BET­TER BY DE­SIGN

FIVE-CY­CLE TEST­ING DE­LIV­ERS MORE RE­LI­ABLE REAL-WORLD FUEL EF­FI­CIENCY NUM­BERS

Ignition - - Front Page - BY LEE BAILIE

s we ex­plained in last year’s Ig­ni­tion New Ve­hi­cle Buyer’s Guide, the means by which the govern­ment of Canada col­lects and re­ports fuel con­sump­tion data has changed. Be­gin­ning with the 2015 model year, all light duty ve­hi­cles sold in Canada are sub­ject to five-cy­cle test­ing from the man­u­fac­turer, which re­placed the old two-cy­cle test that was used pre­vi­ously.

The five-cy­cle test isn’t new. The U.S. govern­ment be­gan us­ing it in 2008 due to a rise in con­sumer com­plaints that real-world con­sump­tion was much higher than govern­ment-re­ported fig­ures. It took Canada a few years to adopt it, but now that it has, it’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand what the changes en­tail.

Es­sen­tially, the five-cy­cle test is more com­pre­hen­sive than the two-cy­cle be­cause it in­creases the num­ber of pa­ram­e­ters (cold tem­per­a­ture, air con­di­tion­ing and high speed / quick ac­cel­er­a­tion) used to de­ter­mine a ve­hi­cle’s fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures, which in turn helps to pro­vide a more ac­cu­rate es­ti­ma­tion of real-world con­sump­tion rates.

This test sim­u­lates stop and go traf­fic, runs for ap­prox­i­mately 31 min­utes and in­cludes 23 stops over roughly 17 kilo­me­tres. The av­er­age ve­hi­cle speed is 34 km/h, with a top speed of 90 km/h. The high­way test is a mix of open high­way and ru­ral road driv­ing. The test is roughly 13 min­utes long, cov­ers about 16 km and doesn't in­clude any stops. Av­er­age ve­hi­cle speed is 78 km/h with a top speed of 97 km/h.

With more com­pre­hen­sive test­ing meth­ods the En­er­guide la­bel at­tached to each ve­hi­cle had to change.

If you've shopped for a new ve­hi­cle over the past two years, you will have no­ticed a dra­matic in­crease in the amount of in­for­ma­tion in­cluded on the la­bel and how it is pre­sented.

Be­low is a com­par­i­son, with a 2015 model year la­bel on the right and a 2016 model year la­bel be­low. As you can see, items num­ber one, five, six and seven weren't in­cluded on the 2015 la­bel, a re­flec­tion of just how much has changed from year to year.

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