12 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in the Philippines - In Traffic

12 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in the Philippines - In Traffic

Updated on June 15 2024

Whether we like it or not, driving in the Philippines is a love-hate relationship. It's both an exciting and relaxing thing to do over the weekends, especially if you are cruising around the country-side, but not so much if you spend most of your time sitting in city traffic during the entire workweek. Before you even know it, your car may very well have burnt up all of those liters of valuable gasoline or diesel way ahead of schedule while you are there, sitting in the driver seat, eagerly waiting for the car in front of you to move and you can only hope that you will make it on the current green signal before the traffic light turns red again. It sounds terrible, and we feel you.

This cycle definitely hurts your wallet, and we can only imagine the long queues in the gasoline station while you wait for your turn to get fuel pumped into your car. It's like watching your hard-earned money go down the drain, not to mention that you're losing precious time while at it, too.

Now, sure enough, there are lots of fuel-saving tips and tutorials out there that are one click away - Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even LinkedIn, you name it. But why not let your car do all the fuel-saving work for you and just be done with it? You know, save all the worries and think of something else that's meaningful while you are driving your way home from a hard day's work? Yes, you have that option, of course - the option to drive a more fuel-efficient car. There's plenty and you can find them used, second-hand, or repossessed all the while fresh, high-quality, and some are even in nearly brand-new condition. The good news is that you won't have to look further away as thankfully, Automart.Ph has over a thousand good-quality units that you can readily check after booking for an inspection. And they are very affordable, a good value for your money to say the least.

A quick disclaimer:

Although the fuel consumption figures that we've listed down might not necessarily be a hundred percent accurate, we did some thorough research as we like it to be as close as possible to a real-world scenario. A scenario that you are all too familiar with - the infamous Philippine traffic. So our figures should be very close, if not on-point.

With all that said, here are our top 12 most fuel-efficient cars in the Philippines - in traffic.

12. Suzuki XL7

Known as the "value-packed 7-seater," the Suzuki XL7 just oozes adventure with its robust styling and rugged, yet athletic stance. The adaptive LED headlamps, the distinctive chrome accent on the grille, the deep shoulder line, and protective fender mouldings all add up to the crossover/multi-purpose vehicle's (MPV) overall boldness. The interior looks very modern and well-crafted, too, with some bit of carbon fiber here and there being thrown in by Suzuki. It boasts ample luggage space and can stow in up to almost 200 liters of groceries and other stuff even when there are passengers in the third row. The XL7 is actually loaded with convenient amenities that will keep you and your family comfortable on that journey, long or short, wherever the road might take you. It's got a quite bold face that looks about ready for that awesome weekend road trip!

Not to be confused with the previous Suzuki "XL-7", the all-new XL7 (without the hyphen) is actually much more closer to that of a Suzuki Ertiga than to the Suzuki Vitara. A second generation Ertiga, to be exact since the new XL7 is a derivative of that said model.

The XL7 sports the same 1.5-liter gasoline engine from the second-generation Ertiga, but with the transmission limited to a 4-speed automatic only. Don't let that limitation fool you, however, since according to Suzuki - "The XL7 is fully equipped to please. Convenient amenities keep everyone comfortable and satisfied for a pleasant ride even on the longest journeys." Who needs a full-sized SUV when the XL7 is just as good?

11. Mitsubishi Xpander Cross

The Mitsubishi Xpander is a new-generation MPV that looks rough on the outside yet pretty luxurious on the inside. It has an adequate amount of ground clearance and is equipped with alloy wheels which contribute to its tough posture, but it's actually quite spacious, quiet, and very inviting.

Mitsubishi claims that the interior is inspired by the Japanese call "Omotenashi" or hospitality, especially throughout the cabin area. It sounds simple and peaceful, yet classy at the same time. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the Xpander "has the kind of looks that fit in, whether you’re pulling into a picnic area or a luxury hotel."

