The three Honda teams which took part in this year’s ‘MPG Marathon’ continued the marque’s solid track record of success, scooping first and third place for ‘Best percentage improvement’ on quoted fuel economy and best in class MPG; while a pairing of 17 year olds recorded an incredible average 93.81 MPG just weeks after passing their driving tests.
Topping the league for Honda was Paul Clifton, the BBC’s transport correspondent for southern England, and former police inspector, Shaun Cronin. Their CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC recorded an average 84.34 MPG – some 31.37 percent over the car’s quoted fuel economy – taking first place for ‘Best percentage improvement’.
Following in third place in the category were last year’s winners, Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren, ably supported by colleagues Rick Rowles and Lorelei Williams. Once again in a Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC, the team achieved an average 90.46 MPG – 24.94 percent over the Tourer’s quoted fuel economy. The achievement also earned the team first place for ‘Outright MPG’ in their class of diesel cars with CO2 emissions of 100g/km or more.
Not to be outdone by the ‘old hands’, 17 year old duo Eloise Peabody-Rolf and Rory Carmichael became the youngest ever competitors, achieving an incredible average 93.81 MPG in a Civic 1.6 i-DTEC, placing them fifth overall for ‘Outright MPG’, and sixth for percentage improvement on quoted fuel economy with 19.51 percent. Eloise and Rory learned some of their craft through The Under 17 Car Club, a nationwide road safety charity, where Paul Clifton and Shaun Cronin are instructors.
Commenting on the success of Eloise and Rory, Paul Clifton said: “In terms of outright MPG, they beat us fair and square. They astonished us all. If you want proof that it is possible to be a superb, safe, economical driver at the age of seventeen, here it is. While Shaun and I are very pleased to have taken the top spot for best improvement on fuel economy we’re absolutely delighted to see Eloise and Rory do so well.”
Organised by Fleet World magazine and sponsored by Barclaycard Fuel+ in association with TMC, the MPG Marathon is 400 miles worth of driving designed to be a true real-world test that demonstrates the benefits to both the environment and the motorist’s back pocket of employing simple, smarter driving techniques. This year’s event, co-sponsored by ALD Automotive, TRACKER and RAC Business, challenged competitors to find the most efficient route between set checkpoints, taking into consideration possible congestion hotspots. The 23 vehicles were fitted with TRACKER equipment so organisers knew where everyone was and how far they had travelled.
The performance of the Honda teams once again highlights the outstanding real-world fuel economy of Honda’s super-efficient 1.6 i-DTEC engine under the scrutiny of rigorous independent testing. Not intent with just lifting last year’s MPG Marathon title for ‘Best Outright MPG’, in June Honda R&D engineers Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for fuel economy. Behind the wheel of a Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC the pair crossed all 24 EU countries, covering 8,387 miles in just 25 days, averaging an incredible 100.31 MPG for the entire journey.
Fergal McGrath comments: “Once again the MPG Marathon attracted a tough line-up, and while we didn’t manage to scoop the overall title for the second year in a row we are very pleased with our performance. Congratulations to everyone, but particularly to Paul and Shaun who pipped us on best improvement in the CR-V – and a huge well done to Eloise and Rory. What a remarkable achievement, particularly at such a young age and with very little driving experience. It just goes to show that with a little thought and common sense anyone can get incredible efficiency from our 1.6 i-DTEC engine.”
17 year old student Eloise Peabody comments: “This was a fantastic event to be involved in. Rory and I have both been driving with The Under 17 Car Club since we were 11, but ten days before the event I hadn’t even driven on a motorway. I’d like to think that we’ve shown you don’t need to be a geek or a professional driver to get good MPG, and that age doesn’t matter – it’s more important to have the right car, right approach and attitude. With a few simple techniques we can all keep the fuel costs down – a huge bonus for us young drivers!”