Thursday, February 5, 2015

CAGI Publishes Fuel Economy Benchmarking Test

The Car Awards Group, Inc. or CAGI, known for its annual Car of the Year – Philippines and Truck of the Year – Philippines awards has come up with what they hope as a standardized way of measuring fuel economy of vehicles in the Philippines. According to CAGI, simply relying on data provided by overseas entities such as the US’s EPA, Europe’s NEDC, or Japan’s JC08 standards cannot accurately capture pertinent data for two reasons: first, because the models sold in the Philippines may vary from what’s sold in the US, Japan, and Europe; second, because it doesn’t capture driving habits here in the Philippines.

Recognizing this, CAGI, under the leadership of Ferman Lao, embarked on making fuel economy measurement much more scientifically-sound. Partnering with SpeedLab, they have devised a methodology quite different from what you’d expect.

Instead of using a rolling road or chassis dynamometer like the US EPA, Europe NEDC, and Japan JC08, CAGI used a closed course test loop the Clark International Speedway which is claimed to simulate typical urban conditions. After coming up with the course, experienced drivers are then given the keys and are to drive around the track with a specific target time in mind (as opposed to driving the fastest lap possible). For CAGI, this creates a fuel consumption profile that’s consistent not just for results for a particular vehicle but more importantly between vehicles. The test is carried out using one single test vehicle over two days where each vehicle logged in around 100 kilometers of testing.

Furthermore, CAGI has eschewed using the familiar (and tried-and-tested) “full tank method” which requires a vehicle to be filled to the brim before the test and then filled to the brim once more after the test to determine the amount of fuel used. CAGI argues that this method, though highly practical for consumers, is time consuming and cumbersome. More importantly, it doesn’t take into consideration the effects of fuel evaporation due to ambient and operating temperatures.

CAGI then turned things around and has come up with a very different method. Again, instead of relying on what other countries have done (normally using an external fuel tank with a predetermined amount of fuel that feeds fuel directly into the engine), they have come up with the idea to measure fuel not by volume (liters) but by weight (kilograms) instead. The testing committee will measure the weight of each vehicle before and after each test and use tables provided by partner Chevron to convert kilograms of fuel into liters, based on ambient temperature.

Do you agree with CAGI’s methodology or do you think they’re just smoking weed on this one? Let us know below. The comments section is all yours. In the meantime, the results of the CAGI fuel efficiency test in the table below.

CAGI Fuel Economy Benchmarking Results
Make and Model km/L
BYD F5 1.5 A/T 8.4
BYD L3 1.5 M/T 9.4
Chevrolet Spark 1.0 A/T 7.0
Chevrolet Spin 1.3 CRDi M/T 12.2
Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8 CRDi LTZ A/T 6.3
Ford Fiesta EcoBoost SportShift 9.3
Foton Thunder CRDi 4x2 M/T 5.5
Foton Thunder CRDi 4x4 M/T 4.7
Foton Tornado CRDi M/T 8.8
Foton Traveller CRDi M/T 6.0
Kia Rio 1.2 SLX 4DR M/T 10.5
Kia Sportage 2.0 LX FWD A/T 8.5
Mazda 6 2.5 Skyactiv 7.2
Mazda CX-5 2.5 Skyactiv Sport 6.9
Mitsubishi Lancer 1.6 GLX M/T 9.8
Mitsubishi Mirage GLS CVT 11.1
Misubishi Mirage G4 GL M/T 11.1
Toyota Vios 1.3 E M/T 10.5
Toyota Vios 1.3 E A/T 8.4


  1. The results are good. It is really accurate because of the traffic conditions in our country. Good work! It will really help other people. For some (or most) ads and commercials is giving out false fuel economy rating (though sometime, true for it is based on other country.) More power, carguide and CAGI and many more motoring related groups!

    1. Thank you for the kind words but CarGuide.PH didn't participate in the fuel economy benchmark test. We're simply reporting CAGI's findings.

  2. I do not agree with your result for the Trailblazer LTZ. I own a Trailblazer LTZ and the lowest that I get is 7.9 km/L with heavy traffic. You did your test on an open track without any traffic and therefore you should get between 9-10 km/L.

    1. Although the test was done on a track, it was meant to simulate city driving conditions. Notice the top speeds on each area of the track.

  3. Thumbs up!
    This is what we really need. The fuel consumption as given by car companies are very unrealistic. I've never driven a car that can do more than 10km/l around the city except for the Volkswagen. From my experience, Kia cars are the most thirsty for fuel, either gas or diesel. Maybe it is just me

  4. I hope they log 200kms+ to average out driving inconsistencies and to improve accuracy. Do they log ambient temp, humidity and wind condition? Aside from changes in engine efficiency, the A/C load might also be different in each scenario.

  5. Do they ensure that tire pressures are as recommended by the maker? Do they fully warm the vehicle before weigh in, or is the warm-up part of the economy test? Do they always start with a full tank, and would they be using the same gasoline/diesel for all cars? Could they also indicate which cars recommend premium fuel?

  6. Suzuki alto, celerio, swift etc...?

  7. Mirage G4 had consistently showing its fuel efficiency among petrol sedan engines. They started from there ads, testimonials of owners, eco marathon, and now this one...

    kudos to mirage owners!

  8. 10.5 km/l for vios 1.3e is not good. I own a 2009 1.5G MT and i consume 42ltrs of fuel in 1 day at an average of 15km/ltr . Manila to toguegarao then back to ifugao. return trip to manila is even better because of the quick climb up to dalton pass then a slow decent to san jose.

    1. This is a Simulated City track. No high-speed highway runs. Most buyers need to know the average fuel economy in city driving conditions, not the eco-run result of the a particular car.

      We all know cars are more fuel efficient on the highway. I had a Vios 2009 1.5G M/T as well. The best I got was about 20km/L from Davao to Surigao del Norte. (drafting a bit with buses and trucks, crazy but hey it works!) Average for the trip though is still around the 15km/L mark.
      On the city though, it stays at the 8-10km/L range.

      The test made by CAGI, is repeatable and can be used to compare cars of different engines, makes and types. Although not perfect, this test IMO is a lot better than the "standardized" fuel economy ratings provided by manufacturers.

  9. for a mini cage Chevrolet Spark 1.0 A/T can only go 7kms for 1 liter? can anyone enlighten me pls.. i'm interested about this car..

  10. May I know what kind of Sportage did you use? Is it Gas or Diesel?