A SMART Fortwo CDI has won this year’s ALD Automotive/Total ECO 10 MPG Marathon by achieving 96.81 mpg.
Second place went to a Toyota Yaris TR Diesel, which achieved 86.18 mpg, a 25.09 percent improvement on the manufacturer’s combined figure.
Hybrids are often criticised for not being as economical as the official claims, yet a Toyota Prius managed 84.05mpg, 16 per cent better than the official combined cycle figure of 72.4mpg.
A total of 21 manufacturers agreed to have a variety of their hatchbacks, 4x4s, saloons and commercial vehicles publicly put through their paces. Four vehicles secured more than 80 miles per gallon.
The MPG Marathon also sought out the drivers most capable of improving on the fuel consumption figures claimed by the manufacturer.
In this category, the Mazda 3 2.3 MPS with a manufacturer’s combined mpg of 29.1, managed to achieve 41.75 mpg, an improvement of 43.48 per cent.
The eclectic mix of vehicles and drivers included a police patrol vehicle, a 17-year-old boy yet to pass his test, and a horse-box drawn by a 4×4 Subaru Forester.
The event involved a route of 360 miles around the Midlands over two days, putting the manufacturers’ own estimates of fuel consumption to the test.
The overall winner of best percentage improvement for vans was the Vauxhall Vivaro 2.0 CTDI which achieved 55.25 mpg, a 60.60 per cent improvement.