While all trims of the Xpander are equipped with a 1.5L, 2WD inline-4 16-valve DOHC petrol engine, the premiere model which is the Xpander Cross AT is equipped with a cool list of features including 205/55 R17 tires with 17 x 6.5J two-tone alloy wheels, active stability control, traction control, hill start assist, LED headlamps and front fog lamps, and roof rails. That doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

10. Mazda CX-5 Diesel

I'm sure you'd agree that the Mazda CX-5 is one of the most handsome crossovers out there, to date. the Mazda CX-5 just invokes that strong sense of emotional appeal, it's almost moving art. Now for some reason, you don't get to see a lot of this particular model running around even in the busiest of streets, like EDSA, but this actually just adds up to the exclusivity factor to it, and we're now curious about how it feels like to actually own one and drive it every day. How do you think it compares to the CX9?

Powered by the turbocharged SKYACTIV-D2.2 diesel engine, Mazda claims that power delivery on the CX-5 is smooth yet instantaneously thrilling. The CX-5 Diesel is also equipped with the SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic transmission with sport mode, the I-ACTIV ALL-WHEEL DRIVE system, and the G-Vectoring control plus, among other cool things.

The interior also is also properly adorned with Nappa leather, along with other appropriate and classy infotainment amenities that can surely add up to the already cozy driving experience that the car emanates. According to Mazda - "The CX-5 is more than just another crossover. It is a symbol of your achievements in life." Pretty sweet!

9. Volkswagen Lavida

Lavida - a Spanish word that means "The Life," is definitely an interesting choice for a car name. Nevertheless, the Volkswagen Lavida looks pretty gentle and sweet in red, don't you think? This 4-door compact sedan was first introduced in 2008 and was the number one seller in China in 2010, with over 251,615 vehicles sold.

The car is equipped with an also interesting Volkswagen DSG transmission which the manufacturer claims that it is "combining the convenience of an automatic and fuel-efficiency of a manual," and sure en0ugh, the car seems to live up to that expectation since the Volkswagen Lavida made it into this list. Did we also mention that you can set different or separate temperatures on the driver and passenger sides of the car, too? Yes, the climatic air conditioning system on the car lets you do just that.

When it comes to the engine, the 230 TSI with BlueMotion tech that's acting as the heart of the Lavida is lighter and fuel-efficient, all the while turbocharged! So it's built with performance in mind, too. According to Volkswagen - "As if you’re getting two engines in one, the BlueMotion Technology significantly improves fuel economy and reduce emissions." How cool is that?

8. Chevrolet Spark

The Chevrolet Spark is a cozy little hatchback that admittedly looks edgy and aggressive given its sleek styling cues. It's got a good fuel-efficiency rating despite the powerful 1.4L, naturally aspirated ECOTEC engine sitting snugly under the hood, and it may actually spark your interest - no pun intended, of course. This particular model from the Chevy lineup appears to be very underrated in the market, but don't let that deter you from checking this car out since it looks to have more features to offer, besides looking all cute.

The Spark LT is the manual variant and it's actually pretty loaded for a base model since it comes with the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system slapped into it. Got an Android or an iPhone? Doesn't matter! The Chevrolet Spark's infotainment system allows for seamless pairing regardless of which phone you have. And it's got a six-speaker audio setup, too! How about that?

The Premiere CVT model is the top-of-the-line offering and it comes with an automatic Continuously Variable Transmission as the trim name implies, along with 15-inch alloy wheels. It's also got a hill-start assist, electronic stability control, and a nifty rear wiper. According to Chevrolet - "The Spark is your dynamic and versatile partner that will give you the push you need to take your daily adventures head-on." Sounds encouraging!

7. Honda CR-V Diesel

The new Honda CR-V aspires to be that one versatile SUV that you can take to the mountain roads today and then park in a building's executive or VIP parking spot the next day. It's that kind of car and we totally have no problem with it being that. It's wide, sharp, and sophisticated all the while being bold and aggressive. It's the real deal.

The current generation CR-V tends to lean more towards better fuel economy, whether you are looking at the diesel or the petrol variant, and that's one of the good things about this 7-seater. We've got Honda's Earth Dreams Technology to thank for that. Its predecessor, you ask? Not so much.

