Yep, we’re at it again here, coming up with a list of SA’s most economical cars for 2014. You may think that it’s unlikely to have changed very much since the 2013 Most Fuel Efficient Cars, but there are a few new entries. You see not only do new cars come onto the market, but manufacturers also remove certain cars from their listings because they get too old or they’re not selling very well.
Early in 2014 we saw fuel get close to R14 per litre, thanks to what the government say is a weak rand and rising oil price. I check that rand/dollar price everyday now as a hit of R14 per litre isn’t taken well by my wallet, it’s like watching Gio Aplon getting crunched by Bismark du Plessis.
Thankfully the price has subsided a little and we’re in the mid 13s per litre as I write this. Still though, you can save a few bucks by getting yourself a car that sips fuel like your granny at a tea party instead of chugging it like a varsity downing competition.
*Update - if you want to see only the top 10 most fuel efficient petrol cars in SA then check out this link.
Without further ado here’s the 2014 top 10 most fuel efficient cars in SA, which are currently on sale:
Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars in SA
You probably weren’t expecting that? At 0.0l/100km the Nissan Leaf proves tough to beat since it doesn’t actually use fuel, but runs on an electric motor. The catch is though, currently the car is only available in Johannesburg but according to Nissan there are plans to open up dealerships in Cape Town and Durban that can sell and charge your car. The other catch is that it’ll set you back R450 600, which is a pity since it’s actually quite cool and fun to drive despite the 190 km range.
306 kW and 500 Nm at a guilt free 3.1l/100km? That feels a lot like cheating if you ask us, but we’ll still take it. An electric motor allows the Panamera to drive around 35km in an all-electric mode at speeds of up to 135km/h whilst the petrol motor is an Audi-based supercharged V6. It’s a bit costly at R1.38million, but it’s by far and away the fastest and luxurious car on this list.
Last year’s winner has to settle for the bottom step of the podium but you can’t complain at 3.4l/100km. The small capacity of the engine makes it a great fuel saver in town, but you might be stretched to keep the consumption down while cruising at 120km/h. The Polo has a classy and well put together interior that always makes it feel a little better than the competition, even when it’s not. The price is now R222 000.
A great looking Golf-sized hatchback kicking it amongst the tiny toddler hatches for fuel economy bragging rights is great for Volvo. This is still one of the most underrated cars out there, it drives really well, looks sexy and sips a claimed figure of 3.6l/100km from its 1.6 turbodiesel. Not badly priced either at R296 100.
With an equally efficient diesel as the Volvo V40 the Fiesta TDCi beats out its 1.0 ecoboost stable mate by nearly a litre per 100km. Ford claims 3.6l/100km for the diesel-powered Fiesta. The Fiesta has always proved fun to drive and the facelifted version’s ‘Aston Martin’ grille seems to have gone down well aesthetically. The cheapest car here at R194 900
Yet another 1.6 turbodiesel makes the list as the first French manufacturer joins the list. Whilst the C3 may be a bit bland for a French car the DS3 turns the dial right back up to what we expect to see in a French design. The C3 and DS3 are coming to the end of their life cycles so we should see some interesting replacements from Citroen soon. R236 900 for the C3 and R260 900 for the DS3 at 3.7l/100km. *pictured is the next generation Citroen DS3*
The Hybrid Toyota comes on strong down the list with Yaris and Auris both getting 3.8l/100km thanks to a combination of hybrid and petrol power. You get a good amount of power out of the Auris at 100kW but the lack of turbo torque you get from most of the competition here means you end up having to mash the throttle more often. If you don’t want to have everyone behind you hating you for driving so slow you’re probably not quite going to get the 3.8l/100km figure. R252 400 for the Yaris and R319 500 for the Auris is what you'll have to pay.
With the Polo 1.6TDI scrapped from the price listings the Audi now pulls rank as the 1.6TDI of choice in the VW/Audi group. Last year though you couldn’t get an A3 doing 3.8l/100km, so now you have to have another price battle with yourself. R262 500 for the A1 or R348 000 for the A3, or maybe that won’t be a hard choice after all.
Still churning out those miles the now quite old Megane can still match the fuel figures of the young techno-wizards and all their neat electronic tricks to save fuel. At 4.0l/100km the Megane sneaks onto the list, but does it with a spacious and family-capable hatchback that you won’t need a crowbar to wedge everyone in. Yours for R279 900.
Now there are a few cars that match the 4.1l/100km of the Merc but you’ve probably had enough of tiny hatchbacks with small turbodiesels. Here’s a 2.1l turbodiesel that matches the smaller capacity engines on fuel economy and has 300Nm of torque to get you up the hills as well. It’s not cheap though at R381 100.