Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story -

e fill er hed the ane. es ad s iv­ing in mis­ery; the tyres are not pumped up for less rolling re­sis­tance, the seat heaters are on max­i­mum, the dual-zone air­con is also cir­cu­lat­ing, and the stereo is on full bore.

Through the early morn­ing peak over the Har­bour Bridge and on to the big-rig heavy F3 to New­cas­tle, it’s hard to keep the revs un­der 2000rpm and still keep up with the traf­fic. But we hover around the 100km/h mark on the largely 110km/h high­way run, and wait for the fuel tank to show the ef­fects.

It doesn’t. The gauge reads full all the way to Kempsey on the NSW north coast. While the car has only one pas­sen­ger, it has still taken 400km to show move­ment on the gauge, while the trip­me­ter re­veals an av­er­age fuel use of 4.5 litres/100km.

An­other 200km down and near­ing our overnight stop at Coffs Har­bour, the av­er­age drops still fur­ther to 4.4 litres/ 100km. Then the road­works be­gin— long stretches of dugup tar­mac, lol­lipop men and long red traf­fic lights, some at the base of steep, long in­clines which wind the engine out to 3500rpm in sec­ond and kick the av­er­age fuel use up to 4.6 litres/100km in 15 min­utes.

Past the Big Ba­nana, the sec­ond bar of 12 on the fuel gauge loses its light, but there is just 400km to go and the trip­me­ter prom­ises more than 700km un­til the tank is empty.

More road­works, di­ver­sions and school hol­i­day traf­fic, which usu­ally con­sisted of slow, packed SUVs con­tain­ing scream­ing kids and the odd scream­ing par­ent, make driv­ing the last leg fru­gally a bit more of a chal­lenge. As we en­ter Bris­bane, the trip­me­ter fi­nally slips back to 4.4 litres/100km. We end up with an av­er­age fuel fig­ure of 4.57 litres/100km av­er­age, which is an as­ton­ish­ing 1.3 litres less than the claimed com­bined fig­ure, and al­most a litre un­der Hyundai’s av­er­age high­way fuel claim for this car. And the drive was com­fort­able, pleas­ant and not ex­actly slow.


If this car— and its driver— were to per­form like this ev­ery day, the an­nual fuel sav­ings could creep into four fig­ures. Go­ing ham­mer and tongs about town in the i40 would prob­a­bly put fuel use in the eights. The tank in our car takes 42 litres to re­fill, so our pleas­ant run to Bris­bane has cost just $60. It’s some­what em­bar­rass­ing that the driver has cost more to fuel than the car.

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