Are you a Kiwi city-dweller and prefer zipping around in small, fuel-efficient cars? Are you also looking for a new vehicle? If so, check out the petrol-sipping newcomers getting rave reviews for fuel economy!
As hybrid technology continues to evolve, car companies are delivering innovative dual-motor engines (one petrol and one electric), some with a little more power than before. Yet, even with slightly bigger engines, there aren’t any compromises on fuel efficiency.
Petrol-frugal drivers focus on fuel economy ratings when they buy cars NZ. Since there are many options (petrol hybrids, hybrid plug-ins and electric vehicles), this review will focus on small petrol-hybrid cars for 2021. The specifications and ratings were compiled from New Zealand dealers and Rightcar.
1. Suzuki Swift LTD Hybrid (hatchback)
In the light car category, the Suzuki Swift is often included on top 10 lists for fuel-efficiency. The five-door hatchback has a 1197cc/ 1.2 litre 61kW engine with a continuously variable transmission. Suzuki uses integrated starter generator technology. This creates a fuel economical 4.1 litres/100 km and an estimated yearly fuel cost (based on a petrol price of $2.00/litre) of $1150.
2. Toyota Corolla Hybrid SX (saloon)
The Toyota Corolla hybrid continues to flourish in the small car category. The four-door saloon has a 1798 cc/1.8 litre 90 kW engine and a CVT. Thanks to the engine upgrade, the Corolla had a slight power boost. You can expect an average petrol expenditure of 4.2 litres per 100 km, and an estimated yearly fuel cost of $1010.
3. Hyundai Ioniq (hatchback)
The petrol-hybrid Ioniq is now joined by two exceptionally fuel-efficient brothers, the Ioniq PHEV plug-in hybrid and the Ioniq Electric. Its 1.6 litre DOHC GDI 77 kW engine comes with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s not as peppy as some other cars in this category, but what it lacks in power is compensated for in its fuel savings. You’ll be spending an average of $950 per year using 3.4 litres per 100 km.
4. Toyota Prius (hatchback)
Toyota’s original hybrid ancestor, the Prius is still a winner in the small car category. Its 1798 cc/1.8 litre engine has a 72 kW electric powered motor and a CVT. Regarding fuel economy, Prius actually is tied with the Hyundai Ioniq, costing about $950 per year for petrol. The Prius spends 3.4 litres per 100 km of driving.
5. Toyota Yaris (hatchback)
The last of the Toyotas in this group is the Yaris, which is in New Zealand’s light car category. The Yaris petrol hybrid has a 1485 cc/1.5 litre 85kW engine and CVT. Like the other cars in this group, the Yaris is not thirsty. It uses 3.3 litres of petrol per 100 km. You’ll only be spending about $920 per year on fuel.
6. Honda Jazz (hatchback)
The winner, way ahead of the other small petrol hybrids in overall fuel savings, is the Honda Jazz. This year, the Jazz has the Luxe model with new technology. Called e: HEV, this new hybrid drivetrain enables the car to drive completely on electric power. In addition to the e:HEV, the Jazz has a 1.5 litre 80kW DOHC i-VTEC engine with a CVT. Expect a nearly silent engine in this thrifty car. With a petrol burn of only 2.8 litres per 100/km and a yearly fuel cost of $780, the Honda Jazz is a hybrid superstar.
Although not suited for hill-climbing and off-road terrain, all of these selected vehicles are ideal for city and highway driving in New Zealand. If you scoff at petrol prices and love city life, you should be able to find the perfect car for you in the lineup of small hybrids.