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Hybrid Vehicles

New Cars to Buy – Exciting!

Along with the new SUVs showcased last time, Australia will also see some other exciting vehicles arriving in the coming months.  Keep your eyes out for the following:

Honda

Civic Hybrid

Honda’s new Civic hybrid has its own subtle design features that set it apart from other Civic models.  Hybrid-specific displays for the infotainment screen and instrument cluster gives the car its own environmentally friendly twist, plus the revised rear bumper is designed to conceal the exhaust outlets.  Honda’s Civic Hybrid also gets blue accents for its Honda badges, and there is a special e:HEV tailgate badging to set it off nicely.

As a driver, the new Honda Civic Hybrid is an impressively competent vehicle with great economy and plenty of get up and go.  The Civic HEV’s hybrid system is based around the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated Atkinson-cycle petrol motor that is found in the current Honda Accord VTi-LX Hybrid.  Matching the engine output to a smooth CVT automatic makes for an excellent easy car to drive.  315 Nm of torque provides grunt when you need it and the 135 kW of peak power suits this car well and delivers a bigger punch than the standard Civic’s 131 kW/240 Nm levels.

The front-wheel drive Honda Civic Hybrid is likely to be more efficient than the Accord Hybrid and even more so than Toyota’s Corolla Hybrid (4.2 litres/100 km).

BYD

BYD Atto 4

BYD EA 1 (Dolphin)

 

BYD Auto is the largest EV manufacturer in the world and is the automotive division of the Chinese multinational manufacturer BYD Company.  Along with some SUV models, BYD is also bringing their Atto 4 sedan and their neat little EA 1 to Australia.

The BYD Atto 4 is a mid-size sedan that looks beautiful, sporty, and aerodynamic.  Equipped with loads of the latest technology and also obtaining power from large batteries with a unique design, the Atto 4 impresses.  Standard Atto 4 versions get a 61.4 kWh battery pack and a claimed 550 km range.  The pricier models get a larger 82.5 kWh unique Blade battery with a claimed range of up to 700 km.  Having the larger battery and an AWD system, this flagship BYD Atto 4 can reach 100km/h from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds!

More BYD excitement has the imminent arrival of the BYD EA 1 Hatchback.  In China they call the BYD EA 1 the rather endearing name ‘BYD Dolphin’.  This is a small Chinese EV hatchback that is being picked to be priced at or less than $30,000 in Australia.  The small all-electric hatchback will be available with various battery and drivetrain configurations, all using a single electric motor to power the front wheels.

Two battery capacities: 30.7 kWh or 44.9 kWh will be available for the EA 1, both of which can be paired with a 70 kW/180 Nm motor.  The larger 44.9 kWh battery can also be linked to a 130 kW/290 Nm motor, providing swifter acceleration and cruising speeds.  Larger batteries will also become available over time for the little EA1 – particularly necessary, as Australia is a pretty vast land mass.

Managing director, Luke Todd, stated that “Our view is [that] in Australia any EV must have a minimum – even for city running – of 400 km to be accepted in the Australian market.  All of our vehicles will have at least a 400 km range … our target is 500 km-plus.”

Cupra

Cupra Leon

Cupra Formentor

Cupra Ateca

Cupra is a Volkswagen-owned Spanish brand who have opened their doors to import their vehicles to Australia, offering us a 3-strong model range.

The exciting range of Cupra cars – Ateca (SUV), Leon (Hatchback), and Formentor (Crossover) – will spearhead the Australian line-up.

The Cupra Ateca SUV comes exclusively in the VZx form, so 221 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque is sent through the 4Drive AWD system to deliver 0-100 km/h in 4.9-seconds.  I can see plenty of performance-SUV lovers who want to drive something as unique looking as the Cupra Ateca SUV wanting one!

The Cupra Leon Hatchback will be offered in VZ, VZe and VZx specification levels.  So along with plenty of technology and differing variants, there will be a 2.0-litre turbo 140 kW/320 Nm, 180 kW/370 Nm, 180kW/400 Nm (Hybrid), and 221 kW/ 400Nm outputs respectively.  So, there’s something for everyone here!

The Cupra Formentor is the Crossover Cupra and boasts the 4Drive AWD system on the V and VZx variants.  Note the gorgeous crossover body styling that brings with it plenty of space, practicality and comfort.

All new Cupras sold in Australia will include a 5-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

Volvo

Volvo C40

Volvo has a new C40 coming!  There are two versions offered that are based around one having a single electric motor and the other a dual electric motor layout. The Volvo C40 shares the electric powertrains with the XC40.  Boot space is measured at 413 litres for both the single and dual motor versions.

Volvo’s the single motor C40 uses a 69 kWh battery pack and a single electric motor over the front axle.  It produces 170 kW of power and 330 Nm of torque, combining nicely to provide drivers with a potential 0-100km/h dash being finished in 7.4 seconds.  A full charge has a range of over 400 km.

Jump over to the Volvo C40 with its dual motor system, and you’ll find a larger 78 kWh battery pack.  An electric motor for the front axle and an electric motor for the rear axle has this Volvo C40 equipped with AWD and capable of seeing off the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 4.7 seconds.  That’s pretty swift!  Again, a full charge should be able to take you over 400 km.

The single motor Volvo C40 kicks off at around $74,990, and the dual motor model around $82,490.

Audi

Audi A8

Audi S8

Audi’s A8 and S8 facelifts are coming.  The A8 Sedan and Audi’s sportier S8 version have been a stunning proposition for some time, and they keep getting better.  Quite an attractive large and luxurious sedan, the 2022 A8 delivers new levels of technology in the areas of comfort, entertainment, and safety.

The stunning A8 exterior remains similar to the outgoing model but you will find some nice subtle changes on the outside.  18–21-inch rims are available with six new designs to choose from.  Audi’s ‘singleframe’ grille has been widened and pushed out at the bottom corners for a sportier, more athletic appearance.

The luxury sedan has grown a bit longer, making Audi’s flagship even more comfortable.  It competes with the best big sedans from Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Lexus, so the relaxation seat package comes as no surprise, adding a back massage function, a foot warmer, an optional centre control console, and a fold-out table.  23 Bang and Olufsen speakers create an amazing audio sound.

Around the world, the new Audi A8 and A8 L versions will offer a wide selection of chiefly twin-turbo V6 engines that have 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance.  All models will boast Quattro AWD and an 8-speed automatic.  Audi S8 versions get the sweet-singing twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 petrol ICE that can move this luxury–sports sedan from 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds.  Boasting all-wheel steering, the S8 is a nimble thing of beauty.

Citroen

Citroen C5 X

Citroen calls the C5 X a “unique combination of the elegance of a sedan, the dynamism of a wagon and the elevated stance of an SUV”.

In my eyes, the new Citroen C5X looks both elegant and comfortable – just like a special Citroen should.  The Citroen C5 X is a large 5-seater that measures 4805 mm in length.  Luggage capacity is 485/1580 litres for the PHEV version and 545/1640 litres for the ICE car.  Inside its cabin, you’ll find the C5 X is very comfortable, and the sensible interior layout is pleasant on the eye.  A load of high-tech interior features include a digital driver’s display, a big 12.0-inch central touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a novel toggle gear shifter.

