Subaru has been named one of the top car manufacturers for real-life fuel efficiency following independent testing. The tests were carried out to establish how efficient cars are under normal driving compared to their official fuel consumption figures.
The programme, which took place over two years and saw around 600 cars independently tested, was conducted by German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport. The magazine sought to establish how models from all major car manufacturers performed against their official fuel economy and emissions ratings, established under lab conditions as part of the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) fuel efficiency tests that every new car must undergo.
Subaru ranked second place in the test, and was one of only five manufacturers to beat its official NEDC CO2 emissions rating, with testers recording a 6% average improvement over the official emissions ratings for cars across the Subaru range.
The majority of other car manufacturers fell short of their official fuel economy figures, with shortfalls of up to 14.4% in some instances.
The tests were conducted by Auto Motor und Sport on a set 171-mile (275km) test course, which incorporated country roads, motorways and congested city traffic.
Green Car Guide has found similar results in its own testing of Subaru vehicles, and can provide a reason for this. The majority of cars today are engineered to perform well on the NEDC fuel economy test. This means that green technology is incorporated in vehicles and is optimised to achieve the best economy on the short, low load test in the laboratory. However most vehicles do not perform as well in real-life driving conditions when they are not being driven on the cycle that they have been optimised for.
In comparison, the Japanese manufacturer’s cars generally have not featured lots of ‘green tech’, such as stop-start systems etc, to help them improve economy and lower emissions during the NEDC test. This means that they may have higher ‘official’ emissions than some other manufacturers when tested on the NEDC cycle. However, when driven in real life, they do not suffer from such drastic drops in economy as some other cars because the lack of stop-start systems doesn’t have as much of an impact in real-life driving as they do during the cycle in the lab.