India’s most fuel efficient diesel sedans of 2014

Snapshot – Diesel sedans are getting more fuel efficient than ever, so much so that many even beat their hatchback siblings in stretching the liter of the sticky, smelly stuff. CarToq picks out 8 of India’s most fuel efficient diesel sedans. This list might surprise you.

Maruti Swift Dzire 23.4 Kmpl

The Maruti Swift Dzire has no parallel when it comes to the performance at the hustings, for the compact sedan is the best selling sedan in India. However, the Dzire does it with a mix of a low purschase price, good performance, an easily accessible service network and low maintenance costs rather than fuel efficiency alone. The Dzire manages to eke out 23.4 Kmpl as per ARAI and the compact sedan features a 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine that outputs 75 Bhp-190 Nm. A five speed manual gearbox is a part of the equation.  The Dzire Diesel starts at 5.79 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.

Hyundai Verna 1.4 CRDI 23.5 Kmpl

The Hyundai Verna Fluidic offers not one but two turbo diesel engines, in line with the South Korean car brand’s philosophy of offering plenty of choice to buyers. The Verna Diesel’s smaller 1.4 liter CRDI motor is a fuel efficiency champion, returning 23.5 Kmpl. This mileage is possible mainly due to the 6 speed manual gearbox whose sixth ratio goes into overdrive for relaxed highway mile munching. The Verna Diesel starts at 8.36 lakh rupees and offers quite a bit of kit for that money.

Ford Fiesta 23.5 Kmpl

A dark horse that simply doesn’t find enough takers at the hustings, the Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCI Diesel sedan is an extremely capable performer with a refined diesel engine, and a superbly honed ride and handling package. The car’s 1.5 liter TDCI motor is old tech and runs on a fixed geometry turbocharger and an eight valve-SOHC layout. The motor outputs 89 Bhp-204 Nm and is mated to a well matched 5 speed gearbox. The Fiesta delivers an ARAI certified mileage of 23.5 Kmpl, in the process becoming one of the most fuel efficient diesel sedans in the country. The car starts at 9 lakh rupees.

Toyota Etios 23.59 Kmpl

The Toyota Etios is a light car developed specifically for emerging markets. The light weight design and a 1.4 liter D-4D turbo diesel engine running a fixed geometry turbocharger allows the Etios to return a fuel efficiency 23.59 Kmpl. The Etios’ diesel engine outputs 69 Bhp-170 Nm and is known for its driveability since turbo lag is minimal. The car is spacious and handles quite well. The interiors reek of cost cutting, a major fly in the ointment. The Etios Diesel starts at 6.64 lakh rupees.

Hyundai Xcent 24.4 Kmpl

The latest compact sedan in town, the Hyundai Xcent manages a creditable 24.4 Kmpl. The high fuel efficiency number may be attributed mainly to the car’s 1.1 liter turbo diesel engine that is a triple cylinder unit, an inherently fuel efficient design. The engine packs plenty of technology with a 16 valve-DOHC head, a variable geometry turbo charger and electronically controlled wastegate. However, the engine does tend to feel underpowered higher up the rev band with refinement levels also petering off. The car gets a 5 speed manual as standard and is based on the Grand i10 hatchback (BA) platform. The Xcent Diesel starts at 5.57 lakh rupees.

Tata Indigo eCS 25 Kmpl

The Tata Indigo eCS held the “most fuel efficient sedan” crown in India for a while before the likes of the Honda Amaze, and then the Honda City arrived onto the scene. Yet, the Indigo eCS Diesel’s 25 Kmpl is very respectable indeed. The car is powered by a 1.4 liter CR4 turbo diesel engine that comes with common rail direct injection. The motor outputs 70 Bhp-140 Nm, which is par for the course. Bought mainly by the cab operator segment, the Indigo eCS is a spacious sub-4 meter car. Also, it is the least priced diesel compact sedan in India. Prices start from 5 lakh rupees.

Honda Amaze 25.8 Kmpl

The Honda Amaze was the fuel efficiency champion among sedans until the arrival of its bigger brother, the City sedan. The Amaze delivers 25.8 Kmpl and this fuel efficiency combined with the car’s status of being the first ever diesel car from Honda, instantly propelled it to become a very strong seller for the Japanese car brand. The Amaze features a 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine, designed mainly with India in mind. This all-aluminium motor is noisy but very fuel efficient. The motor also delivers a class leading 98.6 Bhp-200 Nm. The Amaze Diesel starts at 5.98 lakh rupees.

Honda City 26 Kmpl

The Honda City has made a comeback into India and has promptly climbed to the top spot in the C-Segment sedan space. The car is India’s most fuel efficient sedan with a 26 Kmpl fuel efficiency rating. The 2014 City manages it by mating the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine from the Amaze to a 6 speed manual gearbox with overdrive. The car’s 6 speed gearbox allows for a lower cruising rpm, positively impacting fuel efficiency. The motor’s state of tune remains unchanged from the one available on the Amaze, but a lot more sound deadening material is used to quieten things on the 2014 City. The City Diesel starts at 8.37 lakh rupees.