Fuel Consumption Labels. Accurate or Way off The Mark?

Been a bit quiet here lately, people mostly sticking to road rules and using the search button to help decide on a car to buy, so I thought I would throw out a question that was sparked by a conversation in another thread about fuel/energy consumption stickers and range per tank/battery.

As a community, I thought it would be interesting to know how our vehicles compares to our car's original fuel consumption sticker. This can apply to all vehicles that you use as your main mode of transport. Doesn't matter if it is petrol, diesel, hybrid or EV, as by ADR compliance, all of these vehicle have to come with some form of fuel consumption figures.

Now, if you don't know your car's fuel consumption figures as per the sticker (usually in l/100km), you can always look it up using the Green Vehicle Guide and pick "Advanced Search" and fill in your car's details (The site is only for cars from 2004 onwards.)

You should have three figures: Urban, Extra Urban and Combined (In l/100km or Wh/km for EV's)

Urban refers to how the vehicle performs in an urban environment (stop/start, low speed city driving)
Extra Urban refers to relatively uninterrupted driving on inner city highways/bypasses/toll roads/outer city limits and intercity highways/freeways.
Combination is a mix of both urban and extra urban driving.

To work out your consumption, take the average size of your cars fill up in litres and how many km that tank usually gets you and bang it into this equation;

km traveled on a tank / litres in tank = km/l
(ie: 620km / 55l = 11.27km/l)

Now, to convert it to litres/100km; (as used by the labels)

100 / km/l = litres/100km (same as on the sticker)
(ie: 100/11.27km/l = 8.8l/100km)

So, pick your main car you drive, pick the main mode driving conditions and let me know in the comments if it's worse, better or spot on compared to the label and whether it's better or worse because of how you drive (being a Lead Foot or Sunday Granny…)

In you want any heavier reading on how vehicles are tested, you can read the relevant ADR 81/02 here

Poll Options

  • 4
    I get much better than the sticker (+10% or better)
  • 6
    I get a little better (+5~10% better)
  • 9
    It's spot on (give or take less than 5%)
  • 17
    I get a little bit worse (-5~10% worse)
  • 44
    I get much worse (-10% or more worse)
  • 5
    I walk everywhere, ya' filthy polluters.

Comments

  • My Astra was marked as 5.8l/100km - I usually get around 6.7, so about 16% worse than what it says it should do. I'm not too underwhelmed or annoyed at that, I expected some leeway.

    • About the same for my Astra too. ('17 RS)

  • +2

    Next time you fill up reset your odometer. Then the time after that when you fill up again you will know exactly how many km you did and exactly how many liters you used.

  • My cars claimed is 7.4l/100 combined, I get mid 9s normally, though it has 32" tyres instead of the 29" it came with. I also overtake a fair bit.

    Wife's is claimed 5.4 combined, it actually gets 5.6 I think last time I checked. Doesn't overtake.

  • My guide if you're a normal driver (i.e. not feathering the throttle/ lead foot):
    50/50 mix of highway and city then use the urban
    All highway then use the advertised (Combination) +10-15%
    All city then use urban +10-15 %

    • 10% on all the above if its a manual

    Hybrids (only driven Toyota product ones) have generally been consistent so for them remove the additional margin and add around 10% on all the scenarios.

    Works for current & old/other cars I've driven.
    My Subaru Outback is listed at 9.1 (Urban) (7.3 Combined) L/100km and nowadays I drive 90% city so expected amount is 10.2L and I get around high 9s and low 10s.

  • My 2007 Mitsubishi 380 has a rudimentary display that shows instantaneous and average fuel consumption. Surely most more recent cars would have something similar built in?

    • Yeah but that's not always accurate.

      Most accurate method is odometer tracking versus fuel put into your tank to full each time. I put in 35L to full after doing exactly 500km = 7L/100km. My car would generally give my about 6l/100 over the same trip, so it wasn't worth trusting.

  • Mine is pretty close for Urban driving:

    8.3L/100km according to the guide and
    about 8.5-9L/100km when I drive. I've permanently disabled Start/Stop and my foot isn't exactly light.