Adaptive dampers increase the Citroen C5 X’s ability out on the road, ensuring that those of us who love comfort can ride all day in a C5 X, all very comfortably indeed.

Equipped with the 165 kW/300 Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder ICE, the Australian version will have decent power (0-100 km/h in 8.8 seconds) while being hooked up to an 8-speed automatic transmission and FWD.  A top speed of 232 km/h is doable.  Citroen’s Australian importer is also considering launching the new Citroen C5 X with a PHEV powertrain.  This system mates the 1.6-litre turbo ICE with an 81.2 kW electric motor and a 12.4 kWh lithium-ion battery for a total system output of 165 kW and a claimed electric range of 50 km (WLTP).  The PHEV version is slightly quicker, boasting a 7.9 second time for the 0-100 km/h dash.

Peugeot

Peugeot 308

Peugeot is bringing us the next-generation 308 and the 3rd generation 308 is a classy looker from any angle you care to look at it from the curb side.  Peugeot’s Australian line-up will consist of 4 variants: the 308 GT Hatch, 308 GT Premium Hatch and Wagon, and the Peugeot 308 GT Sport PHEV hatch – a plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

The PHEV versions of the 308 Hatch and Wagon will use larger batteries and more powerful motors than you’ll find in the smaller Peugeot e-208 supermini models.  A Peugeot 308 GT Sport PHEV model sees a 132 kW 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder ICE unit paired to an 81 kW electric motor.  The total output of the powertrain sends out a sprightly 165 kW of power and 360 Nm of torque to an AWD system for maximum traction and plenty of excitement.

New 308s with ICEs will be powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder petrol engine that produces 96 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque.  This little engine is paired with an Aisin-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission that sends the power to the front wheels.  Peugeot offers an e-308 in Europe, which is a pure electric variant.

Ford

Ford Ranger Ute

Ford E Transit

The new Ford Ranger Ute is packed with smart functionality and a cool ‘Tonka Toy’ appearance.  Commands via voice, phone, or the central touchscreen has you controlling many of the infotainment features.  Wireless phone charging, a smart climate control system, and a new digital cluster for the driver keeps the tough new Ford Ranger models at the head of the pack.  Its chunkier styling with a wider stance, big towing capacity, and superior off-road ability are part of the new Ford Ranger experience.

Like the brand new Ford Everest SUV, the Ranger Ute houses the latest 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 ICE, which is also offered alongside the existing 2.0-litre twin-turbo 4-cylinder diesel engine for 2022/23.  The V6 boasts 184 kW of power at 3250 rpm and 600 Nm of torque from 1750-2250 rpm.

Ford’s latest E-Transit vans will be available with an all-electric powertrain for more efficient, zero-emissions driving.

Genesis

Genesis G80 Sedan

The charming Genesis G80 Sedan has gone pure EV and it is a stunner on the styling front.  The car’s opulence and quiet ride will impress.  An 87.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is housed under the floor, and a claimed Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) range of over 500 km is a decent amount of travel.  The G80 EV Sedan has a pair of electric motors that work in unison to develop a maximum of 272 kW.  This level of power combines with instantaneous torque of up to 700 Nm.  These are powerful figures, allowing the luxurious Genesis Sedan to sprint from 0-100 km/h in less than 5 seconds.

Funky New SUVs To Buy

Here’s some new SUVs that have already arrived or will be arriving in Australia over the next little bit.  Many of them are new Hybrid, PHEV or EV SUVs.  There’s something for everyone, so keep your eyes out for the following:

SsangYong Torres

An exciting vehicle to arrive in Australia early 2023 will be the new SsangYong Torres.  Those of us who like to find places off the beaten track will enjoy the Torres off-road capable models.  A turbocharged petrol ICE will be mated to a 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission, and there will be FWD and AWD versions available.

Ssangyong will offer the Torres with 17-inch alloy wheels on lower grades through to 20-inch wheels on higher trims. Safety features include 8 airbags, adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and safe exit warning.

The new Torres is similar in size to a Mitsubishi Outlander.  703 litres of boot space is available when all 5 seats are up, or there’s a decent 1662 litres available when the second row is folded flat.  A huge central 12.3-inch touchscreen rules the dash space, and drivers get a great looking digital display.  Functions like the climate control and ventilation modes are found on an additional 8.0-inch touchscreen fitted below the prominent 12.3-inch screen.

Mazda CX-60

Mazda has another new SUV.  Now that might sound as if I’m pulling your leg, with Mazda already providing a great line-up of SUVs across the board.  However, the new CX-60 will be a luxury SUV competing directly against other big luxury names – like luxury SUVs from Audi and BMW.  So, you should start getting the idea that the CX-60 is an SUV of a much higher standard than Mazda’s existing CX-5, CX-8 and CX-9 models.

The Mazda CX-60 will be comfortable and offer an impressive array of features and safety.  With its 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid powertrain, the new Mazda CX-60 SUV will also offer the most powerful 4-cylinder engine Mazda has produced – the 241 kW of power and 500 Nm of torque is set to impress.

Suzuki S-Cross

Suzuki has their new small S-Cross SUV available for order.  It is built in Hungary.  The design is pleasant and practical, with plenty of comfort and space in its offering.  Inside the latest S-Cross is a new 9.0-inch touchscreen display, and there’s a strong suite of driver-assistance features available as standard for all models – things like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping aids, adaptive cruise control, and AEB to name a few.

Under the bonnet you’ll find a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol ICE.  An ‘AllGrip’ AWD system means that you can get yourself out to some pretty remote places, and Australia hopefully will get the European version’s 48V mild-hybrid system –but we’ll wait and see on that one.

BYD Atto 3

No, BYD isn’t a new take on BYO (Bring Your Own).  BYD stands for Build Your Dreams, and BYD Auto has delivered on the name because they are the largest EV manufacturer in the world.  BYD Auto is the automotive division of the Chinese multinational manufacturer BYD Company.  BYD has designed and developed many new ‘green’ products enjoyed by many around the globe – such as LED technology, solar farms, battery energy storage stations, and, of course, EVs.

The new BYD Atto 3 is an EV SUV.  Pricing is very good, especially when you compare it with other EV SUVs – BYD now making an EV SUV much more affordable and accessible to the masses.  The new BYD Atto 3 offers great EV SUV transport that, in normal everyday driving, will perform well, having a real world driving distance of between 350 and 400 km on a full charge.  The quiet and comfortable electric progress makes for easy driving, and it’s pretty practical as well, with 434 litres available behind the back seats or 1330 litres when the back seats are folded flat. 0-100 km/h can be all over in a little more than 7 seconds.

Chery Omada 5

Chery is delivering the Chery Omada 5 Crossover SUV.  Boasting peak output figures of 150 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque, and a 64 kWh battery that provides a WLTP-rated range of 450 km, these performance figures are stacking up nicely.  The FWD Chery Omada 5 SUV also promises competitive pricing for an EV, plenty of practical space, and all the modern technology you’ll need for EV communications while at work and at play.

