Honda has taken the most awards for one manufacturer in the latest annual ‘MPG Marathon’, scooping the titles of ‘Most Efficient Family Car’ and ‘Four Wheel Drive’, as well as achieving first and second place in the ‘Load Lugging Economy Champion’ class, second and third place overall in ‘Best Percentage Improvement on MPG’, and third ‘Best Outright MPG’ among the 22 competing vehicles.
The MPG Marathon is an intense two-day eco-driving challenge which tests the skill of the competing drivers and the real-world fuel economy of the participating vehicles to the absolute limit. The event saw competing teams face arguably the toughest and most challenging routes and rules ever seen in the competition. Driving around 400 miles over the two days, teams aimed to achieve both the highest possible MPG and the most significant percentage improvement over the manufacturer’s quoted MPG figure, with penalties for every minute driven over the stated total driving time.
Driving to victory for Honda were the BBC’s transport correspondent for the South of England, Paul Clifton, alongside former police inspector, Shaun Cronin. Once again behind the wheel of a CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC, the car they previously won gold in, Paul and Shaun took home the ‘Four Wheel Drive’ and ‘Load Lugging Economy Champion’ awards by registering 63.77 MPG. This was a 13.31% uplift on the car’s official quoted figure and contributed to a second place overall in best percentage improvement on MPG. Over the two days the pair covered 389 miles, using just 27.73-litres of fuel!
After the gruelling challenge Paul Clifton said: “That was the toughest MPG Marathon yet. Over two days we effectively climbed from sea level to the top of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, three times. So to beat the car’s official economy figure – and by a big margin – is very rewarding.”
Making up the other half of Honda’s victorious team on the 2016 MPG Marathon were Swindon-based R&D colleagues Fergal McGrath, Kyle Stevens, Jeremy Sibson and Rick Rowles, pairing up to the share the effort over two days. Out to defend and enviable track record in the event in previous years, the team took home the ‘Most Fuel Efficient Family Car’ title and second place, behind the CR-V, in the ‘Load Lugging Economy Champion’ class. Covering 407 miles the experienced group guided a British-engineered and built Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC home with an overall MPG of 80.51, and improvement of 11.21%. Adding further success, drinking just 22.98-litres of fuel, the Tourer also came in third place doe both ‘Best Outright MPG’ and ‘Best Percentage Improvement’.
After the marathon, Fergal McGrath commented: “Overall we’re pretty happy with the result, particularly as this year was much more challenging than previously. Once again the trust Tourer performed well and we enjoyed a good couple of days of friendly competition.”
Now in its 16th year, the MPG Marathon aims to highlight the benefits of fuel efficient, economical driving, while providing a shop window for some of the most innovative, eco-friendly and diverse vehicles on sale.
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