Here are India's 10 most fuel-efficient petrol cars, SUVs

    While Marutis continue to dominate the list, Toyota and Honda also feature in the top 10 thanks to their strong-hybrid tech.

    Published On May 09, 2024 04:18:00 PM


    Top 10 most fuel-efficient petrol cars

    Fuel economy and running costs have always been among the top priorities for Indian car buyers. With petrol prices averaging Rs 100 in most cities, it's not a surprise why fuel efficiency takes precedence for most. While Maruti Suzuki has always dominated on this front, the recent influx of a few strong hybrid vehicles from Toyota and Honda has given buyers a few more options.

    We have compiled a list of the top 10 most fuel-efficient petrol cars currently being sold and rated them from lowest to highest. The list is based on official ARAI figures revealed by manufacturers and actual figures could vary depending on driving conditions and styles. For models that are available with manual and automatic gearboxes, we have taken an average of both figures.

    10. Maruti Suzuki Fronx/Toyota Taisor – 22.34kpl

    Maruti Fronx is a coupe-crossover derivative of the Baleno and is powered by a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, which it shares with its hatchback sibling. This engine has an ARAI-claimed fuel economy of 21.79kpl for the manual gearbox and 22.89kpl for the AMT one, giving a combined figure of 22.34kpl. The Fronx also gets a more powerful 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. This, however, is slightly less efficient as it returns 21.50kpl with the manual and 20.01kpl with the automatic transmission, giving a combined figure of 20.75kpl. Its badge-engineered sibling, the Toyota Taisor, also has identical claimed fuel efficiency figures.  

    9. Maruti Suzuki Baleno/Toyota Glanza – 22.64kpl

    The Maruti Baleno and Toyota Glanza share the same 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine mated to either manual or AMT transmission. While the manual versions have an ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency of 22.35kpl, the AMT ones have a claimed efficiency of 22.94kpl, giving a combined figure of 22.64kpl. The petrol engine is refined and satisfactory around town, but has a weak mid-range, requiring to be revved out for overtaking. The light clutch and smooth manual make driving easy, though the AMT is not quite up to class standards. The hatchback body style and slightly lesser kerb weight of both these models make them marginally more efficient than the Fronx and Taisor duo. 

    8. Toyota Innova Hycross/Maruti Invicto – 23.24kpl

    The duo of the Innova Hycross and Invicto share their powertrain, which is a 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine running the efficient Atkinson cycle, and is paired with a single electric motor that draws energy from a 1.6kWh battery. The powertrain is mated to an e-CVT gearbox, and it has a claimed ARAI fuel economy figure of 23.24kpl. By default, the powertrain starts on battery power, with the petrol engine kicking in to recharge the battery or to provide an additional punch. As speeds increase, it is the petrol engine that takes charge with the battery motor lending its electrical assistance. This powertrain, however, does not like to be hurried and is best when driven gently.

    7. Maruti Suzuki Dzire – 23.69kpl

    The Dzire is the most fuel-efficient compact sedan you can buy in the market. Powered by the K-Series 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine from the older Swift, the Dzire’s manual version has a claimed fuel efficiency of 23.26kpl, while the automatic variants return 23.69kpl. The Dzire is a nice all-rounder that has a comfortable, large and well-equipped cabin, friendly driving manners, and a refined powertrain with reasonable performance. It is due for a generation update later this year, which is when it will get the new Z-Series engine from the new Swift that's a lot more efficient.

    6. Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 – 24.65kpl

    The Alto K10 is currently the most affordable car in India. While the Alto is no longer the value offering it once was, the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine returns an ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency of 24.39kpl for the manual version and 24.9kpl for the automatic, resulting in an average of 24.65kpl. This engine feels very peppy and energetic in the Alto, and the painless ownership experience is obviously a boon, but the Alto’s higher variants are now quite pricey for an entry-level car.

    5. Maruti Suzuki Wagon R 1.0 – 24.77kpl

    The tall-boy Wagon-R hatchback from Maruti Suzuki is not only popular for its practicality and space-efficient interior, but it's also a very economical car to run. It comes with two petrol engine options. There’s a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine with a claimed fuel efficiency of 24.35kpl for the manual version; the automatic one returns 25.19kpl, giving a combined average of 24.77kpl. Then, there’s the larger 1.2-litre, four-cylinder engine, which is marginally less efficient with an average of 23.9kpl.

    4. Maruti Suzuki Swift – 25.30kpl

    The fourth-generation Swift comes with an all-new Z Series, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine. It has a claimed fuel economy of 24.80kpl for the manual version and 25.75kpl for the automatic one. So, the average is 25.30kpl, an improvement of 3kpl over the previous model. The Swift’s new three-pot engine produces 8hp and 1Nm less than the outgoing four-cylinder K-Series unit, but the focus was always on efficiency. Maruti Suzuki's has acheived this high fuel efficiency target with each cylinder now measuring 400cc in capacity which is considered to be the sweet spot for a cylinder's volumetric efficiency.

    3. Maruti Suzuki Celerio – 25.96kpl

    The Celerio is currently the most efficient pure-petrol car you can buy in the country. It's powered by the extremely frugal DualJet K10 1.0-litre petrol engine and is underpinned by the lightweight Heartect platform. The Celerio has a claimed ARAI fuel economy of up to 25.24kpl for the manual version and 26.68kpl for the automatic transmission, taking the average to 25.96kpl. The affordable Celerio is a sensible hatchback that's easy to drive and to live with.

    2. Honda City e:HEV – 27.13kpl

    The Honda City was the first mass-market model with a strong hybrid powertrain to be launched in India. The City has a rather complex powertrain where a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine is coupled with two electric motors – one that charges the battery and the other that actually drives the front wheels – and this comes mated to an e-CVT transmission. The City has a claimed ARAI mileage of 27.13kpl, and the powertrain automatically shuffles between pure-EV, hybrid or engine modes depending on the driving conditions, but it does not let you manually select the mode.

    1. Maruti Grand Vitara/Toyota Hyryder – 27.93kpl

    The duo of the Grand Vitara and the Urban Cruiser Hyryder are currently the most fuel-efficient petrol vehicles in the market, thanks to an efficient 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, Atkinson cycle petrol engine paired with an electric motor, comes mated to an e-CVT gearbox. Being identical under the skin, both these SUVs have an ARAI-claimed fuel economy figure of 27.93kpl. The powertrain can run on pure-EV mode if there’s sufficient charge in the battery, or under light throttle inputs. One can also manually shuffle between pure-EV or hybrid modes through a rotary dial on the centre console.

    Also See:

    Here are India's 5 most affordable hybrid cars, SUVs

    10 most affordable SUVs with panoramic sunroof

    5 most affordable off-roaders on sale in India

    Here are India's most fuel-efficient petrol midsize SUVs

    Maruti Suzuki Cars

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