A Volkswagen Golf TDI has set a new fuel economy record by visiting all 48 contiguous US states and consuming less than 385 litres of diesel along the way.
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During the 13250.5 kilometre journey through each of the lower 48 states — that's every one except Alaska and Hawaii — the 112kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel Golf drank an average of 2.9 l/100km. In terms of fuel, the 16 day journey cost a mere US$294.98 ($397.64).

Under the US Environmental Protection Agency's testing cycle, the 112kW Golf TDI has a highway fuel economy rating of 5.22 l/100km.

According to Volkswagen, the only changes to vehicle were the fitment of Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tyres, a Linear Logic ScanGauge II to measure fuel economy and a Garmin GPS that conforms to Guinness World Records' tracking requirements.


The Golf TDI was piloted by automotive writer Wayne Gerdes, a well-known advocate of hyper-miling, and Bob Winger, an electronic engineer. Together Gerdes and Winger set a new Guinness World Record for "lowest fuel consumption — 48 US contiguous states for a non-hybrid car".

Gerdes and Winger's trip around the United States began and ended at the Volkswagen of America's headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.

Gerdes was also responsible for the previous record of 3.01 l/100km, which was set in a turbo-diesel variant of the larger American Passat in 2013.

Both attempts have notched up better fuel economy figures than the current record around the lower 48 in a hybrid car of 3.16 l/100km.