Top Gear Philippines

Dear Botchi,
 
I'm looking for a second car. I narrowed my choices to the Toyota Altis 1.6G, Honda City 1.3S and Toyota Vios 1.3 or 1.5.

You can sense that my bracket is in the P800,000 area. My problem is in the fuel consumption.
I travel from Malolos, Bulacan to Fairview, Quezon City via the North Luzon Expressway and Commonwealth Ave. everyday with a distance of 100Km back and forth.

I usually travel alone and will use this car with my wife and four kids sparingly during weekends.

Can you enlighten me with the average fuel consumption of these cars? I presently use a Toyota Revo SR Diesel which runs 10km per liter.
 
Thank You!
 
appletreemd



Dear Appletreemd,
 
Thanks for taking the time to write to us here at Top Gear. We're always glad to be of help to our readers. Hope you enjoy reading our magazine as much as we enjoy putting it together every month.
 
The Honda City and the Toyota Vios are no doubt great for what you have in mind. But you didn't mention the hatchback siblings of both brands. Are you averse to getting a hatchback? The versatility of the interior, combined with the lighter weight (anywhere from 30 to 50 kilos) help give you more bang for your buck, especially in terms of fuel consumption since it will be like driving with one person less in the car all the time.
 
I drive a hatchback myself everyday and I just love the practicality, ease of parking and enjoy decent fuel consumption of just under 9km per liter with mostly in-city, short, traffic, stop-and-go driving. Out on the highway, the efficiency goes up to about 12km per liter. And I'm no tree-hugger so I drive at a decently fast pace. I've also slapped on bigger and heavier 17-inch wheels which should hurt fuel economy but, in reality, not by much. Plus I've got bolt-on modifications which should further hurt economy, but again, it's hardly noticeable from when my car was completely stock. The point I'm driving at here is that the Toyota is proving to be very fuel efficient despite all the add-ons I've put in.
 
But if you will be confined to a sedan in the B-segment category (the segment you're looking at), Toyota will be a better choice. It's a simpler car, not as fancy as the City and cheaper if you know how to pick the right trim level. Also, Toyota's engines have lots of low-end grunt compared to Hondas which really need revs to make power. In cut and thrust driving, and accelerating from low RPM's to overtake without need for downshifting (you encounter this a lot on the highway), Toyota's engines, particularly the 1.5 liter 1NZ-FE fitted onto the Yaris nd Vios is hard to beat.
 
That's not to say the City's 1.5-liter engine is no good, but in terms of ease of use, Toyota's engines are more effortless in feel. Flat out however, Honda's will have the edge on out-and-out redline acceleration. It requires more effort on the part of the driver, that being the downside.
 
If you've got some time to spare before buying, wait for the Mazda 2. It's coming out this December, with the 5-door hatchback coming first, followed by the 4-door sedan 1st quarter of next year. It's lighter than the Toyota Yaris, Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz, and Honda City weighing in at exactly 1,000kg for the 5-door, and 1,020kg for the sedan--lightest in the B-segment category. Suspension is rally good: sporty yet comfortable enough for daily driving on our poor roads. I had the chance to drive it recently in Thailand (wait for it in an upcoming issue) and came away impressed.
 
Don't bother with the Altis. The body's a smidge too heavy for the modest 1.6-liter engine.

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor
 

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Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor
Botchi eats, lives and breathes cars (aside from hotdogs). Aside from wanting to drive any car, preferably through some scenic destination, he's always thinking of ways to "improve them" by modifying the (insert any car-related word here).
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