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How Far Can You Go On One Tank?

I don’t know about you, but I’m always trying to go for as long as possible in between trips to the bowser.  There are a number of ways of eking out the fuel and minimising your fuel consumption, but how far can you go on just one tank?

According to the Guinness Book of Records for 2014, the furthest you can go on one tank of fuel is 2545.8 km, which was achieved by a pair of Croatian drivers named Marko Tomac and Ivan Cvetković. They were driving a Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI Bluemotion which was not modified and had to carry two people plus their luggage. This is the second time that the Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI Bluemotion has picked up a world record for hypermilage, as the pair of British drivers who held the record busted by the Croatian team also drove one of these super thrifty little beasts. Drivers watching their petrol pennies take note.  Crunching the numbers reveals that this adds up to 32.2 km/litre, which is the equivalent of 3.10 litres/100 km.  As the drive was made over a variety of roads in Croatia, we can presume that this is combined fuel economy.

The little Passat also holds the record for the world’s best fuel economy for non-hybrid cars, with a team of two US drivers clocking up 3.10 L/100 km on average as they drove through all 48 of the contiguous states in the USA (i.e. not Alaska or Hawaii), a trip that took six fuel top-ups and 13,071 km.  However, for the same drive, the record holder overall (i.e. with hybrid cars included) is a 2006 Honda Insight , which managed 3.16 L/100 km.

Kia Optima
hybrid), the rest of us have to be realistic. Little hatchbacks just won’t fit our lifestyles and our families.  But we still want to save a few cents at the bowser.  What can we do?  Well, there are a few things.

  1. Watch what you’re carrying as luggage. The official records required the cars to carry two people plus luggage to make the comparison fair. This is because every 25 kg increases your fuel consumption by 1%.
  2. Keep the air-con off.  The air-con is powered by your engine.  Opening the windows is a thriftier option, until you get up to higher speeds.  On the open road, having the windows down creates more drag and reduces aerodynamics, thus making you burn more fuel.
  3. Drive smoothly and without aggression.
  4. Pick the right gear to keep the revs at their most efficient.
  5. If you can select your drive mode, put it on Eco. Most cars with selectable modes have the Eco option.old-petrol-pump
  6. Whip off the roof rails if you don’t use them. Obviously, if they come as standard fitted to the car, you can leave them on, as removing them may damage the vehicle and they will have been designed to be aerodynamic. But ski pods and the like shouldn’t live up there full-time.
  7. Keep your tyres at the right pressure.  All tyres leak.  If you want to see the difference between fuel consumption with a flat tyre and with a properly pumped tyre, get a bike.  Let a bit of air out of the tyres and ride around the block. Now pump the tyres back up and ride the same circuit.  You will feel the difference.


  1. Jomac LTD says:

    So Ford’s coming out with the new C Max hybrid to compete with the Prius (for another option in compact vehicles) and aluminum F150. As far as purchase options, things look to be getting better.

    Your tips are very helpful, too! Especially the tire pressure check!

    June 5th, 2014 at 11:59 pm