5‑Cycle Fuel Testing

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New fuel economy numbers. Same exceptional fuel efficiency.

Modifications to 5-cycle fuel consumption testing for 2017 Model Year vehicles.

There has been a change in the Government of Canada-approved 2015 / 2016 Model Year 5-cycle fuel consumption testing methodology that is effective starting with 2017 Model Year vehicles.

When comparing fuel consumption ratings between 2016 and 2017 models, please keep in mind that a possible result of these revised methodologies is that certain 2017 models may now have different published ratings (despite the fact that the underlying fuel economy data has not changed between 2016 and 2017). If there is a change in fuel consumption ratings between 2016 and 2017, it does not necessarily mean that the 2017 model is more or less fuel efficient. The difference may simply be the result of the revisions to the testing methodology. For more information, please speak with your Mazda dealer.

Additional details on the 2015 Model Year 5-cycle fuel consumption testing procedure, and also on the older 2-cycle fuel consumption testing procedure can be found below.

New fuel consumption testing for 2015 vehicles 

Fuel consumption ratings are an important element in helping you to make informed decisions when purchasing a vehicle, enabling you to compare the relative fuel consumption performance of different vehicles. Controlled laboratory testing ensures that all vehicles are tested under identical conditions and that the results are consistent and repeatable.

Starting with 2015 model year vehicles, all manufacturers – including Mazda – will use new Government of Canada-approved test methods called 5-cycle testing to determine the fuel consumption ratings of light-duty vehicles.

The new 5-cycle testing method is specifically designed to better approximate typical driving conditions and styles by adjusting city and highway ratings to account for operations that affect fuel efficiency, including air conditioner usage, cold temperatures and driving at higher speeds with more rapid acceleration and braking.

5-cycle testing results in higher fuel consumption ratings that are more representative of a vehicle’s on-road fuel consumption when compared to the 2-cycle testing method used for 2014 model year vehicles and older.

It is important to know that the move to 5-cycle testing of 2015 model year vehicles will take place in the 2014 calendar year, as many 2015 model year vehicles will be released in 2014. During this transition year, many dealerships will have 2014 model year vehicles alongside 2015 model year vehicles. For 2015 vehicles, the EnerGuide label will look the same but will provide fuel consumption ratings based on 5-cycle testing. 2015 vehicles may appear to have worse fuel consumption than 2014 vehicles – 10 to 20 percent higher than 2-cycle ratings. However, 2015 vehicles do not consume more fuel than the 2014 vehicle under the same driving conditions.

The following labels show how the ratings for the same vehicle will change based on the new test methods.

Model Year 2014
2015

Remember: Manufacturers are not producing less fuel-efficient vehicles. The new test methods used to determine the fuel consumption ratings are more reflective of on-road driving conditions and styles.

Published ratings are a useful tool for comparing vehicles before you buy. In the 2014/2015 transition to 5-cycle testing, please keep in mind that even though the new ratings better reflect everyday driving, the ratings are based on standardized tests and may not accurately predict the fuel consumption you will get on the road. Your fuel consumption will vary depending on how, where and when you drive.

For more information on Government of Canada fuel consumption testing and data, please visit the Natural Resources Canada website to view the Fuel Consumption Guide and to see the ratings of all 1995—2014 model year vehicles adjusted to reflect the improved testing, use the Fuel Consumption Ratings web tool.

How vehicles are tested

Vehicle manufacturers follow a controlled laboratory testing procedure to generate the fuel consumption data that they submit to the Government of Canada. This controlled method of fuel consumption testing, including the use of standardized fuels, test cycles and calculations, is used instead of on-road driving to ensure that all vehicles are tested under identical conditions and that the results are consistent and repeatable.

Selected test vehicles are “run in” for about 6 000 km before testing. A vehicle being tested is then mounted on a two-wheel chassis dynamometer programmed to take into account the aerodynamic efficiency, weight and rolling resistance of the vehicle. A trained driver runs the vehicle through a standardized driving routine that simulates trips in the city or on the highway. Fuel consumption ratings are derived from the emissions generated during the driving cycles.

All vehicles, including those with four-wheel drive (4X4) or all-wheel drive (AWD), are tested in two-wheel drive mode. However, tests are adjusted to reflect the increased weight and engine load using 4X4 and AWD systems.

2-cycle testing

Fuel consumption values are derived from the emissions generated during two laboratory driving cycles — a city test and a highway test.

City test parameters

The city test simulates urban driving in stop-and-go traffic with an average speed of 34 km/h and a top speed of 90 km/h. The test runs for approximately 31 minutes and includes 23 stops. The test begins from a cold engine start, which is similar to starting a vehicle after it has been parked overnight during the summer. The final phase of the test repeats the first eight minutes of the cycle but with a hot engine start. This simulates restarting a vehicle after it has been warmed up, driven and then stopped for a short time. Over five minutes of test time are spent idling, to represent waiting at traffic lights.

