european fuel consumption figures

Reflecting real-world driving conditions

Here’s what you need to know about the new emissions and fuel economy tests that will be carried out for new cars in Europe.

Why greater accuracy is better for everyone

The New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) is the current method of testing, which is being replaced with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). The WLTP is a new set of tests which puts new cars through a greater range of driving situations (urban, suburban, main road, motorway) improving the consumer’s ability to understand real-life performance of motor vehicles.

The key differences

While the WLTP driving cycle will still test cars in a laboratory setting, it will take into account situations that you experience in every day life. The new method will allow you to estimate your daily fuel consumption much more accurately than using the current NEDC standard. Another benefit of WLTP is that consumers will see figures that capture very different driving styles.


Since the last update of the testing cycle in Europe, a lot has changed in road infrastructure, car technology and driver behaviours. The new test situations have been decided following a global survey with the aim to create more of a real-life driving profile.
Nothing will change under the bonnet

New vehicles will be tested under different conditions – but your new Volvo car will be just as fun to drive, without compromising on modern customers’ demand for superb fuel economy and minimised CO2-emissions.

A newer solution

Even though WLTP will be more accurate, it will not cover all the variations globally – and certainly not each individual driving style. The new tests (WLTP) take into account diverse acceleration and braking situations – mirroring the way most of us drive today.

Simulating real life

Weather, traffic congestion and even car occupancy will continue to play a major role in your fuel economy. This is why recreating all the variables in a laboratory environment remains a challenge, and can never simulate your individual driving style.

Henrik Green - Senior Vice President, Research & Development

“Volvo Cars welcomes the new fuel and emissions testing methods. Any regulation improving transparency pushes the industry in the right direction – and makes better informed customers.”


To help you better understand what the changes consist of and how they might affect you – we’ve put together a few key questions and answers.

Reduce emissions, save money


Engine performance, efficiency and innovation

We believe that lower fuel consumption and exceptional performance are not mutually exclusive. This is the mind-set that allows us to continually develop engine innovations across our range of premium sedans, crossovers, SUVs and estates – with the clear ambition that the impact of our cars is minimal for the environment.

Read more about drive-e

Downsizing without compromise

The number of cylinders no longer determines power or drivability. At Volvo Cars we have optimised the size and weight of our engines without compromising on power or performance.

Lightweight and efficient

Everything in the engine is tuned to reduce loss of energy and make the most of the fuel. Surfaces are treated to reduce friction, while sensors ensure that the pressure and temperature of every injector is optimal.

Going electric

Our Drive-E engines were created with electrification in mind. The compact size of the 4-cylinder engines means that the electric motor can be fitted in the front or rear of the vehicle. The battery pack is located in the centre of the vehicle, contributing to greater stability and safety.

Our approach to sustainability

We are determined to reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment by introducing more efficient engines, lightweight designs, and a wider range of hybrid and electric cars.