Top 20 fuel-efficient vehicles in South Africa

These are the lightest cars on fuel available in SA

Reuben Van Niekerk
fuel economy
price of petrol

The rising price of petrol and diesel is a huge concern for South African motorists and the record highs month after month are showing no signs of slowing down. Government has stepped in with some relief, but it is simply too little too late.


While driving economically can drastically improve your fuel consumption and therefore save you a considerable amount of money, driving a vehicle that is inherently light on fuel is the easiest way to cut down on your monthly fuel bill.


How to save on fuel?

A general rule of thumb is that smaller vehicles are lighter on fuel due to the fact that they are fitted with smaller capacity engines. Conversely, the bigger and heavier the car, the larger the engine capacity and the higher the fuel consumption. However, that is not always the case, the addition of hybrid technology which combines electric motors and internal combustion engines has helped to drastically reduce the fuel consumption figure, even of bigger vehicles.


The recent fuel price increases have resulted in an increased interest in the feasibility of electric vehicles. While the initial purchasing price of the variety of electric vehicle models currently available in South Africa is at the higher end of the market, their running cost is significantly lower than that of a traditionally fuelled vehicle.


The cost per kilometre of petrol and diesel vehicles is an ever-changing calculation given the volatility of the fuel price. The price of fuel also varies depending on location, with coastal fuel prices slightly cheaper.


As an example even fuel-efficient vehicles that use 5.0 litres per 100km cost R1.04 per kilometre to run and this increases to R4.17 per kilometre in a vehicle that uses 20 litres per 100 kilometres.


In comparison at the efficient end of the scale, an electric vehicle using 15kWh per 100km costs just R0.30 per kilometre to run and R0.60 per kilometre at the higher end of the scale when it is consuming 30kWh/100km. This rough calculation makes an EV at least three times cheaper to run, but that figure only improves when compared to ICE vehicles that are heavier on fuel than 5.0 litres per 100km.


20 fuel-efficient vehicles in South Africa

For motorists who still prefer to drive vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, below is a list of the 20 best-performing vehicles on sale in South Africa, determined by the manufacturers claimed fuel consumption figures.

(These models represent the lightest model per model range).


Range Rover Evoque P300e Bronze Edition

2,3 litres per 100km

Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e R-Dynamic

2,5 litres per 100km

Range Rover Velar P400e S

2,8 litres per 100km

BMW X5 xDrive45e

3,0 litres per 100km

BMW 745Le xDrive

3,4 litres per 100km

Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid XS

4,2 litres per 100km

Toyota Prius Hybrid

4,4 litres per 100km

Honda Fit Hybrid

4,4 litres per 100km

Fiat 500 TwinAir Cult

4,8 litres per 100km

Suzuki Celerio 1.0GL Auto

5,0 litres per 100km

Ford Fiesta 1.0T Trend

5,2 litres per 100km

Peugeot 108 Active

5,2 litres per 100km

Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XR

5,2 litres per 100km

Renault Kwid 1.0 Dynamique Auto

5,3 litres per 100km

Jaguar XF D200 R-Dynamic Black

5,3 litres per 100km

Mercedes-Benz CLA 220d Progressive

5,3 litres per 100km

Range Rover Velar P400e S

5,4 litres per 100km

Lexus UX 250h EX

5,4 litres per 100km

Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.0 TSI GT

5,5 litres per 100km

BMW 118d

5,6 litres per 100km