smart eco driving

We want you to get the very best economical performance from your smart fortwo. So we asked smart eco-driver Mick Linford for some top tips.

Mick has twice driven the smart fortwo cdi pulse coupé to victory in the ALD Automotive/Total ECO 10 MPG Marathon. In the 2010 event, his winning figure was a staggering 94.66 miles per gallon over the 400-mile route.

Tough conditions prevented Mick bettering his 2009 winning result of 96.81 mpg but he still improved on the 54 bhp cdi’s official combined fuel economy figure of 85.6 mpg by over 10 per cent.

"With the right conditions I really believe that we could achieve over 100 miles per gallon from the smart cdi,” said Mick, “so I've got my fingers crossed for next year.”

Who knows, if you follow his eco driving tips, you might beat him to it…


BEFORE DRIVING – CHECK THE VEHICLE
1. Check that tyre pressures are correct. Low tyre pressures use more fuel
2. Be sure that wheel alignment is correct if ever you have clipped the kerb with a wheel
3. Ensure that manufacturer service intervals are adhered to for efficient running
4. Ensure the vehicle is carrying no unnecessary items or luggage in it
5. Do not fill the fuel tank right up. Ideally run with about half full to reduce weight
6. Do not have a roof rack, top box or cycle rack fitted
7. Empty glove box and any storage compartments of unnecessary items


DRIVING - ENGINE
1. Start engine with no throttle. Cars are designed to start this way now
2. Do not ‘warm up the engine’. Simply start and drive straight away
3. Keep revs to a minimum (but not to risk stalling) when pulling away
4. Accelerate smoothly up to appropriate rpm
5. Make smooth but brisk gear changes to avoid losing road speed or momentum
6. Get into a higher gear as soon as possible
7. Keep rpm as low as possible without labouring the engine
8. Do not over-rev or labour in any gear
9. Match desired rpm window to driving conditions with appropriate gear changing
10. Down hills, foot completely off throttle, using only engine braking to slow the vehicle
11. Use up-hills to help slow the vehicle down if required, rather than using the brakes
12. Typical (subject to vehicle) ideal rpm are diesel 1,500 - 2,000 rpm and petrol 2,000 - 2,500 rpm
13. Try to maintain a consistent throttle opening on the open road


DRIVING – CONTROLS
1. Avoid using air conditioning. Open windows wide if hot, to release heat before moving off
2. Avoid opening windows when on the move to reduce aerodynamic drag
3. Generally, try to avoid using high usage electrical items (headlight, A/C, blower etc)
4. Ensure everything is adjusted for your comfort and ease of control. Seat, steering wheel, door mirrors and interior mirror


DRIVING – AWARENESS & PLANNING
1. Be aware of what is happening ahead that could affect your intended route
2. Plan well ahead with both braking and accelerating
3. Be aware of traffic lights changing. Plan ahead to try and arrive on green
4. Be aware of traffic stopping ahead. Plan ahead and try to keep moving
5. Be aware of slow moving traffic. Plan overtaking gaps to avoid excessive acceleration
6. Try to avoid being stationary for any length of time
7. If you feel you will be stopped for more than about 20 seconds, switch off the engine
8. When restarting after a short stop, start at tick over. Use no throttle
9. Check your route before starting off. Plan ahead avoiding any road works or traffic jams
10. Do not have the radio or music playing if it breaks your concentration
11. Avoid short journeys that do not give the engine a chance to fully warm up
12. Using a sat-nav can avoid going wrong, then driving unnecessary miles should you not know the area


AT THE PUMPS – SAVING MONEY
1. Check your handbook to see which grade fuel the vehicle is safe to run on. Purchase the lowest grade (and hence price) that is approved
2. Make sure the fuel nozzle has stopped dripping before you replace it in the pump
3. If you have to fill the tank, do not over fill it
4. Stop at the first auto shut off. Leave expansion room within the fuel tank to avoid any overflow wastage
5. Be aware of where the best price fuel is in your area and take advantage of it


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Please note:
Manufacturer stated fuel economy figures are measured in test conditions in accordance with the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), and this is a standard measurement that all automotive manufacturers adhere to.

The figures shown are based on official EU fuel economy tests (Regulation [EC] 715/2007 in the currently applicable version). As these tests are carried out under laboratory conditions, the results might not accurately reflect real-world driving performance. They are provided solely for the purposes of comparing different vehicle models.