Fuel consumption in theory and practice
The Volvo V60 Hybrid needs significantly more in practice than in the brochure
Anyone who buys a hybrid car hopes for low consumption. It is precisely with this type of drive that there is the largest gap between the theoretical and practical thirst for fuel.
D.he consumption figures in new car brochures often have little to do with real thirst on the road. However, the difference between paper and everyday values is not the same for all types of drive, as an ADAC analysis of 345 current vehicle models has shown.
The slightest deviations from theory and practice are therefore found in natural gas cars. In the automobile club’s everyday test, they consumed an average of just nine percent more than promised. The VW Caddy Ecofuel even undercut the prospectus value by four percent. On the other hand, the Fiat Panda Twinair CNG needed 27 percent more than stated. The testers attribute the overall good result to improvements in the conversion from petrol to gas operation as well as the use of particularly heat-resistant materials. These ensure good drinking habits even with high load requirements.
The conventional petrol engines performed hardly worse than the natural gas vehicles with an average deviation of ten percent. According to the association, the technical improvements of recent years are finally taking effect there – especially with the larger engines, as the evaluation shows. The Chevrolet Camaro convertible with V8 engine, for example, requires 17 percent less fuel than indicated in practice. The sports cars Audi R8 Spyder V10 and Nissan 370Z (with V6 engine) are also more economical than expected, while the small two-cylinder Fiat Punto Twinair, for example, saw an increase in fuel consumption of 34 percent. In general, small gasoline-powered vehicles are often significantly more thirsty in everyday life than the manufacturer’s information suggests, as their low performance means that they have to be driven more often under full load.
Vehicles with the third drive concept based on gasoline engines are on a similar level to petrol and natural gas cars: the LPG cars. On average they needed eleven percent more than promised, the extreme poles are the Opel Astra 1.4 LPG with a difference of only one percent and the Kia Picanto LPG with a deviation of 28 percent. In general, however, the testers welcome the successful adjustments made by the gas system converters to the alternative fuel.
When it comes to comparing theory and practice, the diesel comes off worst of all non-electrified drive concepts. The testers measured an average deviation of 14 percent from the norm. The disreputable front runner is the Jeep Cherokee V6 Diesel with an additional consumption of 55 percent. The Soda Yeti 2.0 TDI 4×4, which even needs one percent less than stated, shows that there is another way. The fact that the diesel, which is actually advertised as a fuel-efficient engine, consumes so much more is mainly due to its relatively high thirst when the load is high, for example on the autobahn. This is not reflected in the official NEDC driving cycle, since a maximum of 120 km / h is driven there.
The large difference in fuel consumption in hybrid cars is also due to the special features of the laboratory test. The testers attest this to an impressive 25 percent. Above all, the plug-in models, with their standard consumption levels close to the one-liter mark, ruin the balance sheet. You can drive up on the roller dynamometer with a fully charged battery without the amount of energy stored there flowing into the measurement result. In addition, if the battery is empty after around 50 kilometers, the drive switches to conventional hybrid mode. This means that the mini-norm values can no longer be even approximated. The diesel plug-in hybrid model of the Volvo V60 showed a deviation of 84 percent. The Kia Optima Hybrid Automatic, which only consumes 0.4 percent more fuel than advertised, shows that even hybrid cars don’t have to be sham packs.
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