Here are India's most fuel efficient diesel SUVs

    With the onset of the new RDE norms, the diesel SUV segment has been shrinking.

    Published On Aug 02, 2023 09:44:00 AM


    10 most fuel-efficient diesel SUVs in India in 2023

    Diesel engines and SUVs are two terms that have always gone hand in hand. These engines are known to be frugal and also provide low-end torque that most SUVs require to lug along. Drivers who frequently undertook long inter-state trips almost always prefer to have a diesel mill powering them along. However, since the introduction of the BS6 Phase 2 emissions norms, the automobile industry in India has reconsidered the need for diesel powertrains. This is because the new norms clamp down significantly on diesel engine emissions.

    While the diesel engine option might have slowly disappeared from the hatchbacks and sedan segments, it’s still strong among SUVs. Here are the top 10 most fuel-efficient diesel SUVs in India based on the ARAI range. The numbers are an average of the fuel economy of the manual and automatic variants. When the engine has both manual and auto gearbox options, we have taken an average of the two transmissions' fuel economy figures.

    10. Tata Safari - 15.11kpl

    Starting off the list is Tata’s flagship SUV, the Safari. The SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that produces 170hp and 350Nm and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The Safari has the lowest fuel economy among all the contenders on the list, with its manual gearbox delivering 16.14kpl and the automatic delivering 14.08kpl. However, this makes sense when you consider that at 4.6 metres long, the Safari is also the largest SUV on the list. 

    9. Tata Harrier - 15.47kpl

    Next on the list is another Tata model that shares its powertrain with the Safari. The claimed figures on the Harrier are slightly higher, with the manual gearbox model having a claimed figure of 16.35kpl and the automatic,14.6kpl. 

    8. Mahindra Bolero Neo - 18.04kpl 

    The Bolero Neo is based on the same platform as the Mahindra Bolero, however, the Neo is targeted at urban users, which is why it gets more creature comforts over the standard Bolero. The Neo is powered by Mahindra's 1.5-litre engine that churns out a relatively modest 100hp and 260Nm. Despite having just a 5-speed gearbox on offer, the Bolero Neo manages a fuel efficiency of 18.04kpl. 

    7. Hyundai Alcazar - 19.25kpl

    Hyundai’s three-row SUV, the Alcazar, is a great proposition for our country. Our Alcazar long-termer not only proved to be reliable, spacious and comfortable but also frugal. Helping the Alcazar chug along is Hyundai’s 1.5-litre CRDi engine making 116hp and 250Nm. The Alcazar is available with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic. The fuel economy for the manual-gearbox Alcazar is 20.4kpl, while the automatic gearbox delivers 18.1kpl. 

    6. Hyundai Creta - 19.85kpl

    Another Hyundai SUV following in close succession is the Creta. The Creta needs no introduction with the car being on sale in India since 2015 and accounting for a sizable amount of Hyundai sales since. The Creta gets the same 1.5-litre engine as the Alcazar and even the same gearbox, however, since it’s a tad smaller in size than the Alcazar, the fuel economy figures marginally improve. The diesel manual has a claimed fuel efficiency of 18.3kpl, while the automatic gearbox manages an average of 21.4kpl.

    5. Kia Seltos - 19.9kpl

    The Kia Seltos, which just saw its facelifted version being launched in India, has the same engine as on the Creta and Alcazar – a 1.5-litre diesel engine making 116hp and 250Nm. However, unlike Hyundai, Kia is only offering the Seltos with an iMT transmission instead of a standard manual. The fuel efficiency figures of the Seltos iMT stand at 20.7kpl, while the automatic delivers 19.1kpl.

    4. Mahindra XUV300 - 20kpl

    The XUV300 is Mahindra’s midsize SUV player. The 1.5-litre diesel unit churns out 117hp and 300Nm of torque is available in both 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission. The claimed fuel efficiency for the manual gearbox is 20kpl, and the figures for the automatic variant that comes with the Marelli-sourced 6-speed automated manual gearbox haven't been revealed.

    3. Kia Sonet - 21.55 kpl

    Like the Kia Seltos, the Sonet too gets a 6-speed automatic transmission and an iMT instead of a manual transmission. However, like the other Hyundai on the list, it gets the same 1.5-litre diesel engine that is good for 115hp and 250Nm. The Sonet diesel in a manual guise has a claimed mileage of 24.1kpl, while the automatic transmission delivers 19kpl. 

    2. Tata Nexon - 23.64kpl

    Tata played it smart when dealing with the RDE norms by using a Passive Selective Catalytic Reduction to save costs and make their engine meet the emissions norms. The Nexon diesel is powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine and not the 2.0-litre unit from the Safari and Harrier. The Nexon’s engine produces 115hp and 260Nm and can be had with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Nexon diesel has a mileage of 23.22kpl in the manual guise and 24.07kpl with the automatic transmission.

    1. Hyundai Venue - 23.7kpl

    Topping the list of the top 10 most fuel-efficient diesel SUVs in India is the Hyundai Venue. The diesel Venue does not get an automatic gearbox, but only a 6-speed manual. Engine duties are carried out by the same 1.5-litre engine from the Alcazar, Creta, Sonet and Seltos and the claimed fuel economy for the Venue is 23.7kpl. 

    Also see: 

    Here are India's most fuel efficient petrol midsize SUVs

    How Tata saved its 1.5 diesel without spending a fortune



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