Genesis GV70 and GV60

GV70

GV60

Genesis’s luxury GV70 is a pure electric SUV.  The GV70 electric versions have been adapted to take a 77.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a pair of electric motors that combine to produce up to 360 kW of power and 700 Nm of torque.  The resulting 0-100k/h sprint time is a cracking 4.2 seconds.  Genesis quotes a WLTP range of 450 km-plus.

For something a little funkier, Genesis also brings us the new Genesis GV60.  The GV60 shares its platform with the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5.  You’ll also note that the interior of the Genesis GV60 appears familiar with an EV6 or Ioniq 5, but just a whole lot more luxurious.

Two models of the new Genesis GV60 are available: the standard GV60 AWD (234 kW), and the GV60 Performance (360 kW).  The Performance variant of the GV60 raises the power output of both electric motors to 180 kW for the rear and 180 kW for the front.  This results in a total output of 360 kW enabling the GV60 Performance AWD to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds (4.6sec without Boost Mode).  A rear limited slip differential (E-LSD), black monobloc front brakes, and an adaptable electronic suspension that reads the road are part of the impressive GV60 Performance features.

Buy a standard Genesis GV60 AWD, and you get a 160 kW motor for the rear axle and a 74 kW motor for the front axle, totalling 234 kW for peak output and a maximum torque of 605 Nm.

Nissan

New Qashqai, X-Trail, and Pathfinder

Qashqai

X-Trail

Pathfinder

More muscular, sharper in detail, and definitely a little suaver, the new Nissan Qashqai looks fantastic.  With prominent shoulder lines, a new enlarged Nissan V-motion grille, and slim, full LED advanced matrix headlamps with boomerang signature daylight running lights, the Qashqai is impressive.  Nissan certainly makes the Qashqai an attractive SUV for buyers wanting a capable and practical smaller SUV.  With all the latest technology and luxury, the new Nissan Qashqai also offers its buyers an ePower powertrain in the full Qashqai line-up, meaning that the ePower system offers full electric driving where the wheels are completely driven by electric motors.

Nissan’s new X-Trail has similarly striking looks, new technology, and lots more to offer with its pleasant drive, comfort, and safety features.

Then there is the latest Nissan Pathfinder, delivering the ultimate family SUV 4×4 Crossover experience.  The latest 9-speed automatic transmission delivers quick response and enhanced traction.  With the all-new Intelligent 4×4 system a very capable one, you can select 1 of 7 available drive modes for on and off-road work.

Ford Everest

Ford claims the new big Ford Everest SUV has strong capability across all facets, especially when it comes to power, safety, and comfort.  A very complete and likable SUV, the Everest is built tough, and yet delivers a nice and serene haven for its occupants on the inside.  You can be sure that the 2022 Ford Everest is ready for everything your travels entail, including towing with a full load and the entire family.

Ford’s new Everest SUV has a strong on-road presence with a very horizontal fascia at the front that creates a rugged, tough look. The new grille with its distinctive C-Clamp LED headlamps showcases Ford’s tough design.  Ambiente, Trend, Sport, and Platinum models are available for buyers.

The Everest houses the new 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 motor, which is offered alongside the existing 2.0-litre twin-turbo 4-cylinder diesel engine.  The V6 boasts 184 kW of power at 3250 rpm and 600 Nm of torque from 1750-2250 rpm.  These two engines are also available in the new Ford Ranger ute, which is what this Everest SUV is built upon.

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Alfa Romeo’s Tonale is set to arrive early in 2023.  As an entry-level model, the Tonale Super competes against Lexus, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, and Volvo.  The Tonale Ti is the top of the range model, easily rubbing shoulders with the best from out of these other luxury brands.

Plenty of the modern electronic technology is present, with 4G connectivity and voice-activated Amazon Alexa built into the new Tonale.  It will be powered by a petrol–electric hybrid powertrain which is based around a new 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder ICE.  Its pleasant Italian looks won’t go unnoticed.

BMW X1

One of the Tonale’s competitors will be BMW’s new X1 SUV.  The X1 is a nice small SUV cruiser – larger than before though – and the exterior looks great, even a bit smarter than the outgoing models.  Thus, with the increase in size, the luggage capacity has also grown from 505 to 550 litres and will expand to a maximum of 1600 litres when the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats are folded flat.  LED headlights and tail-lights are fitted as standard, with Matrix LED headlights available on higher trims.

Inside the new BMW X1 there is a re-designed and remodelled interior to enjoy.  BMW also provide buyers with a fully-electric X1 – known as the BMW iX1.  The third-generation BMW X1 covers all the bases with diesel, plug-in hybrid, petrol, and now electric variants being available for the global market.  So far, petrol and electric models have been confirmed for the Australian market.

 

Could a Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen be Feasible in Australia?

Currently (July 2022) in Australia, hydrogen refuelling stations are found in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.  Green hydrogen (H2) is a cleaner fuel for running a motor to power a vehicle.  H2 is produced using electricity that has been made from renewable resources (sun, wind, hydro) and is one effective way to aid the reduction of unwanted gas emissions.  Hydrogen is also the simplest and most abundant chemical element in nature that is almost always bound to another element.  It can be used as a clean and inexhaustible energy.  You can even create a hybrid vehicle where hydrogen and batteries can combine to propel a hydrogen-ev forwards.

Citroen have created a great light commercial van called the Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen.  While it is currently only sold in a few markets in Europe (where there are many more hydrogen refuelling stations), the light commercial van combines the best technologies of a hydrogen fuel cell and a battery for motoring.  Perhaps we might be able to get an ë-Jumpy Hydrogen van in Australia to run the Melbourne to Brisbane Hydrogen Highway?

Citroën’s entire light commercial vehicle (LCV) range is already fully electrified overseas, and Citroen say that the ë-Jumpy Hydrogen offers the widest electrified range to meet the heavy demands of business professionals.  Citroen Australia is yet to bring any of these ev vans to Australia.

The Citroen ë-Jumpy Hydrogen van has a hydrogen fuel cell and rechargeable batteries, the first Citroën powered by this form of energy.  While accommodating this new hydrogen/electric technology, it still manages to retain the practical volume and load carrying capacity.  The hydrogen and electric components are integrated into the van’s ingenious design, ensuring that the componentry sizes have no impact on load capacity.

Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen LCV has a range of over 400 km.  The three 700 bar carbon-fibre hydrogen tanks are stored on the horizontal below the load floor, which sit next to the battery under the front seats.  These hydrogen tanks can be filled in just three minutes!

So how does it all work?  The Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen LCV is a fully electric vehicle and benefits from a 45 kW fuel cell that produces electricity by consuming hydrogen.  A 10.5 kWh battery takes over automatically once the hydrogen tank is empty.  The battery itself is automatically charged using electricity that is generated by consuming hydrogen or by using a cable at any typical electric-vehicle charging station.

The Citroen ë-Jumpy Hydrogen has identical specifications to the Peugeot e-Expert Hydrogen and Opel Vivaro-e Hydrogen vans in the UK.  Citroen say that the ë-Jumpy Hydrogen LCV is for businesses that need more than the standard EV van’s 300 km of driving range, or for those who have no time to wait around recharging before getting to the next job.  The Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen is expected to offer over 400 km (249 miles) of driving range.

