Real World Fuel Consumption vs. The Canada EnerGuide

April 11, 2016

A recent APA vehicle test day provided new insight into the correlation of real-world fuel economy with Canada`s published fuel consumption ratings. The APA drove five SUVs over a distance of about 270 km, at moderate speeds on secondary roads east of Toronto, ending lakeside in Port Hope Ontario. Temperatures were moderate and the roads were clear. The APA used the specified Premium fuel for all vehicles (premium is only "Recommended" for the Audi Q3).

The results below indicate that the Acura RDX matched its advertised highway fuel consumption rating exactly, under conditions that varied more and over a much longer distance than an indoor test in a lab -- that`s encouraging. The Audi Q3 and Infiniti QX50 used about 10% more fuel than their published ratings using the Natural Resources Canada test cycle. Driven under the same conditions, the BMW X1 driven was high by 30% respectively; that`s way off. The findings suggest that laboratory fuel consumption measurements, even using Canada`s new more conservative test procedure, may still correlate inconsistently with on-the-road fuel consumption. There is also the possibility that some manufacturers are tweaking their vehicles to generate rosy fuel consumption figures in the lab, but programming the vehicle for more performance on the road, at the expense of fuel economy. The APA will continue to measure the variation between actual and rated fuel consumption in our testing and report to you if we spot any trends, good or bad.


Test Day Observed Fuel Consumption

Vehicle Actual (L/100km) Energuide (L/100km) Variation
Acura RDX 8.6 8.6 None
Audi Q3 9.0 8.2 +8%
Infiniti QX50 10.7 9.7 +10%
Mercedes GLA 8.0 7.4 +8%
BMW X1 (2015) 9.6 7.2 +30%

New Car Buying Service
APA’s new car buying service saves you time, money and hassles!
Used Car Buying Service
The APA recommends a network of trustworthy used car dealers in Toronto.

APA Lemon-Aid Reviews
Our expert staff can help you select the vehicle that best suits your needs.

Group Rate Insurance Program
APA has negotiated insurance discounts for members.

This content was featured in the APA Newsletter. Didn`t see us in your inbox? Subscribe today and keep up to date!


More APA Fuel Consumption Tests

Small Cars