Aussie couple sets world record for around-US fuel economy

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Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.

With thrifty feet and more than a little bit of planning, an Australian couple has driven across all of the lower 48 US states and achieved a remarkable 3.99L/100km in a diesel Volkswagen.

John and Helen Taylor not using their mobile phones while filling up
(Credit: Volkswagen)

Twenty days, 48 states, and 15,158km after leaving Bluefield, Virginia, John and Helen Taylor arrived in West Virginia as Guinness World Record holders for fuel economy around the US. The Volkswagen- and Shell-sponsored trip was completed in a showroom stock Volkswagen Jetta diesel and 11.04 tanks of ultra-low sulphur diesel. The hyper-miling couple finished with an official fuel economy rating of 3.99L/100km, which averages out to 6.9 US cents per mile or about 5.4 Aussie cents per kilometre.

The Taylors have a long history of record-breaking fuel economy feats over the last 26 years, including records around the UK, Europe and Australia. Their Australian exploits include seven Round Australia jaunts, as well as several city to city records. According to the couple's website their fuel parsimony is a result of smooth driving, travelling light, proper vehicle maintenance and careful planning, amongst other techniques.

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