Renault beats rival brands in 2500km economy contest
CAPE TOWN - Renault has emerged as the top brand in the inaugural WesBank SA Fuel Economy Tour that saw 40 vehicles from various brands covering 2500km between Johannesburg and Cape Town, via Durban and East London.
In the end it was a tight race between Renault and Suzuki, with the former taking top honours after the final refuel in Cape Town on November 16.
The brand victory was calculated by averaging the fuel consumption of the three best performers from each carmaker, and in this case the top Renaults (a Captur, Duster Techroad and Kwid Climber) averaged 5.0695 litres per 100km, while Suzuki’s Swift, Ignis and Baleno averaged out at 5.0970. In third place was Mahindra, with a KUV 100 and a pair of XUV 300s beating Nissan’s Qashqai, Micra and Navara and Ford’s Fiesta, Kuga and Ranger.
The most frugal entrant overall was a Renault Captur 1.5 dCi turbodiesel piloted by motoring journalist Wynter Murdoch and navigated by Carolyn Swan. This crew averaged just 4.7319 litres per 100km over the five day trip.
Next up was a Toyota Aygo 1.0 petrol model driven by fellow journalist Carri-Anne Jane and navigated by Roxanne Jones at an average of 4.8328 l/100km. In third place was a Nissan Qashqai 1.5 turbodiesel piloted by Diete and Eckhard Engelbrecht.
But the competition is not just about small frugal cars. Bakkies are an equally prominent part of the South African landscape and this category had plenty of representation at the Fuel Economy Tour.
In the class for double cabs with engines displacing less than 2500cc, motoring journalist Colin Mileman, navigated by Henry Kohne, came out tops with an average of 6.8179 l/100km in their Ranger 2.0 SiT XLT 4x2. They were followed by Gerhard Schutte and Buks Carolin in a Mitsubishi Triton (6.8513 l/100km), Ferdi de Vos, also a motoring journalist, and Tjaart Kruger in a Nissan Navara (6.9692 l/100km), Chris Coertse and Robbie Coetzee in a Toyota Hilux 2.4 (6.9782 l/100km) and Heine Engelbrecht with Bronwynn Engelbrecht in a Mahindra Pik-Up (7.7867 l/100km).
Suzuki took the most class wins with its Ignis 1.2, Vitara 1.6 and 1.4 Turbo, Baleno 1.4, Ertiga and Swift Sport all dominating their respective categories, while other class victors were the Renault Captur and Duster, Ford Fiesta and Ranger, Hyundai Santa Fe and Venue, Toyota Hilux 2.8 and Aygo, Honda HR-V, Lexus UX Hybrid and Mahindra KUV 100.
The competitors were monitored by Ctrack throughout the Economy Tour, with organisers having had a continuous stream of real-time information made available to them. The tracking company measured the average speeds that the drivers achieved as well as the amount of time taken for each individual timed section. The cars were also fitted with a pair of dashcams, one facing the participants and another focused on the road ahead.
“The objective of this event was to provide consumers with fuel consumption figures that are relevant to going on a road trip in South Africa using main roads, and I believe we have achieved that aim,” said chief organiser Charl Wilken.