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What Car? launches True MPG fuel economy testing

What Car? has announced a new testing programme dubbed True MPG, which provides what it claims is a more accurate insight into the real cost of running a car.

Designed in association with Tesco Petrol Filling Stations, the testing programme uses a portable emissions-measurement system and only begins testing when the engines have reached their standard operating temperature. Coupled with driving by experienced engineers through a variety of different road types, What Car? claims True MPG gives a much more balanced view of the cost of motoring.

"With rising fuel prices, the miles-per-gallon issue is high on every motorist's agenda," explained said What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett of the programme. "Countless car buyers are frustrated that they don't match the official government fuel figures. True MPG will allow motorists to select a car personalised to their driving needs and budget. We hope that it will become invaluable in the complex and emotional car-buying process."

The True MPG leaderboard makes for interesting reading: while many vehicles show only a small variation between their True MPG figure and the government-endorsed manufacturers' figures, others are rather more different. Vehicles like the Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 HSE drops from a claimed 32.2mpg to 30.7mpg while Toyota's Avensis 2.2 D-CAT 150 T4 automatic drops from 45.6mpg to 43.3mpg, as examples of the accuracy of the official figures.

Other manufacturers don't fare so well under the new testing: the Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion sees its fuel economy figure drop from a claimed 74.3mpg under the government's scheme to just 51.8mpg, and Ford's Focus Estate 1.6 TDCi 115 Titanium drops from 67.3mpg to a rather more mundane 42.3mpg.

Manufacturers will surely be looking to cast doubt on What Car?'s new testing regime, but to make things clearer for car buyers a video explaining the testing has been published.

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