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by Brett Davis

In a recent technical exercise aiming to discover the Hyundai i20’s real-world economy figures, former Australian rally champion Ed Ordynski originally planned to drive a factory, unmodified, 1.4-litre i20 from Sydney to Brisbane on one tank of fuel. However, on the economy run the i20 kept on going and actually made it all the way to Bundaberg, sipping fuel at the miserly rate of 4.23L/100km.

Even in dense inner-city traffic, Ordynski threaded the i20 through very busy parts of Sydney during peak hour and the car was still able to record this highly efficient result. The car was completely unmodified and had no aerodynamic coverings or enhancements.

Ordynski recently said about the drive,

“I originally thought Sydney to Brisbane on one tank seemed an impossible task, especially on the Pacific Highway but then the i20 just kept on going – far beyond our wildest expectations. It was a remarkable journey and a truly special result.”

The car traveled a distance of 1269km on a single (53.63 litres) tank of fuel. This is pretty good considering the Australia average fuel consumption is said to be around the 11L/100km mark; 4.2L/100km could provide savings of over $1000 per year in those circumstances.

Oliver Mann, marketing director of Hyundai Australia, said about the recent achievement,

“The results of this economy challenge validate further the title of ECOcar Magazine’s 2010 Car of the Year, recently awarded to i20. Hyundai is committed to setting the pace for the auto industry when it comes to fuel economy and the intelligent application of cost-effective technologies.”

So what does this mean? Well, it’s hard to use manufacturer’s claims when comparing these sorts of technical exercises. But compared to the rivals – including the Toyota Yaris, Mazda2, Suzuki Swift and Nissan Micra – they all have average fuel consumption ratings of 6.0-6.8L/100km. But again, it’s not really a fair comparison to this long-distance test where the car is run continuously for a long period.

Still, Sydney to Bundaberg on one tank of fuel is very good, especially on a relatively small, 54-litre tank.