My wife offered the ultimate insult the other day. She suggested I was getting old because I ventured that I was enjoying seeing how much mpg I could get out of a VW Polo TDI. Obviously I leapt to my own defence. And bloody right too.
I hadn’t set out to drive economically. But noticing that the mpg counter was in the low 60s it became a challenge to see how high I could get it. I started short shifting, looking further up the road, accelerating gently, anticipating things better. I began to drive how you should. The result was 73.3mpg over a combined 25-mile urban and rural run. The Polo’s only supposed to do 66.
Weirdly though, I derived much satisfaction from this. The journey was more relaxing. And with all the tractors and old people on the roads around me, you don’t get anywhere any faster by giving it maximum attack anyway. So to Mrs F, I said I wasn’t getting old; it was a reaction to being skint and the price of fuel. I was being a thoroughly modern man rather than an old man.
Today I drove our daughter to school how I would usually drive. The Polo’s long gearing made it feel unnatural. And when I realised I wasn’t going to get the car’s economy below 60mpg, I went back to eco driving mode.