"You'll notice that car brochures give you the *average* MPG, usually for Urban, Extra Urban and combined. Unless your driving is awful you should expect to see results close to that. I certainly do."
Hahahahahahahhahahahahaha! and Ha! You owe me a new keyboard.
FFS have you done any reading on how the EU standard mpg figures are actually achieved? I suggest you do some then reread your post and you'll find you'll laugh as hard as I did.
The tests are carried out in a test cell on a rolling road, not on a road or test track which is bad enough. What is even worse is how slowly vehicles have to accelerate, the reason for this is so that the tests will apply to all vehicles no matter how slow. So performance cars are being tested on a whiff of throttle and will, therefore give better results on the test than they will in the real world.
When these figures first came out a lot of people in the industry were puzzled by the fact that automatics did so well, indeed they often seemed to do better than the equivalent manual. Why should this be when real world experience shows the opposite to be true? Because the test standards stipulate the gear change point for manual boxes, these shift points are not magically the most efficient for every car. However because they couldn't find a way to make an auto shift at these points there is no such stipulation for automatic transmissions. Guess what, the auto box will generally be designed so that it shifts somewhere near the optimum point, especially if the transmisson comes with different modes like "economy" and "sport". The only fair way to run the tests is to allow manuals to shift where the driver feels they should shift, most decent drivers can tell where the best shift point is, or perhaps where the owners manual says you should shift.
The stupid thing is that these tests are also used to measure your CO2 emissions. So the tests are actually encouraging people to buy vehicles which may have higher CO2 emissions just to make things simple for the testing agency. Did they think: "what's the most accurate way to measure and represent fuel consumption?" No, they thought "Shit, this is difficult, what's the easiest way we can do this and what time's lunch."
Let a eurocrat get involved with anything and it will turn to meaningless shit.