That in itself is a welcome act of honesty, but today I got to sample the VW e-Up for the first time, driving more than 70 miles on an eco-rally in Germany.
As the name suggests, the aim of this exercise was to be as frugal as possible. So it was up the mountains I crawled, and on the way back down again I did my upmost to gather momentum and indulge in a spot of regenerative braking.
But over the course of the event, held in bright, dry conditions, which took in its fair share of villages, traffic light stops and hold ups, I averaged close to 30mph as I drove to hit reasonably tight time targets. It transpired that overall I managed to use energy at an average rate of 9.3kWh/100km – which could potentially gave the Up a range of around 112 miles, thanks to its 18.7kWh battery.
Now I wouldn’t call my driving style 'real world' but it wasn’t far from realistic for everyday use – and it was in excess of both VW's stated claim and the NEDC cycle's. Net result: I was highly impressed.
Legislation won't, of course, allow manufacturers to publicise anything other than the NEDC results for internal combustion engines, but more's the pity in my opinion (although What Car?'s independent True MPG figures are worth a look if you want to explore such things in detail).
As I found with the e-Up, a dose of realism adds credibility to the car and reassurance to the driver.