2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - lleiro

This was originally going to be a rant, now I hope to turn it into a debate. Surely discussed many times and of course always from different angles.

I have recently acquired a 2007 Seat Altea Reference 1.9 TDI 5 speed with the risky BXE (I learned about the high risk of conrod failure after I bough it so I am keeping my fongers crossed)

The car has 129k on the clock and had been well mantain and runs really well. I find the 105 BHP to be more than adequate to my needs and the ride is pretty nice. Much nicer than the 2006 Golf MK5 SDI that replaced.

Now I do 380 miles per week and I need good MPG. As the title said way too many people overstate their MPGs but the 1.9TDI units are becoming legendary for their great MPG and the number is usually 55MPG.

Having done already about 1000+ miles on it I could not get it above 39MPG and I drive within speed limits with the GPS. So I take the M4 and do 70mph per the sat nav ocassionally doing 75 if overtaking and back to 70mph.

The computer is very accurate and almost agrees exactly with the math done using the same pump to the first cut and it is 38-39mpg motorway which is not at all what I was expecting!

Now, yesterday I set the computer to display the average and drove like a granny like they say and did a 100 mile round trip keeping my speed at no more than 65mph and no more tha 2200RPM and I did an average of 58mpg so I guess I found those mpg.

However driving at such a constant speed and rpms without a cruise control (which my seat does not have) is quite demanding. I guess that timewise does not make a big difference if I average 68mph vs 62 mph but I would prefer to cruise at 70 on 55 mpg which at the moment is not possible even if it is the same 1.9TDI used across many VAG models.

I am wondering if the PD 130s with a 6sp are the only ones capable of high MPG cruising at speed limit or if it is just a bit of an exageration altogether. I had also considered a remap but I don't think I need that and for what I read they are not created for economy but for greater power.

Oficial numbers for my Altea here are below so in normal driving without a heavy foot I am well below the 46.5 reported and in granny style I am doing pretty well at 58mpg.

The Altea is even lighter than the Passat B5.5 and only 50klg heavier than a golf mk5...

Any thoughts?

Cheers!

1.9 TDI47.1–52.3 mpg46.5 mpg93%
2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - RT

The HJ Real MPG is an average of other drivers, some better some worse - if you're not getting HJ's 46.5 there's either some wrong with the car, your driving style or your usage pattern is uncommon.

Official figures are a waste of space, worth absolutely zilch as they're based on the NEDC test that bears no relation to normal driving - blame the EU bureaucrats.

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - jc2

Cold weather?

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - lleiro

Not really... all recently between London and Reading.

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - RobJP

With the 130hp variant in a huge A6 Avant (5 speed box), I used to get 45-46mpg on a decent run. 41-43mpg general use.

But do remember that the car is 10 years old. Expecting it to be as efficient now as it was when new, or even as it was 5 years ago, is not realistic. Parts wear.

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - bazza

I'm often quick to criticise various aspects of the Octavia but on this occasion, I will spring to the defence of the 1.9 tdi engine that we share, as I have the very same engine as you have in your Seat.

Firstly, the BXE engine is not really a "risky" engine. Yes, there are a few reports of con rods letting go, but I researched this intensely and it seems that it's a fairly low frequency, but yes, possibly a bit more frequent than other engine codes. Some very dissatisfied owners made a lot of noise on various forums, but taken in context as to the literally tens of thousands of these engines, the failure rate is tiny. So I wouldn't be worrying too much. I've driven at high speed through Europe several times, without the engine ever missing a beat.

Onto fuel economy. The 1.9 PD is indeed an exceptionally economical engine. Noisy and rough, but I have never had less than 50 odd to the gallon, in fact the average is 53 mpg on this car. Last week, a 200 mile run to the Midlands at legal speeds gave me an indicated 60mpg, which will be a true 56 ish.

Looking up the 2 vehicles on Spiritmonitor, a European mpg real world database, gives 49mpg for the Octavia and 45 mpg for your Seat. Now your Seat has a greater frontal area and is probably heavier, which would explain that. Your 39 mpg is indeed poor and I suspect a binding brake or similar. It should do better, although my neighbour has a 1.6 Tdi CR Altea and struggles to better low 40s. Not a good engine by the way!

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - lleiro

I'm often quick to criticise various aspects of the Octavia but on this occasion, I will spring to the defence of the 1.9 tdi engine that we share, as I have the very same engine as you have in your Seat.

Firstly, the BXE engine is not really a "risky" engine. Yes, there are a few reports of con rods letting go, but I researched this intensely and it seems that it's a fairly low frequency, but yes, possibly a bit more frequent than other engine codes. Some very dissatisfied owners made a lot of noise on various forums, but taken in context as to the literally tens of thousands of these engines, the failure rate is tiny. So I wouldn't be worrying too much. I've driven at high speed through Europe several times, without the engine ever missing a beat.

Onto fuel economy. The 1.9 PD is indeed an exceptionally economical engine. Noisy and rough, but I have never had less than 50 odd to the gallon, in fact the average is 53 mpg on this car. Last week, a 200 mile run to the Midlands at legal speeds gave me an indicated 60mpg, which will be a true 56 ish.

Looking up the 2 vehicles on Spiritmonitor, a European mpg real world database, gives 49mpg for the Octavia and 45 mpg for your Seat. Now your Seat has a greater frontal area and is probably heavier, which would explain that. Your 39 mpg is indeed poor and I suspect a binding brake or similar. It should do better, although my neighbour has a 1.6 Tdi CR Altea and struggles to better low 40s. Not a good engine by the way!

