Smart sus­tain­able sav­ings

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOTORING -

WHILE fuel price is now at an all- time low, the truth is that it will likely not last for long.

Malaysians are be­com­ing more pru­dent with their spend­ing and when it comes to cars, ef­fi­cient fuel con­sump­tion is an im­por­tant fea­ture that car buy­ers will al­ways con­sider se­ri­ously.

Govern­ment has been ac­tive in pro­mot­ing fuel- ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cles. In the lat­est Na­tional Au­to­mo­tive Pol­icy ( NAP), Malaysia Au­to­mo­tive In­sti­tute ( MAI), the think tank of In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry for the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, has an­nounced a new clas­si­fi­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles that will re­ceive cer­tain in­cen­tives.

En­ergy- ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cles or EEVs have been in­tro­duced and MAI de­fines them as ve­hi­cles that meet a set of de­fined spec­i­fi­ca­tions in terms of car­bon emis­sion level and fuel con­sump­tion.

EEV in­cludes hy­brid, elec­tric ve­hi­cles ( EV), al­ter­na­tively fu­elled ve­hi­cles such as those us­ing com­pressed nat­u­ral gas, liq­ue­fied pe­tro­leum gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hy­dro­gen and fuel cell, as well as fuel- ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cles us­ing up­dated in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines.

Here are some fuel- ef­fi­cient cars that you might like to con­sider:

Mit­subishi Mi­rage

The Mi­rage gives a 4.76L/ 100km fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure ( man­u­fac­turer’s claim), which is amaz­ing given that the en­gine is still pretty punchy.

The 1.2- litre 12- valve in- line three DOHC Mivec en­gine gives 76.4hp, which is good given its low fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures.

What Mit­subishi has done is cre­ate an aero­dy­namic body ( 0.30cd), an INVECS- III CVT gear­box that fo­cuses more on fuel econ­omy and a light­weight body.

The Mi­rage is laden with mod­ern fea­tures and it is far from be­ing a hum­drum mode of trans­porta­tion.

With ba­sic safety fea­tures that are suf­fi­cient for your ev­ery­day drive, such as dual front airbags, anti- lock brak­ing sys­tem and elec­tronic brake­force dis­tri­bu­tion, the Mi­rage is a good in­vest­ment for any pocket.

Nis­san Serena S- Hy­brid

The Nis­san Serena S- Hy­brid gives a good fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure – 6.6L/ 100km ac­cord­ing to the Ja­panese JC08 mode ( a test cy­cle unique to Ja­pan).

Not many ve­hi­cles achieve that, as many get a fuel con­sump­tion of around 8L/ 100km, which is a low fig­ure for an MPV with an en­gine that can churn out 145hp and 210Nm of torque and seats eight adults com­fort­ably.

The Serena is con­sid­ered a su­per mild hy­brid be­cause its sec­ondary bat­tery helps run some of the aux­il­iary items while the MPV is idling, thanks to its start- stop idling sys­tem.

The Eco mode also proves help­ful, es­pe­cially when driv­ing around town.

The big­gest se­cret to its ef­fi­cient fuel con­sump­tion is its MR20DD en­gine that has di­rect injection tech­nol­ogy, a pow­er­ful yet fru­gal pow­er­plant.

Be­ing an MPV, the Serena S- Hy­brid of­fers a bit more by in­clud­ing a DVD player with an at­tached rear LCD screen hung from the roof, pow­ered slid­ing doors on both sides

There are also many other fea­tures, in­clud­ing a start- stop but­ton, touch­screen with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion as well as seats that can be ar­ranged in var­i­ous ways for max­i­mum us­age of space.

In ad­di­tion, its boot stor­age will surely draw your at­ten­tion. Suit­able for large amounts of cargo, it will al­low you to carry items for those long fam­ily trips.

Isuzu D- Max

This pickup truck has al­ways been known for its su­per- ef­fi­cient en­gine and while the cur­rent one is larger, roomier and heav­ier, it still pro­vides one of the best fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures in its cat­e­gory.

To get im­proved ride com­fort, many are us­ing twin­cab pickup trucks such as the D- Max as a recre­ational or fam­ily ve­hi­cle.

The 2.5- litre en­gine gives you 135hp with 320Nm of torque, and of­fers good fuel con­sump­tion as well.

No of­fi­cial fig­ures have been re­leased by Isuzu but when com­pany of­fi­cials per­formed a drive from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and Sin­ga­pore, the D- Max cov­ered all 1,809km with a bit of fuel to spare.

This showed that the D- Max could run that far on a tank­ful of diesel ( 76 litres).

Of­fer­ing power with dura­bil­ity and a low fuel con­sump­tion, this should be a good in­vest­ment for any­one.

Toy­ota Camry 2.5 Hy­brid

If a D- seg­ment sedan is your cup of tea, the Toy­ota Camry Hy­brid is a good pack­age to con­sider.

With a claimed fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure of 5.2L/ 100km, this Camry siz­zles with per­for­mance fig­ures.

The Atkin­son Cy­cle en­gine of­fers 158hp and 213Nm, while the two elec­tric mo­tors kick out an ad­di­tional 142hp and 270Nm, giv­ing a com­bi­na­tion of 204hp.

Be­ing a Toy­ota, the in­te­rior is spa­cious and con­tains in­ter­est­ing touches.

The Camry Hy­brid does not feel lethar­gic and of­fers one of the best per­for­mances ever pro­duced by the Ja­panese man­u­fac­ture.

The Hy­brid also comes with seven airbags and a host of mod­ern elec­tron­ics to en­sure oc­cu­pants re­main safe dur­ing a crash.

De­pend­ing on your per­sonal pref­er­ences, safety re­quire­ments and ex­pec­ta­tions of per­for­mance, you can al­ways find a fuel- ef­fi­cient car that suits your needs and life­style.

One does not need to look far with the var­i­ous choices avail­able.

Just be sure to thor­oughly re­search the car’s per­for­mance be­fore you by to en­sure you have made the right choice for you and your fam­ily.

The pow­er­ful Isuzu D- Max can travel long dis­tance with a sin­gle tank of fuel.

Big fam­i­lies will find much joy in the spa­cious Nis­san Serena S- Hy­brid.

The Mit­subishi Mi­rage is a fun lit­tle pack­age.

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