10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

Upcoming BS6 emission norms are set to have a huge impact on diesel vehicles – carmakers including Maruti Suzuki and Tata have announced that they will not be upgrading their small diesel engines as those models could get prohibitively expensive. In addition, petrol and diesel prices are slowly achieving parity, making the premium paid for a diesel (over its petrol counterpart) less appealing.

Despite this, a diesel car is still a hard to resist proposition thanks to effortless drivability due to low-end torque, good resale values and relatively better fuel efficiency. The latter point is still one of the foremost factors that drive Indian consumers. Here’s our list of the 10 most fuel efficient diesel cars currently on sale in India.

1. Maruti Suzuki Dzire 28.4kpl


It isn’t surprising that a Maruti sits at the top. Thanks to its 75hp, 1.3-litre diesel engine and lightweight body, this compact sedan can go an impressive 28.4km on a litre of fuel. The Dzire – which rivals Honda’s Amaze and the Ford Aspire – boasts excellent build quality, a roomy cabin and a long equipment list, backed by Maruti’s excellent aftersales network. Priced from ₹ 6.72 lakh to ₹ 9.58 lakh for the top-spec AMT variant, the Dzire is one of the fastest-selling vehicles in India.

2. Maruti Suzuki Swift – 28.4kpl

10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

Like its compact sedan counterpart, the Swift is one of the most fuel-efficient diesel cars available. The hatchback shares its platform and powertrains with the Dzire and goes head-to-head with the Hyundai Grand i10 and Ford Figo. While higher variants are pricey (₹ 7.03- 8.89 lakh), it sells well.

3. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Smart Hybrid – 28.09kpl

10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

Maruti’s midsize sedan comes with an efficient 90hp, 1.3-litre mild-hybrid engine and a plush, roomy and well-equipped cabin area, both of which justify its relatively higher sales figures compared to the Hyundai Verna and Honda City. The Ciaz is also available with a 95hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine, which has an ARAI-rated mileage of 26.82kpl. The difference between the two is likely due to the lack of the mild-hybrid setup on the 1.5-litre engine. The Ciaz diesel range starts at ₹ 9.20 lakh and goes up to ₹11.38 lakh.

4. Maruti Suzuki Baleno – 27.39kpl

10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

The Baleno shares its 75hp, 1.3-litre engine, 5-speed manual gearbox and platform with the Dzire, resulting in an ARAI-rated 27.39kpl. A rival to the Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20 and upcoming Tata Altroz, the Baleno diesel retails between ₹ 6.74 lakh and ₹ 8.73 lakh.

5. Honda Jazz – 27.3kpl

10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

Honda’s answer to Hyundai i20 and Maruti Baleno comes with the Japanese brand’s efficient, if noisy, 100hp 1.5-litre diesel motor, which is paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox. A spacious and decently equipped premium hatchback, the Honda Jazz diesel is priced from ₹ 8.12 lakh to 9.40 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

6. Honda Amaze – 27.4kpl

10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

With the new-gen Amaze, Honda’s Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Hyundai Xcent rival improved on every aspect. The Amaze’s 1.5-litre diesel is shared with the Jazz and the City though is unique as it also comes with a smooth CVT gearbox option along with the 6-speed manual. However, the motor makes 20hp and 40Nm less and delivers 23.8kpl when paired to the CVT.

7. Tata Tiago – 27.28kpl

10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

While the Tiago’s 1.05-litre diesel engine may be on the duller side – it makes 70hp and 140Nm of torque – it is one of the most fuel-efficient small diesels around. Tata recently updated the Hyundai Santro and Maruti Celerio rival with more equipment, making it an even better value for money proposition. For its price –₹5.25 lakh to ₹6.62 lakh – the cabin area also feels quite upmarket and it drives like a more expensive car too.

8. Ford Aspire – 26.1kpl

10 most fuel efficient diesel cars in India

Ford’s small diesel engine, the ubiquitous 1.5-litre diesel that is used on a variety of models from the Figo and Freestyle to the EcoSport, is a likable motor thanks to its smooth power delivery and mileage. The engine, along with the superb ride-handling setup, makes this the fun-to-drive alternative in the compact sedan segment. However, this isn’t the quietest motor around. Though it isn’t as spacious as the Dzire or Amaze, considering it is priced from ₹6.89 lakh to ₹8.52 lakh, it provides an involving drive experience and is well-equipped.

9. Honda City – 25.6kpl

The same 100hp, 1.5 diesel does duty in a number of Honda cars and in the City, it has the same strengths and weaknesses. While it is a frugal motor, the NVH isn’t all that good. The top-spec versions are well-equipped but are more expensive than rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna. The diesel City costs between ₹11.11 lakh and ₹14.16 lakh.

10. Ford Figo – 25.5kpl

Interestingly, the Figo diesel is marginally less fuel-efficient than its heavier compact sedan counterpart. Both have the same 100hp diesel engine paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox and are the enthusiasts’ option in their respective segments. The Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Grand i10 rival’s USPs include the excellent ride and handling, strong build quality and good value. Despite a recent facelift, it does miss out on some features. The diesel variants retail between ₹6.13- 7.55 lakh.

All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi

The list is based on the figures quoted by ARAI and do not reflect real-world efficiency figures.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 12:31:29 PM |

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