Most fuel-efficient diesel cars in the Philippines

Fuel prices in the Philippines are slowly rising, with that in mind, Filipino motorists are all looking to get the most out of their fuel looking for the most fuel-efficient vehicles available. While there are hybrid and electric vehicles on sale in the Philippines the convenience and the power of having a turbo-diesel engine is something we can't deny.  For those who are traditionalists and want to stick to the tried and true combustion engine, the toss-up between gasoline and diesel can be a no-brainer for some; diesel for great torque and impressive fuel economy, and gasoline for more horsepower for that top-end speed and slightly more refinement. We say slightly refined because modern diesel engines have caught up in terms of smoothness and engine noise over the past few years, it’s not as quiet as gasoline but it’s close.

In any case, you’re here because you want to know which diesel vehicles in the Philippines have the best fuel economy numbers. With the sheer number of vehicles across mainstream and premium brands having diesel offerings, it was tough to narrow down the list. We also had to consider the vehicles we’ve driven and had real-world and first-hand experiences with, and you’ll find that we’ve tried to choose at least one vehicle from each category that exhibited the best fuel numbers. Do take note that the following models are not arranged in any particular order so without further ado, here are the most fuel-efficient diesel cars in the Philippines.

Isuzu MUX

First on the list is the Isuzu MU-X, while we haven’t tested out its latest version with the 1.9-liter turbo diesel, what we can tell are its fuel efficiency figures for its bigger 3.0-liter model. On the highway, the new Isuzu SUV can do about 15km/L while we estimate it can do about 10km/L or more in the city. It does also come with the benefit of coming with a new 80-liter fuel tank which is great if you want to go to the gasoline station less often.

Isuzu D-MAX

Just like its SUV sibling, the new D-MAX gets a new look and an uprated 3.0-liter engine. Unfortunately, we haven’t tested its 1.9-liter version just yet, but like its MU-X counterpart, we can give you its 3.0-liter variant’s fuel efficiency figures. It can do 10.8 km/L in the city and 17km/L on the highway which is slightly better than the MU-X.

Ford Everest Sport

Hailed as one of the most powerful contenders in its class, the Ford Everest can be had with a 2.0-liter Biturbo diesel engine that can only be paired with a 10-speed automatic. Despite its strong pulling power, the midsize SUV still registers good fuel economy figures. On EDSA, the Everest Biturbo 4x4 returned 8.5 km/L, while faster paces on provincial roads at around 60 km/h registered 13.5 km/L. On the highway, I was able to clock in 18.9 km/L with the cruise control nailed at 90 km/h.

As for the single-turbo variants of the Everest, we were able to achieve 10 km/L in traffic, and 16.1 km/L on the highway, and mixed together we got 11 km/L. The thing is, the single-turbo variants of the model have six gears to play with instead of the 10 on the Biturbo variants. The additional gears helped a lot to stretch this car's fuel consumption, but the six-speed still looks good enough by most accounts. 

Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4x4

The Ford Ranger shares the same platform as the Everest, the midsize pickup even offers the same set of engines including the 2.0-liter Biturbo diesel engine paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox. Our most recent test of the Wildtrak 4x4 variant gave us good fuel economy figures. In the city, we were able to get 9 km/L, while out on the highway, the midsize pickup registered about 15 km/L. 

2021 Kia Sportage exterior quarter front Philippines

The Kia Sportage happens to be one of the few models in its segment to have a diesel option that's not only peppy, but it's mighty efficient too. Having driven the GT-Line variant with a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine left us with great satisfaction all thanks to its good handling and impressive fuel economy figures. In heavy city traffic, the Sportage clocked in 8.8 km/L, while faster paces on a Sunday at around 60 km/h registered 15.3 km/L. Highway stints with the cruise control set at 90 km/h read back an impressive 20.6 km/L.

Hyundai Tucson

Getting out on the road with the Tucson was a treat, and our fuel economy figures sort of reflected that. The 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine returned decent fuel economy figures that could have been better. Since it shares the same engine with the Sportage, we feel that we could have gotten more out of it. However, due to the "conditions" of our review, we were able to get up to 10 km/L in traffic, and up to 16 km/L on the highway. Mixed together, we got 11 km/L out of the diesel engine with a bit of a lead foot and more smiles per gallon. 

Hyundai Staria

The Hyundai Staria deserves a mention because it is one of the vans that we've driven that you wouldn't expect to be so fuel efficient, but it kind of is. Given the boxy shape and the fact that it is a rather heavy vehicle, we were shocked when we clocked in up to 9 km/L in the city, up to 14 on the highway, and still with an enjoyable drive and ride to boot. What's even more surprising is that this van comes with all-wheel-drive. We thought it would take a hit because of that system, but it didn't. 

2021 Mitsubishi Straada exterior quarter front Philippines

Out of all the pickup trucks we have tested thus far, the Mitsubishi Strada has stood out thanks to its excellent fuel efficiency numbers. It comes powered by a 2.4-liter turbo-diesel motor that pushes out 178 horses and 430 Nm of torque which is mated to a traditional 6-speed automatic transmission. Despite its size and pickup truck body style, it was able to get 7.0km/L in heavy city traffic. When the roads opened up it was able to get 10.8 km/L and on the highway, it was able to get between 14.7 to 17.9km/L.

Mitsubishi Montero Sport

Since the Strada and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport both have the same engine we can expect to see similar figures between the two. The Montero pushes out 7km/L in the city and 17.7km/L on the highway. This goes to show that the 7-seater SUV may not be the best in the city but it more than makes up for it on the highway. 

2021 Maxus T60 exterior quarter front Philippines

The Maxus T60 happens to be one of the newest names to enter the midsize pickup battle. It's also one of the most affordable 4x4 pickups you can buy today, plus, it comes with a good amount of features including a 10-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As for fuel efficiency, the Maxus T60 did 8 km/L during heavy traffic, speeding up to 60 km/h registered 11 km/L on the clock. Increasing its speed by up to 90 km/h on the highway returned 15 km/L.

Nissan Terra

Like the Navara, the Nissan Terra is known to be one of the most comfortable-riding SUVs in its segment all thanks to its rear multi-link coil spring suspension setup. Aside from ride comfort, this diesel-powered SUV also delivers in terms of fuel efficiency. During bumper-to-bumper traffic, the Nissan Terra still managed to get 10 km/L.  While on the highway, the Terra averages about 15 km/L cruising at 90 km/h. Compared to the last version its fuel efficiency goes down by 1km/L on the highway, but its city figures are now better than ever. 

Nissan Navara

Depending on which variant you choose for the Nissan Navara, you can expect to get 7km/L in the city and around 18km/L on the highway for the 4x4 variants. For the 4x2 models expect a little bit better fuel economy as they are a bit lighter compared to their 4x4 siblings. You can expect to get around 8km/L in the city and around 20km/L on the highway. All in all not bad figures considering that this is a pickup truck after all. 

Toyota HIlux

While we haven't tested the 2.4-liter versions of the Toyota Hilux just yet what we can give you are the fuel efficiency figures of the 2.8-liter versions. They push out 8km/L in the city and around 15km/L on the highway. This is both for the 4x2 and 4x4 models. 

Toyota Fortuner

Unlike its Hilux brother, we were able to test the 2.4 and 2.8-liter versions of the Toyota Fortuner. In its 2.4-liter form, we were able to get 11.5km/L in the city and 20 km/L on the highway. For its 2.8-liter variants, we were able to get 8.5km/L in the city and 16km/L on the highway. 

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