Volkswagen Passat Record-Setting Gas Mileage – 77.99 MPG

Image: Volkswagen Passat Record-Setting Gas Mileage – 77.99 MPG

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 10:52 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Volkswagen set a new Guinness World Record last week for gas mileage after its Passat TDI Clean Diesel reached 77.99 mpg during an 8,122-mile cross-country trip.

Auto blogger Wayne Gerdes and electronics engineer Bob Winger were awarded the Guinness record for "lowest fuel consumption — 48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car."

The Passat TDI drive began June 7 from VW's U.S. headquarters in Herndon, Va., and ended when the team returned there June 24.

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Though Gerdes is an experienced "hypermiler," anyone can learn to lower his or her fuel consumption.

"Obviously, we employ some specialized techniques to achieve such figures, but there's no reason why owners of TDI vehicles shouldn't be able to achieve great mileage with a few simple pointers," Gerdes said in a statement.

The Volkswagen Passat TDI utilizes a turbocharged Clean Diesel engine with direct injection, and is rated at an EPA estimated 43 mpg on the highway, according to, which essentially means that the car can do almost 800 miles before stopping for gas. Volkswagen currently offers a total of six Clean Diesel models that produce similar miles-per-gallon figures.

Here are some tips from Gerdes on how to achieve a better gas mileage:

Look 15-45 seconds ahead to plan for impediments and topography, and use downhill momentum to help crest an uphill section.

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Avoid heavy braking and acceleration between intersections, which consumes more fuel than coasting.

Obey speed limits. The difference in fuel economy between 55 mph and 75 mph can be as much as 30 percent.

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