Most affordable hybrids in South Africa

The ten most affordable hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) in South Africa in early 2024 have prices ranging from under R500,000 to just over R1 million.

2023 was a big year for hybrid sales in South Africa, with 6,726 new models registered by car buyers, an increase of 61% over the previous year.

Hybrids offer better fuel efficiency than petrol and diesel-only models with similar power, making them attractive for people who want a capable ride that won’t guzzle through their monthly fuel budget.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of “true” HEVs.

Firstly, there are traditional closed-loop hybrids which recharge their high-voltage batteries using their fuel engines and regenerative braking.

There is no need to top these up with electricity — they charge as you drive.

The other major type is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which comes with a larger battery that can be charged via an external source.

The latter is closer to a fully electric vehicle (EV) and offers the best fuel efficiency, but is generally more expensive than a standard HEV with similar performance.

Another type of hybrid starting to emerge in South Africa that could potentially confuse consumers is the so-called “mild” hybrid.

This system is available in the Suzuki Grand Vitara Hybrid and as an option that will be offered in Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models from March 2024.

It can often be retrofitted to existing non-electrified drivetrains.

Although they also incorporate an electric battery, these are much smaller than other hybrids and are primarily used to improve engine starting efficiency and stability.

They don’t offer the same fuel efficiency gains as larger, purpose-built hybrid systems.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara has a “mild” hybrid system that primarily benefits the engine starting process and offers some improved driving stability

We compiled a list of the ten most affordable hybrids for sale in South Africa — excluding mild hybrids.

Although all the models were HEV types, it was interesting to see the cheapest PHEV in South Africa — the BMW X1 xDrive30e — was only about R40,000 more expensive than the 10th cheapest model.

Toyota offered the most affordable hybrid with the highly-popular Corolla Cross starting from R486,100.

It also sells hybrid versions of the Corolla hatch, the second-most affordable option, and the RAV4 compact SUV in South Africa.

Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus — which has long been focused on offering hybrid variants — had the widest range of hybrids among the most affordable cars, with four distinct models priced from R866,500.

Lexus sold 393 hybrids in South Africa in 2023, making up roughly 42.5% of its total sales — meaning nearly half of all Lexus buyers opted for an electrified model.

The only other brands with affordable hybrids were GWM’s Haval — with two models — and a single model from Alfa Romeo.

Below are the the ten most affordable distinct hybrid models available in South Africa in January 2024.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid — from R486,100

  • Power/torque: 90kW/142+eNm
  • 0–100km/h time: 12 seconds
  • Consumption: 4.3ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.3kWh

Toyota Corolla 1.8 Hybrid Hatch — from R536,500

  • Power/torque: 103kW/142+eNm
  • 0–100km/h time: 9.1 seconds
  • Consumption: 4.0ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.3kWh

Honda Fit Hybrid 1.5 e.HEV — from R544,900

  • Power/torque: 80kW/253Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 9.4 seconds
  • Consumption: 3.7ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 0.8kWh

Haval Jolion HEV 1.5T — from R579,950

  • Power/torque: 140kW/375Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.5 seconds
  • Consumption: 5.0ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.6kWh

Haval H6 HEV 1.5T — from R679,950

  • Power/torque: 179kW/530Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.9 seconds
  • Consumption: 5.2ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.8kWh

Toyota RAV4 2.5 Hybrid GX-R HEV E-Four — from R748,700

  • Power/torque: 163kW/221Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.2 seconds
  • Consumption: 4.8ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.6kWh

Alfa Romeo Tonale 1.5T Hybrid — R848,900

  • Power/torque: 118kW/240Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.5 seconds
  • Consumption: 5.7ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 0.8kWh

Lexus UX 250h EX — from R866,500

  • Power/torque: 135kW/188Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.5 seconds
  • Consumption: 4.5ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.4kWh

Lexus ES 300h EX — from R889,200

  • Power/torque: 160kW/221Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.9 seconds
  • Consumption: 4.6ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.6kWh

Lexus IS 300h EX — from R1,000,100

  • Power/torque: 164kW/221Nm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.9 seconds
  • Consumption: 5.2ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.6kWh

Lexus NX 350h EX — from R1,010,100

  • Power/torque: 179kW/239+eNm
  • 0–100km/h time: 8.4 seconds
  • Consumption:5.1ℓ/100km
  • Battery size: 1.0kWh

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Most affordable hybrids in South Africa