The Diesel variants, on the one hand, are equipped with a 1.6-liter DOHC i-DTEC Turbo 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine that's mated to a whopping 9-speed automatic transmission. That, and loads of creature comfort and amenities. There's the electronic parking brake and electronic gear selector, the ever-cool LED daytime running lights and fog lights, some good leather seats, a multi-view reverse camera, a very nifty low tire pressure warning mechanism, and all that jazz - no pun intended.

Overall, the CR-V looks athletic and muscular, but with a sophisticated touch. According to Honda, The CR-V is "built for any purpose, designed for endless possibilities."

6. Toyota Wigo

The Toyota Wigo is slowly becoming a household name if we're talking about city hatches, and the car itself is almost synonymous with convenience and easy driving. It's got adequately spacious seats, good legroom, and awesome cup holders! And if it matters, it's got good infotainment and air conditioning system, too. When it comes to luggage, the Wigo has about 115 liters of space for your groceries and it sort of triples when you fold the second row down - about more than 400 liters of space in total, give or take. To some, that's already a lot of space.

Granted that the 998cc 3-cylinder engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission doesn't sound as exciting as the 1.4L inline-4 on the Chevrolet Spark for example, but it makes enough power to take you on a quiet and fuel-efficient cruise around the city.  It will surely do a good job in carrying you across city traffic every now and then, too, considering that it made it this far up on this list.

More importantly, Toyota claims that you will "enjoy long drives with a fuel-efficient engine that delivers practical performance from under a compact hood."  You would expect nothing less from a Toyota, of course, and it doesn't sound too bad at all!

5. Hyundai Reina

A subcompact sedan with practical features - that's the Hyundai Reina. It is Hyundai's entry to the already highly competitive entry-level subcompact sedan scene in the Philippines, and it actually did pretty good as following its debut into the country's car market in 2019, the Reina instantly became one the best selling vehicles for the automaker.

Following the automaker's fluidic sculpture design philosophy, the Reina is characterized by its hexagonal grille and flowing body lines, it's unmistakably Hyundai. Powered by a 1.4 multi-point injected (MPI), 4-cylinder 16-valve engine that either comes with a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic, this subcompact sedan churns out a good 95 PS @6,000 RPM figure, all the while being economical, still. It's got dual-SRS airbags, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), speed-sensing door locks @20kph, and modest creature comforts like a basic infotainment system - a 1-DIN AM and FM radio sitting snuggly on the center of the dashboard to be exact, that still allows for a fun daily drive. Space and legroom are also decent for the average-sized Filipino, and it drives just right. Not bad for a 1.4-liter entry-level sedan.

Fun fact:

The Hyundai Reina actually shares the same platform with the Kia Soluto. Both cars produce the same power figures and are both built in China. Just one day after Kia launched the Soluto, Hyundai seemingly tried to rain on their parade by launching the Reina. We sense an intense rivalry going on.

4. Kia Soluto

Was this totally expected? Well, sort of... Yes. The Kia Soluto does share the same platform and powertrain with the Hyundai Reina, so while both cars produce similar power output figures and fuel-economy, we're giving the 4th spot to the Soluto only because it was launched a day ahead, not really because of its a-bit-more-sophisticated distinctive features when compared to its Hyundai counterpart.

Interior-wise, the Soluto's got a 2.8-inch LCD cluster gauge, a 7-inch touchscreen display audio that's compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rotary temperature control, and it's also got ISOFIX anchors when child-safety comes into mind. The exterior, on the other hand, is accented by the front air-curtain intakes, electronic/adjustable side mirrors with LED side repeaters, projector fog lamps, and some other cool stuff.

According to Kia - the Soluto's "comfortable seats, room to stretch, and clever design make the interior worthy of a WOW!"

