Image Credit: Volkswagon

A 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Clean Diesel car driven by John and Helen Taylor has traveled 1,626 miles on one tank of diesel gasoline, setting a world record for the longest distance traveled on a single tank of fuel. The previous record was 1,526 on a tank, meaning the couple beat the old record by 100 miles during their attempt. VW of America reports that the car averaged 84.1 miles per gallon during the three-day/nine-state trek from Houston, Texas to Sterling, Virginia, costing just $0.465 cents per mile.

The Passat TDI they drove was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and a full tank of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel prior to departure. In order to mimic real-world driving conditions during an average trip they also included 120 pounds of luggage in the trunk and didn’t drive more than 14 hours per day. The Taylors have made quite a name for themselves in fuel-economy circles, having previously set more than 90 world records in the category.

Although this 2012 Passat has an official EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 31 mpg city and 43 highway, these kind of record-setting attempts goes to show that much more can be done to increase one’s fuel economy well beyond the figures set by the government. Driving habits play a crucial role in getting better MPG numbers and in order to achieve an amazing 84.1 mpg, John and Helen were very mindful of how they were driving throughout the duration of their trip.

The trip cost just $0.465 cents per mile with today’s diesel price, meaning they spent about $75 in total on gasoline to go the 1,626 miles. To put this in perspective, I just drove a Tacoma across the country 3,000 miles and spent nearly $1,000 on gas. To travel only as far as they went would have cost me $500, or seven times what they spent. With gas prices only heading upwards over time, we need more Johns and Helens willing to go the distance to educate us on the possibilities of obtaining higher mpg numbers for our own cars.

[via MarketWire]