Volkswagen Passat Sets Guinness Record for U.S. Mileage


If you go on a road trip with Wayne Gerdes, be sure to hit the restroom before you leave. He won't be stopping off for gas a lot — and he has a world record to prove it.

Gerdes (pictured, far left), a veteran practitioner of "hypermiling," this week added another mileage milestone to his list of more than 100 when he and his co-pilot, Bob Winger (pictured, middle, with Guinness World Records adjudicator Philip Robertson to the right), broke the Guinness World Record in the "lowest fuel consumption — 48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car" category, driving a Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel sedan. The Passat averaged 77.99 mpg on the 8,122-mile trip, more than 10 mpg better than the previous non-hybrid record, and more than 13 mpg better than the record for a hybrid, according to Volkswagen.

Gerdes, founder of and primary driver in the attempt, and Winger, an electronics engineer, embarked on their long drive on June 7 from Herndon, Va., with their tires touching every one of the contiguous 48 states before they made it back on Monday. They used less than 105 gallons of diesel fuel during the entire trip.

The 2013 Passat TDI uses Volkswagen's turbocharged, direct-injection diesel engine to achieve EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 43 mpg when paired with a six-speed manual transmission; the sedan can travel up to 795 miles before needing to refuel, the automaker said.

"Obviously, we employ some specialized techniques to achieve such figures, but there's no reason why owners of TDI vehicles shouldn't be able to achieve great mileage with a few simple pointers," Gerdes said in a statement.

The hypermiler's mpg-pinching tips include:

  • Looking 15-45 seconds ahead to plan for impediments and topography, and using downhill momentum to help crest an uphill section.
  • Avoiding heavy braking and acceleration between intersections, which consumes more fuel than coasting.
  • Obeying speed limits. Gerdes said the difference in fuel economy between 55 mph and 75 mph can be as much as 30%.
84 mpg?! Couple Break Mileage Record With Passat TDI
Gas-Saving Moment of the Day: Hypermiling

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area man

just think how much fuel they could hsve saved by staying home.


Too bad the TDI 6MT is a stripper. Interesting options like foglights, rearview camera, Fender Audio, etc., preclude the MT and force one to have the weight-adding AT & sunroof (granted, other options add weight) before any other goodies. I hate the way VW packages their options. The sunroof used to be an 'a la carte' option. Nonetheless, I presume this consumer-unfriendly tactic has not greatly effected their sales.


Area Man - that was hilarious.


The other secret to their success is only driving on highways. In city driving tdi mileage can drop the 20s, using fuel that is 40 cents a gallon higher than gasoline and with an emissions system that requires the injection of urea, which you buy at the dealer for $30 per gallon. Meanwhile a prius gets 50 mpg in the city using cheaper gas and no urea. Guinness record for hypermiling in a stock prius is 120 mpg, much better than this clattering stinkmobile.


hey fanboy diesels are not clattering stinkmobiles and yes diesels get better gasmileage on the highway ,like just about every other auto on the planet its more efficient to cover mileage at a constant speed ,rather than stop every couple hundred feet ,and the reason diesels can smell a bit is lack of quality fuels ,hell run one on biodiesel and its damn right pleasant


I just don't understand the negativity with the diesels? I bought my first one, a Jetta a year and a half ago and it's been awesome. I've actually saved money in fuel costs because even though diesel is more expensive, it's more efficient. I've never had a problem finding diesel fuel and the jetta doesn't require the urea and the car doesn't stink or put out thick clouds of black smoke. Everyone seems to love them or hate them. If you don't like them then don't buy one but all the arguments people make against them just aren't problems that I've noticed in owning one.


Prius gets 120mpg? Must be the plug in using electricity from the grid (often coal power plants). "Gerdes himself also holds the equivalent hybrid record, set last year with 64.6 mpg in a Kia Optima Hybrid."


Prius over the Passat TDI ?? You should "drive" your Prius over to the cleaners & pick up your SKIRTS Fanboy


Prius outsells passat tdi 7 to 1. Unlike docd most people don't have to drive a diesel to be a man.

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