Well, someone has to do it. From the land down under comes the world’s hyper-miling champions (although they don’t like that term). John and Helen Taylor just broke their own record by averaging 67.9 miles per gallon in their 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel. (Yes, Virginia, diesels can sometimes top hybrids in fuel economy).

The Taylors are now in the Guinness Book of World Records for their new achievement, which shatters the old milestone (set by them just last year, and in the same car) of 58.82 mpg. The new feat was accomplished on American roads, so they’re in the book for “48 Contiguous U.S. States Fuel Economy.” They covered 9,000 miles over three weeks (from Sterling, Va., through 12 other states to the finish in Ashburn, Va.), starting July 28.

The Taylors, who started setting records while living in Singapore, said they owe it all to “choosing the right tires, using the right fuel and adopting fuel-saving driving techniques.” One of their sponsors was Goodyear, which supplied a set of Fuel Max low rolling-resistance tires the company claims contribute about four mpg on their own.

You can actually try some of this at home. The Taylors didn’t break any traffic laws, and they didn’t drive excessively slow or anything else dangerous. They checked in at 14 official refueling stops along the way.

Their secrets:

  • Avoid excessive idling
  • Don't drive too fast
  • Minimize drag (which includes knowing when to have the windows up or down)
  • Regular maintenance (I know you need help with that one).
The Taylors may not want to be known as hyper-milers, but other people don’t mind the term. The cult tends to consist of hybrid owners who want to impress fellow members of the club. Unofficially, sick mileage claims are made, but it’s probably like the big one that got away. John Taylor also likes to walk and cycle, having traveled from John O'Groats to Land's End on several "End to End" runs. 

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.