Volkswagen Golf TDI Sets Guinness Fuel Efficiency Record
Diesel Hatchback Bests Hybrid Number
Volkswagen can add another feather in its diesel-championing hat because the 2015 Golf TDI just set a contiguous-states record for lowest fuel consumption in a non-hybrid. The Guinness-certified world record went to the Golf after a team drove it on an 8,233.5-mile loop around the lower 48 states, averaging 81.17 mpg over the whole trip. (For the record, that number bests the Guinness figure for a hybrid car by more than 6 mpg.)
The trip began on June 22 in Volkswagen of North America’s headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, and ended in the same place on July 7. The Golf visited all 48 contiguous states in that time, driven by expert hypermiler Wayne Gerdes and electronics engineer Bob Winger. Gerdes set the previous non-hybrid world record in 2013 while driving a Volkswagen Passat TDI. That trip returned a fuel-efficiency figure of 77.99 mpg.
Amazingly, the Golf TDI wasn’t modified for its record-breaking performance aside from the addition of Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires. In fact, according to Volkswagen representative Mark Gillies, the Golf was probably carrying extra weight, since it was outfitted with a fullsize spare tire and wheel in addition to its minispare.
Also, we’re not ones to editorialize (much), but let’s just point out that the record-setting Golf was equipped with a six-speed manual, not the less involving, less fun DSG that most TDIs get. With that out of the way, we’ll go back to sipping our tea.
In a related piece of news, Honda recently set a Guinness world record for fuel consumption in the European Union. Its Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC recorded 100.31 miles per Imperial gallon, or 83.52 miles per U.S. gallon. Although the Civic achieved a higher number, it must be pointed out that the Golf is a more powerful car driven in different conditions, so its numbers shouldn’t be compared directly with the Civic. Both Honda and Volkswagen should be commended for their achievements, helping prove that diesel is indeed a very green fuel.