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By Motoring Reporter

Journalist


Petrol price woes? Here are three of SA’s most affordable hybrids

Shock of numerous petrol price increases has seen the once loathed hybrid become a massive hit.


After yet another petrol price increase earlier this month, following a miniscule decrease in October, many motorists could be forgiven for wanting 2022 to disappear in the rear-view quicker than 2020 from a “visits to the pumps” perspective.

In a year where the fuel price rocketed past R25 a litre, the inherent lack of strain on the South African automobile industry must have come as a shock given that sales have not decreased throughout the entire year up to latest figures released earlier this month.

The uptick in fuel prices, never mind the escalating diesel prices, has put renewed emphasis on the once hated hybrid that has become more accepted arguably ever since the debut last year of the locally assembled Toyota Corolla Cross.

ALSO READ: Hybrid takes centre stage as Toyota updates Corolla range

Despite hybrids having been around for over two decades on local soil, it can be argued that none have had the same impact as the Corolla Cross has had.

With this “newfound acceptance” and rising fuel price continuing, The Citizen has compiled a list of three fully hybrid vehicles with three different bodystyles worth considering right now.

Hybrid cars worth a look in South Africa right now
Fit Hybrid the most frugal hybrid available in South Africa at present
  • Honda Fit e:HEV – R509 600 – 3.7 L/100 km – 1 081 km claimed range

While not the cheapest hatchback representative hybrid on-sale today, that being the recently refreshed Toyota Corolla, the successor to the much loved Jazz is a touch more economical and with a fractionally better range of 1 081 km on a single tank.

Up front, the hybrid Fit‘s setup combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 72 kW electric motor for a combined output of 80 kW and total torque figure of 253 Nm. Emissions is low at 88 g/km and as the case was with the Jazz, the Fit is model of practically with added sufficient levels of spec.

Hybrid cars worth a look in South Africa right now
Recent facelift has resulted in more power for the Corolla Sedan, but with consumption still below 4.0 L/100 km.
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan Xs Hybrid – R502 600 – 3.9 L/100 km1 103 km claimed range

Despite sedan sales having remained on the slide as buyers shift over towards SUVs, the Corolla Sedan has kept its ahead above water to such an extent, that a recent facelift saw the inclusion of a more powerful hybrid model following an initial “test run” last year.

Available in two trim levels, Xs and Xr, both combine a 1.8-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for an output of 103 kW as opposed to the 90 kW made by the Corolla Cross. Both are also thriftier at the pumps than the Fit and being a sedan, boot space unlikely to disappoint.

Hybrid cars worth a look in South Africa right now
Recently introduced H6 one of the cheapest hybrid SUVs on-sale today.
  • Haval H6 1.5T HEV Ulta Luxury – R669 950 – 5.2 L/100 km1 154 km claimed range

While not the cheapest hybrid SUV currently available – that honour going to the Corolla Cross Xs Hybrid – the H6 is the newest and the first from the ever popular Chinese manufacturer.

Undercutting the recently revised Toyota RAV4 Hybrid on price and power, the H6’s small capacity turbocharged petrol engine is supplemented by a fairly powerful 139 kW electric motor that helps up outputs to a substantial 179kW/530Nm in combined form.

Not as efficient as the Corolla Cross or RAV4, the H6 HEV is nonetheless more powerful and a worthwhile alternative to the hybrid SUV norm.

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