Nobody wants to pay more for fuel than they have to - which is why a car that can do 100km on little more than fresh air is always in demand!
Here we take a look at seven of the most fuel-efficient cars currently on sale here. As well as (predictably) the pick of the PHEV models, we also include some hybrids and a couple of cars that manage to show exceptional fuel efficiency using standard petrol or diesel power.
1. Hyundai Ioniq PHEV
Like other PHEVs, the Ioniq has a combustion engine as well as a battery. If the electric battery (that's powered by a plug-in charging arrangement) runs out, the combustion engine will kick on. This handy arrangement means that, on average, the Ioniq will use a tiny 1.1l/100km.
Also, the Ioniq is also an attractive car to own. Faster off the starting line than a Prius, the Ioniq benefits from a smart, well-laid-out interior and plenty of connectivity. A 10.25" infotainment screen in all models except the base spec is a nice touch, in addition to the digital instrument panel. The Ioniq also incorporates a generous suite of autonomous safety features.
Great driving performance and low running costs are a strong combination, helping to explain why it's such a popular choice.
2. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 1.7l
The first SUV available in a hybrid format, the Outlander benefits from superior fuel efficiency (around 1.7l/100km). It's a stylish, well-appointed SUV that can easily hold its own against petrol and diesel variants in its class.
The Outlander has the option of seven seats, which is always a plus for larger families. Spacious and attractively styled, it's rich in advanced tech. Features include an MP3 compatible sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-climate control and a suite of autonomous safety features.
It may not be the most fun in the world to drive, but if space, safety and fuel efficiency are priorities, the Outlander delivers.
3. Toyota Prius
Possibly the most well-known hybrid offering here in Australia, the Prius delivers around 3.4l/100km. There are decades of hybrid development lying behind the Prius' engine.
The results are smooth, engaging handling and sufficient power to do what's needed both in town and out on the highway. This is a roomy car with plenty of boot space - ideal for families or people who like to carry a fair bit of kit. Equipment includes a reversing camera, LED headlights, multi-zone climate control and strong autonomous safety features.
Tech is adequate but not ground-breaking (which is sadly all too common in Toyotas). In addition, the bodywork has quite a distinctive design. It's been toned down for 2021, but the Prius' appearance isn't to everyone's taste. That said, Toyota's reputation for reliability, as well as the excellent warranty package, makes the Prius an attractive proposition.
4. Citroen Cactus
The Cactus is a bit of a maverick because its stingy fuel consumption (estimated at around 3.6l/100km) isn't due to hybrid technology. Its 1.6l 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine is designed to be incredibly fuel-efficient. This is a small SUV that will seat five in reasonable comfort.
The Cactus has all the safety features you'd expect from a 21st Century vehicle. This is a compact SUV that's extremely cheap to run.
Whilst the Cactus isn't the most technologically advanced in its class, it is cheap to run. When keeping running costs low is a priority, the Cactus delivers.
5. Honda Accord VTi-LX Hybrid
The Accord Hybrid will travel 100km on around 4.31l of fuel. It's not the cheapest in its class, but buyers will likely recoup some of their costs in fuel savings over time. If you like advanced tech in the cabin, the Accord doesn't disappoint.
As well as an 8" infotainment screen that connects wirelessly to Android Auto and Apple Carplay, other features include a sat-nav and an excellent ten-speaker sound system. There's also keyless entry, button start, LED headlights and dual-climate control.
Reviewers are impressed by the comfort and stable handling of the Accord. Spacious, with a large boot and dependable performance, the Accord is a good, mid-size Sedan that's also attractively cheap to run.
6. Skoda Fabia 702 SI
Although a growing number of people are catching on to the benefits that a Skoda can bring, the brand is still under-represented in the Australian market - which is a shame, because Skoda offers a lot for a relatively low price. Skoda is owned by VW, which means its vehicles share a stable with Lamborghini and Bentley.
The Fabia uses around 4.5l of fuel/100km, at the same time offering excellent handling, power and performance. Reviewers rave about how much fun the Fabia is to drive. There is also plenty of praise for the luxury touches that abound in the cabin. The leather steering wheel, for example, adds an engaging touch. It's also got some quirky features, such as a trash can for the driver and an umbrella stowed under the passenger seat.
Tech is variable, although overall delivers what's needed. Safety is good, but some of the more advanced features (for example reversing AEB) that you'd find in other vehicles are missing. If you're in the market for a car that offers great value and has excellent fuel efficiency, the Fabia ticks all the right boxes.
7. Audi Q7 E-tron
A stunning prestige vehicle that just happens to be extremely fuel-efficient, the Q7 offers 1.9l/100km. The 3.0l turbo V6 engine is a plug-in hybrid that delivers exceptional driving performance at the same time as being engagingly cheap to run. The Q7 is an Audi first, and a hybrid last. It's a popular choice with many drivers because it looks and drives like a non-hybrid Audi.
Beautifully built and with the impeccable handling and driving performance that you would expect from Audi, this is an SUV that has a lot to offer any driver. It's also spacious and comfortable, ensuring passengers also get to enjoy the ride.
Obviously, being an Audi, it's at the top end of the SUV price range, but at least you do get what you pay for in this case.
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