We’ve all heard people say this before – Proton cars are not fuel efficient. But is that really a fact, or just a misplaced myth? The national carmaker is seeking to challenge that perception with the ongoing Proton 1-Tank Adventure, and our man Hafriz Shah took part in the Central Region competition to see what’s what.

The event stretched over two days, with the route starting from Proton’s Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam and going all the way up through Kuala Selangor and Teluk Intan to the Bukit Gantang rest stop before coming back down to Ipoh – a distance of 365 km. Driving back the next day brought the total distance up to 640 km. The challenge? To do all that in one tank of fuel.

And before you accuse Proton of carefully constructing a hypermiling route that would show off its cars in the best light (i.e. full highway driving, steady-state throttle and no air-conditioning for the best possible fuel consumption figure), it should be noted that a mix of roads and driving conditions were at play here, with the first day consisting almost completely of back roads, and the second being mostly on highways.

It’s a more realistic drive, then, and over the course of the two days Hafriz managed to use just 33.79 litres of petrol using a Proton Saga 1.3 Premium CVT, resulting in an overall fuel consumption of 18.3 km per litre – not a bad figure, whichever way you slice it. And that wasn’t even the best result of the competition.

In fact, the highest figure for the Saga category was 28.0 km per litre, with the contestants in the category as a whole averaging 22.2 km per litre. Also participating were Persona 1.6 CVT and Iriz 1.3 CVT models, which managed a best result of 25.0 km per litre (19.6 km per litre on average) and 21.1 km per litre (18.0 km per litre on average) respectively.

Watch the whole event unfold, with Hafriz also sharing tips on how to save fuel, in the video above.

GALLERY: Proton Saga 1.3 Premium