SEAT claims that its SEAT Ibiza ECOMOTIVE is the most “ecological” car in its segment. The car driven by Austrian long-haul specialist Gerhard Plattner’s 1.4 litre TDI engine (with a peak output of 80 horses) travelled a distance of 1,562km across Spain, France and Germany on a single tank of fuel.

The exact amount used was 45.53 litres, calculated from topping up the fuel to the same level after the drive and measuring how much fuel went in. The car travelled under the supervision of the International Police Motor Corporation and cruised along at speeds of up to 110km/h along motorways in Spain and France. 1,562km from 45.53 litres is about 34.3km per litre, or about 2.9 litres per 100km. That model Ibiza’s rated fuel consumption was 3.7 litres per 100km, so 2.9 litres is impressive.

Remember the Nissan Lightfoot Quest? In that competition, a 1.6 manual Grand Livina was claimed to have managed just a little over 36km per litre of petrol, which is slightly more than this advanced turbodiesel engine manage. So is the basic 1.6 litre engine without any variable valve timing in the Nissan more fuel efficient than Volkswagen’s 1.4 TDI? It makes the Nissan results a little more than hard to believe.