Peugeot and Citroen reveal their cars’ true economy

French car giant PSA makes bold move for transparency; Carbuyer comparison reveals 19.5mpg average difference compared to official figures

PSA Group, the French company that owns Peugeot, Citroen and DS, has released real-world fuel economy figures for its cars – and its research reveals vast differences from the official data.

In a positive move that’s bound to build consumer trust, PSA tested 58 of its cars on public roads, putting each one through its paces on 14 miles of urban roads, 25 miles of open roads and 18.5 miles of motorways. The results should tally with the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) being introduced imminently, but PSA has got in early with its real-world results.

PSA ensured its cars were driven as they would be by owners, meaning they were carrying luggage and passengers, driven up hills and run with the air-conditioning and heating on – all factors know to adversely affect economy.

These techniques are in stark contrast to the official manner in which cars’ fuel economy is calculated at present, as the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) method examines vehicles in laboratory conditions, which are designed to simulate flat roads. The NEDC tests are also conducted without systems such as air-conditioning running.

We wanted to see how PSA’s numbers tallied with the official economy figures attained using NEDC methods, so compared the fuel consumption data provided by PSA with figures quoted on the Government’s Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) website – an organisation that uses NEDC methods.

The results show a striking difference, with the VCA’s official figures differing from PSA’s by a third, on average.

We picked three different cars each from Peugeot, Citroen and DS, researching the official fuel consumption figures quoted by the VCA. We then compared this data to the figures given by PSA.

Selecting three like-for-like models each from Peugeot, Citroen and DS, we ensured we compared cars with the same engines and gearboxes. We also checked the cars we compared had the same diameter alloy wheels, as this is another factor affecting fuel consumption.

Car

NEDC mpg

PSA mpg

Difference

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Feel PureTech 13056.5mpg38.2mpg18.3mpg
Citroen C4 Cactus Flair PureTech 8261.4mpg46.3mpg15.1mpg
Citroen C4 Cactus Flair Blue HDi 10078.5mpg55.4mpg23.1mpg
Peugeot 3008 Allure 1.2-litre PureTech 13070.6mpg55.4mpg15.2mpg
Peugeot 3008 Alllure 1.6-litre Blue HDi 120 Allure70.6mpg47.1mpg23.5mpg
Peugeot 208 Allure 1.6-litre Blue HDi 10080.7mpg60.1mpg20.6mpg
DS3 Prestige Blue HDi 12083.1mpg58.9mpg24.2mpg
DS4 Prestige PureTech 13056.5mpg40.9mpg15.6mpg
DS5 Prestige Blue HDi 180 automatic62.8mpg42.3mpg20.5mpg
Average68.9mpg49.4mpg19.5mpg

The results show that on average, PSA’s figures differ from the VDA’s figures by 19.5mpg – or roughly one-third.

That a difference exists between real-world fuel economy and official figures is well known; indeed, the VCA’s own website cautions that the data it quotes “may not be achieved under ‘real world’ driving conditions”.

The VCA, and car manufacturers themselves, are always clear official fuel consumption figures are more of a comparison tool between different models of car than a genuine indication of what economy owners can expect.

Nevertheless, consumers are likely to welcome the transparency PSA has shown in attempting a more realistic assessment its cars’ fuel consumption, and it may not be long before other carmakers follow suit.

If you’d like to know more, click here to check your car’s official NEDC fuel consumption on the VCA’s database, here for real-world data on Peugeots, here for Citroens and here for DS’ cars.

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

2021 scrappage schemes: the complete guide
Scrappage schemes - Ford Focus
Tips and advice
20 Apr 2021

2021 scrappage schemes: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2021
Skoda Fabia
Deals
16 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks