10 most fuel-efficient vehicles CAR magazine tested in 2019

At CAR, we take each vehicle we test on a standard, mixed-use fuel route of 100 km (comprising of urban and motorway sections) to gather data on its “real-world” fuel consumption. Listed below are the 10 most fuel-efficient cars (measured in litres per 100 km) of the 75 vehicles we tested in 2019…

8=. Toyota Corolla Hatch 1,2T Xs: 5,90 L/100 km (claimed: 6,10 L/100 km)


The Toyota Corolla Hatch is an impressive midsize challenger, with its 1,2-litre turbocharged four-pot producing 85 kW and 185 N.m of torque. It also proved fairly frugal.

8=. Suzuki Vitara 1,4 Turbo GLX 6MT: 5,90 L/100 km (claimed: 5,80 L/100 km)

Sporting Suzuki’s 1,4-litre Boosterjet mill (the same unit found in the plucky Swift Sport), the Vitara churns out 103 kW and 220 N.m, the latter from a low 1 500 r/min, which is sent to the front axle via either a six-speed self-shifter or manual ‘box with the same number of ratios, which features here.

8=. BMW i8 Roadster: 5,90 L/100 km (claimed: 2,10 L/100 km)

The futuristic-looking i8 Roadster’s hybrid powertrain produces a combined 275 kW and 570 N.m. Roof down, the i8 is even more appealing.

5=. Suzuki Ciaz 1,5 GLX MT: 5,60 L/100 km (claimed: 5,50 L/100 km)

A second Suzuki makes its way onto the list. The Ciaz employs a 1,5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine, producing 77 kW and 138 N.m of torque, and, like the Vitara Turbo, used only 0,1 litres more than its claimed figure.

5=. Datsun Go 1,2 Lux: 5,60 L/100km (claimed: 5,20 L/100 km)

Weighing 864 kg, the Datsun Go uses an atmospheric 1,2-litre petrol engine with modest outputs of 50 kW and 104 N.m to lug it around. Available only in five-speed manual when tested (a CVT option has now been added to the local line-up), the city car managed a 5,60 L/100 km figure.

5=. Audi A1 Sportback 35 TFSI S tronic: 5,60 L/100 km (claimed: 5,10 L/100 km)

Arguably the sweet spot in the A1 range, this Python Yellow 35 TFSI’s 1,5-litre turbo four sipped only 0,5 litres more on our standardised 100 km fuel route than what the Ingolstadt brand claims.

4. Mahindra XUV300 Diesel W8 Manual: 5,30 L/100 km (claimed: 5,88 L/100 km)

Employing a peppy diesel engine with 300 N.m of torque on tap from 1 500 N.m, the Mahindra boasts a fuel-route figure nearly 0,60 L/100 km less than claimed. Only a six-speed manual gearbox is on offer.

3. Volkswagen T-Cross 1,0 TSI 85 kW Highline DSG: 5,20 L/100 km (claimed: 5,30 L/100 km)

The small crossover to beat, the T-Cross was met with great enthusiasm when launched in the local market. Tested in December 2019, this Highline model’s 1,0-litre turbo triple directs 85 kW and 200 N.m to the front rubber via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2. BMW 320d Steptronic: 5,10 L/100 km (claimed: 4,50 L/100 km)

Returning a consumption figure just above the 5,0 L/100 km mark, the Bavarian automaker’s entry-level diesel 3 Series is both dynamic and frugal.

1. Mercedes-Benz C220d 9G-tronic: 4,90 L/100 km (claimed: 4,40 L/100 km)

A more comfortable proposition than the BMW, the refreshed C220d clinches top-spot with a tested fuel consumption figure of just 4,90 L/100 km.

Article written by

Ryan Bubear

Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.