Five simple ways to adapt your driving style and get the best possible fuel economy from your car.
It doesn’t take too much time scanning today’s headlines to understand the pressure families are under from the escalating cost of living. Each quarter, the arrival of the latest electricity, gas or phone bill seems to herald yet another increase in costs.
Adding to the strain on the household budget is the rising cost of petrol, especially for those who rely on a car to get to work or take their children to school. Fortunately, this is one area that you can directly affect with your choice of car and personal driving style.
Leading the green revolution
Suzuki has long been a champion of efficient motoring; we were making green cars long before it became a motoring buzzword.
Both the Suzuki Alto and Swift have been awarded the maximum five-star rating by the Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide. They are part of a Suzuki vehicle line-up that, in total, uses less fuel than any other brand in the country.
That’s backed up by independent experts, too, via the annual running costs survey conducted by the automotive clubs of Australia (RACV, NRMA etc). In 2014, the Suzuki Alto was once again crowned the least expensive car to own and operate in Australia, adding to the trophies won in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Not far behind (in fifth place overall) was its bigger brother, the Suzuki Swift.
And the new Suzuki S-Cross is easily the most fuel-efficient car in its class, with an economy figure of just 5.8L/100km.
5 ways to make a tank of petrol go further
Even if you don’t own one of these cars, you can still adapt your driving style to gain the best possible fuel economy from your car. Here are some simple tips to help you along the way…
1. Make sure your car’s service record is up to date. If you let the service intervals slip, your car is potentially using more fuel than necessary. Experts agree that even neglecting to change a dirty air filter can increase fuel consumption by as much as 5 per cent.
2. Check your tyres. The air pressure figures (found on the placard inside the door) are designed to provide optimum rolling resistance and maximum fuel efficiency. Let the tyres run under-inflated and your fuel bill is costing around 2 per cent more than it need be.
3. Lose the junk in the trunk. How often since you’ve had a look to see what unnecessary items you might be carrying in your car? Do you really need to carry those golf clubs or tools or stroller? Less weight equals better fuel economy.
4. Accelerate gently. It’s not a race and there’s no prize for reaching the next set of lights first. All you’re doing is wasting petrol if you stand hard on the accelerator every time you take off. Plus, you run the risk of a fine from the plethora of speed cameras.
5. Brake gently. Even the diminutive Alto weighs 880kg. And it takes power to get that weight moving. It’s a lot more efficient to coast up to a red light and accelerate while still moving, rather than to come to a full stop and start all over again.