World record 1,626 miles on one tank of diesel

Apparently not happy with collecting over 40 world driving fuel economy records, the husband and wife team of John and Helen Taylor – also known as “the world’s most fuel efficient couple” – have been back on the road to claim the world record for the longest distance traveled on a single tank of fuel. The record 1,626.1 mile journey was achieved in a stock 2012 Volkswagen Passat powered by a 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission.

The Taylors’ three-day trip started from Houston, Texas, on May 3, and took them through nine states before the tank of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel ran dry in Sterling, Virginia, on May 5. Over the three-day journey, they averaged 84.1 miles per gallon, and outdid the previous record of 1,526.6 miles on a single tank of diesel achieved by a VW Passat 1.6 BlueMotion diesel in Europe.

In an effort to conduct the world record attempt under real world driving conditions, the couple packed 120 lbs of luggage and drove during daylight hours. They also took turns driving and traveled a maximum of 14 hours per day.

The Passat’s speedometer and odometer were calibrated by a state certified testing station in Houston, with law enforcement officers on hand to validate mileage, fuel fill-up, and gas tank sealing before the Taylor’s set out. Upon reaching Sterling, Virginia Sheriff’s Deputy verified the car’s mileage before removing the fuel tank seal.

Bravo. Much of our extended family has made the switch to diesel-powered vehicles. Especially the pickups in the family.

I’d love to have a diesel Jetta or Passat as the next car added to our family; but, the price difference for an econobox like a Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio is sufficient to keep us facing Asia rather than Europe or the US for the next vehicle. That will be a 10-year car for us. After that, we’ll think about a 20-year car and a diesel.

3 thoughts on “World record 1,626 miles on one tank of diesel

  1. drugsandotherthings says:

    Impressive feat. Whcih brings to mind a question…
    If diesels get so much better gas mileage- why are all the Hybrids made with gasoline engines rather then diesel? One would think with hybrids generally only getting the mileage of a comparable diesel, a diesel hybrid would fare far better? (maybe something to do with the engine cycling on/off and a diesel not being ideal for such??)

    • eideard says:

      You’re perfectly correct and in Europe where diesel-power in passenger cars is the majority that’s what is starting to happen. Also why hybrids have been slow to be introduced there – as not as cost effective as diesels.

      Volco’s diesel hybrid goes on sale this autumn for example.

      The US problem is the history of truly crap diesels offered in passenger cars by GM decades back – that leaked, smelled and fell apart. The worst design in history. People unaccustomed to researching design are scared to buy diesels. People who buy somewhat upscale from ordinary – VW, BMW, AUDI, Mercedes customers – stand in waiting lines for new diesel models. And those firms plan on diesel-hybrids as controllers, computing systems, high efficiency electric motors continue to drop in price reflecting hybrid growth.

      Another few years, we’ll have a greater range of choices.

  2. Kanerva says:

    Our diesel volvo gives great mileage. Turn off cruise control and it gets better, let the mum in the family drive and it gets better still. Of course city driving ruins the stats…

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