When it comes to fuel efficiency and getting the most out of a full tank, nothing comes close to a diesel engine. Sure, there are hybrids and electric vehicles in our market, but the pickings are slim and the prices remain to be slightly unobtainable unless you’re absolutely set on embracing the future of mobility. 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 a 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.
Hyundai’s very popular diesel offering in the subcompact sedan category has always been a solid contender for one of the most frugal small cars on the market. Now on its fifth generation, the Hyundai Accent retains the tried and true 1.6L diesel mill in six-speed automatic or manual, adopts Hyundai’s ‘Cascading Grille’ design language, plus a number of new interior touches like an infotainment screen and redone materials. You can get highs of at least 23 km/l on highway stints, and EDSA crawls will still get a respectable 8 km/l.
The Isuzu mu-X stands out as an excellent performer in the fuel efficiency department with the 1.9L RZ4E diesel power plant, offering usable and efficient power that suits everyday needs. You can still seat up to seven people in comfort and enjoy the impressive torque delivery coming from a small engine, making the Isuzu mu-X the practical midsize SUV of choice for those looking to maximize your budgets. Expect 8.6 km/l in urban driving, and a respectable 18.2 km/l on longer highway drives. Eat up the kilometers without sipping too much fuel.
On this list is also the most surprising pickup contender to come from the South Korean brand. The SsangYong Musso has been completely revised for this year, and offers top notch cabin appointments and good number of creature comforts. The 2.2L diesel mill is exceedingly efficient, returning numbers of 19 to 20 km/l on long drives, and a solid 9-10 km/l in city driving. Plus, you have one of the most refined cabins in its class, making it a worthy contender in the midsize pickup war.
In the land of the seven seater compact crossover, the Honda CR-V reigns as one of the most frugal in the fuel department. Sporting Honda’s 1.6L diesel engine, the first diesel to be released by Honda Philippines in the country, you get impressive numbers of 10 km/l in congested streets, and a whopping 23.3 km/l on the highway. This is just another highlight of the CR-V, while still offering top class safety, tech, and attractive looks. It’s no wonder the 2019 Honda CR-Vs are a dime a dozen.
Mini Cooper Countryman
Mini offers a versatile option to the usual small hatchbacks that we all know and love, and it comes in the form of the Mini Countryman. Being the only model with a diesel on offer from the British brand, the Countryman is what you get when you puff up a Cooper while still retaining the iconic design and interior touches, extending the comfort to five people. The 2.0L diesel is punchy yet still performs at the pump, yielding 9.3 km/l in city driving, and a pretty good 15.4 km/l on the highway. You get a quick car that’s unmistakably Mini, plus great fuel efficiency numbers. What’s not to like?