With the fuel price hitting record highs this year, car buyers will become more focused on fuel consumption.
There are many reliable vehicles on the market that offer it all in terms of luxury and comfort, yet fuel efficiency is near the top of the list of attributes would-be buyers look for.
To show just how far one litre of diesel can get you nowadays, Ford South Africa recently invited the motoring media to take part in their economy challenge.
We were all given a Fiesta in 1.5 TDCi Trend trim, a vehicle featuring a frugal four-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine with 63kW of power and 175Nm of torque.
Ford claims if you drive their Fiesta with a light right foot it is entirely capable of traveling anywhere from 750km to over 900km per 42-litre tank of diesel.
The challenge was to drive along a pre-determined route for almost 200km around Gauteng to see who achieves the lowest fuel consumption figures.
To get good numbers meant using the highest gear and lowest engine speeds possible, while it was compulsory to remain in gear when driving downhill, using the vehicle’s momentum and built-up energy as well as switching off the engine when idling.
About 24km into my drive, the Fiesta displayed an impressive 3.6l/100km which dropped to 3.3l/100km at some point after covering 33km.
Making our way to Hartbeespoort Dam for lunch, the figures showed 3.4l/100km which was impressive considering that some contestants got insipid numbers.
Heading back to Pretoria into some traffic, the numbers shot straight up to peak at 3.7l/100km.
Getting onto the N4 in a bid to lower the numbers, I got them down to the 3.4l/100km mark again, however, they escalated to 3.6l/100km in and around traffic.
At the final destination in Menlyn, my car signed off at 3.6l/100km, which was a long way off from the winning car, which clocked 3.2l/100km.
That converts into 31.25km on a mere one litre of diesel, which is seriously impressive.
The Fiesta Trend sells for R300 000 and not only has great fuel economy, but also comfort, reliability and style.