In a recent road test conducted by the Department of Energy on the latest cars being offered by car dealers in the Philippines, they were able to determine the top 10 cars in in the country with the lowest fuel consumption.
Majority of the vehicles who made this list have diesel engines. But this shouldn’t be surprising considering that diesel engines have higher energy conversion efficiencies than gasoline engines.
These cars were:
- Suzuki Alto 0.8L MT Gas – P1.38/km (34 km per liter)
- Hyundai Getz 1.5L MT Diesel – P1.82/km (25.22 km/liter)
- Hyundai Accent 1.5L MT Diesel – P1.97/km (23.38 km/liter)
- Mercedes Benz C-180K 1.8L AT Gas – P2.07/km (22.70km/liter)
- Toyota Vios 1.3L MT Gas – P2.08/km-(22.67 km/liter)
- Ford Focus 2.0L MT Diesel – P2.15/km (21.39km/liter)
- Kia Picanto 1.1 AT Gas – P2.18/km (21.60 km/liter)
- BMW 320D 2.0L AT Diesel – P2.24/km (20.53 km/liter)
- Isuzu DMAX Lt 4×2 2.5L MT Diesel – P2.24/km (20.57 km/liter)
- Isuzu Alterra 4×2 3.0L MT diesel – P2.37/km (19.44 km/liter)
The route taken during the test was from the DOE compound to Subic (via Edsa), then to the NLEx then finally SCTEx. After reaching Subic cars returned to the DOE compound. Length of run was 333 km.
Some rules were followed by all the participants in order to impart fairness as well as to increase the accuracy of the readings. These were:
- Car’s had to have Odometer readings of not more than 15,000 km. This is to ensure that the engines were running at optimum efficiency.
- Four pumps at the Shell Station at The Fort were calibrated by the Oil Industry Management Bureau three days before the run.
- Slanted ramps were used to hasten the flow of fuel to the tanks since cars have different fuel pipe configurations
- Participating cars were not allowed “short-cuts”; such as shutting the engine and coasting, turning off the air-conditioning thermostat, tailgating or folding side view mirrors to reduce wind drag
- Vehicles had to maintain a speed of 40 kph, while at NLEx and SCTex their speed was 80 kph.
- The air-conditioning was turned on and set to low fan, with the coldest thermostat setting.
Suzuki came out tops, but that shouldn’t be a surprise either considering that its engine displacement is only 0.8 li. It should be noted that a car with a small displacement has limited power compared to a regular size sedan. Trying to haul a large family in a car with that size could lead to even more fuel being consumed as well as greater wear on the engine.
One should base his next purchase on other things as well. A car with a bigger displacement could mean that you would be spending more on oil changes and parts.
When purchasing a car it was suggested to me once to choose a manufacturer and model based on their proven reliability, availability of parts as well as the cost of spare parts.