Fuel economy figures, even official ones, should only serve as a rough gauge, says our senior writer.
IF there’s one thing concerning motorists besides COE prices, it’s the fuel efficiency of the car they’re interested in buying.
However, any claimed fuel economy figures should only be taken as a rough gauge.
As far as we know, manufacturers’ fuel economy tests are performed under controlled conditions, which cannot be replicated on regular roads.
Yes, there are drivers who can surpass stated consumption figures by hypermiling. But these are the exceptions.
For many, hypermiling isn’t an option because it’s too uncomfortable and results in longer commutes, since you’ll have to set your aircon to higher temperatures (or switch it off) and drive at slower speeds.
If you’re searching for an efficient car, you should opt for one that’s relatively light and equipped with a smallercapacity engine.
Driving slower and enduring a warmer cabin will help achieve a figure like this.
You may have heard friends and relatives mention that models from a certain Japanese marque are more frugal compared to those from other brands.
But there’s no way of verifying this unless you’ve actually driven the car over a few days.
Asking friends, colleagues or relatives about their average fuel consumption isn’t a good idea either. There are too many unknown factors at play for anyone to give a conclusive account regarding the fuel economy of any car.
Said factors include traffic conditions (which always vary), one’s driving habits, how many people are usually in the car and whether the car is well-maintained.
Let’s not forget that most people are also biased. If they love a car, they’ll sing its praises, but if they loathe it, you’ll only hear complaints.