With the difference in petrol and diesel prices reducing to less than Rs 10, there is a shift in buyers’ preference towards petrol-driven cars in the country rather than diesel, which ruled the roost not long ago.
Therefore, if petrol is your fuel of choice and fuel efficiency a top priority, there is a wide array of cars to choose from depending on your preferences and taste.
Also, petrol cars are cheaper than their diesel equivalents, and boast better levels of refinement, noise, vibration, and harshness or NVH characteristics.
Experts also point out the high cost of upgrading diesel vehicles to meet the upcoming stringent Bharat Stage-VI fuel emission norms, which will make them a costly affair.
In fact, Pawan Goenka, Managing Director at Mahindra and Mahindra, said at a recent media briefing dealing with “Demystifying the BS-VI” that upgrading diesel cars to comply with the norms would cost about Rs l lakh while petrol cars under wouldn’t run you more than a Rs 25,000 bill. BS-VI comes into force from April 1, 2020, across the country. At present, the vehicles sold in the country conform to the emission standards.
For the common Indian buyers, who, more often than not, makes a lifetime investment in owning a car, the utmost question is: how much mileage does the vehicle give?
At present, the following are some of the most fuel-efficient petrol cars on sale in the country, the world’s fourth biggest automobile market.
Buyers are advised to note that although the mileage figures quoted against each car model are certified by the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India or ARAI, they do not reflect on-road reality as the efficiency mileage tests are carried out in the laboratory under ideal conditions. However, to give reasonable mileage figures, an attempt has been made to provide fuel efficiency figures from actual road tests conducted by expert car testers to help buyers make up their mind.
One of the popular entry level car Renault Kwid has been certified by ARAI to provide 25.17 kmpl, which is the best for petrol cars in the country, while test experts said overall this hatchback returns a mileage of about 18-20 kmpl. The Renault hatchback is powered by a 54HP, 0.8-litre engine. The vehicle is equipped with a list of segment-leading features, such as a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a digital instrument cluster, one-touch lane change indicators and speed-dependent volume control.
According to ARAI, the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 gives 23.95 kmpl mileage while test experts said it returns about 15.5 to 17 kmpl. It is a good-looking and more upmarket version of the standard Alto and comes with a peppy, 68hp, 1.0-litre engine. It also has an automatic variant that is claimed to be just as fuel efficient as the manual.
The new Toyota Glanza has been certified to manage 23.87 kmpl by ARAI; test experts put it at 18-20 kmpl. Being a rebadged Baleno from the Maruti Suzuki stable, the Toyota Glanza is mechanically identical to its Maruti counterpart. It is powered by the same 90hp, 1.2-litre K12C DualJet engine that comes with Smart Hybrid technology and a 5-speed manual gearbox only, and returns an identical 23.87kpl.
According to ARAI, the Tata Tiago gives 23.84 kmpl but test experts said it is about 17-20 kmpl. Undoubtedly, the Tata Tiago is a good-looking hatchback featuring a stylish-yet-practical interior and decent levels of equipment. It is powered by the 85hp, 1.2-litre engine. You can also buy an AMT version.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been certified by ARAI to average 23.87 kmpl but according to test experts, the car manages about 17-19 kmpl. The Baleno is a premium hatchback from Maruti that is spacious and well-equipped. The company recently launched the Baleno with a BS-VI-compliant, 90hp, 1.2-litre K12C DualJet engine with Smart Hybrid technology.
The ARAI has certified the Datsun Redigo to average 23 kmpl but test experts put it at about 17-19 kmpl. The car is powered by the 68hp, 1.0-litre engine mated to a 5-speed AMT. There is also a 54hp, 0.8-litre engine option that manages an ARAI-rated 22.7 kmpl.