Suzuki Alto - Click above to enlarge

Proving once again that the way you drive is equally as important (and perhaps more so) than what you are driving is the Suzuki Alto. While the little Japanese runabout is certainly a fuel miser in its own right, we wouldn't have guessed that it could achieve over 100 miles per gallon no matter how light its accelerator were pressed, but that's exactly what happened at this year's Global Green Challenge.

In fact, the Suzuki Alto managed to churn out 117 miles from each and every U.S. gallon of gasoline (this equals 141 mpg in the UK with carbon emissions of 89.9 g/km). The route took the little car a total of 1,900 miles in seven days from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia. That performance was good enough that the Alto took home top awards in the Light and Small categories as well as the scoring the Best Urban Cycle trophy.

[Source: Suzuki]




After a successful New Zealand North-South drive at an average of 64mpg last month, the highly fuel efficient Suzuki Alto has taken part in a further MPG marathon, this time down through Australia, managing to complete the journey at an average consumption of 72mpg overall, an 18.5 per cent improvement over the official Australian combined figure (+13 per cent over European figure) and a staggering 141mpg (2.0 litres per 100km) attained in City traffic – the lowest recorded of any entered vehicle.

The Global Green Challenge ran North-South from Darwin to Adelaide and placed conventional and alternative fuel cars against each other in a 1,900 mile real world test. The winner of the challenge was the vehicle judged to have recorded the biggest improvement over its official fuel consumption figure.

Alto won the 'Light' and 'Small' car categories; 'best urban cycle' category and an overall CO2 emission of 89.9g/km, using just 123 litres of fuel for the seven day trip.

Despite some extremely trying conditions for drivers and cars alike, with most teams opting to turn off the air conditioning to save fuel even in temperatures soaring to 43 degrees centigrade, the 1.0-litre petrol engined Alto continued to defy expectations by showing some of the much more expensive diesel cars the true meaning of fuel economy.

Using a simple combination of lightweight design, aerodynamic efficiency and a small and efficient 1.0-litre petrol engine the Alto managed to outrank similar size diesel cars including the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic Turbo Diesel and MINI Cooper D which recorded an overall improvement in mpg of 15.4 per cent and 12.2 per cent respectively.

The Alto is one of the lowest emission vehicles on sale in the UK at 103g/km with an annual VED charge of just £35. Alto is priced from £7,495 for the SZ2 grade and is available under the Government Scrappage scheme from just £5,495.

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