The Great Ethanol Energy Balance Debate, Round n+1
Indonesian Car Purchases Booming; Oil Production Declining

Peugeot Diesel 407 Delivers 68 mpg US in Trans-Australian Drive

Peugeot 407

A new Peugeot diesel 4-door 407 HDi Sedan with a manual transmission, rated at 4.9 l/100km highway in Australia (48 mpg US), achieved a substantial 3.46 l/100km (68 mpg US) when driven from the north coast of Australia to the south by John Taylor, a fuel economy driving expert.

That’s a 30% decrease in fuel consumption on a standard vehicle. Technique matters.

Taylor’s spouse Helen travelled in convoy on the 2,991-kilometer (1,859-mile) journey from Darwin to Adelaide, driving a 407 with an automatic transmission and delivering 4.56 l/100km (51.6 mpg US).

The entire journey was strictly scrutinized, including official police observance by Senior Constable Malcolm Durrant from the Victorian Police Force. The vehicles were also inspected by the NRMA Motoring & Services Dept to have their odometers checked for accuracy and to validate the fuel tanks were factory fitted.

The 407 HDi is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) of power and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque. It uses an intercooler for greater combustion efficiency and a variable geometry turbocharger. A particulate filter helps it achieve Euro-4 compliance. CO2 emissions are 155 g/km.

Taylor earlier set a world record when he drove a Peugeot 307 HDi around Australia averaging 3.5 l/100km.

Herewith, John & Helen Taylor’s Top 10 Tips for Economical Driving:

  1. Preparation. Ensure the Vehicle is in top tune, by having it serviced regularly. Watch for black exhaust smoke, which indicates the engine is burning fuel needlessly. Check tyre pressures regularly. Soft tires not only result in up to 5% of your fuel being wasted, they also wear out quicker.

  2. Attitude. Relax! Drive smoothly. Fast starts burn four times as much fuel as gentle acceleration. Observe the traffic flow ahead to avoid sudden braking.

  3. Plan Your Trip. Avoid peak hour traffic if possible and work out the most direct route before your journey commences. Using motorways, freeways, uses less fuel than driving on suburban streets.

  4. Travel Light. Don’t carry excess weight by using the boot/trunk as a storage area, for tool boxes, etc. You are simply calling on extra effort from your engine every time you accelerate.

  5. Keep It Shut. Keeping windows closed improves your cars aerodynamic efficiency. An open window can increase fuel consumption by up to 5%. Remove roof racks if not being used, they cause significant air drag.

  6. Minimize Use Of Air Conditioning. Unless it’s freezing, or sweltering, keep the air conditioner off (fan is usually sufficient for cool or warm air flow into the vehicle). It is a major fuel thief in traffic, increasing fuel consumption by up to 10%.

  7. Go For The Higher Gears. Automatic transmissions know how to select a higher gear when you ease off the throttle. If you are using a manual car, go for the next gear as soon as the car can handle it, without lugging.

  8. Slow Down. If the cameras don’t catch you, your wallet will. Travelling at 90 km/h (56 mph) on the open road uses 25% less fuel than at 110 km/h (68 mph) in most cars.

  9. Turn Off. Don’t let your car idle unnecessarily in the morning, in major traffic hold ups, or when waiting for someone. Don’t rev the engine before switching off, it wastes fuel and contrary to popular opinion, doesn’t make it easier to start next time.

  10. Driving Ability. To be a successful economy driver, you need to be able to read the road ahead, have good concentration, understanding of your vehicle, and most importantly, the will to be a winner, with dogged determination.



I didn't learn much from that Top 10 list, but many would. Some of those suggestions are "something for nothing" types -- 1, 2, 3, 9, 10 and 4, 5, 6 somewhat. That is, you can do these things to get more MPG without giving up something.

Others, however, are tradeoffs, and therefore tougher sells. 4 and 5 may result in you being unprepared, 6 is about comfort, and 7, 8 are about speed (and hence, time in your life).

I wonder: does cruise control do better for MPG than not, all things being equal?


On average cruise control might do better MPG, but it always could be beaten simply by shifting to neutral going downhill.

As for Peugeot 2L HDi, its "smaller brother" 1.4L delivers the same result (3.4L/100km) per specification and could be pushed all the way to almost 3L/100km. In fact 1.4L diesel is the most competitive side of European personal vehicle market and engines are rapidly aproaching 4L/100km in MIXED cycle. For those who are interested do check both Renault and PSA new 1.4L diesels.


