The MPG Marathon is the UK’s best known and longest running economy driving event. Now in its eleventh year, the MPG Marathon is where drivers team with automakers to squeeze every drop of fuel economy out of their cars, and is also seen as a proving ground where automaker’s mileage claims are either bolstered or seriously questioned. Organized by Fleet World magazine, the Marathon also recognizes those drivers and their cars which record the greatest percentage improvement over the manufacturers’ published fuel consumption ratings.
The event took place earlier this month, with participants putting their economy driving skills to the test around a 370-mile route that included steep hills, twisting country lanes and inclement weather in southern England.
The “Overall Best MPG” winner of the event was a smart fortwo CDI. This particular smart vehicle is a tiny micro car that features one of the world’s smallest turbo-diesel engines – an 800cc, three-cylinder gas sipper. The smart notched a rating of 99.24 MPG over the two day event, the best figure ever recorded. This year makes it three wins in three tries for the smart CDI in the “Overall” event. Their winning mark was more than 15% better than the official combined fuel consumption figure of 85.6 MPG.
In the hybrid class the Infiniti M35h earned top marks. The car returned 36 MPG, which was seven percent better than its official combined figure of 33 MPG. Most of the other hybrids who participated in the competition, both diesel and gasoline powered, fell short of their official combined fuel consumption figures. The Infiniti M35h cruised on electric power for 185 of the 370 mile route. Basically half the route was completed with the 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine switched off. On one 54 mile stretch of the economy run, the M35h ran for 30 miles on power from the lithium-ion batteries and electric motor.