Car hire in South Africa: Top ten most fuel efficient cars of 2008

Published: 01st March 2009
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Car hire in South Africa is a tricky business. Companies have tried their best to stay ahead of the curve by delivering incredible deals and otherworldly offers. Many companies compete tooth and nail in the hope of reaching the top of the car rental food chain and to eventually stay there. One of the key demographics that they have not begun to capitalise on, however, is growing consumer demand for ecologically friendly vehicles. With this in mind, we present to you the top ten eco-friendly cars of 2008. Here's to a bright and cleaner future.

1. Toyota Prius

This is the leader of the pack. The Prius was the innovator in a time when auto-manufactures were unconcerned about their carbon-footprints. The annual carbon output is a minuscule four tons, with a staggeringly low fuel cost of R9, 900 per year. Roomy, fast and built to last, the Prius is a solid investment for the potential generations of auto-enthusiasts.

2. Honda Civic

First introduced in 2002, this potential eco car rental for the savvy minded individual is based on the conventional civic design with a few added extras. A fairly small engine [1.3 litres] is combined with the patented electronic -assist motor [20 BPH] to produce a fast runner with very low fuel-consumption. Annual carbon output is 4.4 tons.

3. Nissan Altima

With a meaty 2.6 litre engine, the Nissan Altima represents this Japanese auto giant's first foray into the world of hybrid vehicles. Due to insane vehicular sales laws, the sales of the Altima's are restricted to only US States such as California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. At 50km's to the litre, you are ensured a fast and fuel-efficient drive.

4. Ford Escape

Make way for the big daddy. Did you ever believe that a 4x4 could be a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle? Then wipe away all your misconceptions and get ready for the Ford Escape. With a 75% increase in fuel consumption over the original Escape, the hybrid version also seeks to capture the Ethanol market by introducing E85 engines into its line-up in late 2009.

5. Mazda Tribute

A meaty, V6 engine has been modified to allow for 10% less fuel-consumption than the previous models of the Mazda Tribute. This 4x4 must be experienced to believe it. The engine is whisper-quiet and the sporty exterior makes this an excellent car rental option for the savvy driver.

6. Mercury Mariner

A slightly more upmarket version of the Tribute and the Escape, the Mariner is a mostly stylistic upgrade with very few changes under the hood. The Mariner is also the first four-cylinder SUV since the Cougar was dropped in 2002. Fuel economy-wise, this monster actually consumes less petrol then a standard hatchback or sedan vehicle, making it a worthwhile car hire for family vacations.

7. Toyota Camry

With an annual carbon output of 5.4 tons and 108Kw four-cylinder gas engine, this vehicle walked away with the Canadian Car of the Year award in 2007 and has experience great success right out of the gate. Many unique features such as a climate control system and VDIM [Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management] ensure that the Toyota Camry stays at the top of the car hire charts.

8. Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is one of South Africa's most popular choices when it comes to car rental. This nippy little runner comes with countless safety features and is graded as one of the safest cards in the world. With six litres to every 100 km, the Toyota Yaris will continue to be a favoured vehicle for years to come.

9. Toyota Corolla

An annual carbon output of 5.9 tons equates to a decent waste output in relation to speed and efficiency. The Toyota Corolla is without a doubt Toyota's biggest selling car of the last decade. Over 35 million people can't be wrong. The crown in Toyota's fleet, this is a safe bet for any car rental.

10. Honda Fit

Our final entry comes from Honda in the form of the Fit. This five door hatchback is an 'entry-level' hybrid for the budget-conscious eco-consumer. A roomy interior combined with a Continuous Variable Transmission keeps the driving safe and comfortable. Your car hire in South Africa is ensured to be safe with this reliable runner.

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