India has seen a boom in the SUV segment, and it's the compact SUV space that has become really popular. While most manufacturers are already present in this space, more are gearing up to come in with new products soon - like Volkswagen, Skoda, and even Maruti Suzuki. However, India also continues to be a fuel-efficiency conscious market, and the manufacturers are well aware of this fact. So, here we have listed out the top five most-fuel efficient compact SUVs that are currently on sale in India.
The Hyundai Creta has been an all-time favourite in the compact SUV segment. Despite being one of the least updated models in this segment, the company still sells over 6,000 units of the SUV every month, because even today it's one of the most value-for-money models in this class, and the most fuel-efficient model as well. The Creta is offered in two diesel engine options, and the smaller 1.4-litre diesel motor offers a fuel-efficiency of 21.38 kmpl, while the more powerful 1.6-litre oil burner returns an average of 19.67 kmpl. The company also offers a petrol version, powered by a 1.6-litre engine, which returns about 15.29 kmpl.
Hyundai is set to launch the third-generation model of the SUV, which was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020, on March 17, and it will borrow its powertrains from the Kia Seltos. We have a feeling that Hyundai might work on the engines to make it more fuel-efficient to retain the top spot.
Diesel: 21.38 kmpl (1.4), 19.67 kmpl (1.6)
Petrol: 15.29 kmpl
The Kia Seltos has been the top-selling model in the compact SUV space with an average of over 10,000 units being sold every month, since its launch in August 2019. And it's also currently, the second-most fuel-efficient compact SUV in the market. The diesel manual, powered by a 1.5-litre oil burner, offers an ARAI certified average fuel efficiency of 21 kmpl, while the petrol automatic, also powered by a 1.5-litre unit returns 16.8 kmpl (best-in-segment). The automatic version of the Kia Selto, however, offers average fuel efficiency of 18 kmpl, while the petrol manual returns 16.5 kmpl. The Kia Seltos is also offered with a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine offering 138 bhp, however, even with the turbocharger, the engine returns an average of 16.1 kmpl, still the best among its rivals. All three engines are BS6 compliant.
Diesel: 21 kmpl (MT) 18 kmpl (AT)
Petrol: 16.5 kmpl (1.5 MT) 16.8 (1.5 AT) 16.1 kmpl (1.4T)
One of the lesser recognised models in this segment, the Nissan Kicks is quite a fun and well-equipped SUVs in this segment. It's the only SUV in this space to offer a 360-degree camera. It's offered with only one diesel and one petrol engine option, and it is the oil burner that puts it the third spot on this list. The diesel model, powered by the Renault-sourced 1.5-litre motor returns an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 20.45 kmpl, however, the petrol version, also powered by a 1.5-litre unit, only offers 14.23 kmpl. Nissan doesn't offer an automatic option for either of the two engines at the moment, however, we expect the diesel to be discontinued once the BS6 shift happens from April 1, 2020. So, if you want to get the Kicks diesel this is probably the best time to do it.
Diesel: 20.45 kmpl
Petrol: 14.23 kmpl
The Renault Duster began the trend for compact SUVs in India even today is considered to be one of the best in this space in terms of driving dynamics. The SUV is offered in both petrol and diesel engine options, and it's the latter that makes it the fourth-most-fuel efficient compact SUV, as per ARAI rating. The Duster diesel manual offers fuel efficiency of 19.87 kmpl, while the AMT version returns an average of 19.6 kmpl. The petrol version is one of the lesser fuel-efficient models in this segment, returning an average of 13.06 kmpl. However, the 1.5-litre diesel motor will soon be discontinued and will be replaced by a more powerful 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine, which is likely to be launched in the coming months. While we do not know the fuel-efficiency of the new engine, it is likely to be more than the existing petrol model.
Diesel: 19.87 kmpl (MT) 19.6 kmpl (AMT)
Petrol: 13.06 kmpl
Like the Kia Seltos, MG Hector too has managed to create a strong niche for itself in the compact SUV segment and have been consistently selling an average of 3000 units a month since its launch. The SUV is offered in three engine options - 2.0-litre diesel, 1.5 petrol hybrid, and a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The diesel version of the Hector offers average fuel efficiency of 17.4 kmpl, while the petrol hybrid offers 15.8 kmpl, and the pure petrol version returns an efficiency of 14.16 kmpl. All three engine now comply with the new stringent BS6 emission regulations.
Diesel: 17.4 kmpl
Petrol Hybrid: 15.8 kmpl
Petrol: 14.16 kmpl