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What are Australia’s most fuel efficient non-electrified cars in 2023?


Chasing Cars takes a look which cars, other than hybrid or full electric, are the most fuel efficient 

Rising fuel prices and a higher cost of living has made running a vehicle in Australia difficult for a lot of people.  

And while there are plenty of hybrid and fully electric cars now on sale here in Australia, not everyone can afford to purchase one and, in the case of EVs, have feasible means to charge one.

Electric cars are still some way off being attainable ownership propositions for many buyers while hybrids still tend to command a premium over standard petrol or diesel alternatives. 

Toyota Yaris Cross GR Sport 2023 driving rear 3/4
The Toyota Yaris Cross is one of the most efficient and affordable cars

Internal combustion, particularly petrol power, remains the tried and trusted option for many new passenger car buyers. Be for various objective or subjective reasons, or both.

So what options do you have if you want a fuel efficient and relatively affordable new car?

Chasing Cars finds out the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid and non-electric petrol-powered cars currently on sale in Australia. 

Kia Picanto GT 2022 LT front 3/4 medium
We ran a Kia Picanto GT for three months and it returned good economy numbers

Top 10 most fuel efficient new petrol cars on sale in Australia

  1. Suzuki Swift – 4.6L/100km combined for manual, 37-litre fuel tank
  2. Suzuki Ignis – 4.7L/100km combined for manual, 32-litre fuel tank 
  3. Toyota Yaris – 4.9L/100km combined  for CVT, 40-litre fuel tank
  4. Kia Picanto – 5.0L/100km combined for manual, 35-litre fuel tank
  5. Toyota Yaris Cross – 5.4L/100km combined for CVT, 42-litre fuel tank
  6. Mazda 2 – 5.4L/100km combined for manual, 44-litre fuel tank
  7. Kia Rio – 5.6L/100km combined for manual, 45-litre fuel tank
  8. Kia Stonic – 6.0L/100km combined for manual, 45-litre fuel tank 
  9. Mazda 3 – 6.4L/100km combined for manual, 51 litre fuel tank
  10. MG 3 – 6.7L/100km combined for auto, 45-litre fuel tank

(Consumption figures are as claimed by the manufacturer)

Suzuki Ignis 2022 side shot wide angle
The Suzuki Ignis has a claimed fuel economy of 4.7L/100km

Which of these cars has the best fuel range?

  1. Toyota Yaris – 816km
  2. Mazda 2 – 814km
  3. Suzuki Swift – 804km
  4. Kia Rio – 803km
  5. Mazda 3 – 796km
  6. Toyota Yaris Cross – 777km
  7. Kia Stonic – 750km 
  8. Kia Picanto – 700km
  9. Suzuki Ignis – 680km
  10. MG MG3 – 671km 

(Range is an estimation only)

2022 MG MG3 Excite side profile shot
The MG3 is one of the thirstier cars in our list

How much would it cost to fuel these cars over 12 months?

Pricing was calculated using the 12 month average unleaded 91 octane fuel price for NSW which, as of 27 February 2023, was sitting at 187.7 cents per litre. 

Although it is case by case and is very much dependent on individual driving styles, calculations were made based on a driver filling up their vehicle every fortnight, as per Budget Direct’s study which can be found here. 

2020 Suzuki Swift front 3/4 shot red car
The Suzuki Swift is the most economical car on our list

Calculations were also made taking into account most people fill up at the petrol station with a quarter of a tank left, rather than almost completely empty.  

Please note that the below prices will be subject to change depending on current fuel prices and individual driver usage and habits. 

Toyota Yaris – $75 per fill, $1462 per year

Mazda 2 – $82 per fill, $1597 per year 

Suzuki Swift – $69 per fill, $1348 per year

Kia Rio – $84 per fill, $1640 per year 

Kia Stonic Sport 2021 silver
The Kia Stonic would cost around $1640 to fill every year

Toyota Yaris Cross – $78 per fill, $1531.50 per year

Kia Stonic – $84 per fill, $1640 per year

Kia Picanto – $65 per fill, $1275.75 per year 

Suzuki Ignis – $59 per fill, $1166 per year 

MG MG3 – $84 per fill, $1640 per year

Mazda 3 – $71 per fill, $1846 per year

2023 Mazda 2 dark grey new design
The Mazda 2 starts from $21,510 before on-road costs

How much do these cars cost?

All prices listed are before on-road costs. 

Kia Picanto – from $16,290 

Kia Rio – from $19,690

Kia Stonic – from $22,290

Mazda 2 – from $21,510

Mazda 3 – from $31,210

MG MG3 – from $17,490

Suzuki Swift – from $23,490

Suzuki Ignis – from $21,490

Toyota Yaris – from $23,740 

Toyota Yaris Cross – from $26,990