How fuel-efficient is your car?


The Indian market has always been, and will always be, an extremely fuel-conscious one. Kitna deti hai is still a question that features right at the top of any new car buyer’s list. Every new car on sale today comes with a real-time mileage readout, but these figures are not completely accurate. With this in mind, and without further ado, here are three tips to accurately gauge your car’s fuel-efficiency, and how much of a hole it burns in your pocket.

1. To the brim

Fuel filling to the brim

The only way to know exactly how much fuel your car has used is to fill up the tank to the top. However, don’t rely on the pump’s automatic cut-off. After this, wait a second or two, remove the tip of the nozzle out of the tank and slowly fill it right up to the brim. This will allow any air present to escape, and you’ll have a properly topped-up fuel tank.

2. Be consistent

Indian Oil fuel pump

While most fuel pumps are calibrated and accurate, there can be variations between them. In addition, using a different brand can affect economy as each one does have a different blend of additives. Which is why consistency is highly recommended. Go to the same fuel station and use the same pump as much as possible.

3. Go the distance

Volkswagen Taigun odometer, trip meter, fuel efficiency

Your car’s odo and trip meters are vital to keep tabs on your economy. You can either note down the the odometer reading – there are many smartphone apps that keep fuel records, service reminders and more – or reset the trip meter every time you tank up. Some cars even have two trip meters; the first can be used after each top-up, and the second can be used to record the total journey.   

However, do not fill up your tank after a short journey as this will not accurately indicate how much fuel has been used. We recommend emptying 75 percent of the tank's capacity before fuelling up again to get a more accurate reading of how much fuel has been consumed.

For your added benefit, and in case you'd like to try it out, we've noted down Autocar India's official real-world fuel-efficiency testing process as well.

Autocar India’s fuel efficiency testing

Hyundai Exter fuel pump

Before our real-world fuel efficiency test, we fill the tanks of our test cars to the brim and maintain tyre pressures based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. These cars are driven in fixed city and highway loops, and we maintain certain average speeds. Throughout our test, we run the air-con and other electricals like the audio system, indicators and wipers when required, just like how a regular user would. At the end of each cycle, we calculate efficiency by filling them up to the brim again.

Also see:

Maruti Grand Vitara vs Hyundai Creta: real world fuel economy comparison

Hyundai Exter real world fuel economy tested, explained

Toyota Innova Hycross petrol AT review, real world fuel economy tested

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