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Draigflag 06-20-2014 10:09 AM

My new Eco Diesel
Let me introduce my new car to you. It's a 2013 Renault Clio fitted with a 1.5 litre Diesel Common rail Injection (DCI for short!) that has a modest 90 HP. I recently traded in my 09 Fiat 500 Abarth as the car's miles were creeping up, and the running costs were becoming a bit too much to justify for such a small car.


It's packed with some awesome toys as it's a top of the range dealer demonstrator. It's rated at 70 MPG on the Urban/City test, 88 MPG on the Extra Urban/Highway test and has an overall figure of 83 MPG.


The main reason it's so good on fuel is the engine, a small displacement diesel unit designed purely to save fuel, but it also has a lot of neat fuel saving features such as stop/start technology, regenerative braking, gear shift indicators to tell you the best time to change gear, active air shutter behind the grill which make the car more aerodynamic at higher speeds, electric steering which gives better feedback and uses less energy, low energy LED running lights and an ECO switch that controls engine torque, and alters the way the air con works to save fuel too. It's one of the most economical cars available. The only downside is the 17" wheels which eat up a whole 5 MPG from the figures quoted, so a swith to 16" might be on the menu possibly.


The main feature that sold it to me is the MediaNav system, a "floating" 7 inch tablet style console with Sat nav/GPS, Bluetooth phone, Media Player and many other things too. It also has speed limiter, cruise control, Digital speedo, Digital Radio, push button start etc etc. As a result of the excellent economy, it also has free road tax, my other car which was a petrol powered, smaller engine city car was almost 200 a year ($340 USD roughly). Despite the fact that this car has a bigger heavier diesel unit, and the car itself is much larger than my old one, it actually weighs less thanks to some clever engineering, and the use of lightweight materials such as plastic front wings! A wise choice when fuel is over $10 a UK gallon.


It drives beautifully, is as quiet as any petrol car I've owned and has a nice slick long geared 5 speed manual box, great for cruising. It's very sooth and refined and feel like a much larger car on the highway with very little engine, wind or road noise at all. I'm still getting used to the gear ratio's, my smaller city based car had a very versatile box which meant you could be in 5th gear by the time you're doing 30 MPH, this one has longer gears. At the moment i'm getting 64 MPG which is not bad as I've been doing a lot of short trips with the AC on around town, but as the car has only covered 4k, I guess it will improve with age and wisdom! What do you guys think?


Draigflag 06-23-2014 11:48 AM

First week in the car, I've travelled 450 miles so far, and according to the range reading, I still have another 450 to go! Pretty good going, i'm sure I read it has a 10 gallon tank but I think it must be bigger than that as the computer also says im getting around 64 MPG. We'll see on the first fuel up...


Draigflag 07-01-2014 11:50 AM

First fuel up, 719.8 miles 63.1 UK MPG, i'm pretty pleased with that even though it seems far from the 78 MPG combined official figure. On the 6 mile trip back, I managed an indicated 86.4 MPG, although that's probably not very accurate given i'd just reset the trip computer.

Draigflag 07-29-2014 09:01 AM

2nd tank only came in at 60.9 UK MPG, been doing a lot of short trips, with a lot of AC on and carrying 5 people at times too, and I also disengaged ECO mode on this tank. It's obviously had an effect on my fuel consumption.

After refuelling and resetting the trip reading, there was a nice flat 16 mile drive home. I put it back in ECO mode and even with the AC on, it managed an amazing 90.4 MPG! About 10% was downhill too. After 70 miles, the MPG has now dropped to 74.3 MPG, still pretty impressive, i'm more than happy with this for a non-hybrid car.

The only downside to having such a vast range per tank is that short trips per tank are increased, as I do most of my small trips during the week, so i'm trying to reduce my short trips.

8$PG 07-30-2014 05:15 AM

Nice car! There has recently come out several 3.2L/100km cars. Great to hear it's comfortable too but how come you didn't go for the ZOE at once skipping the fuel at $10/gallon all together? Should be similar to the clio but 100% electric.

I see in one of your pictures 2400rpm at 60km/h?! Indicator says up-shift, what gear is that? 3:rd? :) I would think even in a small diesel keeping the revs. between 1100-1500rpm is the most efficient. 5:th gear would be possible at 60km/h.

Draigflag 07-30-2014 09:42 AM

The Zoe is only electric as you say, so has a limited range. I have a 800 mile round trip to do next week, so imagine how many times I would have to charge it for that!

That is a stock image from the web, not my actual car, I didnt have one of the instrument pannel on mine :)

Draigflag 12-28-2014 05:39 AM

Just a brief annual report on my car. Just over 10,000 on the clock now. Stats are below (only bought the car in June, so not a full year) Overall i'm pleased with the economy, in all honesty, I was expecting a little higher, but it's to be expected if I carry on doing lots of short trips mid week. I only really did one large highway stint when I went on holiday, and the economy averaged out at 74 MPG whilst cruising at 70 MPH, so obviously I would be looking at mid 70 MPG's if I were to use the car more on the highway.


The car itself is fantastic though, so smooth quiet and refined, not to mention comfort levels similar to a large cruiser, all the toys and gadgets are so simple and easy to use too. Overall, I love this car! Still not had a chance to polish that beautiful metallic flame red paintwork yet though, it's the best coloured car I've owned. The concealed rear doors still catch a few people out as they open the front door and attempt to slide the front seat forward to get behind, makes me chuckle! The car is due it's first service, but with only 10,000 on the clock it seems a waste having the oil changed so soon (the intervals are 19,000 I think) but as the car came with 2 years free servicing anyway, I'll get it done to be on the safe side.

I enjoy using Fuelly and the forums, thanks to the team behind fuelly, good work ironing out the glitches!

And as I like photography, here are a few edited arty shots from the last few months. Happy Motoring people! :)





rosko 12-28-2014 11:55 PM

You have a sweet looking car there, and I'm envious of the economy you get from it. Most of my driving is done on the Freeway, and would imagine I would see the 70+ Mpg regularly. Unfortunately it appears the Diesel doesn't get imported to Australia. We are yet to fully embrace Diesels, so it looks like I'll have to stick with my 40+ Mpg out of my Mazda 3 Diesel.

Draigflag 12-29-2014 12:02 AM

Thanks. Well you're still getting pretty good economy from the Mazda, you're lucky some diesels are available in OZ, the US has an even worse selection of diesels due to overstrict emission control. :)

Draigflag 12-31-2014 07:09 AM

Talking about cleaning the car made me want to clean my car! So today I detailed the car, starting with a wash, then I used a clay bar to remove the paint contaminants like tree sap, old bug splats and tar. Then I used a resin based polish on top, treated all the non-painted black trim around the grill/mirrors etc, and used a foaming tyre spray too. Took about 3/4 hours so should see me through until spring.

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