UNTILa more realistic testing procedure is introducedby the end of this year, the best way to gauge a car's likely economy is to use the government urban figure.
It has consistently been the nearest for me over the last few years - always closest to the real road figure I get.
The whole of the present test system is out-dated and laughable. This New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test is gradually being replaced by the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) - they really do choose memorable names for them don't they.
This should be an improvement over the NEDC system, but I'll believe that when I see it, and I'll blow the whistle if I think it's still not helping us.
The latest Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI Evo estate boasts an average government economy figure of 57.6mpg under the present NEDC system, and an urban figure of 44.8mpg.
The best I could get out of it driving pretty carefully for a day was 42, which is very good, but shows that the urban figure is the reality choice for all of us.
The new VW 1.5 petrol turbo is brilliant - even in lower 130bhp form in the estate. It has plenty of power for everyday use and in every situation and is one of the smoothest, most refined and quietest four cylinder engines on the market.
Acceleration from rest is very good and it's willing and punchy in the gears too, while still being able to trickle along at under 40 miles an hour in sixthgear and pull away without any grumbling.
So smooth is it, that with the engine ticking over and the fan on 2, I couldn't hear it at all.
In fact, the whole car is superbly refined, with little noise from the suspension, the passing air or the tyres, - except on the rough old tar and chipping surfaces of course.
Comfort is also right out of the top drawer. It takes all surfaces in its stride even though I took it down some really rough lanes.
People talk about the Ford Focus having an excellent ride. Well this one beats it for me - and it holds the road as well or better too.
It has a marvellous feel on the road sticking to the surface brilliantlyand the supple ride does not affect this one iota.
Fast corners are flat with loads of grip and it's very composed even when pressed unmercifully.
This is a car to be driven with joy, because that's how rewarding it is. The chassis is taut and beautifully controlled and the VW Group steering simply enhances the whole experience.
The seats are beautifully supportive, the six-speed gearbox has a delightfully sweet change and the clutch is light and easy.
SE Nav spec - the model I drove - includes stability control, electronic differential lock and traction control. It has curtain airbags front and rear, a driver alert system, pre-crash protection and predictive pedestrian protection.
There are three selectable driving modes - eco, normal and sport, all of which change the car's driving characteristics to suit the driver.