Citroen say that Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs or EVs) are perfect for all applications with range requirements of 100-300 km a day if there is access to overnight charging.  But with the improvements in battery technology leaping forward, time is currently on the side of BEVs/EVs.

Citroën ë-Jumpy Hydrogen specs include:

a total range of over 400 km

3-minute refuelling of the hydrogen tanks

three 700-bar hydrogen tanks (70 MPa), with 4.4 kg of hydrogen under the floor when at full capacity

range with 10.5 kWh battery only being used: 50 km

front-wheel drive

100 kW of power and 260 Nm of torque developed from the permanent magnet electric motor

an 11 kW three-phase on-board charger

2 van lengths available (Medium 4.95 m long, and XL 5.30 m), with the same loading volume characteristics as any equivalent diesel or purely electric versions

cargo space of 5.3 m3 to 6.1 m3
payload up to 1100 kg
towing up to 1000 kg

Let’s Torque ICE and EV Physics

As technology improves with each passing year, the inside mechanicals of an internal combustion engine (ICE) have become more refined, stronger, lighter, and more efficient at harnessing power from the combustion process and feeding it out to the wheels.  Adding Hybrid technology to the ICE has also enabled car manufacturers to make greater gains in power and efficiency.  Hybrid engines are designed to try and use electric power from the electric motor(s) instead of fossil fuel power from the ICE for as much of the commute as possible.  When required, the ICE takes over the power delivery when electric power has been drained, or electric and ICE can work together for enhanced power on acceleration.  Purely electric vehicles (EVs) don’t have combustion energy but can still produce phenomenal levels of power and torque.

If you’ve ever taken the slightest look at any car review in a magazine or online, or even browsed through a car brochure, somewhere in the read you’ll come across some of the main bits on the engine stats and specs. Some of the specs are easy enough to understand – like the 0–100 km/h time measured in seconds, which is a measurement of the quickest time it takes the car to go from a standstill to 100 km/h.  100 km/h is equivalent to 62.14 mph, so if you are presented with an Imperial measurement looking at the 0–60 mph sprint (USA reviewers use this), it’s roughly the same as the usual nought-to-the-ton metric figure.

However, some specs are a bit harder to get a handle on – like power output.  Power is described as the rate at which work is done, or else the rate at which energy is converted into motion.  In cars and vehicles of all types, the formula for calculating power is relatively complicated (or kind of).  The power output of an engine is measured in kW (kilowatts) using metrics, which is the force times the velocity: power = work/time = (force x distance)/time.

All sorts of things go into delivering the power and torque created from an ICE out to the road, such as the number of cams (pistons) in the engine, the number of combustion chambers in the engine, the flywheels, the gear set, the tyres, and even the size of the combustion chambers.  The reason why EVs can make power and torque quickly and efficiently is that they do away with all the internal mechanical workings of an ICE (the ICE motor) and use magnetism instead of combustion for making power and torque available to the driveline.

Yes, power actually used to be measured in horsepower, which was originally used to compare how well a steam engine or traction engine could work in comparison to a big Clydesdale horse (hp).  Here’s some stats for you:

1 kW equals 1.34 hp

1 kW equals 737.56 foot pounds per second

1 hp = 550 foot-pounds per second (ft lb/s)

1 hp = 0.75 kW

As you may already know, power is closely related to torque.  Torque is a measure of the force that can cause an object to rotate about its axis point.  The whole set-up with a vehicle’s engine, transmission, and drivetrain involves rotational motion, so where the rubber finally hits the road is where the final delivery of the torque from the vehicle’s engine and mechanical components are then converted back to straight-line motion, where and when the rubber applies a force to the road.

Torque is measured in Newton meters (Nm).  Newton metres are the metric units used for torque.  The non-metric unit used for American cars is in pound-force per feet, also known as pound-feet. Just to be confusing, pound-feet is also used for torque, while foot-pounds are used for power, something that’s likely to drive you half dotty. However, the formula for conversion is 1 pound-foot = 1.356 Nm.

An ICE engine loses a lot of its initial combustion power and torque as this gets delivered mechanically to the rubber on the road, where all the action happens.  All the weight and friction of the moving ICE powerplant components drain the power and torque levels before what’s left of it is delivered to the wheels, the rubber on the road used for motion.

Hybrid vehicles (those that combine electric and ICE motors) can use electric motors to boost ICE power and torque output, thus improving fuel efficiency and power and torque delivery.  EVs can deliver so much more power and torque to the rubber on the road because they haven’t got all the extra weight and friction of the ICE’s mechanical componentry.  EV motors don’t need all of this to create a big enough force for motion.

Fuel Miser Comparison (2010/2022) Smart-VW

I thought I’d look at a list of cars that featured in an article written back in 2010, where I compared some of the thriftiest cars at that time.  These were cars which had been designed to function as some of the world’s best fuel sippers.  These vehicles were sold new in Australia, but I thought I’d add a new twist this time by adding what we can consider as the brand new version of these old models with their statistics for fuel consumption as a comparison – you know, a bit of nostalgia along with the new, and what’s changed – or not.

Note that the fuel consumption figures are based on the number of litres of fuel consumed every 100 km travelled.  Often real world situations can play havoc with Lab tested fuel consumption figures, but this definitely gives you an interesting picture  And, here is the list that is in alphabetical order – just to be helpful:

Smart

2010 Smart ForTwo

By far the smallest car being talked about in 2010 with excellent fuel consumption was the Smart ForTwo.  It still fits into car parks like you wouldn’t believe!  Small and safe, comfortable and peppy, any smart CBD commuter would be tempted by the tiny Smart ForTwo.  It boasts a combined fuel economy figure that sits well under 5 litres/100 km – and this all coming from a ULP motor.  Currently you can’t buy any new Smart car in Australia, though I’ve heard that, in the near future, they are making a comeback with purely electric power and with new design.

SsangYong

2010 SsangYong Actyon SUV

At the time, the 2010 SsangYong Actyon was about the most frugal SUV you could buy new at an impressively low price.  The economic SUV has muscly looks and a rugged design that could see the vehicle handling tough off-road terrain with ease.  SsangYong uses a 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine in this vehicle, which packs over 300 Nm of torque to go with its excellent 4×4 underpinnings.  Getting any 1.8 tonne vehicle to manage under 5 litres/100 km is a feat.  So, well done to SsangYong!  Currently, no more SsangYong vehicles quite match the excellent economy of an Actyon Diesel.

Suzuki

2010 Suzuki Alto

Budget priced, and one of the few petrol powered cars back in 2010 delivering awesome fuel economy was the Suzuki Alto.  The Suzuki Alto 1.0 litre GL and GLX has an attainable fuel economy figure of 4.8 litres/100 km.  The Suzuki Alto is also nice looking (bug-eyed), has six airbags, and even comes with ESP as standard in the GLX model.  Great for around town – you’d be nuts to not consider an Alto.