    On the highway, it's about 6.5L/100km when I drive vs 5.4L/100km in the guide.

  • +1

    its good for comparing different cars. but its not a indication of melbourne or sydney traffic driving

  • toyota aurion 2014. 9.3 litres combined i get 8-8.2L driving 90km/day for work. 60/80km/h split in morning, 55/30km/hr in peak traffic.

  • Ask per my response in the linked thread my fuel consumption is bang on.

  • I do mostly highway and the rated mileage is close, but still under the actuals that I get.

    Sorento got 7.5L of diesel per 100km (rated at 6.1)
    Cerato petrol gets 8L/100 (also rated at 6.1)

    The MG PHEV only has a combined rating at 1.7L/100km which is highly irrelevant to actual driving; however I am getting 30kWh/100km on electric only as compared to the 19.2 kWh as rated. I dare say that driving at 100km/h, compared to city driving with lots of regenerative braking and lower average speeds, makes a big difference.

    • Cheers for the MG numbers. Seems the PHEVs are pretty similar and a reverse of the old ways.

      Lower numbers in the city and higher numbers in country driving.

  • Mine’s about right. As far as I can remember other cars have been similar - about right.

    Does that mean I drive close to the ‘standard’ method? Do I get a prize?

  • My chiron does good, only 20L/100km

    • -1

      Lame joke because I'm pretty confident a Chiron would use way more than that.
      My not-Chiron is getting 18L/100.

      • +1

        20 litres in a quad turbo v16 is actually extremely good. I would take that.

        How much fuel does a Bugatti Chiron use?

        Bugatti Chiron base - €2,500,000

        Fuel efficiency / Autonomy

        City 35.2 L/100km
        Highway 15.2 L/100km
        Combined 22.5 L/100km

  • The fuel consumption is based on a certain criteria that will IMHO not occur if you live in an inner city area of Sydney or Melbourne. Use it as a guide to compare different cars etc.

  • Actual 5.54L/100km, advertised as 4.7L/100km (> 10% worse)

    This is a 4.5yrs average. I've been using Simply Auto to record every refuel qty, odo and fuel price. Last 12 months record been sporadic but the fuel efficiency about the same.

  • It depends on the car.

    I remember driving an n/a 1.5 four manual and it always registered the same whether i drove it hard or soft.

    Then I drove a v8 and it seriously went from 7lt/100km up to 24lt/100km.

    Then I drove a turbo 2.0 four and it also went like that but not that crazy but you could easily go from 6 litres to 15 litres if you're banging it.

    Its the physics of the motor itself and of course other factors but small pissy 1.5 n/a fours only have injectors so big so what can you do.

    But if you have a performance turbo 2.0 4wd and if can inject hard and it has a big turbo then of course you will get a wide variation from hwy to launching it around town.

    • Then I drove a v8 and it seriously went from 7lt/100km up to 24lt/100km.

      It is 100% how hard you push the pedal down (and yourself back into the seat). When I had a V8 as a daily driver the fuel consumption wasn’t that bad. When it went to weekend car the consumption virtually doubled.

      I have no real clue as to how the testing is done but suspect it’s based on standard acceleration rates so the more power available the less they need to push it in the test. Use all that power and you quickly move away from the standard test.

  • There's a website called Honest John which has people submit real world fuel consumption (although in MPG not L/100km)
    Wonder if there's something similar here

  • Needs a Gridlock Urban for city driving.

    • +1

      Maybe a burn rate per hour for Melbourne and Sydney inner city parking lots roads?? litres/hour perhaps?

      • One of the cars I had for a while would do this. The instantaneous fuel consumption would change from l/100km while driving to l/hr when idling.

        • One of the trucks I drive at work has a fuel burn/hour rather than l/km consumption. It has a instant read out, an average read out and a life time read out.

  • +1

    Fuel consumption label's main purpose is to provide an "apple to apple" comparison to the end consumer when they are going to purchase a new car (ie. you can compare car X and car Y on fuel consumption and emissions as their testing conditions are the same). There is no point in comparing your "real-world figures" to the label figure as this can vary on a multitude of factors and it is never the intention of this program.

    Green Vehicle Guide Disclaimer states this clearly. 'Disclaimer: The fuel consumption and emissions data reported on this website is based on laboratory testing in controlled conditions and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your on-road fuel consumption and emissions will depend on the circumstances in which you operate your vehicle.'

  • City 10, highway 6.6. I get about 8.5 on the camry 2001 4 cyl with 70% highway. Driving style: driving to work in the morning - hard on pedal. After work (and no jam): very light. Probably balances out somewhat.

  • My Skoda Octavia 1.8tsi is the first car (of 40+) that I've owned that has been similar to the sticker or factory claim.

  • Vehicles in Australia are homologated to the EU-5 standard and use the NEDC drive cycle for governement approval - it's a steady state cycle and is not representative of real-world driving.
    It does serve a purpose to compare apples with apples in terms of the fuel economy and emissions of vehicles though. But take the fuel economy number with a grain of salt compared to what you'll see on the cluster around town.

    Because of the backlash caused by the sticker number not being accurate, there's been several class actions against OEMs and the homolgation process is changing. The older steady state drive cycles (NEDC, FTP) are now being replaced with more representative drive cycles such as the WLTP (World harmonized light duty vehicle testing procedure) and RDE (real world driving emissions). These two new drive cycles are much more accurate and can actually yeild a slightly worse number than what you'll see on the road.

    As a side note, Scotty from marketing loves his coal and fossil fuels and Aussie fuel economy and emissions standards are lagging behind some developing countries with a vehicle emissions level of EU-5, which was developed in 2009. Most Euro countries are at EU6 levels and use the WLTP and RDE drive cycles and their sticker numbers are different and more representative of real world fuel economy.

    EDIT:
    Also, sticker numbers are going to get more accurate in the future because some OEMs are opting to sign off to the higher EU-6 emissions standards in Europe, not the old (circa 2009) EU-5 standard we use in Australia (the old one that's well off the mark of what you'll get on the road).

  • Merged from Car Fuel Usage Litres Per 100km

    Hi I was wondering what car fuel usage different cars use.
    Fuel prices are up the roof.

    Model: Toyota Corolla hatchback Hybrid 2019
    Rated: 4.3 L/100km
    Last refuel 5.55 litres per 100km
    It states around 4.5 on the car electronic metre

    I use aircon and a little bit of music
    1/3 highway maybe
    2/3 suburbs

    I got enough info from replies, thanks everyone!

    • +7

      Comparing fuel usage with randoms on the internet is not going to show anything. It is not an apples to apples comparison. There are many factors that impact fuel usage - mix of highway driving vs start/stop driving; how much of a lead foot you have; how heavily you press the brakes; how hard you take corners; how much air con you use - the list goes on and on. There is no way all those factors can be compared with other users.

      Hence, the standardized testing - where all the factors are controlled to give you a number (that is skewed towards the car manufacturer) and do not represent real life usage at all. What they do tell you is if you compare a Corolla number with another manufacturer number; you can determine which one would use less or more fuel for the same factors.

      Some fun reading on the topic - https://www.drive.com.au/news/australias-misleading-fuel-eco...

      • Very interesting article, thanks.

      • Yes, I always look at these as arbitrary fuel consumption units.
        The units you use are completely different and not comparable.
        But you can compare the arbitrary fuel consumption units between makes of car.

    • +2

      I get the same experience on my camry hybrid and stop bothering to calculate it. At the end of the day, you're getting way better economy than the gas guzzlers. Fewer trips to the bowser IMHO = lower chance of getting whatever cancers associated to the fumes.

      It could be due to how people who share your car drive which feeds into the algorithms used to calculate the fuel economy. If someone drives lead footed and doesn't know how to efficiently manage at coasting (i.e. putting a small amount of gas on coasts), then they will use more gas but the computer uses historical data (you driving more efficiently) to get a better rating.

      • i think diesel is the one that gives people cancers / problems

        • +8

          Nah mate, it is oxygen that gives you caner.

          100% of people that have any form of cancer have breathed oxygen.

