Fuel efficient Cars
The most fuel-efficient cars from Toyota and Lexus
The six most fuel-efficient cars from Toyota and Lexus
The fuel price is back up again, after a brief reprieve during lockdown when we ironically weren’t allowed to drive anywhere… With the fuel price directly affecting every kilometre we travel, we thought we’d highlight the most fuel-efficient cars in the Toyota/Lexus stable. And remember, with the current price of R16/l, you save R16 for every one litre of fuel you save every 100 kilometres. That means that a car that averages 5 l/100km will save you almost R50 every 100km you drive when compared to a car that uses 8 l/100km! If you do 2000km a month, that equates to a saving of R1000!
Being the original pioneers in the hybrid vehicle movement, it’s no surprise that Toyota/Lexus still lead the way in this technology. And as you’d expect, most of the most fuel-efficient Toyota and Lexus vehicles fit into the hybrid category with some amazing fuel consumption figures.
The car that started it all, the Toyota Prius remains phenomenally miserly when it comes to fuel consumption, using just 3.7 l/100km. The technology behind this performance is the petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain combining a 1.8-litre petrol engine with two motor generators. It’s a regenerative system, so you charge the batteries as you drive and brake. If you’re worried about the maintenance of the battery system, don’t be – there is an 8-year/195 000km warranty on the hybrid battery.
It’s no surprise that the smallest car in the Toyota range is also one of the most fuel-efficient. Weighing just 1240kg and powered by a 1-litre petrol engine with no turbo, it manages to do 100km using just 4.3 litres of fuel. The engine produces 53kW and 93Nm, and a five-speed manual gearbox is standard.
Lexus UX 250h
Lexus was one of the early adopters of hybrid technology, and now has a number of models available across their range. The UX is a luxury compact urban crossover, and the 250h is the hybrid version, available in both SE and EX grade. Both use a 2-litre petrol engine new fourth-generation hybrid drive system engineered specifically for this platform for a total of 135kW. Despite being able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds, the UX 250h uses a mere 4.5 l/100km. As with all Lexus vehicles, the UX is an incredible blend of technology and luxury, in a sexy SUV package.
Lexus ES 300h
It’s hard to believe that a vehicle of this size and grandeur can be classed as ‘fuel efficient’, but the Lexus ES 300h certainly is just that. It is a premium sedan, fully equipped with safety and convenience technology, superb to drive and incredibly spacious. And, thanks to the advanced Lexus self-charging hybrid electric system, which merges an ultra-efficient 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 160kW of power, the claimed combined-cycle fuel economy is a miserly 4.6 l/100km
Lexus IS 300h
Designed as a sports sedan, the Lexus IS is a proficient driver’s car, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. If you opt for the IS 300h, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a 164kW/300Nm combined powerplant, meaning great performance as well as thrifty fuel consumption of 5 l/100km.
The Rush is the entry point into the world of adventure motoring, and the most affordable of the Toyota SUVs. A five-seater SUV with acres of space for both luggage and passengers, the Rush ticks a lot of boxes for the average young family. One of the highlights is the engine, a 1.5-litre petrol unit that also does duty in the Etios. Producing 77kW of power and 136Nm of torque, this free-revving engine provides a great balance of performance and economy, using just 6.6 l/100km despite the generous size of the vehicle it powers. Manual and automatic versions of the Rush are available, the automatic using a tiny bit more fuel (6.7 l/100km).
What is the claimed combined cycle?
The claimed combined cycle is a vehicle’s fuel consumption, as recorded by the manufacturer. The vehicle is tested in urban and highway environments, and the average fuel consumption recorded. Real world figures do vary, usually dependent on the driver’s driving style (how hard they accelerate, how fast they drive etc.) and the environment in which they are driving. So when driving a hybrid in heavy traffic, your fuel consumption can actually be lower than the claimed combined cycle, depending on how well you can utilise the benefits of the petrol motors.