BETTER BY DESIGN
FIVE-CYCLE TESTING DELIVERS MORE RELIABLE REAL-WORLD FUEL EFFICIENCY NUMBERS
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.