Renault edges out Suzuki in economy battle
Captur diesel achieves lowest fuel consumption in five-day fuel-sipping contest
A Renault Captur 1.5 dCi narrowly scooped the prize as the most fuel efficient car on the inaugural WesBank SA Fuel Economy Tour, which ended in Cape Town on November 16.
Crewed by motoring journalist Wynter Murdoch and rally navigator Carolyn Swan, the turbo diesel vehicle averaged 4.73l/100km over the five-day, 2,500km trip which took the 40 competing vehicles from Johannesburg to Cape Town via Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and George.
Second overall was a Toyota Aygo with a normally aspirated one-litre petrol engine, crewed by motoring journalist Carri-Ann Jane and yoga instructor Roxanne Jones, who were taking part in their first competitive motoring competition. The Aygo averaged 4.83l/100km. They also won the prize for the highest placed all-female crew.
Third best on fuel consumption was the Nissan Qashqai 1.5 diesel turbo at 4.85l/100km, with Diete and Eckhard Engelbrecht on-board.
The tour was a close contest between Renault and Suzuki for the title as the most fuel-efficient brand. In the end it was a trio of Renault cars — Captur, Duster Techroad and Kwid Climber — that took the title by just 0.0275l/100km.
The battle between these two brands swung back and forth during the event, with Renault taking the honours at the critical final refuel in Cape Town.
The title was judged by averaging the fuel consumption of the best three performers in each of the brands that had cars in the field. Renault’s average was 5.06l/100km, while the Suzuki trio of a Baleno, Ignis and Swift had a combined average of 5.09l/100km.
Third place according to brand went to Mahindra — KUV 100 and two XUV 300s — ahead of Nissan — Qashqai, Micra and Navara — and Ford — Fiesta, Kuga and Ranger.
The battle of the bakkies in the class for turbo diesel double cabs with engines under 2,500cc was also tight, with the Ford Ranger 2l, driven by motoring journalist Colin Mileman and navigated by Henry Kohne taking the win with 6.81l/100km.
Next up was a Mitsubishi Triton (6.8l/100km), a Nissan Navara (6.96l/100km), and a Toyota Hilux 2.4 (6.97l/100km).
Suzuki ended up with six class wins (Ignis, Vitara 1.6, Vitara 1.4, Baleno, Swift Sport and Ertiga), while Ford (Fiesta and Ranger), Hyundai (Santa Fe and Venue), Renault (Captur and Duster) and Toyota (Aygo and Hilux 2.8) all won two classes, with the other class winners being Honda (HRV), Lexus (UX Hybrid) and Mahindra (KUV 100).
Penalties were imposed for late arrival at control check points and for driving infringements.
“The objective of this event was to provide consumers with fuel consumption figures that are relevant to going on a road trip in SA using main roads,” said chief organiser Charl Wilken.
Much of the driving was on open roads, which uses less fuel than urban driving.