Dear Top Gear,
Good day po. Si Francis po ito ng Bacolod. I would just like to ask about Suzuki APV and Mitsubishi Fuzion. Which of them is more fuel efficient? Ano ang advantage ng bawat isa. I'm not in the Philippines right now. I just got a copy of your magazine (September 2008 issue) and I'm planning to buy an SUV pag-uwi. I'm still saving money. Budget ko lang po ay P1M. Can you give me a good advice for this? Thank you po.
Great to hear from you! We hope wherever your travels bring you, you be safe, have great fun and make us all proud to be a Filipino!
Now, regarding your question on what is more fuel efficient, lets look at the numbers: The Suzuki APV is powered by a small, 1600cc engine, whereas the Mitsubishi Fuzion is powered by a 2.4 liter block. A bigger engine, all things being equal, will consume more fuel than a smaller engine, traveling at a constant speed, on a level road, with minimal load. Unfortunately, things are never like that in life right?
Here's the real deal, based on my experience. A smaller engine will require more effort (in this case, more power via higher revs) to get you to a comfortable and safe cruising speed, give you your preferred rate of acceleration and most importantly, get you up a steep incline with your family and gear in tow. ANY engine, when revving high up, will consume more fuel. A bigger engine, however, will require less effort to accelerate up to a comfortable cruising speed and carry a heavy load up a steep incline. Less effort = less fuel consumed.
The best way to cruise efficiently on a vehicle with a big engine is to step on the throttle as lightly as possible, and rev it relatively high up the rev range, then shift. Seems contrary to what most people say, but it's true.
Now, the APV, unladen is a relatively light vehicle. I've driven the APV three (3) times in the past four (4) years, having them for about a week at a time. Consumption is pretty good but most of the time, I'm driving alone. I think I got something like 8 or 9 km/liter. BUT when I loaded it up with 5 people, fuel consumption dropped drastically to about 5 or 6 km/liter. Not very scientific, I know. But the fact remains that fuel consumption dropped drastically.
I haven't driven the Fuzion over long periods yet but I've driven the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV with a similar engine as the Fuzion, although it does not have the MIVEC variable valve and cam phasing wizardry. The Outlander is the sort of car that's fun to drive fast, and even with people on board or just me alone, I'd still get over 7 km/liter. Now that's fast, fun and efficient!
So my tip for you is this, before you even think about fuel consumption, think of where you intend to use your next vehicle in (all-city, good mix of city and highway, mountain roads and passes, or all of the above), and how you'll drive it (slowly but surely, fast and fun, Lewis Hamilton wannabe).