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14 ultra-frugal family SUVs to help you save at the pumps

28 October 2021 - 10:03
SUVs such as the Toyota Rav4 hybrid 2.5 hybrid GX offer good practicality and excellent fuel consumption.
SUVs such as the Toyota Rav4 hybrid 2.5 hybrid GX offer good practicality and excellent fuel consumption.
Image: Supplied

Rising oil prices and a weak rand may lift the petrol price to more than R20 a litre by year-end, warns the AA.

This grim scenario comes after the hiking of petrol and diesel prices to record highs in recent months. It may prompt cash-strapped consumers to consider more economical cars at replacement time.

An economical hatchback is the obvious way to scale down and save on fuel costs, but small-engined compact cars don’t serve everyone’s needs. Yet those seeking a larger family SUV with reasonable power need not have their fuel budgets completely bullied.

SUVs and crossovers are where much of the sales action is due to their all-round practicality. We have assembled a list of the most fuel-efficient compact-to-midsize examples in SA. They are all at least 4.2m long to offer good space. They also have decent power, that all-important pavement-clambering ride height and miserly fuel thirst rated at less than 6.0l / 100km on a combined urban-freeway cycle.

Many of SA’s most fuel-efficient cars are premium petrol-electric hybrids that cost well north of R1.5m, but they defeat the money-saving object of this exercise so we have listed only vehicles that retail for less than R700,000.

There are 14 vehicles that meet all these parameters: eight diesels, four petrols and two petrol-electric hybrids.

With that, and the proviso that the fuel consumption figures are manufacturer claims and might not be achievable in real-world driving, here is a list of SA’s most fuel-efficient, reasonably priced family SUVs:

Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente
Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente
Image: Supplied

Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente

Price: R314,900

Power plant: 1.5 diesel turbo

Power and torque: 74kW/205Nm

Fuel consumption: 4.6l / 100km

Renault Duster 1.5dCi Techroad auto
Renault Duster 1.5dCi Techroad auto
Image: Supplied

Renault Duster 1.5dCi Techroad auto

Price: R327,900

Power plant: 1.5l diesel turbo

Power and torque: 66kW/210Nm

Fuel consumption: 4.8l / 100km

Ford EcoSport 1.0T Trend
Ford EcoSport 1.0T Trend
Image: Supplied

Ford EcoSport 1.0T Trend

Price: R349,600

Power plant: 1.0l petrol turbo

Power and torque: 92kW/170Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.4l / 100km

VW T-Cross 1.0TSI 70kW Comfortline
VW T-Cross 1.0TSI 70kW Comfortline
Image: Supplied

VW T-Cross 1.0TSI 70kW Comfortline

Price: R357,900

Power plant: 1.0l petrol turbo

Power and torque: 70kW/175Nm

Fuel consumption: 4.8l / 100km

VW T-Cross 85kW Comfortline
VW T-Cross 85kW Comfortline
Image: Supplied

VW T-Cross 85kW Comfortline

Price: R399,300

Power plant: 1.0l petrol turbo

Power and torque: 85kW/200Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.3l / 100km

Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS
Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS
Image: Supplied

Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS

Price: R413,000

Power plant: 1.8l petrol-electric

Power and torque: 90kW/142Nm

Fuel consumption: 4.3l / 100km

Kia Seltos 1.5 CRDi EX
Kia Seltos 1.5 CRDi EX
Image: Denis Droppa

Kia Seltos 1.5 CRDi EX

Price: R469,995

Power plant: 1.5l turbo diesel

Power and torque: 96kW/250Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.7l / 100km

VW T-Cross 110kW R-Line
VW T-Cross 110kW R-Line
Image: Waldo Swiegers

VW T-Cross 110kW R-Line

Price: R472,300

Power plant: 1.5l petrol turbo

Power and torque: 110kW/250Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.5l / 100km

Hyundai Creta 1.5D Executive
Hyundai Creta 1.5D Executive
Image: Supplied

Hyundai Creta 1.5D Executive

Price: R482,500

Power plant: 1.5l turbo diesel

Power and torque: 84kW/250Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.9l / 100km

Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi Acenta Plus
Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi Acenta Plus
Image: Supplied

Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi Acenta Plus

Price: R519,900

Power plant: 1.5l diesel turbo

Power and torque: 81kW/260Nm

Fuel consumption: 4.2l / 100km

Toyota Rav4 hybrid 2.5 hybrid GX
Toyota Rav4 hybrid 2.5 hybrid GX
Image: Supplied

Toyota Rav4 hybrid 2.5 hybrid GX

Price: R555,300

Power plant: 1.5l petrol-electric

Power and torque: 160kW/221Nm

Fuel consumption: 4.7l / 100km

Nissan X-Trail 1.6dCi 4x4 Tekna
Nissan X-Trail 1.6dCi 4x4 Tekna
Image: Supplied

Nissan X-Trail 1.6dCi 4x4 Tekna

Price: R603,900

Power plant: 1.6l turbo diesel

Power and torque: 96kW/320Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.3l / 100km

BMW X1 sDrive 18d
BMW X1 sDrive 18d
Image: Supplied

BMW X1 sDrive 18d

Price: R679,582

Power plant: 2.0l turbo diesel

Power and torque: 110kW/330Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.1l / 100km

Mazda CX-5 2.2DE AWD Akera
Mazda CX-5 2.2DE AWD Akera
Image: Supplied

Mazda CX-5 2.2DE AWD Akera

Price: R699,900

Power plant: 2.2l turbo diesel

Power and torque: 140kW/450Nm

Fuel consumption: 5.7l / 100km


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