Are Average Miles Per Gallon for Real?

Written by Karen Bryan

After our recent experience with car salesmen, we are wondering what is the real average miles per gallon (mpg) of a Hyundai i20 1.2 litre petrol car. According to official figures it’s around 55 miles per gallon. However the i20 which we test drove showed more like 45 mpg on the on-board computer during our outing on a mix of open road and town driving. We asked the car salesman, who accompanied us on the test drive, about the car’s fuel consumption and he told us that he’d gotten an average of 47 mpg during a recent long drive he took, predominantly on main roads.

Now a difference of 10 miles per gallon means paying almost 20% more in fuel for the car which would make significant erosion into our living expenses. Therefore I thought I’d do a little more research in the mpg for the Hyundai i20 petrol with a 1.2 engine. I read some reader reviews and a report that the car delivers an average of 40mpg which all seem to confirm that the advertised 55 mpg is proving unattainable for many owners.

Of course car manufacturers will say that average miles per gallon will vary according to the driving conditions and your style of driving. However our current car, a 2004 model Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI, has an official figure of 67mpg which we achieve. It’s certainly something to bear in mind when shopping for a car as fuel is a large part of the cost of running a car.

Update 8 September 2013 – Our new Skoda Fabia 1.6TDI claims 67mpg but so far has only achieved 61mpg.

You can read my evaluation of “Petrol versus Diesel Cars: Which is cheaper to Run?“.

This article was featured in the Totally Money Carnival Scared Straight Edition on 31 October 2011.