2022 Suzuki Ignis

There are no new Altos in 2022, but Suzuki do offer us the awesome little Suzuki Ignis GL Manual and GLX auto.  These cars use a 1.2-litre ULP motor and deliver a similar fuel consumption to the 2010 Alto.  Safety in new Suzuki cars has taken a big leap forward, so too has all the modern technology.  Brand new Swift and Baleno models are definitely worth a look.  These are also economy-driven cars with decent comfort, technology, and practicality.

 

 

 

 

Toyota

Where would the world be without Toyota?  For a very frugal, spacious, and practical drive, the clean burning 2010 Toyota Prius III offered a 1.8 litre petrol hybrid engine.  It didn’t come cheap, but it was certainly friendly on the environment.  You could expect around 4.0 litres/ 100 km – sometimes better.

2022 Toyota Prius

You can now buy a 2022 Toyota Prius model for between $42–50k.  These are nice cars and much more impressive to look at than the older models.  They are safe and packed with excellent features.  The Prius still continues with the same petrol-electric engineering that made it such a standout when it was launched in 2001.  The same basic technology remains for the 4th-generation Prius, as well as all Toyota/Lexus hybrids these days.  So, what a new Prius offers is a small-capacity 4-cylinder engine that works through a planetary gear set to dispense the delivery of power to the front wheels (or also the rear wheels in SUV variants). The current Toyota Prius is powered by a 72kW/142Nm 1.8-litre engine that combines with an electric motor to produce a joint maximum power output of 90kW and a claimed fuel consumption of 3.4 litres/100km.  Better than ever!  Toyota newest vehicles: the CH-R, Camry, Corolla, RAV-4, and Yaris Hybrid models are available with very low fuel consumption figures.  Toyota and Honda are masters of the Hybrid-game, and have been for quite some time.

VW

Back in 2010, the Germans offered plenty of cars with excellent fuel consumption.  Volkswagen has for a long time offered well-designed, reliable and fuel efficient motorcars.  They are generally refined, elegant, and roomy, and the 2010 VW Golf 77TDI variant easily boasts fuel economy figures below 5 litres/100 km on a combined cycle.

2010 VW 77TDI

2022 sees the Golf Hatch with 5 models, and in Wagon form it has a couple of nice new variants.  The base models use a 110TSI 1.4-litre ULP motor, which is a 4-cylinder that is smooth and can return a claimed 5.8 litres/100 km.  250 Nm of torque offers muscle when you need it, and the car cruises at high speed effortlessly.  The 8th-generation of the Golf brings not only fresh external and interior design, but it is also the safest, most tech-laden ever.

2022 VW Golf 110TSI

There are other new cars right across the auto-manufacturing spectrum now that offer superb fuel economy or EV power alone.  It’s interesting how in that time (2010–2022) we’ve seen auto manufacturers taking a shift away from providing the new-car buyer with several frugal diesel family options to a fleet that is now a lot more Hybrid in flavour.  It’s a change coerced by new government law and regulation.  However, hybrid vehicles are superb automobiles that offer top fuel consumption figures and practicality, creating that much needed bridge between purely fossil fuel vehicles and completely EV-powered automobiles

Do check out the brand new arrivals.  Cars like the Hyundai IONIC, Hyundai KONA, Kia EV6, Kia Niro, Mazda MX-30, BMW i and Hybrid models, Mercedes Benz EQA and EQC models, MG HS EV, Polestar cars, Tesla, and Volvo’s Recharge and Hybrid models are just some of the amazing new cars available that we can now buy that weren’t even a showing back in 2010.

Happy commuting!

Fuel Miser Comparison (2010/2022) Ford-Peugeot

I thought I’d look at a list of cars that featured in an article written back in 2010, where I compared some of the thriftiest cars at that time.  These were cars which had been designed to function as some of the world’s best fuel sippers.  These vehicles were sold new in Australia, but I thought I’d add a new twist this time by adding what we can consider as the brand new version of these old models with their statistics for fuel consumption as a comparison – you know, a bit of nostalgia along with the new, and what’s changed – or not.

Note that the fuel consumption figures are based on the number of litres of fuel consumed every 100 km travelled.  Often real world situations can play havoc with Lab tested fuel consumption figures, but this definitely gives you an interesting picture. And, here is the list that is in alphabetical order – just to be helpful:

Ford

Ford Fiesta Econetic 2010

Back in 2010, the benchmark for fuel-misers belonged to the stylish Ford Fiesta Econetic.  Nothing was able to beat the claimed 3.7 litres/100 km fuel economy figure that this car offered.  It is a nicely designed car that looks good even today, and is also a great handling FWD Hatch.

Ford Puma 2022

I’m not quite sure why, but Ford no longer sell us a new Fiesta Hatchback.  However, you can buy a brand new Ford Fiesta-based Puma in 2022, which is a small SUV (Hatchback on steroids) that comes with a 92kW/170Nm 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine.  Cabin space is claimed to be class-leading, and the boot expands from 456 litres to 1161 litres.  You can also enjoy a fuel consumption figure of around 5.3 litres/100 km.

 

Honda

Honda’s ever reliable Civic is still a nice drive today.  In 2010 Honda offered it in a Hybrid Sedan shape that employed a little 1.3 litre Hybrid Honda engine, delivering a combined economy of around 4.5 – 5.0 litres/100 km.

Honda Civic 2010

2022 sees the Civic come alive with a very classy exterior and a powerful 1.5-litre Turbo petrol engine with 131 kW of power and 240Nm of torque.  Somewhere around 6.3 litres/100 km is attainable, and with a ride that is comfortable and athletic.

Honda Civic 2022

To find Honda’s current fuel miser, the brand new HR-V is an eco-friendly rewarding drive.  Honda’s e:HEV technology in the HR-V utilises an intelligent 2-Motor i-MMD hybrid system that seamlessly switches between three modes to give you optimal performance, and a smoother, greener, and more fun driving experience.  A claimed 4.3 litres/100 km for the e:HEV-L hybrid and 5.8 litres/100 km for the Vi X 1.6-litre petrol motor is on offer.

Honda Accord Hybrid Sedan 2022

2022 Honda HR-V

All class, you can also get yourself into one of the best Hybrid Sedans you can buy: the 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid.  It boasts a claimed 4.3 litres/100 km combined fuel economy – a very good figure for what is a sporty, comfortable family sedan, with striking looks and all the modern goodies.

 

 

 

 

Hyundai

Hyundai i30 CRDI 2010

Back in 2010, Hyundai had come to the economy party with its 1.6 litre turbo-diesel Hyundai i30, known as the SX CRDi.  Back then, it was Australia’s cheapest diesel car to buy new.  The car was pleasant to look at, and it had a nicely finished interior and plenty of zip.  With 255 Nm of torque, and a fuel economy figure of 4.7 litres/100 km, it’s still an economic little car to drive around in today.

2022 has seen Hyundai exploding with all sorts of new and exciting models that are economical, practical, and full of all the best safety and technology as standard!  Hyundai’s 2022 i30 Sedan and Hatch can come with a 120kW/203Nm 2.0-litre aspirated petrol engine, a 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol and, in hot N variants, a storming 206kW/392Nm 2.0-litre petrol turbo.  The 1.6-litre Turbo is the most frugal, offering around 6.8-7.0 litres/100 km combined.

