Top 15 most fuel efficient cars in India – Times of India

Posted: Monday, June 23, 2014
If you are planning to buy a car and fuel efficiency is what you are looking for, consider Honda. Honda Car’s newest generation City is the least thirsty among the cars manufactured and sold in India, followed by Amaze, another sedan from the Japanese auto maker. Local market leader Maruti Suzuki doesn’t have any of its models on the list of the top 15 fuel-efficient cars that ET has prepared based on data announced by auto makers.

The numbers claimed by the companies were achieved in ideal road-test conditions and may vary in the real world bumper-to-bumper traffic. Fuel-efficiency is a factor that alone can swing purchase decisions in India. It is critical for the success of products and companies have been investing huge amounts in new technologies to deliver more distance to every litre of fuel.

Honda’s diesel-powered City gives 26 kilometres to a litre. Analysts say fuel efficiency is a key reason for the success of the recently launched fourth-generation City, with customers waiting for about four months to take delivery. Powered by an all-new 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine, City’s mileage claim is certified by Automotive Research Association of India. The diesel version of the Amaze delivers 25.8 kms.

“As a latecomer to the diesel market, we had set the goal of delivering highest mileage. We were able to achieve it by innovation that is also in line with Honda’s global philosophy to make environment-friendly and mileageconscious cars,” said Jnaneswar Sen, Honda’s senior vice-president of marketing and sales.

Honda’s sales in India rose 83% from a year earlier to 1.34 lakh cars in the year ended March 2014. For this performance at a time when the overall car market shrank, analysts cite its success with diesel — the heavier fuel which is still lighter on pocket — and fuel efficiency.

While Honda became the mileage leader due to what it calls the “Earth dreams” technology launched in diesel, Maruti Suzuki faltered after being the No.1 in fuel efficiency for more than a decade with the Alto small car. Currently, its most fuel-efficient car, the DZire compact sedan, delivers 23.4 km to a litre of diesel and is at the 19th spot according to data collated by ET.

The company’s executives say it has been continuously improving fuel efficiency. “Maruti Suzuki has shown significant improvements in fuel economy of both gasoline and diesel models by focused initiative like light weighting, powertrain improvements, etc,” a spokesperson said. Maruti Suzuki’s new models deliver higher mileage than their predecessors.

For instance, the new diesel DZire delivers 23.4 kms a litre, compared with 21.7 kms earlier, while the new Alto 800 runs 22.7 kms, compared with 19.7 kms earlier. And, despite the higher mileage claims of its rivals, Maruti Suzuki’s cars continue to outnumber competition in sales. Also, while the mileage chart is led by cars that run on diesel, the market leader is strong on petrol-fueled small cars which still sell more numbers.

With increasing fuel prices coupled with narrowing diesel and petrol pricing gap, today’s buyer is giving fuel efficiency more weight than total ownership cost, says Amit Kaushik, principal analyst, autos, at consultancy firm IHS Automotive. “We believe that manufacturers are extensively using turbo-chargers and down-sizing engines to make them more fuel efficient.”

According to latest data, car and utility vehicles sold in India deliver an average of around 16 kms a litre, an improvement of about 1.5 km in five years. All carmakers voluntary disclose mileage ratings, but the government is bringing in new fuel-efficiency guidelines under which all cars and SUVs will have to give at least 18.2 kms to a litre from April 2016.


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