Most fuel-efficient petrol cars in South Africa

There are numerous petrol-powered cars in South Africa that can travel around 20km or more on a single litre of fuel.

South African motorists have been sweating at the pumps for the past two years. Since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, demand for fuel shot back up.

Alongside surging Brent Crude oil prices and the war in Ukraine, a weak rand also drove prices to record-high levels in 2022.

Motorists got some welcome fuel price relief at the start of 2023, with a big drop of around R2 per litre for petrol. The brief reprieve would not last, however.

All the price adjustments from February to May 2023 resulted in increases for petrol.

The rand’s recent surge above R19 to the dollar will likely have many a motorist worried about what’s to come in June 2023.

Fortunately, Brent Crude oil prices have decreased significantly in the past few weeks due to global concerns over waning demand for fuel amid economic uncertainty and rising inflation.

The Central Energy Funds’ (CEF’s) latest fuel price data currently points toward a price reduction of around R1.15 for 95-octane unleaded petrol and R1.13 for unleaded 93 for next month.

Nevertheless, with petrol expected to remain well above R20 per litre for at least the coming month, driving a fuel guzzler will put a big dent in your monthly budget.

Back in the “good old days”. In March 2014, a litre of Unleaded 95 petrol cost R14.32 when filling up in Gauteng. The same amount of petrol that cost R1,805.20 back then will set you back R2,942.24 in May 2023.

MyBroadband has compiled a list of the most fuel-efficient petrol cars in South Africa.

Our only requirement for inclusion was that the vehicles must have a combined (urban and highway) petrol consumption figure of 5.0/100km or less, equal to 20km per litre or more.

While diesel cars offer better consumption per litre overall, they are often only available on higher-end models, SUVs, and bakkies.

These cars are generally also heavier, so even though their consumption is lower than their petrol-based equivalents, they tend to be thirstier than the most efficient petrol cars.

We found that the brand with the highest number of fuel-efficient petrol options on offer was Suzuki. The manufacturer also happens to have the highest number of cars on the market with starting prices below R200,000.

Its most efficient option is the 2023 Suzuki Celerio, with a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.4/100km for the manual model or 4.2/100km for the automatic, both getting well above 20km on a litre of petrol.

The Toyota Vitz boasts the same figures as the Celeria, as it is effectively a rebadged Celerio.

Renault was the only other brand with multiple models — the small Kwid hatchback and the turbo version of its big Kiger brother.

Overall, the most fuel-efficient petrol-powered car on the South African market is the Fiat 500, which only sips about 4.0/100km on average. That means it can go 25 kilometres on one litre of petrol.

Fiat 500

Below are 12 of the most fuel-efficient petrol-powered cars you can buy in South Africa as of May 2023.

The estimated cost per kilometre was calculated using the unleaded 95 inland price of R23.34.

We excluded discontinued models like the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra, Peugeot 108, and Toyota Agya. However, these fuel-efficient models can still be found on the used car market.


Fiat 500 — Starting from R260,900

  • Power/torque: 63kW/145Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 4.0/100km or 25km/
  • Tank size: 35 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 875km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R0.93


Suzuki Celerio — Starting from R183,900

  • Power/torque: 49kW/89Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: Manual — 4.4/100km or 23km/ | Auto — 4.2/100km or 24km/
  • Tank size: 35 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: Manual — 795km | Auto — 833km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.03


Toyota Vitz — Starting from R189,900

  • Power/torque: 49kW/89Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 4.4/100km or 23km/ | Auto — 4.2/100km or 24km/
  • Tank size: 35 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: Manual — 795km | Auto — 833km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: Manual — R1.03 | Auto — R0.98


Suzuki S-Presso 2023 — Starting from R169,900

  • Power/torque: 49kW/89Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: AMT — 4.4/100km or 23km/ | MT — 4.6/100km or 22km/
  • Tank size: 27 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: AMT — 613km  | MT — 587km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: AMT — R1.03 | MT — R1.07


Volkswagen Polo Vivo TSi GT — Starting from R336,100

  • Power/torque: 81kW/200Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 4.6/100km or 22km/
  • Tank size: 45 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 978km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.07


Renault Kwid — Starting from R184,999

  • Power/torque: 50kW/91Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 4.9/100km or 20km/
  • Tank size: 28 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 571km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.14


Suzuki Dzire — Starting from R198,900

  • Power/torque: 61kW/113Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 4.9/100km or 20km/
  • Tank size: 37 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 755km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.14


Suzuki Ignis GLX Auto — Starting from R217,900

  • Power/torque: 61kW/113Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 4.9/100km or 20km/
  • Tank size: 32 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 653km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.14


Suzuki Swift — Starting from R270,900

  • Power/torque: 61kW/113Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 4.9/100km or 20km/
  • Tank size: 37 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 755km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.14


Kia Picanto — Starting from R214,995

  • Power/torque: 49kW/95Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 5.0/100km or 20km/
  • Tank size: 35 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 700km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.17


Renault Kiger Turbo Manual — Starting from R299,999

  • Power/torque: 74kW/160Nm
  • Combined fuel consumption: 5.0/100 or 20km/
  • Tank size: 40 litres
  • Estimated distance per tank: 800km
  • Estimated fuel cost per km: R1.17


Now read: South Africa to get 150 new electric car charging stations by year-end

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Most fuel-efficient petrol cars in South Africa