No, we’re not talking about hatchbacks that have never seen a carwash. We’re talking about hatchbacks that emit the most CO2 per kilometre.
We’ve had a forage through the statistics to pick out the eight hatches with the highest CO2 emissions figures. And, somewhat surprisingly, the list contains more than just hot hatches (although there are quite a few). If you’re wondering where the new Audi RS3 Sportback is, bear in mind that it does not currently appear on the Ingolstadt automaker’s local price list, so it isn’t included here.
Of course, we must bear in mind that these emissions figures (expressed in grams per kilometre) are as claimed by the respective manufacturers, with the readings thus having been taken under controlled conditions (i.e. on a dynamometer in a laboratory). The claimed fuel economy figures, too, come across as rather optimistic (as is nearly always the case).
Still, it’s certainly worth looking at the worst offenders. So, here are the nine dirtiest hatchbacks currently on SA’s new vehicle market…
1. Chery J3 1,6 TXE: 194 g/km
The J3 employs a 1,6-litre naturally aspirated engine, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Peak power is a claimed 93 kW, which maximum torque comes in at 160 N.m. Claimed combined fuel economy for this R209 995 hatchback is a quoted 8,3 L/100 km.
2. Opel Astra OPC: 184 g/km
The angriest of Astras – which is still offered in SA despite that fact that it is based on the previous generation model – uses a 2,0-litre turbo-petrol engine worth 206 kW and 400 N.m. Claimed fuel consumption for this R582 600 coupé-cum-hatchback? An optimistic 7,8 L/100 km…
3. BMW M140i: 179 g/km
Yes, we have a R640 726 BMW slotting into third place. Interestingly, the M-badged 1 Series (the only rear-wheel-drive model here) is at its dirtiest when fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox (the automatic version emits a far friendlier 163 g/km), with its 250 kW/500 N.m turbocharged inline six-cylinder sipping at a claimed 7,8 L/100 km.
4. Honda Civic Type R: 177 g/km
There’s already a new one on the way, but the current Civic Type R – which costs some R615 900 – emits enough CO2 to take fourth place. Its 2,0-litre turbocharged four-pot is worth 228 kW and 400 N.m, with a claimed fuel consumption of 7,5 L/100 km.
5. Chery J2 1,5 TX: 176 g/km
The 1,5-litre unit powering the J2 (the cheapest car on this list at R149 995) makes 72 kW and 140 N.m, but also emits 176 g/km of CO2. It apparently takes some 15,1 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill, with a claimed economy figure of 7,4 L/100 km.
6. Ford Focus RS: 175 g/km
With all-wheel drive, 257 kW and an eyewatering price-tag of R699 900, the RS isn’t your average Focus. Its 2,3-litre EcoBoost engine boasts a peak torque output of 470 N.m (including 30 N.m on overboost), while the claimed consumption is 7,7 L/100 km.
7. Hyundai i30 1,6 Premium auto: 173 g/km
This one’s not a hot hatch, nor an ageing Chinese vehicle. But the pretty darn ordinary i30 (which now costs as much as R365 900) still emits enough CO2 (despite the claimed fuel figure of 6,8 L/100 km) to make this list – provided it is fitted with the six-speed automatic transmission, that is. Thankfully, there’s a new one on the way.
8. Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic: 171 g/km
By far the most expensive model here (at R773 914), the turbocharged A45 manages to extract an astonishing 280 kW and 475 N.m from its relatively small 2,0-litre four-cylinder heart. It’s also the quickest, hitting the 100 km/h mark in just 4,2 seconds. For the record, the claimed consumption is 7,3 L/100 km … but good luck with that.
9. Kia Cerato hatch 2,0 EX auto: 170 g/km
Filling the final spot on this list is the automatic-equipped Cerato (priced at R353 995), which employs a naturally aspirated 2,0-litre mill worth 118 kW and 194 N.m. The quoted fuel economy figure? Some 7,2 L/100 km.
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