since the recession hit us, and fuel prices rising, people have concentrated on fuel economy cars a lot more than before. But are the figures that car manufacturers give us true?

I have owned a few cars, ranging from a basic car to a sportier car. My first car was a Renault clio 1.2, and I have to say, the mpg was pretty good, never found myself constantly in the petrol station. I honestly cant remember details about it, so ill move on to the next one. I turned to a Renault Sport Twingo Gordini. This was a limited edition car from the well known Renault Sport range, and it was great, but it was a hit on the petrol tank if you drove it hard. I think the combined mpg was around the 40 mark (I think), and I actually drove it quite economically but I never hit 40 mpg. If i drove it how it was designed to be driven, I dont reckon I would get anymore than 30. I then wanted to get a car that is a lot better with fuel. I switched from the Renault sport engine to a Ford fiesta zetec s. I got the 's' as it looked better than a standard fiesta, still had a bit of a punch and had decent mpg (or so Ford said). So, here comes the bad news.

Since owning the zetec s, theres only been a few (and I mean a few) times where I have gone for a drive around some b roads and have had some fun. All of the other times I have driven it like an oap driving a golf cart. The on board computer is pretty good, giving you the information you need to know, and if it is accurate, then I am one unhappy customer of Ford. I have not yet gone past 32mpg. The figure given by ford, I think, was around the 48mpg mark. Thats not even close!  So, why is it so far off? Well.....

I done some research and also caught a program on tv a little while ago which helped me realise why I the number given by ford is not realistic (actually, not just Ford, with many, if not all car manufacturers). When they test and develop their cars to give a mpg figure, they kind of, well.....cheat. they remove doors, seats, even passengers! how on earth is that realistic? I knew I was doing something wrong.....I shouldnt have got in the car to drive! Dam!

Like most beginner drivers, I was excited,  did speed around a bit, but now, and even for a long time, I drive sensibly. But even driving like that, I am a long way off getting anywhere near the number given by Ford. So, I'm not doing that much different mpg in the zetec s compared to the the sporty Renault - that has a car set up and engine designed for performance and speed.

So next time you moan about the fuel prices, also have a moan about the car you are driving, because at the end of the day, you buy the fuel but its how your car uses it.

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