3. Suzuki S-Presso

Is it the marketing team, or is it perhaps the designers at Suzuki that have a penchant for coffee? Regardless of whichever department it is, we're good either way since it's both visually and imaginatively appropriate. The reason being is that, and if you don't already know, Suzuki had once marketed a two-seater compact sportscar, named the Cappuccino. And of course, for the Initial D fans out there - [Eurobeat intensifies]!

The Suzuki S-Presso is a rather cute hatchback that oddly sits on a noticeably substantial amount of ride height. You've noticed that, too, right? The striking exterior is being accented by an angry-looking front grille, well-defined front and rear bumpers, and distinctive head and tail lamps. Available color options to choose from are Sizzle Orange, Fire Red, Metallic Granite Grey, and Metallic Silky Silver.

Interior-wise, the S-Presso's got this eye-grabbing center console that is immediately noticeable the moment you step in. It houses a trendy digital speedometer with vibrant design elements which, according to Suzuki, gives you a new, heightened driving experience. The S-Presso has a 7-inch Touchscreen Audio and power window controls, a manual air conditioner, a 12V socket and USB port, and the mandatory coffee cup holders,

Committed to innovation, Suzuki has built the S-Presso around their new-generation HEARTECT platform which emphasizes lightness and rigidity. In the heart of the car lies a naturally-aspirated 1-liter engine (K10B), with three cylinders that is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Power is good for about 67 HP @ 6,000 rpm which should be really more than enough to propel this small car from point A to point B.

2. Suzuki Celerio

It's almost a grand slam for Suzuki as this is the Japanese outfit's 3rd vehicle that made it to this list - the Suzuki Celerio. Being the hatch where the S-Presso is based off of, the Celerio is rather curvier and has a smoother facade when compared to its boxy sibling. Like the S-Presso, however, the Celerio also doesn't sport any flashy design patterns, just simple yet effective curves and angles.

When talking about the interior, the Celerio comes with a much simpler, traditional dashboard layout and analog gauges found behind the steering wheel. It's also got a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen infotainment unit, a manual air-conditioner, and a high seating position that is actually very distinctive and allows for expanded visibility from the driver's seat. Best of all  - it's got a much more spacious legroom and grocery space which makes this little hatch a winner in its class.

Power comes from the K10B 1.0-litre petrol engine that is either mated to a CVT or a 5-speed manual transmission. And just like the S-Presso, power is good for about 67 HP @ 6,000 rpm which should be really more than enough to get this car to move around in city traffic. According to Suzuki - "Whoever said “you get what you deserve” surely hadn’t driven the new Celerio." That's a bold statement, but what's not to like about the Celerio?

Kia Picanto

The smallest offering in the Kia line-up, the Picanto is a solid hatch that has evolved over the years and is seasoned through time. It was first introduced into the car market by Kia in 2004 and fast forward into 2021 - a couple of facelifts later, it is still coming in strong, this time taking the number one spot on this list.

The Picanto is nothing short of a great daily driver and is, in fact, very easy to imagine as your first car. Other than being an established nameplate in the Philippine car scene, it's just plain cute. Okay..., well, arguably cute. But isn't it though?

While the Picanto's interior is much simpler and on-point, it does feel a bit spacious with enough legroom for the average Filipino size or stature. It's got an adequate infotainment system, an air conditioner, and some creature comforts that will make the daily drive enjoyable.

Powered by a choice of either a 1.2L or 1.0L Kappa Dual CVVT engine with piston cooling jets, the Picanto packs enough punch to throw its tiny self throughout all the corners of the metropolis, all the while staying quiet and efficient. You can choose to have a 5-speed manual gearbox or you can choose to go with a much more relaxed 4-speed automatic if you prefer a tinge of smoothness on your daily commute, even in stop-and-go city traffic. According to Kia, "If the city makes you feel young and alive, and you're eager to explore new places, you've found a soul mate in the Picanto. It may be small, but it's roomy inside, and it's full of big ideas." Very promising indeed.

And there you have it...

We hope that you enjoyed this list. More importantly, we hope that you have been imparted with ideas that will help you pick your next high-quality, second-hand, used, or repossessed car from Automart.Ph in these trying times. Keep safe and stay healthy!