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VW Jetta TDI Averaging 59+ MPG in Cross Country Trek

How far would you drive to land in the Guinness Book of World Records?

How about 8,000 miles?

As we reported earlier this month, John and Helen Taylor are in the midst of driving through the contiguous 48 states, in the hopes of setting a new Guinness world’s record for the lowest fuel consumption on a cross-country voyage.

To date, the Taylors have averaged 59.42 miles per gallon (MPG) in their clean diesel 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The trek began on September 3rd in Chantilly, Virginia and ended its first leg in Santa Monica, California, with 5,499 miles driven in twelve days, at a cost of $362.44.

The full trip is expected to take 24 days, winding up in West Virginia.

Guinness specifies that a minimum of 15 miles must be driven in each state and that the vehicle be a stock production unit, with no modifications, whatsoever. Photographic evidence must be taken of the entire trip. This is the first time that Guinness has allowed the use of a GPS navigation unit.

VW Jetta TDI dashboard

The Taylors advocate safe fuel efficient driving, starting with the basics:

  • gentle acceleration
  • gentle deceleration
  • get into highest gear as soon as you possibly can
  • drive smoothly
  • drive in a straight line (avoid weaving in and out of traffic)
  • stay calm (an agitated driver uses more fuel)
  • leave space between your car and the car in front of you
  • preparation (i.e.: proper tire inflation)
  • plan where you’re going (chart out your route to shorten it)
  • drive 5 MPH under the speed limit
  • try to set your own individual record (see how far you can go on a tank of fuel)

As a clean diesel, the 2009 Jetta TDI is eligible for a $1300 Alternative Motor Vehicle Federal Tax Credit … that’s enough fuel money for roughly four cross-country trips.

VW Jeta TDI badge

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2 comments ↓

#1 NY to LA Biodiesel Trek Completed in Record Time on 09.24.08 at 11:02 am

[...] would peg the voyage at roughly two-thirds of the MPG average of the record-setting 48-state Taylor’s Diesel Inspiration Tour, which used conventional Shell diesel fuel in a 2009 VW Jetta [...]

#2 Dana on 09.24.08 at 11:41 am

This is very encouraging to read. I have not tried to get anywhere near that kind of mileage with my new Jetta as I am still trying to properly break in the engine, but I cannot wait to try and get close to that!!

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