BBC Promotes Ford / Fiat / VW small engined cars – But are the MPG figures valid?

The BBC have done a lovely little bit of advertising for Ford and VW today in promoting small engined cars. Now before we go any further, I’m PRO-small engined cars. I have a small engined car, it’s a 1.8 litre Toyota Corolla VVTI-L. A car with a fun trick camshaft that changes it’s profile over 6,200 rpm and boots engine output to 189bhp.  Tootle around at 50-70mph, however, and the engine idles along giving 45mpg+ (easily).

But the figures put forward in this report just don’t appear to stand up in the real world are in fact the “official figures” as created under lab conditions.hat

For example, the story suggests that Fiat’s 500 Twin Air can easily do 70mpg. But when Autocar reviewed the Twin Air they were far from impressed by the reality.

The TwinAir might be pitched as an eco alternative, but we found a huge difference between the claimed and actual fuel consumption. Driving style is key

Which is a real point here. But how low was the average mpg figure?

The Fiat 500 Twin Air didn’t manage the near 70mpg as promised, it managed a mere 35mpg. THIRTY FIVE MPG!!

And it’s the same story for the VW and the Ford.

You see it’s fine on flat surface, going at a steady speed IN A LAB. Which is something the BBC consumer program “Watchdog” covered at length. I guess when it comes to promoting “eco” matters, the BBC are happy to ignore their OWN findings.

In the real world the small engine has to do a lot of work to earn it’s keep. Which is why in certain circumstances, it’s WORSE than a bigger engined vehicle. As demonstrated by Top Gear (also made for the BBC).

Conclusion: It’s not the car, it’s how you drive. And the BBC fail to check their facts AGAIN.

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