Sunday, May 28, 2023

2018 Recap: 5 Most Fuel Efficient Petrol/Hybrids Cars We Tested

2018 Recap: 5 Most Fuel Efficient Petrol/Hybrids Cars We Tested

The 194PS Lexus NX 300h petrol-hybrid is as fuel efficient as the 96PS Ford Freestyle petrol

As 2018 draws to a close, we take a look back at all the cars we’ve tested this year. We’ve already listed out the quickest cars we tested this year, check it out here. Now let’s take a look at some of the most fuel-efficient petrol/hybrid cars we’ve driven this year. Let's start from the bottom of the list.

For the comparison, we will be taking an average (75:25) of city and highway fuel economy, respectively.

5. Ford Freestyle

  • City Fuel Economy: 13.5kmpl
  • Highway Fuel Economy: 19.19kmpl
  • Average Fuel Economy: 14.58kmpl
  • Price: 5.99 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

The cross-hatch from Ford is the fifth most efficient petrol car we’ve tested this year. The Freestyle’s 1.2-litre petrol engine is not only frugal but also the most powerful in its class with 96PS of power and 120Nm of peak torque. The Dragon engine is sporty when you want it to be and is still refined and flexible enough to be a capable commuter as well.

4. Hyundai Santro AMT

  • City Fuel Economy: 13.78kmpl
  • Highway Fuel Economy: 19.42kmpl
  • Average Fuel Economy: 14.85kmpl
  • Price: 5.99 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

Re-introduce after a gap of three years, the all-new Santro is the fourth most frugal car that we tested this year. Powered by a reworked version of the 1.1-litre petrol engine from the older Santro, the new hatchback produces 69PS and 99Nm, mated to a 5-speed AMT. The engine isn’t peppy but it handles whatever you throw its way. The AMT makes it even easier to live with in the urban jungle.

3. Volkswagen Ameo

  • City Fuel Economy: 13.92kmpl
  • Highway Fuel Economy: 19.03kmpl
  • Average Fuel Economy: 14.92kmpl
  • Price: 5.99 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

Earlier this year, VW introduced a new 1.0-litre petrol engine on the Polo and Ameo. While this engine disappoints in terms of power output with just 76PS and 95Nm, it shines in terms of fuel economy, making the Ameo the third most frugal car in our tests. The Ameo’s 1.0-litre engine is well suited for city usage. But out on highways, even though it climbs up to 80-100kmph and has no issues maintaining that speed, it does require you to drop a gear, or sometimes two, to overtake slower moving vehicles.

2. Hyundai Santro Manual

  • City Fuel Economy: 14.25kmpl
  • Highway Fuel Economy: 19.44kmpl
  • Average Fuel Economy: 15.26kmpl
  • Price: 5.99 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

The Santro MT is marginally more frugal than its AMT counterpart, making it the second most fuel-efficient car we’ve tested this year.  As far as driving is concerned, although it is primarily a city commuter, the Santro can do a 100kmph all day in top gear at around 3000rpm and without much effort. However, to pick up the pace, it will require you to drop a gear or two. The shifts are precise and short and the clutch is light.

1.2018 Renault Kwid Climber AMT

  • City Fuel Economy: 17.09kmpl
  • Highway Fuel Economy: 21.43kmpl
  • Average Fuel Economy: 18kmpl
  • Price: 5.99 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

The Kwid Climber AMT, with its 1.0-litre engine, is the most frugal car tested this year. The entry-level hatchback takes the top spot by quite a margin. For every litre of fuel, it does 2.63km more than the Hyundai Santro. The Kwid’s 1.0-litre engine is not only frugal, with an output of 68PS and 91Nm, it is also quite at par with other more expensive cars like the Hyundai Santro and the VW Ameo. As far as driving is concerned, the 1.0-litre engine doesn't let the Kwid feel out of breath inside the city. Even during overtakes, the engine's strong midrange helps you go past traffic quickly. Out on the highways, the Kwid maintains triple digit speeds with ease. However, the slow nature of the AMT forces you to plan overtaking manoeuvres in advance.

Along with conventionally-powered cars, we also got our hands on a petrol-hybrid as well. And here’s how it performed in our tests as far as fuel economy is concerned.

Lexus NX 300h

  • City Fuel Economy: 13.13kmpl
  • Highway Fuel Economy: 18.42kmpl
  • Average Fuel Economy: 14.14kmpl
  • Price: 54.78 lakh to Rs 57.18 lakh (ex-showroom pan-India)

The Lexus NX 300h is powered by a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that works with two electric motors for a combined power output of 194PS. Thanks to this hybrid powertrain, the NX 300h has a fuel economy of 14.45kmpl, which is almost at par with the fifth most efficient petrol car in the list, the Ford Freestyle.  The Lexus NX starts off silently and the engine comes to life when the throttle inputs get relatively enthusiastic or as the momentum increases. It can be driven purely on electric power to up to 40-45kmph and feels blissful in stop-and-go traffic. If you push the throttle enthusiastically, the car turns off the EV mode and switches to petrol power. However, straightline performance is certainly not one of its strong suits -- even the claimed figure for 0-100kmph is a fairly sedate 9.2 seconds.