But wait, there’s more!  Hyundai’s 2022 IONIC and KONA models have skipped the Hybrid tech and gone straight to EV power.

2022 Hyundai IONIQ

2022 Hyundai KONA

 

MINI

2010 Mini Cooper D

Mini, or BMW more correctly, offered the little Mini Cooper D in 2010 with a small 1.6 litre turbo-diesel engine, excellent fuel economy, and plenty of punch.  As the frugal engine is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, the claimed 3.9 litres/100 km was doable in a number of conditions.

2022 Mini Cooper Classic

Fast forward to 2022, and a new Mini still has one of the catchiest hatchback designs you can buy, along with, perhaps, the best handling characteristics in a FWD small hatchback.  They are definitely worth a look and loads of fun.  You have many different models to choose from, however the base model Mini Cooper Classic is the most efficient now, with no diesel engine offered anymore.  The 3-cylinder 1.5-litre Turbo petrol engine uses DOHC with VVT and VV-Lift technology, and can return a BMW claimed 4.9 (Highway), 6.9 (City), and 5.7 (combined) litres/100 km, respectively.

Peugeot

2010 Peugeot 207

Small French Pugs have always been a favourite hatchback of mine.  For all their quirks, they are comfortable, practical, efficient, and generally classy all-round.  In 2010, the little Peugeot 207 offered a fine economy package in the XT HDi, boasting just 4.8 litres/100 km combined.

2022 sees Peugeot offering us the 2008 GT with a ULP 1.2-litre Turbo 3-Cylinder motor capable of 114 kW, 240 Nm and a claimed economy figure of 6.1 litres/100 km.  With this one, you get a very comfortable, practical little SUV with premium safety features.

2022 Peugeot 2008 GT

Hybrids have taken off, and so the best and most impressive Peugeot of the lot is the new Peugeot 508 GT Plug-in Hybrid.  The 508 range has stunning lines and is an exciting car.  The 508 Sedan or 508 Wagon are roomy, very comfortable, and loaded with excellent technology and safety.  You fork out around $77k for one of these new, however, it costs way less than a German equivalent.  Peugeot reckon you can obtain 1.8 litres/100 km of ULP fuel use if your commute’s stars align. Regardless of whether you quite get down to this, this sort of hybrid travel is impressive in its own right!

2022 Peugeot 508 GT Wagon

Fuel Miser Comparison (2010/2022) Audi-Fiat

One of the easiest ways to counter any rises in the fuel prices is to look at downsizing to a more economical car.  If this sounds something you’d be into, then you certainly won’t be the first person to do so.  We’ve just purchased a smaller Honda Jazz as a run around.  Just think back to the fuel crisis in the seventies.

Anyway, it’s always an interesting topic, and who wouldn’t mind driving a new- to late-model car that spends less time at the gas pump.  If you are a commuter, then you’ll appreciate owning a car that doesn’t cost the earth to run.

I thought I’d look at a list of cars that featured in an article written back in 2010, where I compared some of the thriftiest cars at that time.  These were cars which had been designed to function as some of the world’s best fuel sippers.  These vehicles were sold new in Australia, but I thought I’d add a new twist this time by adding what we can consider as the brand new version of these old models with their statistics for fuel consumption as a comparison – you know, a bit of nostalgia along with the new, and what’s changed – or not.

Note that the fuel consumption figures are based on the number of litres of fuel consumed every 100 km travelled.  Often real world situations can play havoc with Lab tested fuel consumption figures, but this definitely gives you an interesting picture  And, here is the list that is in alphabetical order – just to be helpful:

Audi

Audi A3 TDI 2010

The 2010 Audi A3 TDI offered a tidy package with practicality and comfort on its side.  It uses the 1.9-litre TDI engine linked to a 5-speed manual gearbox that has plenty of useful torque and manages a fuel economy figure of around 4.5 litres/100 km.  It was probably one of the roomiest economy cars on this list at the time.

Audi’s 2022 A3 is available in three model grades and two body styles ” Sportback (hatchback) and Sedan.  Two powerplants are available for the stylish new A3.  The most fuel efficient is the 35 TFSI 1.5-litre turbo-petrol with mild-hybrid technology producing 110kW/250Nm with a claimed 5 litres/100 km combined economy.

Audi A3 2022

Audi also has the smaller A1 model to add to your shopping list, which you can now buy new.  It has a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder ULP engine with 85kW/200Nm and a 5.4 litres/100 km combined economy, or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder 110kW/250Nm option with a 5.8 litres/100 km combined economy.

Audi A1 2022

BMW

BMW 118d 2010

At the time, another small German car, the 2010 BMW 118d, offered a fun drive and used an automatic gearbox with a stop/start function for the engine.  It also offers a slick 6-speed manual gearbox option and achieved an impressive 4.5 litres/100 km for its combined fuel economy.  You have 300 Nm of torque, and it feels a punchy little powerhouse, and it’s also RWD!

BMW 118i M Sport

In 2022, the 1-Series is available in a 118i M Sport version, which uses a 103kW/220Nm three-cylinder turbo ULP (unleaded petrol) motor  with a claimed 5.9 litres/100km combined.

 

 

Citroen

The French loved to rival the Germans, and still do, so it was no surprise to see that the Citroen C3 and C4 featured in 2010.  They are still nice-looking and comfortable cars.  The Citroen C3 HDi offers the driver a tidy fuel consumption figure of 4.4 litres/100 km, while the bigger and roomier C4 HDi could deliver 4.5 litres/100 km in combined fuel economy runs.

Citroen C3 2010

2022 sees Citroen’s C3 with much more grown-up styling, and a 1.2-litre three-cylinder 82kW/205NmTurbo petrol engine that delivers the power through a 6-speed automatic FWD driveline.  Fuel consumption should see around 5.7–6.4 litres for a Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) combined cycle, which is the current testing process for measuring a new car’s fuel economy, electric driving range, and emissions.

Citroen C3 2022

 

 

 

 

Fiat

Fiat 500 2022

One of the 2010 super cuties, and still with endless loads of flair, is the nicely packaged turbo-diesel Fiat 500 that captures your attention.  Whether it is the 1.3 JTD engine mated to a 5-speed or 6-speed manual gearbox, both options provided a thrifty 4.0–4.5 litres/100 km fuel consumption.

2022 Fiat 500 cars are still available new, of course with all their modern updates and new technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and updated safety technology.  The current 500 and 500 Convertible offer a manual or single-clutch automated manual five-speed gearbox that underpins the driving force behind the 1.2-litre 4-cylinder engine producing 51kW and 102Nm.  Fiat rate it good for around 4.9 litres/100 km on a combined run, making this a great modern car to drive in an urban setting.

Fiat Punto 2010

In 2010, the Italian flamboyance continued with the Punto 1.3 and 1.4 JTD models.  The Punto handles the road well, making it rewarding to drive, while returning a combined 4.6 litres/100 km.  Currently, Fiat no longer sells a New Punto model, so, if you’re into Fiats, then the 500 is the one for you.

Hybrids, EVs, and the City Environment

With the big push for clean air and protecting the environment, running a new hybrid vehicle is one way to make the gradual change from fossil fuels to electric more affordable and realistic as we head into a future of EVs.

