In the past, I have broken ARAI fuel efficiency ratings for cars, but by just a margin, and they were all diesel models too. This time around though, the unthinkable has happened, I have surpassed the claimed rating achieved under the guidelines of the CMVR 1989 by a huge margin, and that too in a petrol car! I managed to achieve a figure of 26.75 km/l as compared to the Ciaz petrol’s 21.56 km/l claimed figure. How did I do this? Well, simply by coasting whenever I needed to slow down. Every time I needed to shed speed or come to a halt, I would put the gearbox in neutral and come to a gradual halt. I also avoided heavy acceleration to ensure the car never consumed more fuel while on the go or hit the brakes too hard. I was also using the engine start/stop system of the car to cut fuel consumption in traffic. In the interest of fairness, I should mention that I was using the A/C at all times and was doing speeds of 80 – 100 km/h on the highway, which consisted of about 48 km of the total 106.2 km of the fuel test cycle for this drive. The rest of the drive was on city roads.
Now I should explain that coasting will not allow the car’s mild hybrid system to provide electric assistance during acceleration to the engine as the battery pack only gets charged during in-gear deceleration. So with an empty lithium ion battery pack, there is no acceleration assist.
So I tried the efficiency run once again, this time by using the full potential of the mild hybrid system. This time around I did not coast at all for the 102.3 km efficiency run. Instead I would always use engine braking to reduce speed and use the brakes as well when I needed to come to a halt. This would charge the battery pack fairly quickly and use the stored electrical energy to assist the engine during acceleration thereby reducing the load on the engine, consequently lowering fuel consumption. I drove the car over the same roads and same traffic conditions as earlier and came out with an efficiency figure of 19.71 km/l, which is not very far away from the ARAI figure.
Maruti Suzuki’s mild hybrid system then is truly worthy of being labelled as ‘efficient technology’. 19.71km/l for a petrol car of this size and weight is mighty impressive!
When it came: October 2018
Current Odo reading: 8,936kms
Mileage this month: 713kms
Fuel efficiency: 26.75km/l
What’s good: Mild hybrid tech, seamless engine start/stop system
What’s not: No automatic wipers