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Top 10 fuel-efficient petrol cars in India

Autocar India logo Autocar India 05-09-2018 Rivan RS
a person in a car: Top 10 fuel-efficient petrol cars in India © Rivan RS Top 10 fuel-efficient petrol cars in India

Buying a petrol car over a diesel one in India has its advantages – mainly the lower initial cost and comparatively better levels of refinement and NVH. With prices of diesel slowly achieving parity with petrol and the various recent international diesel emission scandals, the Indian industry is seeing a gradual shift towards petrol engine cars.

Still, fuel efficiency is one of the most important factors an Indian consumer takes into account when buying a car. Hence, here’s our list of the 10 most fuel-efficient petrol cars on sale in India today.

Though the figures quoted ahead are ARAI certified, they do not reflect real-world efficiency figures as those tests are conducted in the lab under ideal conditions. We have also added fuel efficiency figures from our road tests and long term reviews to give you an idea of the figures you can expect in the real world. 

1. Datsun Redigo

ARAI Certified: 25.17kpl

Autocar test (overall): 17.88kpl

Datsun’s Redigo, when powered by the 54hp, 0.8-litre engine, shares the top spot with the identically equipped Renault Kwid. The brand has also introduced a 68hp, 1.0-litre model (ARAI fuel efficiency of 22.5kpl) of the tall boy hatchback. While the Redigo isn’t the most well-equipped or most spacious car, with prices starting at Rs 2.81 lakh (on-road, Delhi), the frugal engine and its styling, the Redigo is a decent buy. The automated manual version of the Redigo 1.0 has recently been introduced recently at Rs 3.81 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and it has the same fuel efficiency as its manual counterpart.

2. Renault Kwid

ARAI Certified: 28.4kpl

Autocar test (overall): 18.4kpl

The rugged-looking Renault hatchback shares the 0.8-litre engine with the Redigo, and the same ARAI-rated fuel-efficiency figure. Slightly more premium and spacious interiors, along with a touchscreen infotainment system on the top-spec trim and even more kit now with the 2018 facelift, are a few of the reasons to go for the Kwid, whose prices start at Rs 2.66 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). A 1.0-litre version and an AMT variant are also available, along with a more rugged-looking Climber version.

3. Maruti Alto 800

ARAI Certified: 24.7kpl

Autocar test (overall): 22.25kpl

There’s a good reason why the Alto 800 is one of India’s most popular small cars – its staring price of Rs 2.51 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), its fuel efficiency and Maruti’s extensive service network. The 48hp, 796cc motor helps the lightweight car post the third-best fuel efficiency figure on this list.

4. Maruti Alto K10

ARAI Certified: 24.07kpl

Autocar test (overall): 15.5kpl

It is a better-looking and more upmarket version of the Alto 800 and comes with a peppy, 68hp, 1.0-litre engine. It’s a great choice as an urban runabout, with a price tag starting at Rs 3.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It also comes with an automatic variant that is claimed to be just as fuel efficient as the manual.

5. Tata Tiago

ARAI Certified: 23.84kpl

Autocar test (city): 10.5kpl

Priced from Rs 3.26 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Tiago is a good-looking hatchback that features a stylish, yet practical interior and decent levels of equipment. Its size and features put it in a segment that's slightly above the other cars, but the 85hp, 1.2-litre engine is a bit lacklustre in terms of performance. An AMT version is also on offer. A performance version and an all-electric version of the hatchback were showcased recently at Auto Expo 2018. 

6. Maruti Suzuki Celerio

ARAI certified: 23.1kpl

Autocar test (overall): NA

Maruti brought out a minor facelift for its Celerio recently, priced from Rs 4.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi); though not much had changed. Besides a claim that the hatchback has been upgraded to meet upcoming Indian safety norms in terms of pedestrian, offset and side impact regulations, the model is more or less the same, with Maruti having missed the opportunity to equip it with a touchscreen infotainment system. The 68hp, 1.0-litre three-cylinder motor is shared with the Alto K10 and an AMT transmission is also an option.

7. Maruti Suzuki Dzire

ARAI Certified: 22kpl

Autocar test (overall): 15.96kpl

The new Dzire pairs Maruti’s frugal 83hp, 1.2-litre petrol engine to a lightweight body, making it the most fuel-efficient petrol sedan (albeit a compact one) on sale in India. The Dzire is the largest-selling compact sedan for a great many reasons, which is not just limited to its peppy performance, fuel efficiency, cabin room and equipment. With a competitive starting price of Rs 5.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it is no wonder it won our big, compact sedan comparison shootout.  

8. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz

ARAI Certified: 21.56kpl

Autocar test: NA

The Ciaz facelift brought design tweaks and more kit to Maruti Suzuki’s midsize sedan but most importantly, it debuted the brand’s new K15B petrol engine and came with a segment-first – micro-hybrid tech on a petrol engine. While even the previous model was the most fuel-efficient in its class, with an ARAI certified figure of 20.73kpl, the micro-hybrid tech on the facelift model is claimed to help achieve a rating of 21.56kpl. The new Ciaz retains the outgoing model’s value-for-money proposition and is priced between Rs 8.19 lakh and Rs 9.97 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the petrol-manual variants.

9. Maruti Suzuki Baleno

ARAI Certified: 21.4kpl

Autocar test (overall): 15.77kpl

While Maruti may have positioned the Baleno as a premium offering, with prices starting at Rs 5.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it features all the things that Maruti cars are known for, from the 84hp, 1.2-litre engine to the lightweight platform and body. A decently long equipment list, strong performance and a nice cabin are a few of the highlights. Incidentally, the Baleno RS with the 102hp, 1.0-litre engine has an ARAI-certified fuel efficiency figure of 21.1kpl.

10. Hyundai Eon (0.8-litre)

ARAI Certified: 21.1kpl

Autocar test (overall): 15.4kpl

Hyundai’s Eon may not be the freshest car in the market, but the 56hp, 814cc motor is still one of the most fuel-efficient ones available. The engine’s downside is its lacklustre performance. Higher variants of this hatchback are very decently equipped but are a bit too expensive compared to rivals. Prices start at Rs 3.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). For reference, the 69hp, 1.0-litre engine gets a rating of 20.3kpl.

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(Slideshow provided by Autofile)

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