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Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - marriar

I recently bought an 18 month old 2.0 TDI 140 PS A4 Avant Multitronic from an Audi main dealer. Combined cycle consumption published by Audi and the Vehicle Certification Agency ( for this car is 45.6 mpg (emissions 164 g/km). Driving like a monk on A roads I can't get it over 40 mpg!

Then I found the "vehicle data sticker" in the service logbook which gives the combined cycle fuel consumption as a very poor 29.6 mpg and emissions of 228 g/km!!!

Anyone else come across this before? Can anyone else with an A4 Avant with this engine tell me what their "vehicle data sticker" says please?

Dealer is playing (very) dumb and the VCA can't explain it either. Also seems the people who can run the standard test to prove the point, won't do it without Audi's co-operation.

Any help anyone can give me would be much appreciated...

(OK, so If can afford the car why am I obessing about the fuel just makes me so angry!!)

Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - idle_chatterer

I've a colleague who runs a B8 saloon with the CR engine but same transmission and struggles to get better than low to mid 40s mpg in mostly long distance driving. Can't say I can help with the data sticker though.

I previously had a B7 Avant 170PD (manual) and struggled to get 40mpg against Audi's claims of a 48mpg average, I was told it was my driving by the dealer but it's funny how my current BMW 330d easily gives 47mpg with my driving style. Audi dealer played dumb with me until I was in the market for a new car when they happily volunteered that many people had complained..... so you have my sympathy but I doubt you'll get far unless a fault is found - is the ECU firmware up to date, a number of updates improved my former B7 over the time I had it, the engine was always gruff and peaky though.

Edited by idle_chatterer on 18/03/2010 at 21:20

Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - marriar
thanks, I'll look into the firmware.

Before this car I had an A3 Sportback with same engine (but manual) for 4 years and averaged 54 mpg without trying. This was a strong motivation to stick with an Audi diesel when I needed something which could carry more toys, prams etc...

I'm hoping to nail the dealer for misrepresentation on the basis of the sticker being different to the published figures.....
Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - kithmo

"when I needed something which could carry more toys, prams etc..."

I think you've just answered your own question there.....

You've bought a larger/heavier car (which has probably got larger tyres with more rolling resistance), gone from manual to automatic gearbox and you're carrying more toys etc.

Are you really suprised to get 40mpg instead of 54 ?

I would say the car is as it should be in the real world and the sticker is an anomoly.

Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - marriar

Sure I expected it to be worse, in line with Audi's figures, just not this much worse!!

The A3 roughly matched the published numbers. On a 40 mile run on the A37 to Bristol, stuck behind trucks I'd get 60, now I get 40. I'm averaging 38 / 39.

I spoke to someone at one of the companies that does fuel consumption testing and he suggested that as cars are getting heavier to meet new crash and emissions regs, fuel consumption is getting worse, but that the manufacturers are getting cute with the tests to make sure the published numbers still look good. So the published numbers are getting less and less like real life....

Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - idle_chatterer

Sub 40mpg in a medium sized 2.0L diesel is pretty poor, it's not that heavy. HMRC reckon on such a car giving high 40s mpg.

By comparison, an auto BMW 520d will give mid 40s mpg and they're a lot bigger / heavier / more powerful with almost exactly the same engine capacity. 3.0L 6 cylinder BMW diesels in the similar sized 3 series will easily top 40mpg. It's the 2.0L VAG PD engine imho, worse still if it has a DPF. I recall the 1.9PD as being economical and rate the replacement 2.0CR engines highly too.

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - marriar

thanks....any idea when they started to fit DPF's? - Maybe the my 2005 a3 I had didn't have a DPF?

audi's published fuel consumption values don't show it getting worse at any point in time, The most recent B8 a4 figures are slightly better than the B7. Maybe they can do the testing without the DPF fitted?

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - GroovyMucker

Common problem: I have the same with my avensis. 46 promised, but I struggle to go beyond 43 and that is with very gentle driving indeed.

I suspect that clever engineers develop engines to do well in the testing process, but they're not clever enough to be able to make that translate into the real world.

I wonder if it also has to do with heavy cars and hills.

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - craig-pd130

Simple - the a4's an autobox, the a3 was a manual.

as a general rule, cars with autoboxes use more fuel and produce more emissions than their manual gearbox equivalents.

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - Lygonos

Do people never read any more.