A gradual change is key, so that everyone can adjust their budgets and business direction accordingly.  And making the change gradual ensures that EVs can become more affordable to the masses.  Have you heard of the ‘trickle-down effect’?  This term refers to the reality of fashion trends flowing from the wealthy (e.g., politicians, mayors, doctors, directors, engineers etc.) to the less well-off or the working class (e.g., factory hands, beneficiaries, shop assistants, cleaners, farm workers, etc.) in society.  This trickle-down phenomenon can be related to any new consumer product, especially when these products are first introduced into the market.

At the product’s initial introduction into the marketplace, it is costly and only affordable to the wealthy, but, as the product matures, and as time goes on, its price begins to fall so that it might become more widely affordable and thus adopted by the general public and the working class.  One would assume that pure EVs will follow this kind of trend.

Right now, EVs are expensive to purchase new, especially when you want to have one of the EVs with all the status (e.g., Tesla, Porsche, Mercedes Benz).  There are some cheaper options like the MG ZS EV, Hyundai IONIQ electric, the Nissan Leaf, and the Hyundai Kona electric.  These cars can generally be had for less than $60k.

Currently, owning and operating a 100% EV would be an ideal option if you just wanted to hop between addresses inside the city boundary or maybe commute short distances to and from the urban jungle.  However, throw in some intercity travel or long country drives, and the EV is simply left wanting.  I’m aware that EV manufacturers are working hard to change this, to make their EVs capable of travelling much longer distances between recharges, as well as making the recharge time much quicker than it commonly is.  As it stands today, Australia’s recharging infrastructure is in its infancy, and beyond the city boundary, even inside, it still has a long way to go before becoming seamless and brief.

If you live in and mostly travel inside one of our lovely Australian cities, owning or operating a vehicle that is capable of running on electric power for all or at least some of the time (more depending on you commute or travel patterns) would surely be an option if you aren’t doing so already.  This would instantly help to improve the air quality of the congested city environment.

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy breathing cleaner air inside a city’s boundaries?  We all would, right?  But I can’t afford an EV because (a) it’s not practical and (b) you can’t afford one?  If you relate to either of these truths, then you aren’t alone and are currently in the majority.  So, what about a Hybrid then?  Right now, hybrid vehicles do make a lot of sense.  They are able to use their small electric motor for 20–30 km of inner city travel, thus making the city air cleaner and the environment better for all city dwellers and workers.  However, when the commute includes distances beyond the city boundary, the petrol motor will happily take over transport duties and to get you where you want to go, recharging the electric motor’s battery in the process.

Of course, a bicycle or even walking is another option for inner city travel, particularly when it isn’t raining.  If you are wanting a Hybrid vehicle or even an EV, then do have a look at some of our Hybrid and EV reviews or talk to some of our sales staff to see if there is a likable and affordable option out there for you.

Reasonably Priced Hybrid Vehicles (MG to Z)

In-between stages can sometimes get tricky.  The next set of sit-ups before truly hitting your peak fitness regime.  That gap year before study, or the six months prior to the new job contract starting.  What about the EV world?  We’re not capable of running a full fleet of EV cars yet, but maybe there’s an in-between vehicle that ticks all the right boxes before we go fully electric.

The truth is that the new hybrid vehicles are the best cars for this moment in time.  They deliver the very best low fuel consumption figures and will also try to run pure electric as much of the time as is practical or possible.

Hybrids are great vehicles, usually well-priced, thus perfect for softening the blow to the wallet – there are some hideously expensive EVs available.  Most desirable new EVs have price tags that, for most of us, will be well beyond our budget.  So what hybrid vehicles are on the market for reasonable money?  How much will they set you back when you buy new?  And what sort of fuel consumption can you expect?  Let’s have a look and see (MG to Toyota)…

MG HS Plus EV SUV

Yes, a new and very fuel efficient Hybrid for less than $50k is possible, thanks to the snazzy MG HS Plus EV SUV.  Nice to drive, comfortable, and with roomy interiors, loaded with technology, and five-star safe, these are a great hybrid buy.  The MG HS Essence-spec plug-in hybrid joined the range in 2021 and uses a 119 kW/250 Nm 1.5-litre Turbo four driving the front wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.  It boasts a strong presence among class leaders that include the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail.  It comes with 5-star safety technology that includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian avoidance and satellite navigation as standard.  MG says it takes about 7 seconds for the 0-100 dash, while returning a fuel efficiency that can be as low as 1.7 litres/100 km or more commonly up to 5.7 litres/100 km.

MINI Countryman Cooper SE Classic SUV

The Countryman Cooper SE Classic is a cute three-cylinder plug-in hybrid with electrically-assisted AWD.  BMW indicates a combined cycle as low as 2.4 litres/100 km but may look more like 4.5 litres/100 km for most of the time.  Combining a 1.5-litre Turbo 3-cylinder ULP petrol (100 kW/220 Nm) and a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion plug-in battery, this combined system equates to an output of 165 kW of power and 385 Nm of torque.  The small MINI sees off the 0-100kmh sprint in 6.8 seconds and is a lot of fun to drive.  The MINI Countryman’s roomy interior is backed up by 450 litres of luggage space behind the back seats, growing to 1275 litres if the seats are folded down.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV ES

From around $51k you can get one of these new.  The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV ES is a very stylish small SUV with very low running costs.  Aspire and Exceed models are also available.  Comfortable and loaded with tech and safety, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV makes a lot of sense.  Even the top of the range Exceed with all of the bells and whistles can be bought for under $60k.  Mitsubishi indicates as low as 1.9 litres/100 km is possible, though real world figure of 3.7–4.0 litres/ 100 km is still impressively low in the real world.  Boot space is around 350 litres, and 0-100 km/h takes about 10.5 seconds.

Peugeot 3008 GT Sport Plug-in Hybrid AWD SUV

For less than $90k you can have one of these very stylish hybrids.  Boasting a 1.6-litre Turbo ULP engine and electric power that combines to a maximum of 222 kW, this sporty SUV uses an 8-speed automatic.  Thanks to twin electric motors driven by a 13.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Peugeot 3008 PHEV enables zero-emissions driving for up to 60km.  Its 222 kW power output and a 6.5-second 0-100 km/h acceleration time makes this one of the fastest SUVs in its class.  It is also 4×4 capable, making it a highly desirable vehicle for undertaking light off-road terrain.  Gorgeous full-grain Nappa leather-appointed seats with grey stitching, nicely-integrated twin digital screens (a 10.0-inch central touch-screen with satellite navigation and a 12.3-inch driver display), real world fuel efficiency likely be around 5–5.5 litres/100 km (but much less than this is possible), and you have yourself quite a vehicle.  Peugeot reckons the 3008 PHEV can achieve a combined fuel consumption figure of 1.6 litres/100 km with CO2 emissions of 36.4g/km.  Boot space is 395 litres.

