WLTP – Testing how new cars will perform in everyday life


WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure and will put cars through a greater range of driving conditions than the outdated New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test it replaces. 

Introduced in September 2017, WLTP’s rigorous tests are carried out in laboratory conditions under strict supervision to measure the fuel economy, CO2 emissions and pollutant levels of new passenger cars. The energy consumption of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be measured as well.

The new tests aim to give consumers a more realistic picture of how the latest vehicles will perform in everyday driving conditions.  

Mazda’s updated SKYACTIV engines will of course fulfil the newest Euro 6d regulations, and will include new technology in future to meet demanding emission limits in cars that are fun to drive with clean, efficient powertrains.

What’s so different about these new tests?

Until now, all new vehicles in the EU were tested before going on sale using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). However, this set of tests was introduced in the 1980s and not only have cars changed with more advanced technology, road conditions and driving habits have changed as well. This old test was based on theoretical rather than the realistic driving behaviour.


Today’s cars have options like four wheel drive and air conditioning which affect emissions and economy that were not factored into the old test. This created a gap between performance in the lab and how cars actually performed in the real world.


The new WLTP tests are a major step forward. They are designed to better simulate real-world driving with new guidelines for things like ambient temperatures, tyre pressure and road resistance. A WLTP cycle also takes 50% longer than the NEDC test (30 vs 20 minutes), doubles the testing distance and increases maximum and average test speeds. 

WLTP - The benefits to drivers and owners

You will be better informed with a more accurate picture of fuel economy and emissions of a new car. This will enable you to compare the realistic testing results across new cars to make your purchase decision. As the tests are becoming standard for all cars worldwide, you can be confident of the data everywhere.


WLTP changes how new vehicles are tested, but not how your Mazda feels behind the wheel. That special bond between car and driver like a horse and rider working in perfect harmony will always be at the heart of every Mazda. Our updated SKYACTIV engines will fulfil the latest Euro 6d regulations, and will feature new technology in future to meet demanding emission limits in cars that are fun to drive with clean, efficient powertrains.

WLTP tests and changes will take place in phases

WLTP took effect as part of the new Euro 6c-and 6d-Temp standards on 1st September 2017 for new models and will apply to all new registered vehicles from 1st September 2018.


By January 2019 only WLTP figures for all new cars on sale will be displayed.  


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Will the fuel economy and CO2 figures accurately reflect the way I drive?

As with every lab test, there will be differences between results in the lab and real driving figures. WLTP figures will, however, be much closer to real conditions than the old test.

Will it be easier to understand how options fitted to the car make a difference to fuel economy?

Yes. With WLTP, drivers and owners will be able to see how different wheels and tyres, alarms, parking sensors, electric seats and other options might affect fuel consumption. The old NEDC test only used a basic model of each car.