Most Fuel-Efficient Cars in Australia - Hybrid Vs Electric Vs Petrol

In this day and age, we all want to do better for our planet. That’s why many people are seeking out the most fuel-efficient cars Australia has to offer. Whether you’re considering a hybrid, electric, petrol, or diesel car, there are options across the spectrum to help you reduce your carbon footprint. 

While some options have better benefits than others, we’re going to share the most fuel-efficient cars in Australia. By looking at hybrid cars vs. electric vehicles vs. petrol engines vs. diesel cars from various car makers, we will see what works best for you. 

So rev those engines, and let’s get started!

Most fuel-efficient cars - petrol & diesel

Before we jump into our list of petrol and diesel cars that boast impressive fuel economy, let’s take a look at some of their pros and cons.

Pros & cons of fuel-efficient petrol & diesel cars


  • More options are available to consumers.
  • A new car can be cheaper due to them being more mass-produced.
  • Diesel engines are more efficient, using 30% less fuel, drastically cutting your fuel bills.
  • More power in these vehicles, which is useful when taking cross-country trips with campers and caravans in harsher driving conditions.


  • Even fuel-efficient models aren’t as fuel-efficient as they could be.
  • Still produces emissions. 
  • Fuel consumption, even if more efficient, can cost more long-term than a hybrid/fully electric model.

*Please note that all annual fuel costs are estimates based on average Australian motorists covering a distance of 14,000km a year, without accounting for fluctuating electricity/fuel prices*

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    Skoda Fabia 70TSI (Petrol)


    • 1L 3-cylinder Turbo Petrol 95RON
    • 4-door 5 seat Hatch
    • 5 Speed Manual
    • 4.5L/100km, Urban – 5.3L/100km, Extra – 4L/100km (Combined)

    Annual Fuel Costs:


    Looking for a car that’s stylish, saves you money, drives like a charm, and is filled with character? Allow us to introduce you to the Skoda Fabia 70TSI. This fuel-efficient petrol-engine vehicle is ready to compete with other small cars on the market.

    This car is an affordable option for anyone looking to switch to something more efficient. With an annual fuel cost of $1081, your wallet will thank you too. Overall, the Fabia 70TSI from Skoda are awesome little city cars, with great average fuel consumption and all at a reasonable price. 

    Renault Megane 1.5 (Diesel)


    • 1.5 4-cylinder Turbo Diesel
    • 7 Speed Auto,
    • 5-seat Hatch and Wagon version
    • 3.8L/100km, Urban – 4.2L/100km, Extra – 3.6L/100km (Combined)

    Annual Fuel Costs:


    Renault has created a vehicle with a great balance between performance, emissions, and fuel economy. The Megane 1.5 is a well-sized vehicle that provides power and legendary performance. While a small car, it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

    This quiet yet responsive diesel engine provides a smooth ride in a car that handles the roads flawlessly. The interior is comfortable and stylish. The only real complaint goes to the dual-clutch, which, while smooth, is also not as fast as it could be when driving.

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    Audi A1 Sportback 1.0 TFSI (Petrol)


    • 1.0L 3-cylinder Turbo Petrol 95RON
    • 5 Speed Manual
    • 2 door 4 seat Wagon
    • 4.2L/100km, Urban – 5L/100km, Extra – 3.7L/100km (Combined)

    Annual Fuel Costs:

    $ 1014

    Let’s start with the obvious, it’s an Audi, and it’s a good-looking car. There’s no denying that, but let’s get down to the things that matter. This vehicle ranks as one of the most fuel-efficient petrol on the Australian car market. Its ANCAP safety rating is five stars which isn’t even the most impressive part.

    What makes this car amazing is what you’re getting when you purchase the base model. You’ve got features like traction control systems, voice recognition systems, and dusk-sensing headlights. These aren’t add-ons; they’re already included from the get-go.

    Overall, Audi has made a great car with a ton of features available for a reasonable price with low annual fuel prices. The A1 Sportback 1.0 TFSI runs like a dream and would be a worthy investment in your effort to cut down on fuel consumption. 

    Peugeot 308 GT (Diesel)


    • 2L 4-cylinder Turbo Diesel
    • 6 speed Auto
    • 4-door, 5-seat Hatch
    • 4L/100km, Urban – 4.7L/100km, Extra – 3.5L/100km (Combined)

    Annual Fuel Costs:


    The 308 GT from Peugeot is another vehicle that isn’t ‘style over substance,’ even if it’s oozing in style. This fuel-efficient vehicle features a sleek interior and a stylish exterior. Still, under the hood, they’ve ensured this car can make every drop of diesel count with excellent fuel consumption. You’ll enjoy a smooth, fast, comfortable drive without breaking the bank to keep this car running. 

    This car's other amazing features include incredible tech elements like the 9.7 infotainment touchscreen, rear-view camera, sat-nav, Driver assist pack, and front parking sensors. They’ve really thought of just about everything. 

