Getting huge fuel economy is possible – you just have to try
There has been a huge amount of advice written in recent times about how to achieve the big miles per gallon figures that we are told are possible, writes Matt Kimberley.
But despite the endless publicity, most people do not pay any attention whatsoever when they are on the road.
Find me more than a handful of people who, when it comes to their drive to work, are actually bothered. It's all about being smooth on the accelerator, goes the advice you will read over your morning cereal, before everyone around you in the morning traffic hoofs their respective loud pedals, sailing off up the road in clouds of burnt fuel.
It's no wonder there is still so much fuss about cars not meeting their apparent potential fuel economy.
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Some green-footed genius managed to squeeze a real-world independently verified 108mpg average out of a Ford Fiesta Econetic diesel a few weeks ago. Getting huge fuel economy is possible if you try, and it's really not that hard.
So why aren't people trying? Still too much effort? Too set in their ways? Fear of failure? Lack of confidence? People just don't want to try; that's the way I see it.
I can count on one hand the number of people I've seen using foresight and lifting off the throttle way ahead of a traffic jam in the last six months.
That sort of thing makes a huge difference to your MPG figure, but people can't be bothered to take even the simplest of steps.
It seems most people just want to feel like they are doing everything in their power to get where they are going as quickly as possible, even when that exact thing is utterly futile.
There is hard research showing how much less petrol is being bought, and surveys showing how people are using their cars less to save money, but the middle ground where people can drive as they have always done – but much more efficiently – seems like a no-go zone.
The potential for up to 20 per cent better economy without changing cars should be enough incentive for all of us.