Squeezing the last drop from a tank

IN these times of soaring fuel prices have you ever complained about the cost of the amount of fuel needed to drive a car from Sydney to Coffs Harbour and back again – let alone the rising price of supermarket bananas?

Well, Blake James certainly has – which is why he's test-driven a new Ford Focus, challenging its fuel efficiency on a 1000-kilometre round trip between Hornsby and the Big Banana using one tank of fuel.

Rueing the skyrocketing price of lady fingers in Sydney, he even stopped to pick up a bootload of locally grown fruit up north to take back.

Blake is one of 12 car lovers contesting the Ultimate Test Drive, a competition where the winner gets to keep their car.

“Ford says this vehicle is one of the most economical on the market. They say the two-litre diesel model should achieve 5.5 litres per 100km,” Blake said.

“I achieved a fuel efficiency of 5.2 litres per 100km and that was with the air conditioning on and with an average speed of 100km/h.”

He reached Coffs with the fuel gauge reading that the car still had 530km down to empty (DTE).

“I found I got an extra 50km out of the car after the fuel gauge hit zero km DTE.

“I had a jerry can in the boot just in case, but managed to reach the service centre in Hornsby before it cut out,” he said.

To follow Blake's challenge go to http://bit.ly/voteblake, facebook.com/letsdriveit or on twitter at letsdriveit.



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