Thanks! I did not know about Spiritmonitor! Great Site. Also for the peace of mind about the BXE I am choosing not to be super stressed about it. There are way too many BXE around and this one is dated 07/02/15 so even if I pay attention to the rants it apparently affects the later ones. (I only paid £1400 for it with several dealer stamps and recent cambelt and dmf with receipts so...)

Don't know if your octy is a saloon or estate but I thought my Altea was heavier but is lighter than a passat and barely heavier than a golf mk5 but aerodynamics might be part of it as other suggest. Thanks for the tip about the 1.6 CR too I was considering that route too.

Any tip checking for the binding break? I was thinking of cleaning the EGR when I have some time and maybe be pumping up the 205/55/16 to 35psi instead of 32psi.

For now I will drop a few MPHs and live with it but would love to find more about it.

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - KenC

I owned a VW Golf PD130 6 speed for 13 years, i would regularly get 60mpg on a motorway run driving within all the speed limits with occasional 80/85mph on down hill gradients to take advantage of gravity.

I would also drive to keep the engine at 2000revs where it produced maximum torque, which in 6th gear was an indicated 70mph.

Exceeding 70mph and regular higher revs through the gears resulted in a fuel penalty,although I would do so accelerating away from roundabouts on deristricted roads to ensure the turbo was well excercised

Town driving in the summer was 54/55mpg and winter 45/48 mpg

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - gordonbennet

One of my ex colleagues had a 1.9PD Passat for years always getting 50+mpg, then traded up to a 2.0 Diesel Toledo (same shape as Altea), despite similar usage and driving technique he struggled to get 40mpg and often only mid 30's from the thing, he got rid quickly.

I wonder if the shape is particularly bad for drag.

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - lleiro

One of my ex colleagues had a 1.9PD Passat for years always getting 50+mpg, then traded up to a 2.0 Diesel Toledo (same shape as Altea), despite similar usage and driving technique he struggled to get 40mpg and often only mid 30's from the thing, he got rid quickly.

I wonder if the shape is particularly bad for drag.

That might be it. The new toledo's rear is odd indeed. I passed on an 05 Passat PD130 Highline and was put off by the higher insurance premium and maybe I should have not!

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - lleiro

I owned a VW Golf PD130 6 speed for 13 years, i would regularly get 60mpg on a motorway run driving within all the speed limits with occasional 80/85mph on down hill gradients to take advantage of gravity.

I would also drive to keep the engine at 2000revs where it produced maximum torque, which in 6th gear was an indicated 70mph.

Exceeding 70mph and regular higher revs through the gears resulted in a fuel penalty,although I would do so accelerating away from roundabouts on deristricted roads to ensure the turbo was well excercised

Town driving in the summer was 54/55mpg and winter 45/48 mpg

What year was your Golf? and was it a MK4 or MK5?

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - Avant

"Now, yesterday I set the computer to display the average and drove like a granny like they say and did a 100 mile round trip keeping my speed at no more than 65mph and no more tha 2200RPM and I did an average of 58mpg so I guess I found those mpg."

I think you've answered your own question there. Your Altea doesn't have the high sixth gear that would have enabled you to go a bit faster at similar rpm. But if you didn't pay too much for your car in the first place, the saving you made over the 6-speed Golf makes up for the lack of the extra gear.

If you managed 58 mpg there doesn't seem to be much wrong with it.

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - Big John

I had a 2003 Skoda Superb 1.9 pd 100 - 5 speed that averaged about 50mpg . However the first few miles were not economical until the car thoroughly warmed up, you'd only be showing about late 30's to start with but would be showing over 50mpg after my 32 miles drive to work

On mine in 5th gear 1000rpm = 30mph approx

On a long distance journey it always did low 50's - driving style didn't affect this too much (unlike in my current tsi petrol Superb which is reasonably economical but is very driving style /load sensitive)

PS - measuring until first cut-off not very accurate on just one fill up as this can vary between diesel/petrol stations. Use something like spritmonitor to collate multiple fill ups

www.spritmonitor.de/en/detail/720963.html (tsi petrol - not PD diesel)

Edited by Big John on 04/03/2017 at 09:39

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - skidpan

We had a 1.9 TDi Golf that would do a calculated 60 mpg on a holiday run. But the problem was the accuracy of the odometer. Our twice a year holiday route still uses the exact same roads as we did back in 1993. When we had the Golf it said it was 450 miles which surprised us since it was 425 miles in the old Bluebird. When we checked it with a Satnav it is actually 430 miles and AA Autoroute agrees with this figure.

So the 60 mpg calculated drops to 57 mpg when the correct distance is used.

The Leon I have just traded in also over read dostance but it was only by a small amount (435 miles to Scotland) and other cars I have owned since the Golf have all been pretty close. The Ford Focus was absolutely spot on.

Probably just another way of getting owners to think they are doing better MPG than they really manage.

2007 Seat Altea 1.9 TDI - Where are VAG's legendary 55 mpg??? - lleiro

I wonder if it relates to the speed reading as well. I tend to trust more the satnav than the speedometer which apparently is has all the same components regardless of wheel/tyre size. If indeed there is a +/- 5mph on it readinbg over 70mph, why not distance as well that probably rely on the same sensors?

 

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