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Club news: ADAC’s new EcoTest reveals alarming results on real driving emissions

Publication date: 12 April 2017

The vast majority of diesel vehicles tested in ADAC's most recent EcoTest failed to meet emissions targets. Out of 38 diesel cars tested by Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V. (ADAC), only the Mercedes E220 d 9G-Tronic and the BMW 118d Urban Line Steptronic achieved good emission results under real-life conditions. Both cars made it to the group of recommended cars achieving four eco stars out of five.


The crucial factor behind the negative results of diesel-powered vehicles results from particulate matter (PM) emission levels that significantly exceed the mandatory limits in some real-life cases. The Renault Capture dCi 90, for example, exceeded the eco limit by more than 900%, also proving that, contrary to popular belief, the newest models are not always the cleanest ones.


The ADAC EcoTest is more realistic than that of manufacturers and governmental institutions as it has updated driving cycles and stricter assessment standards. Cars with excellent test lab results achieving four or five eco stars are also tested for real driving emissions.


Compared with diesel cars, many direct-injection petrol cars perform poorly due to the fact that their PM emissions are higher under stricter testing conditions. ADAC believes that the exhaust systems of most petrol and diesel models are not what is technically feasible.


The current ADAC EcoTest front-row contenders are electric and hybrid electric vehicles (BMW i3, Toyota Prius 1.8 Hybrid Executive, Nissan Leaf Acenta). Also at the top is the Toyota Mirai fuel cell car.

For more information visit ADAC EcoTest (in German)

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