If there’s one thing most motorists are concerned about besides having more affordable cars, it’s the fuel efficiency of the vehicle they’re interested in acquiring.
It’s quite common to hear buyers mention that the models from a certain Japanese marque have lower fuel consumption compared to other Japanese makes, which are supposedly thirstier.
A carmaker’s stated fuel economy for a particular model should be seen only as a rough gauge. We’re not entirely sure how manufacturers test the fuel consumption of their vehicles, but we can assume that these tests are done under controlled conditions, which cannot be replicated by motorists driving on regular roads.
Yes, there are drivers who can beat a carmaker’s stated economy figures by hypermiling, but this requires you to endure discomfort (because your air-con is switched off) and longer commutes (because you’ll have to drive at more reasonable speeds).
But for the majority of drivers who are concerned about buying an efficient car, your best bet is to check the consumption figures of a car and compare it to segment rivals. Generally speaking, cars that are lighter and have smaller capacity engines tend to be more fuel-efficient compared to heavier cars with large displacement motors. Asking friends/colleagues/relatives about the efficiency of specific models, however, is not a good idea. There are too many unknown factors at play for any person to give a conclusive account regarding the fuel economy of any car.
First of all, the person you’re asking might already have his/her biases for or against the vehicle in question. If they love their car, they’ll sing its praises and tell you how frugal it is. If they loathe it, you’ll only hear about how crappy the automobile is.
Second, everyone has a unique set of driving styles and habits. That relative who claims that Model XYZ gets lousy economy might have a heavy right foot and an abrupt driving technique. Does the person even keep his vehicle maintained? Does he keep a lot of unnecessary stuff in his vehicle?
Third, how far does this person drive on a daily/weekly/monthly/annual basis? Does his route vary? If it doesn’t, you can be sure that the traffic conditions certainly will.