The extent to which cruise control may or may not improve mileage depends on the driver, and on the cruise control itself. If the cruise control simply holds a speed, it won't save fuel as much as a cruise control that uses fuzzy logic.

If the vehicle in question has throttle-by-wire, that will improve mileage even when the driver is controlling the throttle, as the throttle-by-wire software will smooth out the driver's input.

As mentioned above, shifting to neutral on downhills can beat cruise on downhills, if properly implemented.

Wayne Gerdes

Hi All:

___The Hybrids here in the states are eating the Peugot's numbers alive including John's supposed world record distance around Austrailia ;)

1,523.9 miles at 109.0 mpg from a Honda Insight 5-speed with higher average speeds:

1,379.3 miles at 110.03 mpg from a Prius II in a suburban Pittsburgh location not 3 weekends ago.

___Both from a single topped off tank of fuel.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes

Mike Weindl

But the difference is that around half of all cars on the
road in Europe are diesels whereas there are only a few
percent of hybrids on the road in the States.
But still a Diesel-Hybrid would be the max.....


Don't forget that the USA had a program to deliver diesel hybrids to consumers in this decade.  It was called the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV)... and the Republicans cancelled it in 2001.

Write your elected officials and ask them why PNGV wasn't shoved right back on the front burner this year.

Wayne Gerdes

Hi All:

___You used to be able to purchase an Insight 5-speed in Europe. You still can purchase a Prius II over there. Either way, the hybrids are eating the diesels alive in the FE department no matter what has been posted to date.



Diesels and non-hybrid's:

___The Best Euro Diesel's (Toyota Avensis?) can't meet Tier II/Bin5 even with thousands of dollars of after treatment HW (DPNR and PF) using 30 ppm or less LS fuel. Where does that leave the US? Euro IV is a sad state of affairs as compared to Tier II/Bin5 let alone Bin 2, 3, or 4 as available here in the states.

___Good Luck



Why would switching to neutral when going downhill help? I know it helped on old carburated engines which sucked fuel essentially corresponding to rpm, so by switching to neutral the engine only consumed enough fuel to keep idling. But on an electronically injected engine (most engines today) the fuel injection can be shut off when going downhill, as long as going downhill can keep engine rpm above the idle threshold.

Karel Kweksma

FlameBait : What's the point of setting a world record through 3000 kilometers of desert, no trafic, constant speed. It has no link to reality. What does the car do in a normal commuting situations (cold start, traffic lights, stop and go traffic)? Sounds like a lot of wasted gas, just to prove nothing.

(Prius II owner :-)


> Why would switching to neutral when going downhill help?

Engine braking. When the transmission is in gear, the pistons are moving up and down losing energy through inertia and friction.

My manual transmission car doesn't have cruise control and when I take long trips I coast down hills in nuetral to save gas and to rest my right foot. I call it "poor man's cruise control."

Also, drafting two car lengths behind semis and other tall vehicles helps.

Diesel Girl

Yes! Love this car - from Diesel

David Underhill

A view from downunder!

Yes this fuel consumption/advertising trip may have been a waste of diesel, and the result maybe not as good as some hybrid vehicles can prove. But the way i view this (as a prospective hi tech diesel buyer) is that it awakens the rest of the regular gasoline consuming public that there is a better way to drive without poisoning the environment or feeding foreign Governments...

Probably just like in the USA, GM in Oz still offers 'performance' 6.o litre (350c.i.)vehicles, 2 valves/cylinder, push rod technology here that _drain_ 20Litres/100km...what a waste. Sometimes I think we are just a dumping ground for outdated / garbage technology...BTW I was considering a Prius, until i learnt of the whole of life energy usage...and test drove one, and found it favoured gas mode mostly (for me)...


Where are the 0mpg autos... Fuel hehe, burn fuel.

Might I suggest a combo oil to ethanol slurpy? A common trend is to produce direct energy using three or so modes to capture that energy. Filters should probably be collected each year and refired in a proper kiln! Recycling these, rather than throwing away, will be much greener. I only worry that such filters and bottles or cans may mix, as they often do at a kegger.

hybrid is cool, does it run on linux?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)