Snapshot – In the land of the “Kitna Deti Hai”, diesel hatchbacks continue to rule the hustings, especially in the B+ segment space. CarToq rounds up India’s most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks in an updated 2014 list. So, if you’re in the market for a diesel hatchback with an emphasis on fuel efficiency, you must stop by and go through this list. All fuel efficiency figures in this list are ARAI certified. Oh, and there’s a surprise in store. India’s best selling B+ Segment hatchback isn’t in this list. Whoever said Indians care only for mileage.
Chevrolet Beat – 25.44 Kmpl
Despite being the most fuel efficient hatchback in the country, the Chevrolet Beat doesn’t even sell half as much as the best selling B+ segment hatchback. The Beat Diesel manages 25.44 Kmpl, mainly due to its 936 cc – 3 cylinder turbo diesel engine that is a downsized version of the 1.3 liter Multijet diesel motor that Fiat and General Motors jointly developed. Although the engine is super frugal, the loss of a cylinder results in a peak power rating of 57 Bhp and a peak torque rating of 150 Nm. In the real world, these figures translate into enough poke for city streets but the car feels underpowered on the highways. The Beat Diesel starts from 4.72 lakh rupees.
Tata Indica eV2 – 25 Kmpl
A cabbie favourite, the Tata Indica eV2 is a mileage champion with an ARAI rated 25 Kmpl. One of the most spacious B-Segment hatchbacks in the country, the Indica eV2 is cheap to buy and run. However, the stodgy image of the car being a taxi makes family car buyers shy away. The car is powered by a 1.4 liter CR4 turbo diesel engine with common rail injection technology. The engine outputs 70 Bhp-140 Nm. The Indica eV2 costs 4.4 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi, making it one the least priced diesel powered car in India.
Hyundai Grand i10 – 24 Kmpl
The latest entrant to the B+ segment hatchback space, the Grand i10 also features a triple cylinder turbo diesel engine like the Beat Diesel. However, the 1.1 liter U2 CRDI diesel engine has more juice than the sub-1 liter motor on the Beat Diesel. The 3 potter on the Grand i10 outputs a respectable 69 Bhp and 160 Nm. The engine is more than adequate for city streets while highway overtaking requires a fair bit of planning. Although Hyundai has done a fair job in restraining vibes inherent to 3 cylinder engines, the 1.1 liter motor doesn’t like high revs. The Grand i10 Diesel comes 3rd in the mileage champion list with 24 Kmpl. The diesel car starts at 5.16 lakh rupees.
Toyota Etios Liva – 23.59 Kmpl
A spacious car, the Toyota Etios Liva is a hatchback engineered specially for emerging markets. This “value engineering” shows up in the form of various flimsy bits on the car. The mileage though isn’t a weak suit of the car with the Etios Liva managing 23.59 Kmpl. The engine is a 1.4 liter D-4D turbo diesel unit that outputs 70 Bhp-170 Nm. With minimal turbo lag, the engine is a spirited performer, both in the city and on the highway. Cost cutting means that Toyota has cut corners in terms of sound insulation, a factor that allows quite a bit of engine noise into the cabin. The Liva starts from 5.75 lakh rupees.
Nissan Micra – 23.08 Kmpl
The advent of the Hyundai Grand i10 has meant that the Maruti Swift Diesel gets pushed out of the top 5 fuel efficient diesel hatchback list by a whisker. The Nissan Micra Diesel (ARAI rated 23.08 Kmpl) inches out the Swift (22.9 Kmpl). The Micra Diesel’s 1.5 liter K9K engine is a gem in terms of driveability. With next to no turbo lag, the Micra is a city slicker. The motor has enough punch for the highways too, with the 65 Bhp-160 Nm output coming in handy. The Micra Diesel starts at 5.65 lakh rupees.