    Most fuel-efficient cars - hybrid & fully electric

    Before we jump into the great fuel-efficient hybrid & fully electric cars, let’s take a look at some of their pros and cons. 

    Pros & cons of fuel-efficient hybrid & fully electric cars


    • Reduced emissions.
    • Far cheaper to run than petrol and diesel vehicles.
    • The cars have gotten a lot nicer and run for longer than ever.


    • These types of cars are larger investments than diesel and petrol options. While you save more money over time, their initial costs are expensive. 
    • Some electric or hybrid models' batteries take a long to charge, which can be annoying. 

    Toyota Camry SL (Hybrid)


    • 2.5L 4-cylinder hybrid
    • Automatic

    Annual Fuel Costs:


    Toyota has been one of the car manufacturers leading the hybrid revolution. While other car makers are catching up, Toyota’s been perfecting their hybrids for years now. The Camry is one of their most popular models. While it does feature what many call an outdated interior and less-than-amazing speeds, it’s overall a great vehicle.

    Why is this vehicle considered great? Well, it handles well, it features many impressive safety mechanisms, and its fuel efficiency is undeniable. For as many flaws as you might want to award the Toyota Camry SL hybrid, it’s hard to deny this car's impressive reputation. One thing that’s hurt the Toyota Camry the most is its use among drivers in ride-share services like Uber. If you can look beyond this, you’ll find that this car has a lot to offer and all for a very low price.

    Tesla Model 3 (EV)


    • Long-range battery.
    • Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive
    • Estimated 358 miles range

    Annual Fuel Costs:


    Tesla has become a titan of the EV world, and while other car manufacturers are trying to catch up, it’s hard to deny Tesla has been leaving them in the dust for years. These cars are not only sleek and stylish, but they’re also incredibly efficient and significantly cheaper to run than petrol/diesel vehicles. The Model 3 is one of their cheaper models, but even then, it’s still relatively expensive when it comes to outright cost. You save an incredible amount of money on fuel per year in comparison to other options. 

    The Model 3 runs fast, smooth, and essentially silent on the road, making it a dream to drive. You’ll be happy to know that the battery lasts long, providing you ample travel distance before needing a recharge. There are various charging options you can make use of to keep your car running, including plugging it in at home! Overall, this vehicle is full of style while proving that EVs can be the future of travel thanks to a great design, high-tech features, and the ability to save money on fuel.

    Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (Hybrid)


    • 1.1L 4cyl Plug-in Electric/Petrol 91RON
    • 6 Speed auto
    • 4 door 5 seat Sedan
    • 1.1L/100km

    Annual Fuel Costs:


    Hyundai has come to the table with a hybrid model that’s ready to make your life a whole lot easier. For starters, this car is affordable for anyone looking to make a change, and it provides a decent amount of features to justify the purchase. With an electric range of 64km, most car users will find it exceptionally sufficient for their daily car usage. The internal combustion engine also helps thrust the car forward, keep it operational, and charge the batteries.

    Hyundai’s also included plenty of features in this vehicle, making it even more interesting. Features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Autonomous Emergency Braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane assistance, and pedestrian detection they’ve gone all out. The level of detail found within all facets of this vehicle is amazing, which is why it’s one of the best hybrids on the market!

    Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite (EV)


    • 295Nm Torque, 88kW maximum power
    • 1 speed automatic
    • HATCH, 4 doors, 5 seats
    • 5-star safety rating

    Annual Fuel Prices:


    The Ioniq Electric is very similar to the PHEV model. But we’re going to approach it like they couldn’t be more different. With so many great cars to their name, Hyundai was able to pull from a well of knowledge and retrofit it all for an amazing EV experience. Not only have you got a car that runs better than some petrol and diesel models, but it also costs half the price per year to do so! The acceleration, driving, and handling are smoother than silk. It’s incredible what they’ve been able to achieve in this stylish vehicle.

    Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric Elite is a heavy vehicle which is largely attributed to the battery size and weight. Overall, this isn’t a massive issue. It’s just a detail you’ll notice when driving, as sometimes the car feels bulkier than you’d anticipate. By and large, this is a great car that will save you money in the long run and be a great means of transport in the short term. There’s very little to complain about here, considering the stylish interior, exterior, great engine, and driving abilities. Toyota is shaking at the mere mention of this Hyundai EV triumph.

    Check out our full list of the 10 best hybrid cars to get a full picture of some of the great options available to you on the Australian car market!

    Your bank account will thank you when you opt for cars with higher fuel efficiency!

    Are you ready to save a ton of money by switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle? Well, it’s time to start checking out your options. With Driva, you can predict how much you’ll be paying for your new fuel-efficient car by using our finance calculator.

    Once you’re ready to take the next step, start our application process for car finance, and we’ll match you with the best offers. You’ll be diving into a fuel-efficient model in no time!

    Declan Flaherty

    As the Digital Marketing Manager at Driva you can find Declan during the day transfixed by a flurry of spreadsheets, mar-tech, Slack emojis and graphs all pointing in the right direction and keeping up to date with the latest car finance trends.

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