Peugeot 308 HDi used to break fuel economy world record. The 308HDi averaged just 3.13L/100km on a tour around Australia. That’s over 90mpg!

It’s amazing how cost constraints can alter a buying public’s perception. “Smelly things belong in a Mack truck” or “the only diesel I have ever driven was my Granddad’s tractor”, are but some of the misinformed comments I have heard whilst I was in Australia recently. While Europeans have been lapping up the benefits of diesel power for decades, it seems our antipodean friends don’t quite “get it”.

That is until now. Fuel prices around the world have been rocketing and it appears that nowhere can avoid paying more at the pumps, including Australia. This has forced Aussies to rethink what constitutes reliable family transport. Traditionally, the average Australian family car is usually a large automatic sedan equipped with a 3.0L to 4.0L 6cyl engine that is lucky to better 10L/100km. These vehicles are built by Ford, Holden (GM) and Mitsubishi. Ford and Holden have seen their large car segment shrink by up to 50%. Mitsubishi on the other hand have just stopped building these cars in Australia altogether with the closure of their manufacturing plant in Adelaide. The simple reason is that consumers can no longer afford to put petrol in these gas guzzling vehicles and are seeking out cheaper alternatives.

Diesel cars are therefore slowly catching on downunder. Peugeot are keen to embrace this new awareness and have recently launched their 308 HDi. The HDi comes equipped with a 1.6L 4 cylinder turbo-diesel which produces 80kW (107hp) and 240Nm of torque. The official fuel economy figure is a combined 4.9L/100km or 130g/km of CO2. To prove a point, John and Helen Taylor have just completed an around Australia road trip and averaged a record breaking 3.13L/100km or 90.75mpg. This figure gives the Peugeot 308 HDi a theoretical range of approximately 2000km! These figures also accounted for real world driving and were not conducted in a controlled laboratory environment.

Impressive though these numbers are, European drivers would never be able to reproduce such frugal fuel economy statistics. You see, the legal maximum speed in Australia is only 100kph and in certain circumstances rises to 110kph. But this limit is strictly enforced and the public therefore strictly adhere to these speed limits with religious conviction. Cruising at 130-140kph is unheard of even on the emptiest straightest roads. Nevertheless, a record is a record and Peugeot should be proud.

Gallery: Peugeot 308 HDi Sets Two Fuel Economy Guinness World Records (AU)