Most fuel-efficient sedans for city driving in the Philippines

Given the traffic situation in the city, many drivers can get quite frustrated as their time is sapped and their fuel is drained slowly. With that said, you’ll be needing a car that possesses creature comforts and performance that can get you around town, and also the fuel efficiency to match. Aside from its compact dimensions, the majority of sedans in the market return good fuel-economy figures, be it pint-sized, subcompact, compact, or even in midsize form, therefore, making it an ideal car in the city.

Now, what we have below is a list of the most fuel-efficient sedans we’ve tested. Each one has registered good numbers during clear and heavy city traffic. Perhaps, you’d want to consider any of the following cars listed below.

Changan Alsvin

Changan burst on the scene with its stellar lineup of crossovers, but it also managed to throw in an entry-level sedan in the mix. Positioned as a first car, a fleet car, or just a car, the model covers most of the basics that you need for city driving, and while out and about around town, we were able to take the Changan Alsvin through traffic and errand running with a fuel economy figure of around 12.3 km/L. It's a pretty good figure given that it sports a 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed DCT. It makes 105 hp and 145 Nm of torque, so it's no slouch there either. Once traffic opened up, we were able to get a figure of 15.6 km/L at an average pace of about 50 to 60 km/h. 

2021 Honda City exterior quarter front Philippines

First on the list is the Honda City which is powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that churns out 119 hp and 145 Nm of torque, buyers can either opt for between a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) or a 6-speed manual that's exclusive on the base S. Having tested the Honda City RS registered 8.5 km/L even during Metro Manila traffic which is actually good, perhaps, you can even stretch those numbers a little bit more once the City traffic lightens up.

Kia Soluto Philippines

Positioned as the entry-level sedan in Kia's lineup, it covers most of the basics and then some, offering buyers a respectable sedan with some of the best features in its segment. The Soluto is equipped with a 1.4-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that punches out 94 hp and 132 Nm of torque. The model was able to achieve about 12 to 15 km/L in the city with light to heavy traffic conditions. 

Mazda3 Sedan

The Mazda3 doesn’t only give you that drool-worthy aesthetics and a premium cabin, rather its engaging driving dynamics also reward you with great fuel efficiency. However, while the model does have some of the more dynamic driving characteristics, it's definitely still no slouch in the fuel-efficiency department. Currently, the only engine size that the '3' is available in is the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G mill that either runs on its own or is assisted by a mild-hybrid system. Even without the mild-hybrid doing some of the work, we were able to test the ICE-only 2.0-liter mill to great effect, netting a relatively good fuel economy figure in the city of 15.8 km/L on open roads, while netting about 7.4 km/L in city traffic. 

2021 Mazda 6 exterior quarter front Philippines

The Mazda6 is perhaps the only midsize sedan in the economy car market that’s currently offering a diesel option. While the 6 is also available with a 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G turbo engine, the 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D diesel is more economical. The diesel engine produces a healthy 190 hp and 450 Nm of torque and is also paired with Mazda’s 6-Speed SkyActiv-Drive Automatic, this combination allowed the midsize sedan to achieve 8.6 km/L while crawling at around 10 to 15 km/h during heavy city traffic. On a Sunday drive, with an average speed of 60 km/h, the car then registered a whopping 17.5 km/L which is impressive.

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage G4

The Mirage G4 is one of the more common sedans out there, and following a facelift in 2022, the model is still relevant for the Philippine market. Today, the model is still able to give some of the more "advanced" sedans out there with their fancy tech and powertrains a run for their fuel efficiency figures with a lightweight chassis and a small 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. In the city and in our latest review of the model, we were able to extract 14 km/L during our testing which is quite brilliant for a car of this size. 

2021 MG 5 exterior quarter front Philippines

Hailed as the longest in its class plus, it’s also big on features. The MG 5 can only be had in a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that produces 112 hp and 150 Nm of torque, you can either pair the motor with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) or a 5-Speed manual that’s only applicable on the Core variant. Testing the MG 5 1.5 Style CVT gave us good numbers even during heavy traffic which registered 7 km/L crawling about 20 km/h on EDSA in rush-hour traffic, numbers should go up to 8 km/L once the traffic gets lighter.

