Looking for a fuel-efficient car? These are our top three

The cost of living has consistently increased this year, with fuel prices putting strain on many South African families. Many people have adjusted their driving habits to accommodate increasing fuel prices, and some are looking at downsizing their cars, opting for cars that are more fuel efficient.

Today, we highlight our top three fuel-efficient cars in South Africa. Please remember that the fuel economy figures mentioned here are manufacturer claimed (combining city and highway), so they will differ from the real-world economy. Real fuel efficiency depends on your driving habits, road condition, and lots of other factors.   

1. Renault Kwid Dynamique Automatic – 4.4 litres per 100km

Renault introduced the Kwid hatchback in 2016, and since then, it has been climbing up in the sales charts, thanks to its excellent fuel economy and a long list of standard features.

While Renault offers the new Kwid in three trim levels – Expression (Renault changed the name to Life), Dynamique (new name is Zen), and Climber (that didn’t change) – our top pick for the most fuel-efficient variant is the Dynamique.

It employs a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol mill (generating 50 kW and 91 Nm of torque) that sips only 4.4 litres of petrol to cover 100 kilometres, using a 5-speed automated manual (AMT) gearbox. The manual Dynamique comes with a 4.7 litres/100km fuel economy rating. 

With a 5-year/150,000km warranty and 24H roadside assistance, the Kwid Dynamique/Zen starts at R194,400.

2. Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.0TSI GT – 4.8 litres per 100km

The VW Polo Vivo is one of South Africa's most popular compact city cars owing to its elegant exterior design, tech features, and high-end safety systems. Perhaps, the one thing that most buyers overlook is its fuel efficiency rating, especially with the Polo Vivo GT.

The GT is the flagship model in the Polo Vivo range, featuring a 1.0TSI 3-cylinder engine pairing with a 6-speed manual transmission. It is not only the most powerful variant (with 81 kW and 200 Nm of torque) in the line-up but also the most fuel-efficient, with 4.8 litres per 100 km rating.

The hatchback comes with a 3-year/120,000 km warranty, sporting an initial price tag of R319,000.

 3. Kia Picanto 1.0L – 5.0 litres per 100km

The elegant and street-smart Kia Picanto and its crossover-inspired X-Line variant is accessible with two engine choices - a 1.0-litre creating 49 kW and 96 Nm and a 1.25-litre with 61 kW and 122 Nm. Both mills can either mate to a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.

However, the manual should be your pick for the best fuel economy. Kia claims 5.0 litres per 100 km fuel efficiency rating and the price is just R198,995 for the 1.0 Start variant. The 1.2 X-Line model goes for R248,995.

Kia offers a class-leading 5-year/unlimited warranty and 5-year/unlimited km roadside assistance for the Picanto in South Africa.

(All prices correct at time of publication.)

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