Honda have taken home the most awards for one manufacturer at the 2016 MPG Marathon, taking the ‘Most Efficient Family Car’ and ‘Four Wheel Drive’ titles, as well as taking both first and second place for ‘Load Lugging Economy Champion’, second and third in ‘Best Percentage Improvement on MPG’ as well as third in ‘Best Outright MPG’.
The MPG Marathon is a two-day eco-driving challenge which tests not only the driving skill of those taking part but also the fuel economy of their vehicles.
The event was held over two days, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th October, and saw the teams face one of the most challenging routes in the event’s history.
Teams were tasked with plotting their own routes to find four different venues around the country, taking in over 400 miles over the course of the two days, with the aim of achieving the best possible MPG, as well as the biggest percentage improvement on the MPG figure quoted by the manufacturer.
Bringing home the awards for Team Honda were Paul Clifton, BBC transport correspondent for the South of England and Shaun Cronin, a former police inspector who now works for the road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.
They competed in Honda’s CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC, the same car which they took gold in last year, scooping the ‘Four Wheel Drive’ and ‘Load Lugging Economy Champion’ awards by registering 63.77 MPG, a 13.31% uplift on the official figure quoted by the manufacturer.
Over the course of the event, the pair covered a total of 389 miles and used just 27.73 litres (6.1 gallons) of fuel.
Paul said of their success: “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. With a very gentle right foot and smooth, safe driving, this shows that even a bigger four-wheel drive car can achieve outstanding real world economy.
“With fuel prices rising again, this is something everyone can do to keep costs down.”
They were joined by Swindon-based R&D colleagues Fergal McGrath. Kyle Stevens, Jeremy Sibson and Rick Rowles who paired up to share the effort of the challenge over the two days.
The four have built up an impressive track record at the event over the past few years, and took home the ‘Most Fuel Efficient Family Car’ award as well as second place behind the CR-V in the ‘Load Lugging Economy Champion’.
The experienced team covered 407 miles during the event, behind the wheel of a British-built and engineered Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC, with an MPG of 80.51, an improvement of 11.21% on the figure quoted by Honda.
The tourer also came in third place for both ‘Best Outright MPG’ in which it lost out by just 0.21 MPG and in ‘Best Percentage Improvement’.
Fergal commented: “Overall we’re pretty happy with the result, particularly as this year was much more challenging than previously, but to lose out on second place for best overall MPG by just 0.21 is agonising!
“Once again, the trusty Tourer performed well and we enjoyed a good couple of days of friendly competition against some very experienced drivers and a fascinating range of other vehicles. We’re already planning for next year!”
The MPG Marathon is now in its 16th year and aims to showcase the benefits of fuel efficient and economical driving while also showing off some of the most innovative and fuel-efficient vehicles on the market.
This year’s event was based at the Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire, with day one seeing the teams head toward Ludlow in Shropshire, before a trip toward Stroud in Gloucestershire and back to Heythrop.
On day two, the teams’ destination was the iconic Silverstone circuit, then on to Hatfield in Hertfordshire before finishing up once again at Heythrop.
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