The most fuel-efficient vehicle under R275 000

What makes the Fiat 500 so fuel-efficient?

Reuben Van Niekerk
fuel saving
Fiat 500
fuel price

With the every increasing fuel price, buying a fuel-efficient vehicle has become more important than ever before. We set out to find the most fuel-efficient vehicle under R275 000 and after some detailed research, the clear winner was the Fiat 500.

What makes the Fiat 500 so fuel-efficient?

The lower the weight of a vehicle, the lighter it tends to be on fuel. Despite featuring a comprehensive level of specification the Fiat 500 tips the scales at just 1140 kilograms, which is a big contributor to its frugality.

The small capacity 900cc engine employs Multi-Air variable valve timing and lift technology, which further enhances the overall efficiency. Thanks to four-valves per cylinder the engine boasts 63kW and 145Nm, despite its limited displacement.

Thanks to its low weight and respectable engine performance figures, the Fiat 500 proved to be surprisingly nippy in town. Most importantly it returns a fuel consumption figure of just 4.8 litres per 100km when driven sensibly, which is very close to the 4.0 litres per 100k that Fiat claim it can achieve. 

This new engine is paired to either a five-speed manual or an MTA transmission. 

Recently refreshed

The Fiat 500 is one of the most successful modern iterations of a motoring classic and was recently refreshed with new trim levels, new colours and new interiors.

The entry-level model now carries Cult nomenclature and is fitted with 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and black exterior mirrors. Exterior features include LED daytime running lights and halogen headlights. The interior is equipped with blue fabric seats featuring a Fiat Monogram and body colour-matching dashboard. A new option for the Cult is a Techno Blue Matt dashboard and the standard list of comfort features remains high with an Uconnect five-inch radio with DAB, USB ports and manual air-conditioning.

The Connect models build on this specification with the addition of 15-inch alloy wheels and a specific body kit including side skirts, rear spoiler and bumpers as well as fog lights. Inside it is fitted with new seats, which are height adjustable as well as a new multi-function steering wheel. Fitting for a model with Connect badging is interior specification that includes cruise control, an Uconnect seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and additional speakers in the rear.

Dolcevita models are equipped with bespoke badging, chrome accents on the two-tone paintwork and 16-inch alloys. Inside is a Techno-leather multi function steering wheel, glass roof and Matelasse fabric seats with leather details and 50/50 split.

The Fiat 500 Sport is fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, Sport badging and a sportier body kit. Matching the exterior is an interior with arrow electro seats and a Titanium dashboard that houses a seven-inch TFT digital cluster and automatic air conditioning.

All trim levels are available in the hatchback guise, while the cabriolet is only available in Dolcevita or Sport model lines. Cult, Connect and Sport models are fitted with the manual transmission while the Dolcevita utilises the MTA transmission exclusively.