With the shift to BS-VI emission norms, multiple manufacturers have moved away from diesel engines entirely. Those who still do offer a diesel engine option have introduced new units entirely or have upgraded their existing motors to meet the new norms — this has adversely affected the fuel economy figures of many cars.
We take a look at the most fuel-efficient BS-VI diesel cars that are available in the Indian market. Keep in mind the figures quoted here are from ARAI. Real-life efficiency figures will vary.
7. Ford Freestyle 23.8kpl
The same 100hp, 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual combination in the EcoSport can go 23.8km on a litre of diesel in the lighter Freestyle cross-hatch. Of the two engine options available (the other is a 96hp, 1.2-litre petrol mill), it is the diesel unit that is far better suited to the Freestyle’s fun-to-drive nature. The Freestyle is the only BS6 diesel cross-hatch in its class; neither the Maruti Suzuki Ignis nor the Mahindra KUV100 NXT have that option.
6. Ford Figo and Aspire 24.4kpl
In the Figo hatchback and Aspire compact sedan, Ford’s excellent 1.5-litre diesel goes even further on a litre of diesel. Despite the approximate 15kg difference in kerb weights, both models have an identical ARAI rating of 24.4kpl, which could be due to the different gearing on the 5-speed manual. The Ford Figo diesel is an arch-rival to the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, while the Ford Aspire diesel directly takes on the Hyundai Aura and Honda Amaze.
5. Honda Amaze 24.7kpl
Honda’s compact sedan is powered by a 100hp/200Nm, 1.5-litre diesel engine that is mated to either a 5-speed manual or a CVT-automatic gearbox. The diesel-manual version is rated at 24.7kpl, giving the compact sedan a spot on the top 5. The Amaze diesel-CVT has an ARAI rating of 21kpl, and output figures that are 20hp/40Nm lower too. The Honda Amaze diesel is the second most efficient compact sedan by a margin of 0.3kpl.
4. Hyundai Verna 25kpl
Until the next-gen Honda City goes on sale, the Hyundai Verna will be the only diesel mid-size sedan available. Recently updated with a new 115hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine that is shared with the Creta, the Verna sure has appeal for buyers with lots of driving on their hands. The Verna diesel-manual delivers 25kpl, while the smooth auto is good for 21.3kpl.
3. Hyundai Grand i10 Nios 25.1kpl
Hyundai’s 1.2-litre U2 CRDi unit is the smallest diesel engine currently available in India. In the Grand i10 Nios, this three-cylinder unit makes 75hp and comes with the 5-speed manual and AMT gearbox options. The diesel-manual and diesel-AMT Nios have a fuel-efficiency figure of 25.1kpl, earning the hatchback a space on the podium. The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios diesel is the most frugal diesel hatchback in its class, though it misses out on the title of most fuel-efficient hatchback by 0.01kpl.
2. Tata Altroz 25.11kpl
Tata’s all-new premium hatchback is the most efficient diesel hatchback currently available in India, with an ARAI-rated economy of 25.11kpl. Available in a single engine-gearbox version, the Altroz diesel uses a 90hp version of Tata Motor’s 1.5-litre Revotorq engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Until the BS-VI Honda Jazz diesel arrives, the Tata Altroz is the only diesel-powered premium hatchback in the market.
1. Hyundai Aura 25.40kpl
Hyundai’s 1.2-litre diesel engine also does duty in the Aura compact sedan and it’s at its most frugal here. Interestingly, the Hyundai Aura diesel-AMT has an ARAI-certified fuel economy of 25.40kpl, stretching each litre of diesel the farthest, which makes it the most fuel-efficient diesel car in India right now. The diesel-manual also impresses with its 25.35kpl figure.