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November 24, 2017

The Cars of 2017 Are Less Fuel Efficient Compared to Last Year's

Last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) in cooperation with Petron held the first-ever Euro 4 fuel economy run in the country. Supposedly a dry run for the DOE’s efforts for a standardized fuel economy benchmark (surprise: there’s still none), 70 vehicles were driven at midnight on a mostly empty highway course. This year, the DOE held another fuel economy run (the 13th such event) with 55 vehicles present. They threw away the guise of creating a standardized benchmark and highlighted instead its consumer-focused “E-Power Mo” campaign which aims to highlight efficiency as a main factor in purchasing a vehicle.

If the DOE wants fuel economy runs like these to serve as a way to make consumers better informed then here’s a spoiler: the class of 2017 is less efficient compared to last year. By how much? Overall, fuel efficiency is down 9.1 percent with gasoline-fed vehicles taking the brunt: 13.9 less efficient; diesels didn’t do so well too, registering a 5.3 percent drop.

With fuels remaining constant (gasoline-powered vehicles used Petron XCS while diesel-powered vehicles used Petron Turbo Diesel), the DOE’s decision to change the route may have played a factor. Last year, the course was about 280 kilometers long, going through Petron Clark – SCTEX – TPLEX and back. This year, the course was cut by approximately 64 kilometers with a route going through Petron Clark – SCTEX – TPLEX Binalonan and back.

In any case, the average fuel economy for the Philippine automotive industry has dropped to 20.29 km/L (from 22.32 km/L). Diesels are down to 20.95 km/L from 22.13 km/L while gasoline models drop to 19.36 km/L from 22.48 km/L.

For 2017, the top five most efficient vehicles are the SsangYong Rodius with a 33.12 km/L figure followed by the MINI Countryman (30.64 km/L), Kia Picanto (29.23 km/L), Volkswagen Golf GTS (27.91 km/L), and Hyundai Accent (27.80 km/L). All, but the Kia are powered by a diesel engine.

Among diesels, the most efficient is the SsangYong Rodius, followed by the MINI Countryman, Volkswagen Golf GTS, Hyundai Accent, and BMW 318d (26.94 km/L). The worst performers are the BAIC H5 Bayanihan (13.89 km/L), Nissan Urvan Premium (13.53 km/L), and Hyundai Grand Starex Super Express (13.52 km/L).

In the gasoline category, the most fuel-efficient vehicle is the Kia Picanto followed by the Toyota Vios (25.88 km/L), Toyota Wigo (25.19 km/L), Suzuki Alto 800 (24.81 km/L), and Honda City (23.91 km/L). The biggest guzzlers are the BAIC H6 (12.40 km/L), Chevrolet Spark (12.15 km/L), and Hyundai Creta (11.52 km/L).

When it comes to brands, MINI topped everyone with a 30.64 km/L corporate average fuel efficiency rating with SsangYong (27.74 km/L), Volkswagen (26.33 km/L), BMW (25.41 km/L), and Toyota (24.70 km/L) rounding up the Top 5. The worst performers are Ford (16.81 km/L), Chevrolet (15.07 km/L), Foton (14.25 km/L), and BAIC (13.56 km/L).

Comparing 2016 and 2017 figures, the most-improved brand is MINI with a 41.93 percent increase followed by Kia (20.86 percent), Mahindra (19.96 percent), Volvo (14.56 percent), and Toyota (12.71 percent). The biggest droppers are Hyundai (28.25 percent), Mazda (29.17 percent), and Isuzu (37.35 percent). Audi, Porsche, and Tata didn’t join this year while BMW (as a guest) and SsangYong are new participants in 2017.

For the sake of this economy run, the DOE classified vehicles into 5 groups: Hybrid, MPV, Pick-Up, Sedan, and SUV. The most efficient MPV is the Toyota Innova (21.60 km/L) while the worst is the BAIC H5 Bayanihan. For Pick-Ups, the Mahindra Scorpio scored the highest with 22.52 km/L while the worst is the BAIC Freedom at 15.10 km/L. A big surprise is that last year’s overall champion, the Isuzu D-Max did only 16.33 km/L—the second worst figure in its category. The most efficient sedan is the Kia Picanto while the least is the Chevrolet Spark. Finally, in the SUV category, the SssangYong Rodius topped the chart while the Hyundai Creta found itself at the bottom. There’s only one hybrid runner and that’s the Toyota Prius which managed 26.13 km/L.

Pegging the price of diesel at P 36.90 and gasoline at P 50.20, the cheapest vehicles to run 1,000 kilometers are all diesel: SsangYong Rodius (P 1,114.13), MINI Countryman (P 1,204.31), Volkswagen Golf GTS (1,322.11), Hyundai Accent (P 1,327.34), and BMW 318d (P 1,369.71). The leading gasoline entry, the Kia Picanto is in 10th (P 1,717.41). The most expensive to run are the Chevrolet Spark (P 4,131.69), and the Hyundai Creta (P 4,357.64).


  1. Keep it up DOE.. these figures should be standard label on cars for sale. Hindi dapat vendor ang nagssabi ng fuel economy.
    When manufacturers bench mark fuel milage for marketing purposes the bloat tire pressure, turn off aircon, use narrower tires, test under cooler ambient temperature, single person onboard, dead weights removed like spare tire..etc.
    When you buy cars in US part of the label is milage in MPG done in standard driving conditions by US EPA.. sort of the yellow tag we see in electrical appliances here.

  2. Did Suzuki not pit the Ciaz and the Celerio this year?

    LOL at the Vios and Wigo. Wigo waited for the VVT-I, yung Vios naman, waited for the CVT, Dual VVT-I. Strange na they didn't do the 1.3 engine, which is the bulk of the Vioses out there

  3. If you changed the route then definitely fuel consumption will be affected. Duh!!!


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