VW Eco drive

Efficiency and engineering prowess are two distinct German traits. This translates to their people, products and cars. Volkswagen Philippines recently invited a group of journalists to participate in their “Fuel Eco Drive” to demonstrate how German engineered efficiency works in their cars.

Fuel efficiency is definitely one of the things that car buyers consider when choosing a new car. With the kind of traffic we’re experiencing today, owning a fuel efficient car is a must.

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For the third leg of the Eco Drive, media-men were to drive all the way to Pampanga and back starting from Volkswagen Quezon Avenue. Participants were divided in groups of two, each team assigned to a vehicle (Polo Notch, Touran and Tiguan). For this drive, I was assigned to a white Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI along with AutoIndustriya.com co-founder Brent Co.

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To make this fuel economy drive realistic, Volkswagen PH has sealed the vehicle’s aircon temperature setting to 22 degrees Celsius. In addition, participants were advised to keep the aircon on throughout the drive (to make results more realistic). The official run commenced at Shell Balintawak, where cars had their tanks filled to the brim with representatives from VW PH and Clean Air Initiative as witnesses.

The drive was towards Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

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Since it was our first time to drive the Tiguan, we took a little bit of time to find the “sweet spot” or most efficient pace and engine speed; after all, this is a fuel economy drive. With me behind the wheel, Brent carefully monitored real-time figures from the on-board fuel efficiency display.

Initially cruising at a little over 60 km/h under 1500 rpm, we then decided to kick it up a notch as the automatic transmission shifted to 6th gear. It was now running between 80 to 90 km/h with engine speed of around 1500 to 1750 rpm. At this pace, the Tiguan seemed to be cruise better. As a result, we maintained the speed until we exited NLEX at Angeles.

We were welcomed by the morning traffic along the local thoroughfares of Magalang with a slow pace brought upon by tricycles and scooters. We drove casually and as patient as possible until we reached our destination in Abe’s Farm for a lunch stop.

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After having lunch, teams were set to drive for the second part of the fuel economy drive. With our own personal tanks filled up, we set off for “Shell of Asia” along NLEX for the final fuel fill to determine our actual fuel consumption.

With Brent behind the wheel, our team decided to use the same strategy from the morning run. However, traffic was a bit more challenging as we encountered slow trucks carrying cargo in addition to the tricycles and jeepneys; this affected our pace and efficiency significantly. Upon reaching NLEX, we were once again running at our “efficient pace” for the remainder of the economy run.

VW Eco drive

Our team was the second to arrive at the final stop for a fill of Shell V-Power Nitro+ Diesel. Teams lined up to find out the amount of fuel they’ve consumed throughout the course of the drive. After filling up, teams were instructed to head back to Volkswagen’s showroom in Quezon Avenue for the closing ceremonies.

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Yielding the most efficient run was in the Polo Notch 1.6 TDI M/T category was 26.54 km/l. On the other hand, the winning fuel economy for the Touran 2.0 TDI DSG yielded 22.85 km/l. Lastly, our team registered the best fuel economy rating for the Tiguan 2.0 TDI category with 17.86 km/l.

Based on the results, teams from the Polo Notch 1.6 TDI M/T had an average fuel consumption of 25.30 km/l while teams from the Touran 2.0 TDI DSG yielded an average of 21.03 km/l and the Tiguan 2.0 TDI registered 17.6 km/l.

Overall, the Tiguan 2.0 TDI that we drove registered a good fuel economy figure of 17.86 km/l. We were able to achieved this figure by driving efficiently and realistically under the given conditions. For this drive, we cruised at 80 km/h and locked the aircon temp to 22 degrees. We were also conscious of the engine speed reading as well as the overall performance of the Tiguan. To make it simple, we were driving to max out the Tiguan’s fuel efficiency in order to register the best fuel economy reading.

The drive demonstrates how efficient driving techniques coupled with efficient German engineering lets you travel more kilometers with the same amount of fuel.

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