Peugeot 508 GT Plug-in Hybrid

From around $84k one of these extremely stylish cars can be yours.  Its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain allows the svelte sedan to drive up to 55 km (WLTP) in silence, by switching off the combustion engine and using only its electric motor.  It’s hard not to be impressed with the car’s looks and style.  Inside, the leather seats, the dashboard design, the sporty cockpit layout, and the sheer attention to detail is very impressive.  A 12.3-inch iCockpit digital driver’s display, a 10.0-inch central touch-screen, a 10-speaker sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, five-star safety, it’s all there!  0-100 km/h takes around 8.2 seconds, while the Plug-in Hybrid system uses a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine developing 133 kW at 6000 rpm and 300 Nm at 3000 rpm to get the job done.  The official combined-cycle fuel consumption figure is 1.8 litres/ 100 km, but to achieve that would require frequent charging – something that’s not always possible in the real world.  Expect around 5.0 to 6.5 litres/100 km combined.  Boot space is 487 litres.

Subaru Forester Hybrid

Subaru XV Hybrid

The fifth generation of Subaru’s mid-size, all-AWD Forester SUV was updated in late 2021 with a new look, plus refinements to steering and suspension and a revised instrument panel.  The smaller XV Hatch also uses similar tech.  Expect around 6-7 litres/100 km for the 2.0-litre boxer-based mild hybrid powerplants.  Off-road is no problems at all for the Forester or XV and safety is off the top shelf.  All Foresters and XV Hybrids get active cruise control, blind-spot monitors, lane-change assist, “active” LED headlights and rear cross traffic alert. The Forester offers truly generous passenger space and luggage capacity (422 litres expanding to 1768 litres with rear seats folded).  The XV has 340 litres behind the rear seats.  Both are nice to drive adventure seekers.

Toyota Hybrids

Almost every model on the Toyota showroom floor can be a hybrid.  There are so many that I’ll list them all here in picture form.

Toyota C-HR Hybrid SUV from $42k.

 

 

 

 

 

Toyota Camry Hybrid Sedan between $38-52k.

Toyota Corolla Hatch and Sedan between $32-40k.

 

Toyota Kluger SUV between $60-83k.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

 

 

Toyota Prius between $43-51k.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

These are truly excellent hybrid vehicles, and, if you don’t know where to start, Toyota is a great place.  Reliability, practicality, some of the best hybrid economy figures (usually very achievable: 3.5 to 5.5 litres/100 km), and excellent 5-star safety are all reasons why Toyota Hybrids are so good.  They are also very competitively priced right across the board from the little Yaris Hatch to the larger Camry Sedan or Kluger SUV.  Get ready to be impressed.

Be an in-betweener and gain some of the Hybrid benefits.

Reasonably Priced Hybrid Vehicles (Kia-Merc)

In-between stages can sometimes get tricky.  The next set of sit-ups before truly hitting your peak fitness regime.  That gap year before study, or the six months prior to the new job contract starting.  What about the EV world?  We’re not capable of running a full fleet of EV cars yet, but maybe there’s an in-between vehicle that ticks all the right boxes before we go fully electric.

The truth is that the new hybrid vehicles are the best cars for this moment in time.  They deliver the very best low fuel consumption figures and will also try to run pure electric as much of the time as is practical or possible.

Hybrids are great vehicles, usually well-priced, thus perfect for softening the blow to the wallet – there are some hideously expensive EVs available.  Most desirable new EVs have price tags that, for most of us, will be well beyond our budget.  So what hybrid vehicles are on the market for reasonable money?  How much will they set you back when you buy new?  And what sort of fuel consumption can you expect?  Let’s have a look and see (Kia-Merc)…

 

Kia Niro Hybrid S

The Kia Niro comes in regular hybrid, plug-in PHEV hybrid, and also pure electric (EV) form. Hybrid variants of this small SUV use a 77 kW/147 Nm 1.6-litre ULP engine that is mated to a 44.5 kW electric motor.  The PHEV version can run in EV mode for around 58 km, while the pure EV model has a 150 kW/395 Nm motor and a 455 km WLTP (World harmonised Light vehicle Testing Procedure) range.  All variants are available in regular or Sport form – the Sport model adding more technology and luxury such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, climate control and part-leather seat trim, as well as extra safety in the form of blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors and rear cross traffic alert.  Drive away in one of these from around $45k.  Boot space is 382 litres for the regular hybrid, while the PHEV drops to 324 litres.

Kia Sorento HEV GT-Line and PHEV GT-Line

Drive away from in a HEV Sorento for around $73k or a PHEV Sorento for around $88k.  Being a spacious SUV, the Sorento is a very practical companion for the family.  The HEV model runs with a 1.6 litre Turbo engine and an electric motor that puts out a healthy combine output of 169kW.  The 6-speed auto is smooth and well-mapped.  Expect a combined fuel consumption of around 5.5 litres/100 km.  In PHEV form, the Sorento has 195 kW, Kia indicating a combined fuel consumption of 1.6 litres/100 km is possible, though it will likely be more than this in a real world commute.  The 7-seat Kia Sorento SUV won the 2021 car sales Best Family SUV award. Festooned with sensors, cameras and digital screens, it can even park itself without anyone inside.  Autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance are all standard. The roomy cabin is enhanced by a boot that has over 600 litres, and when all-seats are folded, a whopping 2000 litres is possible.

Lexus ES 300h

One of the most luxurious hybrid sedans you can buy – let alone hybrid vehicles on the market – for under $70k new for the Luxury version or $90k new for the Sports Luxury version, this stylish car can be yours.  Toyota indicate that a combined city/highway run can be as low as 4.8 litres/100 km.  A combined 160 kW of power and five-star safety, what more could you want?  Boot space is 454 litres, and the 0-100 km/h takes around 8.5 seconds.

Lexus UX 250h SUV

The company’s first EV, the UX 300e has a 150 kW/300 Nm FWD electric powertrain and a 54.3 kW/h battery pack, the Lexus UX 300e claims a 360 km range.  But it is the Lexus UX 250h SUV Hybrid with the 2.0-litre 131 kW ULP regular hybrid engine that we’re particularly interested in here, which is available in Luxury, Crafted Edition, Sports Luxury and F Sport guise.  The Luxury Lexus UX 250h version can be had for well under $60k, a very reasonably-priced luxury machine all things considered.  These are five-star safe, FWD, extremely reliable, and very comfortable to drive.  Toyota indicate around 4.5 litres/100 km for a combined highway/city cycle for hybrid versions.  Boot space is 438 litres.

Mercedes Benz A250e Sedan and Hatch

Immensely low running costs can be had for this plug-in hybrid.  If everything suits the PHEV commute, then Mercedes Benz indicates you could see as low as 1.6 litres/100 km on a combined cycle.  Luxurious, safe, and fun to drive, these can be had for under $80k.  A 1.3-litre Turbo ULP engine with a plug-in hybrid combo that produces 160 kW max through its smooth 8-speed automatic FWD system.  The 2022 A-Class A250e runs the 0-100 km/h dash in less than 7 seconds, providing well for passengers and their luggage, driving with the poise and comfort that are hallmarks of the brand.  Safety, quality, comfort, and premium equipment levels are all up to expected Mercedes Benz standards.  Boot space is 315 litres for the Sedan and 310 litres for the Hatch.

Be an in-betweener and gain some of the benefits.