    • +2

      https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/654184

      Past thread for your reading pleasure

      • That’s what I wanted. Thanks!

    • +1

      I use aircon and a little bit of music

      Start humming to yourself and save.

      • Haha, I started not to listen to music and just enjoyed fully pay attention to Pure driving

        • +1

          True story, one time about 25 - 30 years ago I was returning from the snow with a cousin in his V8 Berlina, on the Hume about 50km short of Sydney, when he realised the fuel guage hit zero. We turned off the heater and radio in desperation. Not sure how much it helped but we made it.

          But yes, being in tune with the car can be nice - the sounds, the weight of the steering, the acceleration, etc. - lots to enjoy if you put your mind to it.

    • +1

      You want to compare fuel usage use fuelly https://www.fuelly.com/

      • Very handy, thanks!

    • There’s one surefire way to cut petrol consumption - buy an EV. Otherwise a hybrid corolla is hard to beat.

    • I have to ask… what on earth does listening to music have to do with fuel mileage? lol

      • Energy has to come from somewhere

        • Yeah, it's called a battery.

          • @KangaDrew: Not sure if serious?

          • -1

            @KangaDrew: Try disconnecting your alternator and see how long your stereo plays for…

            • -1

              @p1 ama: Battery is electrical, it has nothing to do with fuel. It magically gets charged from the electrons flying in the air

          • +1

            @KangaDrew: I bet you think that those hydrogen generators get energy from nowhere as well?

    • +4

      YMMV

    • +1

      Smaller engines work harder.

      My Ford Fiesta is suppose to be 6.1/100km combined but is actually 7.4 with a very light foot.

      Meanwhile my 2014 Toyota Aurion is rated for 9.1L/100km combined yet i get 7.6-7.8L consistently with the same route and driving style as the Fiesta.

      • +1

        Aurions love highways.

      • My landcruiser gets 9.6L/100 I’m pretty happy with that!

    • +1

      2GR is best GR.

    • Could probably get like 9.5l/100km on a mazda 3 if I drove efficiently but most of the time I floor it so its more like 11l/100km.

      Would obviously prefer petrol to be cheaper but I don't care too much.

      • What Mazda 3 is that

        • 2005

    • +4

      5.5 L / 100 Km is still very good compared my older cars, that get like 8-9 L/100 km on mostly city conservative driving.

      Hybrid is increasing your milage,

      and also of course if you use aircon then it will drain milage, you cannot get Best milage with aircon on,

      To get best possible milage, you need to drive conservatively, aircon off, radio of, least electricity used, no carrying of extra weight, use of higher octane unleaded fuel (not e10), and so many more factors.

      Anyway why worrying so much 1 L is at max like $2 more per your 100Km isn't it ? Just for sake of $2 you would sacrifice so much stuff like aircon, music, spend extra on u95/u98 fuel etc, I'd say not worth that much to me.

    • +1

      Radio uses maybe 100w. Engine output is more like 100,000w. If you don’t use the radio, you might save some fuel but it’ll be 0.1%.

  • Model: Toyota Corolla hatchback Hybrid 2019
    Rated: 4.3 L/100km
    Last refuel 5.55 litres per 100km
    It states around 4.5 on the car electronic metre

    I use aircon and a little bit of music
    1/3 highway maybe
    2/3 suburbs

    28% more fuel

  • My car can vary anywhere between 5.5L/100km to 12L/100km depending on where you drive it. I can get over 700KMs per tank on freeways while 300KMs pure city driving. No point comparing, everyones doing different drives.

    • 🤯 that's insane! Didn't realise it could vary that much. What kinda car/engine is it?

      • Audi 2.0T on ron95. I have to say 300KMs per tank is purely lots of heavy traffic PreCovid when I lived and work in the city. The car never go more than 40km/h and average speed around 5-8km/h where each trip the engine oil never get to reach the normal operating temperature. I don't wait till empty light to fill up so I am guessing about ~14L/100km is worst I have driven.

        Btw the numbers are calculated not based on the overly optimistic car computer.

        • If you are only averaging 5-8km/h you’re almost better off walking. Certainly quicker on a scooter or bicycle.

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