The first question a middle class car buyer asks is, “kitna deti hai” (how much does it give), that is, what is the mileage, the kms it gives per litre of fuel.
The most important reason for the rise in sales of diesel vehicles in the past few years is the mileage that diesel engines are known to give in comparison to the petrol ones, and this obsession with economy isn’t just limited to middle class buyers but is seen in luxury car buyers as well.
Our article today covers the top fuel efficient cars of our country which are on sale and quite popular too. The figures presented are based upon test ratings by various automobile magazines and more importantly the Automotive Research Association of India ARAI. Although it varies in live driving due to several factors like the road conditions, level of car maintenance and the individual driving styles.
Honda City Diesel
Topping our list is the very beautiful and popular Honda City Diesel – with quite stunning looks for a sedan of its class and an equally good drive quality. Powered by Honda’s all new 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel engine, the new generation City, claims to produce an astonishing mileage of 26 kmpl as certified by ARAI. In real driving conditions, the car returns a mileage of 18-19 km per litre in the city and 24-25 km per litre on the highway. The all aluminum diesel engine is a tonned down version of the company’s 1.6 litres diesel power source, although it shares the same hardware, friction coefficients and weight. To bring down its cubic capacity, the company reduced the stroke length and employed a smaller turbocharger. Due to the engine being completely made out of aluminum, Honda had to use several noise reduction methods to bring down the engine noise levels in the cabin.
The Honda Amaze literally “amazed” everyone not so much by its looks as by its fuel economy. The 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel engine running the Amaze – which it shares with its older sibling, the Honda City – delivers approx 25 kilometres as per ARAI, and in real road conditions, churns out 18-19 km per litre on city roads and about 24 km per litre on the highway, which is notably slightly lesser than that of the City even though the latter is a car of a slightly bigger segment.
Chevrolet Beat Diesel
The third most fuel efficient car in our list is the cute and stylish Chevrolet Beat Diesel. Featuring a 1.0 litre Smartech engine that produces over 57 bhp and churns out 150 Nm of torque, that although isn’t nearly as powerful as that of its rival Ford Figo’s 1.4 litre duratorq diesel, returns the best in its class mileage of 25.4 km per litre. In real driving conditions the car manages 20 km to the litre in the city and almost 25 on the highway. This automatically makes the Beat a great car to tackle city traffic and occasionally running on highways.
Next in line is Hyundai’s new compact sedan – the Xcent. Brought up by the Korean giant in competition to Honda’s Amaze and Maruti Suzuki’s Dzire, the popular compact churns out an ARAI rated number of 24.4 km per litre, although road tests by magazines indicate its clocking a decent 17 km per litre in the city, and 20.3 km per litre on the highway, and it can be duly noted that all this comes from a slightly smaller 71 bhp, 1120 cc three cylinder engine in comparison to slightly bigger ones running its competition.
Which is the most fuel efficient car
What started out as the cheapest car on sale in the country was also the most fuel efficient. Although one can say that the arrival of the Amaze with its mileage shook many in their shoes, the Tata Nano, till date remains one of the most practical and fuel efficient cars in the country. With an equally competitive mileage of 25.4 km to the litre, the Nano was developed having kept the urban driving challenges of everyday in mind, and the size, mileage, and its pricing, were all kept in accordance with the purpose it was built to serve.
Last but definitely not the least is Hyundai’s Grand i10 compact hatch. In a short span of time, the car has pushed Hyundai in to the list of the top five selling car brands in India. With a new fluidic design language, the car also brought in a diesel avatar. Drawing its power from a 1.1 litre U2 CRDi engine, the Grand i10 claims to return 24 km per litre and is quite a nice car to buy.