True MPG: how close to reality are official fuel economy figures?

What Car?'s True MPG test reveals official fuel economy figures are closer to reality than ever… but still an average of 5.7% worse than claimed...

Polestar 1 emissions test - True MPG logo

What Car?’s True MPG testing has revealed that new government fuel economy tests introduced late last year are providing more accurate results than ever before – with some cars even beating their official figures in the real world.

However, the average gap between the official claimed fuel economy and what we've found to be realistic in the real world remains close to 5%.

That's far better than the 23.5% average shortfall for cars tested before the new regulations came into effect, with the worst result ever recorded by What Car? being a 41% difference. But it highlights the fact that car buyers should remain wary of taking official figures for granted – especially given that some models are still falling more than 20% short.

In a 15-car sample that ranged from small hatchbacks to SUVs, petrols to diesels and automatic to manual gearboxes, the economy figures published in sales brochures were, on average, 4.9%, or 2.6mpg, higher than our testers achieved.

Below we take a look at all of the results, from the best to the worst.

Honda CR-V 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid

Used Honda CR-V 2018 - present

Engine 4cyl, petrol + electric motor Gearbox Automatic

Official economy 40.9mpg True MPG 47.4mpg Difference +15.9%

Read our Honda CR-V review or see what discounts are available on the CR-V


Mazda MX-5 2.0

Mazda MX-5 front

Engine 4cyl, petrol Gearbox manual

Official economy 40.9mpg True MPG 45.1mpg Difference +10.3%

Read our Mazda MX-5 review or see what discounts are available on the MX-5


Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI 150

Skoda Karoq 2019 front cornering shot

Engine 3cyl, turbo, petrol Gearbox Manual

Official economy 40.5mpg True MPG 44.2mpg Difference +9.1%

Read our Skoda Karoq review or see what discounts are available on the Karoq


Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150

New Volvo V60 vs Audi A4 Avant vs Skoda Superb Estate

Engine 4cyl, diesel Gearbox Automatic

Official economy 51.5mpg True MPG 54.8mpg Difference +6.6%

Read our Skoda Superb Estate review or see what discounts are available on the Superb


Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI 150

Used Seat Ateca 16-present

Engine 4cyl, turbo, petrol Gearbox Manual

Official economy 42.8mpg True MPG 44.5mpg Difference +4.0%

Read our Seat Ateca review or see what discounts are available on the Ateca


Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro S tronic

Audi Q5 front

Engine 4cyl, diesel Gearbox Automatic

Official economy 37.7mpg True MPG 39.0mpg Difference +3.4%

Read our Audi Q5 review or see what discounts are available on the Q5


Dacia Duster 1.3 TCe 130

Dacia Duster front corner

Engine 3cyl, turbo, petrol Gearbox Manual

Official economy 42.8mpg True MPG 43.8mpg Difference +2.3%

Read our Dacia Duster review or see what discounts are available on the Duster


Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 115

Skoda Kamiq front

Engine 3cyl, turbo, petrol Gearbox Manual

Official economy 42.8mpg True MPG 43.8mpg Difference +2.3%

Read our Dacia Duster review or see what discounts are available on the Duster


Audi Q2 35 TFSI

2017 Audi Q2 1.0 TFSI review – price, specs and release date

Engine 4cyl, turbo, petrol Gearbox Manual

Official economy 38.6mpg True MPG 3.9.2mpg Difference +1.6%

Read our Audi Q2 review or see what discounts are available on the Q2


Mini 5dr Cooper

Mini Hatchback

Engine 3cyl, turbo, petrol Gearbox Manual

Official economy 44.8mpg True MPG 45.5mpg Difference +1.6%

Read our Mini 5dr review or see what discounts are available on the Mini 5dr


Mazda 3 2.0 Skyactiv-G

Mazda 3 front grey

Engine 4cyl, petrol Gearbox Manual

Official economy 44.8mpg True MPG 44.8mpg Difference 0%

Read our Mazda 3 review or see what discounts are available on the Mazda 3


Next: more True MPG results >>

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