  • City test parameters
    • Test Cell Temperature: 20°-30°C
      Total Time: 31 minutes, 14 seconds
      Distance: 17.8 km
      Top Speed: 90 km/h
      Average Speed: 34 km/h
      Maximum Acceleration: 5.3 km/h per second
      Number of Stops: 23
      Idling Time: 18% of total time
      Engine Start*: Cold

Highway test parameters

The highway test simulates a mixture of open highway and rural road driving, with an average speed of 78 km/h and a top speed of 97 km/h. The test runs for approximately 13 minutes and does not include any stops. The test begins from a hot engine start.

  • Highway test parameters
    • Test Cell Temperature: 20°-30°C
      Total Time: 12 minutes, 45 seconds
      Distance: 16.5 km
      Top Speed: 97 km/h
      Average Speed: 78 km/h
      Maximum Acceleration: 5.2 km/h per second
      Number of Stops: 0
      Idling Time: 0
      Engine Start*: Warm

The fuel consumption values derived from these tests cycles are adjusted upwards by 10% (city) and 15% (highway) to more accurately reflect real-world results. 

*A vehicle’s engine does not achieve maximum fuel efficiency until it is warm.
Date Modified: 2014-01-06  Source: Natural Resources Canada

5-cycle testing

City and highway fuel consumption values are derived from the emissions generated during five laboratory driving cycles. The standard 2-cycle city highway tests are supplemented with three additional test cycles that account for cold temperature operation, air conditioner usage, and higher speeds with more rapid acceleration and braking. This 5-cycle testing procedure better approximates typical driving conditions and behaviours.

City test parameters

The city test simulates urban driving in stop-and-go traffic with an average speed of 34 km/h and a top speed of 90 km/h. The test runs for approximately 31 minutes and includes 23 stops. The test begins from a cold engine start, which is similar to starting a vehicle after it has been parked overnight during the summer. The final phase of the test repeats the first eight minutes of the cycle but with a hot engine start. This simulates restarting a vehicle after it has been warmed up, driven and then stopped for a short time. Over five minutes of test time are spent idling, to represent waiting at traffic lights.

  • City test parameters
    • Test Cell Temperature: 20°-30°C
      Total Time: 31 minutes, 14 seconds
      Distance: 17.8 km
      Top Speed: 90 km/h
      Average Speed: 34 km/h
      Maximum Acceleration: 5.3 km/h per second
      Number of Stops: 23
      Idling Time: 18% of total time
      Engine Start*: Cold

Highway test parameters

The highway test simulates a mixture of open highway and rural road driving, with an average speed of 78 km/h and a top speed of 97 km/h. The test runs for approximately 13 minutes and does not include any stops. The test begins from a hot engine start.

  • Highway test parameters
    • Test Cell Temperature: 20°-30°C
      Total Time: 12 minutes, 45 seconds
      Distance: 16.5 km
      Top Speed: 97 km/h
      Average Speed: 78 km/h
      Maximum Acceleration: 5.2 km/h per second
      Number of Stops: 0
      Idling Time: 0
      Engine Start*: Warm

Cold temperature test parameters

In the cold temperature operation test,the same driving cycle is used as in the standard city test,  except that the ambient temperature of the test cell is set to -7°C.

  • Cold temperature test parameters
    • Test Cell Temperature: -7°C
      Total Time: 31 minutes, 14 seconds
      Distance: 17.8 km
      Top Speed: 90 km/h
      Average Speed: 34 km/h
      Maximum Acceleration: 5.3 km/h per second
      Number of Stops: 23
      Idling Time: 18% of total time
      Engine Start*: Cold

Air conditioning test parameters

In the air conditioning test, the ambient temperature of the test cell is raised to 35°C. The vehicle's climate control system is then used to lower the internal cabin temperature. Starting with a warm engine, the test averages 35 km/h and reaches a maximum speed of 88 km/h. Five stops are included, with idling occurring 19% of the time.

  • Air conditioning test parameters
    • Test Cell Temperature: 35°C
      Total Time: 9 minutes, 56 seconds
      Distance: 5.8 km
      Top Speed: 88 km/h
      Average Speed: 35 km/h
      Maximum Acceleration: 8.2 km/h per second
      Number of Stops: 5
      Idling Time: 19% of total time
      Engine Start*: Warm

High speed/quick acceleration test parameters

The high speed/quick acceleration test averages 78 km/h and reaches a top speed of 129 km/h. Four stops are included and brisk acceleration maximizes at a rate of 13.6 km/h per second. The engine begins warm and air conditioning is not used.

  • High speed/quick acceleration test parameters
    • Test Cell Temperature: 20°-30°C
      Total Time: 9 minutes, 56 seconds
      Distance: 12.9 km
      Top Speed: 129 km/h
      Average Speed: 78 km/h
      Maximum Acceleration: 13.6 km/h per second
      Number of Stops: 4
      Idling Time: 7% of total time
      Engine Start*: Warm

*A vehicle’s engine does not achieve maximum fuel efficiency until it is warm.
Date Modified: 2014-01-06     Source: Natural Resources Canada