Without getting too deep into the politics of the situation, the fact is, the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia has sent shockwaves around the world and is starting to disrupt the global economy. The biggest consequence? Countries aren’t buying Russian oil.
This has caused oil prices to skyrocket since the supply from other countries is now facing increased demand. We’re already feeling the effects here in Australia, with the price of a litre of unleaded petrol and diesel rising to well over $2. With no potential end to the invasion insight, it could mean high fuel prices for the foreseeable.
So, what’s the best way to navigate the problem? Well, other than trading in your current vehicle for one of the best electric cars in Australia, you could look into trading it in for one of the most fuel-efficient cars. But, looking into all the specifications and figures can be daunting, so we’ve taken away the hard work and put together this guide to the 7 most fuel-efficient cars currently available in Australia, that just so happen to rank for cool points too.
So, without further ado, these are the coolest, most fuel-efficient cars in Australia right now.
In this fuel-efficient cars story…
Fuel Economy: from 4.8L/100km (combined)
Price: From $23,179 Driveaway
Not just a car for young girls who just passed their driving test, the Fiat 500 is a cool, small car that offers a great city driving experience. We completely agree it’s not the quickest or most performance-orientated car ever, but when you’re talking about fuel efficiency, those sort of words won’t be thrown around too much.
With a fuel consumption rated at a low 4.8L/100km combined on the automatic model, it’s one of the most fuel-efficient cars available right now. And, with prices starting at just over $23,000 for the base Lounge model with standard paint, it’s also one of the most affordable. The figures don’t lie, and they’re hard to argue with. Its small size and fuel efficiency make it perfect for city driving.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Fuel Economy: from 4.7L/100km (combined)
Price: from $41,000 Driveaway
If you really want to bring down your fuel consumption, you need to go hybrid. A combination of electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) power makes for an incredibly smooth and economical driving experience, and the Toyota RAV4 does it oh so well.
It’s the best-selling SUV in Australia and for very good reason. Smooth, quiet, good-looking and boasting plenty of room for the whole family, it’s a killer package.
The 2.5L hybrid engine keeps fuel economy incredibly low, matching the figures of the much smaller Fiat 500 mentioned previously. Even if we weren’t in the current economical and political climate we find ourselves, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid would be a no-brainer.
Fuel Economy: from 4.5L/100km (combined)
Price: from $23,990 Driveaway
A great option as a first car or second, fuel-efficient family car is the Škoda Fabia. The Czech carmaker is part of the Volkswagen Group, and their cars are effectively just more affordable versions of VW vehicles, making them an absolute steal. That’s especially true when you consider the company has made a real improvement to the overall finish of their cars, putting them on par with more expensive rivals.
Like the Fiat 500 above, the Škoda Fabia isn’t a hybrid vehicle, but its small size and fuel-efficient engine means it really sips fuel. With just a single 1.0L engine to choose from, with either an automatic or manual gearbox, it makes picking your own Fabia a simple process.
Fuel Economy: from 5.0L/100km (combined)
Price: from $18,490 Driveaway
Continuing the small, fuel-efficient car trend is the Kia Picanto. Available in three trim levels, S, GT-Line and GT, all of which we’d class as fuel-efficient, with the most potent 1.25L MPI petrol engine coming in at 5.8L/100km combined, it means securing yourself a good-looking and fun little car to drive a breeze. It’s also cheap as chips while boasting exceptional build quality. Plus we reckon it looks good too.
The top-spec Kia Picanto GT has previously made our list of the best hatchbacks in Australia, and it guarantees itself a place on this list too. Again, it’s not the quickest thing on four wheels, even in GT spec, but for a fun scoot around town, and with enough power to get you going on the motorway, it’s a fuel-efficient car that ticks off all the major boxes.
MG HS Plus EV
Fuel Economy: 1.7L/100km (combined)
Price: From $46,990 Driveaway
MG has been on a roll since re-entering the Australian car market in 2016 and while its small MG3 hatchback continues to sell like hotcakes, it’s the larger MG HS Plus EV that makes this list of fuel-efficient cars. A plug-in hybrid, the HS Plus EV pairs a 16.6kW battery with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, giving you up to 63km of driving on electric power alone.
If you’ve never driven a Chinese car before, expect to be pleasantly surprised with the MG HS Plus EV. Fit and finish is impeccable, and rather sporty, too. It’s spacious, cleverly designed and best of all, priced very competitively.
It’s no slouch either, and will reach 100km/h in a smidge under 7 seconds. Not bad for a low-powered SUV. There’s much to love about the HS Plus EV and we implore you to consider it when looking to go down the fuel-efficient route.
Mitsubishi Triton GLX Turbo Diesel
Fuel Economy: 8.4L/100km
Price: from $38,940 Driveaway
Ok, so the Mitusbishi Triton GLX TD isn’t the most fuel-efficient car ever, or on this list, but as far as utes go, it’s up there with the most economial. And, after all, many Australians want or need a ute for work and family life, so arming yourself with the most fuel-efficient of the lot makes a lot of sense.
One of the best-selling utes in Australia, the Triton offers a great deal of equipment as standard and does a great job of getting over tricky terrain and driving out in the Australian bush. We think it’s a bit of a looker (by ute standards at least) and when you consider it’s a good $10,000 cheaper than its main rivals, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, it makes the Triton all the more appealing.
For a greater selection of the best utes to buy in Australia, check out our full round-up.
Tesla Model 3
Fuel Economy: N/A
Price: from $60,900 Driveaway
You quite literally can’t get more fuel-efficient than a fully-electric vehicle, and for our money, the Tesla Model 3 is still the cream of the crop. While it now faces increasingly stiff competition as more and more carmakers switch to pure electric power, the Tesla Model 3 offers an experience unlike many others.
It offers up to 602km of range when specced in Long Range trim, far exceeding other electric vehicles in the same price bracket. The amount of tech you get as standard is truly mind-blowing, too. It isn’t the most affordable electric car compared to other battery-powered sedans and hatchbacks, but they don’t offer the same experience or range that you get from Tesla.
We might be talking about fuel-efficient cars to navigate the current climate, but if you really want to futureproof yourself, then you’ll want to go pure electric, and the Tesla Model 3 is the car to have.