There’s a distinct shift towards SUVs in India, with it being the only segment that’s been showing signs of growth in this sluggish automobile market. However, it’s also interesting that one of the key parameters that buyers want is fuel efficiency. Now, fuel efficiency and SUVs were never directly associated with each other, but that’s changing.
With the introduction of compact SUVs in the Indian market, fuel efficiency among SUVs too has gone up and is in fact comparable with the fuel efficiency of a sedan or hatchback. If you are looking at buying an SUV (compact or full size) under Rs. 10 lakh, the choice is limited to the Renault Duster (mid and base variants only), Mahindra Scorpio (mid-variant and base variant), Ford EcoSport (all variants), Mahindra Bolero (all variants), Mahindra Thar and the base variant Tata Safari. Also read: Should you buy an SUV or a sedan?
Let’s take a look at three of the best among these on the parameter of fuel efficiency alone.
Claimed fuel efficiency (diesel): 22.7 kmpl
Claimed fuel efficiency (petrol): 18.9 kmpl
The Ford EcoSport is the latest craze in the compact SUV segment. It’s not too big on size and is comparable to a premium hatchback in interior space. But it’s also comparable to a premium hatchback for the kind of fuel efficiency it delivers, along with the benefits of higher ground clearance and better road presence. The Ford EcoSport diesel is powered by a 1.5 litre diesel engine putting out 90 bhp of power and giving a fuel efficiency of 22.7 kmpl (ARAI certified) with a five-speed manual transmission. The Ford EcoSport is also the only petrol-powered SUV with high mileage claims as the 1-litre EcoBoost engine is supposed to give a fuel efficiency of 18.9 kmpl. Also read: Ford EcoSport hits Renault Duster sales
Claimed mileage diesel (85PS): 20 kmpl
Claimed mileage diesel (110PS): 19 kmpl
The Renault Duster did look good on the fuel efficiency charts until the Ford EcoSport came to spoil the party. The Duster has a claimed 20 kmpl for the 85PS diesel variant and 19 kmpl for the 110PS diesel variant, while the petrol is a measly 13 kmpl. Since it is the diesel that is the one in hot demand with both the 110 and the 85 selling equally well, the Renault Duster does rate pretty high when it comes to fuel economy. The Renault Duster loses out on price compared to the Ford EcoSport, but it is bigger overall and has far more interior space to offer. Also read: Choosing the best vehicle for cross-country drives
Claimed mileage diesel: 15 kmpl
The Mahindra Bolero is a workhorse of an SUV and is India’s largest selling SUV. Its claimed mileage is just 15 kmpl, but during a “mileage run” conducted by Mahindra a few years ago the Bolero clocked 35 kmpl to set a record. Most Bolero driver’s regularly report between 13-14 kmpl in normal driving conditions, while some claim to get as high as 17 kmpl on the highway, which is commendable. The Bolero is powered by a 2.5 litre diesel engine that puts out 63 bhp of power and 195 Nm of torque. It is very popular in rural India, accounting for sales of over 8000 units a month. The base EX variant of the Mahindra Scorpio also comes with the Bolero engine with power increased to 75 bhp. Also read: Five SUVs and MUVs with best fuel efficiency