South Africans love SUVs, there’s something about the raised body, sense of off road ability from the ground clearance and the heightened driving position seem to appeal locally. Glance through the car sales list in SA and there’s a distinct number of SUVs that make the list, top of which at the moment is the compact Ford Ecosport SUV. Also high up on the list are the Toyota Fortuner, Rav4 and the Nissan Qashqai.
The problem however is that SUVs tend to be thirstier than their sedan counterparts, due to being heavier and less aerodynamic. Both are key factors in reducing fuel consumption. We may have had nice fuel price decrease over the last couple of months, but it seems the period of respite has ceased. Predictions are for a R2/Litre increase in April 2015 and that’ll start to make people think about ways to reduce fuel use.
A recent study by Google also noted that 38% of people are triggered to buy a new vehicle by improved fuel efficiency claims. As a result we’ve trawled through the figures to combine your top five most fuel efficient SUVs.
The results lean towards small SUVs that use turbocharged diesel motors. Our petrol vs diesel comparison story also notes that if you're buying an SUV in SA it's best to go diesel, but always look at the initial cost difference.