There are hundreds of threads on this site alone with similar complaints - published MPG figures are done in a Laboratory. They are not the same as real life driving.

Some cars do better (rarely) or worse (usually) once used in the real world, and driving technique/brake use varies this.

The sticker is anomalous, or you'd be paying £405 road tax.

** EDIT ** - make sure the aircon is turned off and all the windows shut, and the tyre pressures are all up to spec. and if the car has phat tyres compared to base spec, this will also ^ consumption.

Edited by Lygonos on 20/03/2010 at 10:50

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - marriar

....I agree, my point is that in my last car I was close the published figure, in my new car I'm not, the roads I'm driving and driving style haven't changed - if anything I'm driving more carefully to see if I can get any more. I suspect a problem with the gearbox set up but proving it is well nigh impossible.

One of the problems with in this area is that it's very hard to check a car against the standard test. The two test houses I approached said they would need to audi's help to do the test and wouldn't want to bite the hand that feeds them. In the old days when consumption was quoted at a constant 56mph (do I remember the austin Metro the first car to get over 50mpg on this measure?), at least you could try to find a flat track on a still day and attempt to measure it yourself...

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - idle_chatterer

When I got my previous B7 170PD in 2007, a DPF was an optional extra on the 140PD (why anyone would be possessed to specify one I can't think) and was standard fitment on the 170PD. IIRC the 170PD (with DPF) was available from some time in 2006 so perhaps the option on 140PDs came at the same time ? aFaIK all B7 diesel cabrios have a DPF (and two exhausts) despite generally being 140PDs. The notion of a PD engine in a cabrio appals me.....

My opinion (and it is just that) is that the PD technology was being stretched in these engines, my limited experience (I defected to BMW as a result of the poor economy of my audi) is that the replacement CRs are more economically and significantly more refined / drivable.

My experience of other cars (including an a4 B5) is that I have been able to get something approaching the claimed mpg figures so I don't buy the 'you'll never achieve the claimed figure' argument although I accept it's obtained in an artificial manner.

Edited by idle_chatterer on 20/03/2010 at 11:47

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - Lygonos

I presume that was a manual.

Multitronic = slushbox and S-tronic = DSG, isn't it ?

audi a4 B7 - VCa fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - marriar
...with selectable slush level..
audi a4 B7 - Vca fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - Mr Fox

I have a Passat cc with the 140 BHP 2.0 cR diesel and DSG transmission, in over 3000 miles I have averaged 48 MPG and regulary get mid 50's on long runs. and I don't drive like an old granny. the audi a4 has a cVT gearbox ( multitronic ) I tried one of these and was not impressed with the transmission it never seemed to be in the right gear, whereas the DSG is fantastic.

Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - Mk1 Astra

Hi Marriar i have also just bought a 2ltrA4 TDi tip on a 56 plate & like yourself fuel consumption was not good 35 mpg on twisty stuff & 40 driving like a monk down the Boss has an older A4 20ltr manual on a 05 & it scrubbs tyres for England an he still gets 46 without trying. Top tip try Millers Oils Eco Max fuel additive, you can get it at Halfords i am 800 miles into using it and things are looking up!! i am now getting 45mpg on short runs (20) miles and also performance gain!! also check that the plastic tray is on,I looked after an older A6 & that affected the fuel consumption in the winter with that car,I was also told to try running it on somthing like shell instead of supermarket fuel (not tryed that yet . David.

Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - SteveLee

If the car is an auto that'll explain the larger than normal discrepancy between the manufacturers and real world figures, the standard lab rolling road test favours autos because manual cars have to be held in certain gears where as autos are allowed to shift up as they please. This is why some autos appear to have better fuel consumption (on paper) than the manual equivalent - even though this is nonsense.

Audi A4 B7 - VCA fuel consumption - conspiracy theory - jc2

An independent lab.would need road load or coast-down data from the manufacturer to allow them to set their dynamometer to the right load.This load is observed by government approved testing authorities on ALL vehicles submitted for emission/fuel consumption testing and will be checked when that testing is carried out. In addition,manufacturers are requred to keep records of testing carried out on a sample of production vehicles to demonstrate compliance with published figures and these will be checked by the certifying authority.Also, the authority can & will,on occasion,take a production vehicle and submit it to testing on their own facility.There are test vehicles circulating around both manufacturers' and authorities' facilities to avoid discrepancies.


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