After completing the Proton 1 Tank Adventure East Malaysia leg, we joined Proton yet again in the final round of its nationwide fuel efficiency challenge. This time, the organisers challenged Proton owners, celebrities and members of the media to cover a total distance of 700 km on one single tank of fuel.
Yes, you read that right, all 31 cars travelled from Kulai, Johor all the way to Juru, Penang without stopping to refuel. As with most fuel efficiency challenge, there wasn’t any problem completing the distance as long as we were sensible with our right foot, but the question is, how realistic is it in the real world? We find out.
The Proton 1 Tank Adventure aims to demonstrate the Proton’s fleet of Saga, Iriz and Persona fuel consumption. All three models were equipped with Variable Valve Timing (VVT), CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and Eco Drive Assist Indicator. The three technologies work harmoniously to help the drivers to exploit additional kilometres from every drop of gasoline.
I was handed to the keys to an Iriz for the final round and paired up with Amirul from DSF.my – quite different from the Saga I had in Kota Kinabalu as the Iriz has 100 kgs additional body weight to lug around. But having experienced the fuel efficiency of the Proton models at our respective regional rounds, Amirul and I are very much confident that we can complete the 700 km journey on the same tank of fuel.
We flagged off from Proton’s showroom in Kulai, making our way to Melaka for a lunch stop before ending the day at Proton’s Centre of Excellence (COE) in Subang Jaya. Taking our learnings from previous rounds, we took our time to clear any excess trash from the boot, shaving off precious milligrams and inflated the tyres to the recommended pressure – 220 kPa front; 200 kPa rear.
Amirul and I were a little overly enthusiastic on our way to the durian buffet lunch at Melaka, keeping our foot on the throttle longer than necessary, performing overtaking maneuverers more often than we should and having the air conditioning on full blast (blame the Malaysian sun).
By the time we arrived at Melaka, our trip computer was showing 5.8 L/100 km which was respectable but other contestants were posting high 4s and low 5s. We knew if we were to stand a chance to take home the grand prize, we will have to make it up for it in the upcoming legs.
Back on the highway heading towards Subang Jaya, we capped our top speed to 80 km/h, rpm needle resting under 2,000 rpm and air conditioning on 1. After a long and uneventful drive, we finally arrived at COE with the fuel consumption dropped to 5.0 L/100 km, not too shabby but others were comfortably in the low 4s.
Nothing has prepared us for the final day leaving from Subang Jaya towards Juru, Penang and stopping by Ipoh as a midpoint for lunch. We maintained our strategy from the previous day, 80 km/h speed cut with extremely modest air conditioning. After what seems to be forever (total journey of 6 hours+), we have finally arrived at Petronas station in Juru, covering a total distance of 699.7 km. Total RON95 consumed amounted to 36.657 litres which works out to 5.2 L/100 km. Not even close to what the winners have posted:
- Proton Saga 1.3 CVT: 3.72 L/100 km
- Proton Iriz 1.3 CVT: 3.5 L/100 km
- Proton Persona 1.6 CVT: 3.92 L/100 km
The Proton 1 Tank Adventure once again proves that all three Proton models were able to complete the 700 km journey from Johor to Penang on one single tank of fuel. But if I were you, I would not take these fuel consumption figures of 3.X L/100 km as the gospel. Driving 80 km/h consistently for long hours can be mentally and physically challenging as there is a 30 km/h difference in speed between you and the legal speed limit.
There are also instances where you need to speed up, be it overtaking a slower vehicle or avoiding an obstacle on the road, hence don’t be afraid to give the car a little more gas. While you consume a little more precious oils, you will be in a safer situation overall. Lastly, leaving the air conditioning fan speed on low can be taxing on the body when it is not enough to cool the cabin comfortably on a hot day. Heat stroke is a very real thing.
All in all, the results from this Proton 1 Tank Adventure should be treated as a reference. If you want to achieve good fuel consumption, just follow some of the tips and tricks such as being gentle on the throttle, properly inflate your tyres and maintain a good service record is more than enough to help you and your car achieve more kilometres per litre.