by Alex Gibson

A Volkswagen Passat diesel has broken the Guinness World Record for average fuel consumption for a drive across North America in a non-hybrid car.

Over 17 days, 48 US states, and 13, 071km – roughly the distance taken to drive around Australia – the Volkswagen Passat TDI averaged just 3.02 litres per 100km.

The record beat the previous by 0.44 litres per 100km.

Volkswagen Passat TDI Fuel Economy World Record

The official combined average fuel consumption for the US-spec Passat, which is different to the European-spec Australia receives, is 5.4 litres per 100km.

The only modification the test car received was a set of Continental low rolling resistance tyres, according to a Volkswagen spokesperson.

The drive tested the efficiency of Volkswagen’s production diesel engines when paired with the maker’s six-speed manual gearbox, but also “showed how much fuel consumption depends on the driver,” said blogger Wayne Gerdes, part of the driver team and a renowned ‘hyper-miler’ in the US.

This comes in light of the NRMA releasing a statement yesterday, warning local Australian motorists to expect a rise in fuel prices over the coming months.

Gerdes’ tip for motorists looking to maximise their fuel economy is to look ahead in traffic in order to plan gradual rather than sudden braking and acceleration, and to – you guessed it – drive slower.

CarAdvice recently took part in the Volkswagen Think Blue Challenge here in Australia, with eco-conscious driving resulting in a first place finish.

  • Sumpguard

    “The record beat the previous by just 0.44 litres per 100km.”

    “JUST” ? That’s over 10% better or am I quoting a typo?

    • David

      Nope, you’re right, it used about 13% less fuel than the previous record. And I agree that it’s more than “just” – considering how much money Holden spent on the VF to achieve between 2.0 and 8.2% (with most models in the 3 to 7% range). I’m not having a go at Holden btw, just showing how hard it is to get such a large percentage improvement!

  • Hahahahahahahahahaha

    I don’t reckon almost half a litre is worthy of being stated as “JUST”.

  • slap

    When I saw the heading I instantly thought. The guinness world record for (warranty claims) haha

    • Smart US

      thats what i thought 13,071km without need to see warranty peepoo

      • gs

        It probably helps that the yanks are willing to use the manual as was done here. VW Australia gave up trying to sell us manual Passats.

  • Tone

    I thought this was going to be the world record for the most breakdowns in a 24 hour period.

  • Zaccy16

    this and the recent win by caradvice in the vw think blue challenge really shows how fuel efficient these tsi and tdi engines are!

  • Hung Low

    Hypermiling is Motorsport for geeks with slow cars.

  • Jacob

    what Tyres did it have?

    The previous world record was in Michelin Energy tyres i think.


    Given the poor publicity VW have due to their cars kept on blowing up. They do a lot of publicity stunts recently to divert the attention.

  • zej

    I’d love to know what the average speed was, in order to achieve 3L/100km.

  • Smart US

    just a question – where is the left hand of the suited man on 1st pic?

  • Smart US

    gently shifting up and down to not break it… his shirt reads “tee dee AJJJJ”