Honda has won three trophies in the annual MPG Marathon competition, which aims to find the most efficient cars on sale during real-world driving tests.

The UK-built Civic diesel took outright win in the event, after managing a hugely impressive 87.53mpg over a route covering 331 miles, where drivers start and end at the same place, and have to visit a number of waypoints to complete the challenge.

The car also scooped the award for the best percentage improvement over a car’s claimed fuel economy. The 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine achieved 80.7mpg in official testing, but managed to increase this by 8.5 per cent during the economy challenge.

The Civic was driven by BBC transport correspondent Paul Clifton, alongside his daughter Francoise. The route started an ended in the Forest of Arden Resort, near Birmingham.

However, it wasn’t just the Civic which performed well in the MPG Marathon, as the Japanese firm’s classic Insight was also entered into the heritage category. The quirky 2001 coupe was the second most efficient car overall in the competition, managing a combined 80.7mpg over 360 miles.

The MPG Marathon aims to find the most efficient cars and drivers, with the latter being challenged to work out the most fuel efficient route, which had to include a number of way points – such as Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Shropshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. This year’s challenge aimed to look at WLTP figures, which is the new way that a car’s fuel economy and emissions are tested

The MPG Marathon was started in 2000, and is now in its 18th year. It’s organised by Fleetworld, a magazine aimed at the fleet market.

Alex Grant, editor of Fleetworld, said: “This year’s event took place against a backdrop of rising fuel prices and the transition to a new, more realistic, economy test.

“Both cars performed exceptionally well despite tough conditions on both days, building on Honda’s consistently strong results in recent years – for its petrol and diesel engines. It proves that Hondas old and new can still set high benchmarks for the competition, no matter what the journey throws your way.”

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