Do you own a gas guzzler? You may be surprised at this survey’s shock findings… 12



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Most of us complain and whinge about the high cost of fuel when we fill up the car at the bowser. Nowadays it costs an arm and a leg, even if you have a supposedly “fuel-efficient” car. “Oh, for the days when fuel was only a dollar a litre,” we think, as we watch the numbers on the bowser soar. But pause for a moment: is it the high cost of fuel or actually the amount the car is using?

According to CHOICE, Australian motorists are being ripped off hundreds of dollars a year because of dodgy – yes, that’s right – “dodgy” fuel-efficiency claims.

Since scandal erupted over the rigging of emissions figures by Volkswagen, CHOICE has found five cars it tested in real-world conditions this year don’t live up to their manufacturer’s claims. In fact they exceeded the claimed fuel usage by more than 30 per cent. That adds up to a lot of extra fuel every time we have to top up.

CHOICE found luxury cars were the worst offenders: a Mercedes-Benz all-wheel drive burned up 43 per cent more fuel than the seven litres per 100 kilometres claimed by the carmaker. It also found a Volvo front-wheel drive consumed 37 per cent more and a Lexus all-wheel drive, 36 per cent more.

However, it wasn’t just those who could afford the price tag of a luxury vehicle who were being hit in the hip pocket. A CHOICE road test of 21 people movers and SUVs found cars guzzled 13 per cent more fuel on average per 100km than the car makers claimed.

The consumer advocacy group concluded that the fuel-efficiency rating for a motor vehicle was being used as a marketing ploy rather than a statement of fact, not helped by the manufacture’s test being based on laboratory conditions that are not an accurate reflection of real-world usage.

Not surprisingly, the consumer rights advocate is calling on carmakers to stop fudging the facts on fuel efficiency and emissions testing and putting the onus on the Australian Government to demand reliable information.

Go to their website to join the campaign.


Does this surprise you? Have you ever measured your own car’s fuel usage against what it says in your owner manual? How did it go? If you haven’t, will you now check it in view of Choice’s shock survey findings.



Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. Not surprised about car manufactures not telling the truth. We will stick with our 9 year old car at least we know everything about it.

  2. What annoys me is the computer saying we are getting X liters/100km $ the actual when calculating kms traveled against what you put in the tank at fill up.

  3. I drive a V8 Holden ute so whilst fuel prices are a rip off, I am not really in a position to complain about how much fuel costs. We also have a 4wd wagon which tows a van and that is our choice. Both these cars are over 10 years old and are capable of good fuel consumption figures if driven efficiently. Fuel efficiency has a lot to do with how the vehicle is driven but the results of this ,yet another, survey do not surprise me.

  4. I think retailers in general in Australia leave a lot to be desired. They are so greedy the population are buying overseas. My son even bought his 2nd hand boat from overseas. Even with the cost of freight and taxes and customs and a special clean before leaving the States it ended up over $10,000 cheaper than you could buy here.

  5. As Rod said, fuel consumption has a lot to do with the way you drive your car. We don’t have a high powered car and we don’t do a lot of driving, so it does not affect us greatly. The price of fuel over here in WA is not bad at the moment. It of course does fluctuate.

  6. Yes I do drive a guzzler. Yes I know it costs me 20cents per kilometre to run. Yes I bought it at the auctions 4 years old and put it on the road for $8.5K. Yes I’ve done 25,000ks in 4 years since I bought it.

    And the crazy thing is I can drive it to Hinchinbrook each year for less than “drive, park, fly and bus”

    Yes I’ve known about the fudged figures ever since I teasted cars 45 years ago. B|

  7. When the barrel price went up so did the price of fuel, it is now down to $45 a barrel, why hasn’t the price come down,

  8. I have a Toyota camry wagon. I had a Kia. Both were supposed to get about the same mileage per litre so how does the camry go almost twice the distance on the same amount of fuel, particularly on a long drive?

  9. I am still driving my 1992 Nissan Pintara Hatch which I bought in July 1993.
    It is still going well – better than me, in fact!
    And it is still very efficient fuel-wise!

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