2021 MG 6 exterior quarter front Philippines

It is by far one of the most affordable fastbacks in the market today. For the MG 6, buyers have the choice of two variants, there’s an Alpha AT and a Trophy AT, both are run by the same 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine mated to a 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). This combo produces a healthy 164 hp and 250 Nm of torque, plus, the MG 6 can do 10 to 11 km/L when going through light traffic.

MG GT Philippines

Slotting above the MG 5, the MG GT takes what the brand has and knows and turns it up just enough. Power, torque, size, handling, and refinement all are better going from 5 to 6, however, does the fuel economy take a hit? It gains a turbo over the MG 5, but it's enough to still net it respectable enough figures given its size and weight. This sedan managed 9 km/L in the city which is good considering that its fuel economy is very similar to small cars without turbos. 

2021 Suzuki Dzire exterior quarter front Philippines

The Suzuki Dzire is a small wonder that offers the right amount of amenities, practicality, and performance in a tiny package. All variants of the pint-sized sedan are powered by a 1.2-liter engine that could either be paired with a 5-speed manual or a 5-Speed Auto Gear Shift Transmission. Testing the automatic variant netted us with impressive figures. In city crawls during rush hour we got 11.2 km/L, while faster paced driving at around 60 km/h registered 16.1 km/L.

2021 Toyota Corolla Altis exterior quarter front Philippines

In the Philippine market, only the Toyota Corolla Altis is currently offering a Hybrid variant. Only the V variant can be had with a 1.8-liter hybrid powertrain producing 121 hp and 142 Nm torque. The said engine and the 1.6-liter gasoline motor could either be mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) while the 6-speed manual is only exclusive on the E and G variants. As expected, the 1.8 V Hybrid CVT delivered outstanding numbers, Spending an hour on northbound EDSA returned 14.2 km/L, while a Sunday drive clocked in 26.2 km/L on an average speed of 60 km/h in the Altis Hybrid.

2021 Toyota GR-S Vios

A certified Pinoy favorite, the Toyota Vios has received much love from many owners in the country given its strong reputation for reliability. It’s a suitable city car for many reasons, and one of them is because of its fuel efficiency. The most up-to-date and most specced out variant of the Vios was the one that we got to thoroughly test, and that came with a 10-speed CVT, along with a 1.5-liter engine. The bigger motor in the lineup was able to achieve up to 8.5 km/L in heavy-heavy city traffic. Once we got up to speed, we got back into double-digits, with a fuel economy at an average pace of 60 km/h set at about 13.5 km/L, in line with the previous generations and also the lower 1.5-liter variants.

You can expect to get even better city fuel economy from the Vios if you go for the more affordable 1.3-liter variants. The smaller engine means that it will idle more efficiently, which is perfect if you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic often. There, you can see gains of about 0.5 to 1.0 kilometers per liter better than the 1.5-liter versions. 

2021 Volkswagen Lamando exterior quarter fronnt Philippines

The Volkswagen Lamando happens to be one of the larger offerings in the German automaker’s Philippine lineup. Two variants are currently available for the compact sedan, while both come with the same fusion of a 1.4-Liter turbocharged gasoline engine paired with a 7-speed DSG transmission. Having tested the SEL variant gave us 7.4 km/L during traffic crawls, while figures raised to 12.8 km/L during faster paces at around 60 km/h.

Volkswagen Lavida Club Edition

Another Volkswagen has joined the list, and it’s the Lavida. All trims are motivated by a small yet potent 1.4-liter gasoline turbocharged engine that produces 128 hp and 225 Nm of torque. The Volkswagen Lavida is available in three variants and its motor can only be paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This combination gives the car respectable fuel economy, with it registering 10 km/L while on a city cruise.

2021 Volkswagen Santana exterior quarter front Philippines

Lastly, is the smallest of the German bunch, the Volkswagen Santana. The subcompact sedan has been recently updated, receiving new wheels and additional convenience features. Only the entry-level variant comes with a 1.4-liter gasoline engine paired with a 5-speed manual, while the rest of the range gets a 1.5-liter gasoline motor mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Testing the larger engine mated to the automatic gearbox delivered 8.8 km/L during heavy rush hour traffic, while a Sunday stroll at around 60 km/h, we recorded 14.2 km/L.

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