The Chattanooga-made, diesel-powered Volkswagen Passat boasts an impressive EPA-certified 31 miles per gallon in the city and 43 miles per gallon on the highway with a manual transmission.
But a pair of professional "hypermilers" driving the Passat TDI across the continental United States nearly doubled that mileage mark over the past three weeks to set a new Guinness World Record for the best mileage for a nonhybrid car traveling to 48 U.S. states.
Blogger Wayne Gerdes, who runs CleanMPG and holds over 100 mileage records, and engineer Bob Winger drove to 48 states in their Passat TDI with an average mileage of 78 miles per gallon.
"To cover 8,122 miles on just 104.94 gallons of fuel is nothing short of astonishing and shows just how economical our TDI Clean Diesel vehicles can be," said Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Inc.
A VW Jetta held the previous record, but that was more than 10 mpg below the new Passat TDI record.