We list the most fuel-efficient, budget-friendly cars currently available in South Africa!
Fuel prices in South Africa are skyrocketing and household budgets are under pressure as the general cost of living increases. By choosing to drive a more fuel efficient car, you can cut your fuel costs and save money.
If you are in the market for a new car that will consume the least amount of fuel and save you money over time then you should take note of the list of cars below.
We have created a fuel efficiency list that’s not only more relevant but also more diverse. Considering that most people can’t afford expensive cars, we decided to list the most fuel-efficient cars with an asking price under R300 000.
Note that claimed manufacturer fuel consumption figures are used here and that real-world consumption figures will differ depending on a number of factors such as driving style, road conditions and so forth.
Pricing is accurate as of May 2019.
There’s something for everyone on this list...
3.7 L/100 km - Fiat Tipo 1.3 Multijet Easy
The Fiat Tipo hatchback and sedan came to market in 2017 and the 1.3-litre turbodiesel sedan derivative is particularly fuel efficient with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 3.7 L/100 km. This engine offers 70 kW and 200 Nm of torque to deliver perky performance. Unfortunately, this engine is only offered on the Tipo sedan. The Fiat Tipo 1.3 Multijet Easy sedan is priced at R284 900.
3.8 L/100 km – Fiat 500
The cute 500 is the breadwinner for Fiat in South Africa and is offered as a hard-top or convertible. The 63 kW/145 Nm 0.9-litre TwinAir turbopetrol engine is particularly efficient with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 3.8 L/100km. A 77 kW version is also on offer and three trim levels (Pop, Pop Star and Lounge) are available. A 5-speed manual or automatic transmission adds further choice.
Pricing for the Fiat 500 starts at R206 900. You can also consider the more powerful 500S 0.9 TwinAir powered by 0.9-litre turbocharged engine offering 77 kW and 145 Nm of torque with a price tag of R262 900. Fuel consumption for this derivative is claimed at 4.2 L/100km.
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4.0 L/100 km – Peugeot 2008 1.6 HDi Active
The Peugeot 2008 compact family car/crossover fitted with the 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine offers good fuel efficiency which is claimed at 4.0 L/100 km with power outputs of 68kW and 230 Nm of torque. The 2008 equipped with this engine is offered in either Active or Allure trim and both make use of a 5-speed manual transmission as standard. Pricing for the 2008 1.6 HDi Active starts at R291 900 while the higher-spec 2008 1.6 HDi Allure is priced from R322 900.
4.1 L/100 km – Smart ForTwo / FourFour
For something a little different, you may want to consider the Smart ForTwo or Smart ForFour city cars. The Smart ForTwo and ForFour are powered by a 3-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with 52 kW and 91 Nm of torque, with a choice of either a 5-speed manual (ForTwo and Forfour) or 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (ForFour). The ForTwo is more economical with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.1 L/100km while the ForFour claims 4.2 L/100km. A 0.9-litre 3-cylinder turbopetrol engine is also offered on the ForFour with 66 kW and 135 Nm.
Pricing for the ForTwo starts at R176 434. The ForFour is priced from R181 478.
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4.2 L/100 km – Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir Easy/Lounge
The Fiat Panda made its return to South Africa in 2017 and the 2-cylinder, 0.9-litre turbopetrol offered on the Easy and Lounge derivatives offer 63 kW and 145 Nm of torque. The front wheels are driven through a 5-speed manual transmission. Fuel consumption is claimed at 4.2 L/100km. For those looking to go off into the dirt, there are also Panda 4x4 and 4x4 Cross derivatives on offer but claimed fuel efficiency rises to 4.9 L/100 km.
Pricing for the Fiat Panda starts at R204 900 for the Easy derivative while the Lounge is priced from R219 900. The Panda 4x4 is priced at R250 900 while the Panda 4x4 Cross is priced from R270 900.
4.3 L/100 km – Toyota Aygo
The Toyota Aygo was recently updated and it's a good choice if you are looking for a frugal budget city car. Toyota claims an improved fuel consumption figure of 4.3 L/100km for the Aygo and it is powered by a 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre petrol engine with 53 kW and 93 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard.
Pricing starts at R171 900.
4.3 L/100 km – Ford Fiesta 1.0T Trend
The new and hugely popular Ford Fiesta has arrived in South Africa and the entry-level Fiesta 1.0T Trend (manual priced from R273 700) offers a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.3 L/100km. It's powered by a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbopetrol engine with 74 kW and 170 Nm. If your budget can stretch to R305 100 then the diesel-powered Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Trend derivative is the most fuel efficient in the Fiesta range with a claimed fuel consumption figure of just 3.3 L/100km. Power comes from a 1.5-litre turbodiesel which now produces 63 kW and 175 Nm of torque.
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4.3 L/100 km – Peugeot 208 1.2 Active
The Peugeot 208 1.2 Active is the most frugal in the 208 range with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.3 L/100 km. This derivative is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine with 60 kW and 118 Nm and is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
Pricing for the 208 1.2 Active starts at R204 900.
4.4 L/100 km – Renault Kwid Automatic
The automatic version of Renault's popular Kwid is claimed to consume 4.4 L/100 km. It is powered by a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine with 51 kW and 91 Nm of torque. A 5-speed automated manual (AMT) transmission drives the front wheels. This derivative is priced at R153 500.
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4.4 L/100 km – Mahindra KUV100 Nxt 1.2 D75 K6+/K8
The quirky Mahindra KUV100 Nxt has been updated and it's a frugal offering from the Indian carmaker with a claimed fuel consumption 4.4L/100 km in K6+ and K8 guise. Power comes courtesy of a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 61 kW and 115 Nm of torque and mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
The KUV100 D75 K6+ is priced at R208 999 while the range-topping K8 derivative is priced at R224 999.
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4.6/4.7 L/100 km 0 Suzuki Celerio GA / GL / GL auto
The Suzuki Celerio is a sound choice in the budget car segment and the automatic Celerio priced from R170 900 is the most fuel efficient with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.6 L/100 km. However, our pick of the Celerio range would be the GL manual derivative priced at R156 900 with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.7 L/100km.
A 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre petrol engine produces 50 kW and 90 Nm of torque, mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
4.9 L/100 km - Suzuki Swift GA / GL / GL auto
The new Suzuki Swift strikes a good balance between performance, fuel economy and value-for-money and the Swift 1.2 GL manual priced from R177 900 is a good choice. All Swifts carry a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.9 L/100km. A naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine produces 61 kW and 113 Nm and it is mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL manual was crowned the 2018/2019 Budget Car champion in the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank.