Real-world MPG: petrol hot hatches

* Hot hatch fuel economy in the spotlight * Suzukis new SUV also tested * Results indicate real-world fuel economy...

Author Avatar
Ed Callow
12 Aug 2013 10:0 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

New models are added to What Car?s True MPG database every week, after our team of technicians have taken the cars for a thorough road test. Our driving routes and high-tech equipment means that we can bring you real-world MPG figures, rather than data from a laboratory test.

Last week we added the new VW Golf GTI to our database, to see how it compares to hot hatch rivals from BMW, Ford and Mercedes. Weve also tested the new Suzuki SX4 S-Cross alongside its main competition, the best-selling Nissan Qashqai.

Official fuel economy for the VW Golf GTI with the manual gearbox is 44.1mpg, but our team recorded just 31.5mpg along the test route, 12.6mpg below the official mpg figure.

The BMW M135i beat the Golf GTI in our recent triple test, and it returns the best True MPG result too; the 33.9mpg achieved by a car with the automatic box is respectable against its claimed 37.0mpg.

However, rivals from Ford and Mercedes are snapping at the BMWs heels. In previous True MPG tests, the Focus ST (with a six-speed manual), returned 32.6mpg, just 6.6mpg below the official mpg figure. The Mercedes A250 Engineered by AMG (with an eight-speed automatic gearbox), claims an official lofty 49.6mpg, but it achieved 33.5mpg in our real-world tests.

Our technicians have also tested the new Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. The official economy figure for its 1.6 diesel engine is 67.2mpg, but it was 11.5mpg below this on our test route, with an average of 55.7mpg.

In the context of its key rival, this is still a decent result. The Nissan Qashqai 1.6 diesel was tested at the same time and recorded 50.6mpg; the deficit is 9.5mpg below its claimed official fuel economy of 60.1mpg.

Visit to see the full range of cars weve tested, and find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.

By Ed Callow