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Old 03-05-2023, 09:30 AM   #1
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Looking for input on purchasing the most efficient car

Hi there,

My name is Jan, and I'm looking at purchasing a more efficient car, but have a bit of difficulty making sense of the data. I'm currently driving a 2002 Seat Ibiza Stella, doing on average 16km/l, 90% highway. My choice to replace it has to do with the increasing maintenance cost of this car.

I've saved enough to purchase a small car (Ibiza, up!, I10, Panda etc.) from around 2012 - 2016 era. I've researched each and my goal is to optimize it to the fullest extent. E.g. reliable car, low maintenance cost, low fuel consumption. Hence, why I'm looking for advice.

How much should I focus on the statistics? Currently, Hyundai i10 would be my top pick, but the logged fuel consumption in fuelly is just sad. Is the data statistically significant, or would I be able to get over 20km/l with one?
I also see discrepancies between versions of the same car. Is it known if these differences are significant, or they can be explained by driving habit, location, and other factors?

I see very few cars optimized for fuel efficiency, here. Plenty with extras I've never had, like air conditioning and cruise control. While I would like to have these features, all come at a price, of course. I have seen tech like 'blue motion' in VW polo, promising a better fuel economy. Is it worth it to look for cars without gadgets, and with the fuel efficiency tech?

It's clear to me the 25km/l numbers listed are what manufacturers claim, and not what people do in the real world. But, what choices should I make in a car purchase to get closer to a more reasonable 20km+/l?

Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2023, 11:12 AM   #2
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I'd first look at what you are getting with your current car in relation to the official figures. With the official numbers of the cars you are considering, that should give an idea of what to expect from them on your route.

The users on Fuelly are driving different roads and under different conditions than you. I compare the statistics to combined ratings to get an idea how truthful the manufacturer is being, and how easy it it will be to drive efficiently. Of course, it doesn't help with too small a sample size.
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Old 03-05-2023, 09:38 PM   #3
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Thank you for the input. It's indeed correct that everyone drives different roads, and therefore it's hard to compare. There are several biases, including where the car is most popular. An i10 is sold as a city car, so people might only use it for short trips, where I then try to figure out what it will do on 120km a day. I'll check my fuel numbers to the owner's manual, later today.
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Old 03-06-2023, 10:26 AM   #4
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The manual says 11.6km/l for city, 18.5km/l on the highway. Seems my 16km/l is quite good.
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Old 03-06-2023, 10:29 PM   #5
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The issue with the small cars you mentioned is that they are predominantly city cars with petrol engines and gearboxes geared towards town driving. Engines of this size are extremely underpowered and you really have to work the engine hard, which burns excessive fuel.

If you can stretch your budget, and low maintenance and low fuel consumption is key, I'd get a small diesel, like a Clio 1.5 DCI, or a VW 1.2 TDI. These cars will get well over 1000 KM on a full tank of diesel. The low down torque means they pick up speed quicker too and have to do less work than a petrol engine.
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Old 03-09-2023, 03:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Draigflag View Post
The issue with the small cars you mentioned is that they are predominantly city cars with petrol engines and gearboxes geared towards town driving. Engines of this size are extremely underpowered and you really have to work the engine hard, which burns excessive fuel.

If you can stretch your budget, and low maintenance and low fuel consumption is key, I'd get a small diesel, like a Clio 1.5 DCI, or a VW 1.2 TDI. These cars will get well over 1000 KM on a full tank of diesel. The low down torque means they pick up speed quicker too and have to do less work than a petrol engine.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll include the suggested diesel cars in my search. From what I know, diesel cars aren't very popular anymore as the road tax is about 100 a month for the suggested cars, and the diesel price not much cheaper than gasoline, here. Car cost calculations say it's only worth it above 60000 km. This is just an average, and the numbers on the suggested cars are really good.

Thanks for all the help, I just see now that it's a much more complicated problem than I first realized. No-one optimizes for fuel, that do for color, serviceability, and comfort. It's just a bit odd to me that there isn't much data on it. Mostly as, even saving 1% fuel over a year, can be huge!
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Old 03-15-2023, 08:35 PM   #7
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Regarding the differences between versions of the same car, it's possible that some variations may have different engines, transmissions, or other features that could affect fuel efficiency. However, as you noted, driving habits and conditions can also play a significant role in fuel economy, so it's important to consider how a particular version of a car might fit your individual needs and usage patterns.

Features like air conditioning and cruise control can contribute to a more comfortable and convenient driving experience, but they may also have some impact on fuel economy. Fuel efficiency technologies like VW's BlueMotion can help improve a car's fuel economy, but again, it's important to consider whether the added cost of these features is worth it to you.

To maximize your chances of achieving good fuel economy, consider looking for cars with smaller engines, efficient transmissions (such as automatic CVT or dual-clutch transmissions), and aerodynamic designs. Cars with hybrid or electric powertrains can also be very efficient, but they may have higher upfront costs.
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Old 03-26-2023, 07:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by melvinardan View Post
Regarding the differences between versions of the same car, it's possible that some variations may have different engines, transmissions, or other features that could affect fuel efficiency. However, as you noted, driving habits and conditions can also play a significant role in fuel economy, so it's important to consider how a particular version of a car might fit your individual needs and usage patterns.

Features like air conditioning and cruise control can contribute to a more comfortable and convenient driving experience, but they may also have some impact on fuel economy. Fuel efficiency technologies like VW's BlueMotion can help improve a car's fuel economy, but again, it's important to consider whether the added cost of these features is worth it to you.
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To maximize your chances of achieving good fuel economy, consider looking for cars with smaller engines, efficient transmissions (such as automatic CVT or dual-clutch transmissions), and aerodynamic designs. Cars with hybrid or electric powertrains can also be very efficient, but they may have higher upfront costs.
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Old 03-28-2023, 09:35 AM   #9
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Is this a GPT response? lol
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