In an effort to raise diesel awareness in North America, Volkswagen has fielded a Golf TDI on a fuel economy run in 48 out of 50 states in the US. After a 16 day drive, the Volkswagen Golf TDI set the record for the lowest fuel consumption in 48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car. While the title says non-hybrid car, the Golf TDI beat the hybrid record by 2.5 kilometers per liter, officially making it the most efficient car in the US today.

Golf TDI Guinness

For the record run, Volkswagen sought the expertise of two expert hypermilers. The primary driver for the record run is automotive journalist and founder of, Wayne Gerdes. The secondary driver is electrical engineer and conservationist Bob Winger. Before the Golf TDI record run, Gerdes drove a different Volkswagen, a Passat TDI, across America back in 2013. He was also the previous title holder for lowest fuel consumption in 48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car. He recorded 33.1 kilometers per liter for that run.

VW Guinness Record

As per Guinness rules, the Golf TDI used for the record attempt was left unmodified for extra fuel saving measures. It ran with the factory suspension settings, factory curb weight and the recommended tire air pressure set by the tire company. All in all, the Golf TDI drove 13,250 kilometers and going through 48 states with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. By the end of the 16 day trip, the Golf TDI averaged 34.5 kilometers per liter, easily besting its government rating of 19.5 kilometers per liter.

“Covering 8,233.5 miles (13,250 kms) on just 101.43 gallons (384 liters) of Clean Diesel fuel is a remarkable accomplishment, and solid proof of the efficiency and fuel economy of Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel vehicles. Whether on a long road trip, or even in daily commuting, the great mileage and long range of our TDI models is a pure convenience factor that few other vehicles on sale can match. It’s a simple formula: Less Stop, More Go!” said Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.