Honda Cars India has been a late bloomer in the mass market segment, where the volumes are. However, after a much delayed entry Honda did manage to make it big with the advent of the Amaze compact sedan and the City sedan. The immense success of both the models have been courtesy of Honda’s name and built quality, but also because the vehicles provide best in class fuel efficiency figures. Now a recent look at mileage figures conclude that Honda makes the most fuel efficient vehicles in India, leaving bestsellers Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai far behind.
India’s most fuel efficient car currently is the fourth generation Honda City that was launched earlier this year. In our top 10 most fuel efficient cars in India list, the top two positions are filled by the City and Amaze, followed by the Chevrolet Beat diesel coming in third and a range of Tata and Hyundai products coming in the list. India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki could not make it to the top 10, and had the DZire as its most fuel efficient vehicle returning 23.4 km/l at 11th position.
Returning an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 26 km/l, the City managed to put the sales chart on fire with a thunderous start leaving competition far behind since launch. The City uses a 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine that produces 100 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque and also powers the Amaze sedan which has an ARAI mileage of 25.8 km/l. With the gap between petrol and diesel prices shrinking, it is the fuel economy that is of great significance over ownership costs. The City’s immense success is attributed to its high fuel efficiency that made a very strong case against competition. The recently launched Ford Fiesta is in the top 10 list with an impressive mileage of 25.1 km/l. If Ford go the Honda way of offering thin tyres on the Fiesta, it could beat the City to go on the top of the fuel efficiency list.
In comparison Maruti Suzuki offers marginally less fuel efficiency on its vehicles, but still manages to outnumber its rivals in terms of sales. The DZire was India’s best selling vehicle in May this year, outnumbering the Alto, which has been India’s best selling car for over a decade. Certainly the overall pricing and service network play a crucial role as well in the purchase decision of buyers, however the rise in fuel prices are persuading customers towards purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles.
Most manufacturers today are working on bringing small capacity high performance fuel efficient engines that provide the best of both worlds. Most manufacturers are choosing turbocharged units over naturally aspirated ones to provide excellent fuel efficiency as well as meet stringent emission norms. Currently, the average fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in India is rated at 16 km/l, an improvement of 1.5 km/l in five years. The government however is working to increase the overall fuel efficiency of vehicles in the country to 18.2 km/l by April 2016.