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Saturday / 25 June 2022
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How much money you can save on petrol by buying a hybrid

South Africa’s fuel prices have reached record levels in March, and many consumers are considering more fuel-efficient cars.

To see how much money you can save on fuel by buying a hybrid, we compared two variants of the new Toyota Corolla Cross.

These are the mid-range Corolla Cross 1.8 XS for R390,100 and Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS for R413,000.

Corolla Cross specifications

Both these Toyota SUVs sport a 1.8-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels via a CVT transmission – with the hybrid getting an additional electric motor producing 53kW and 163Nm.

With its petrol-only setup, the standard Corolla Cross delivers 103kW and 172Nm, achieves a top speed of 185km/h, and returns a combined fuel consumption of 6.8l/100km.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid develops 90kW, while its combined torque figure was not revealed by the manufacturer.

Toyota said that the maximum torque would not be equal to adding the petrol engine’s 142Nm to the electric motor’s 163Nm due to “transmission reduction losses.”

The hybrid achieves a top speed of 170km/h and returns a significantly lower fuel consumption of 4.3l/100km.

How much you save

According to Numbeo, the average travel distance for South Africans going to work is 21.90km per day.

This translates to about 110km per week, not including weekend or after-work driving.

Drivers of the standard Corolla Cross will therefore use 7.48 litres of petrol per week to drive to work, while drivers of the Corolla Cross Hybrid will use 4.73 litres.

At the March 2022 inland prices of R21.60 per litre of Petrol 95, this equates to weekly fuel costs of:

  • Petrol-only Corolla Cross – R161.57
  • Hybrid Corolla Cross – R102.17

In the span of a month, drivers of the Corolla Cross Hybrid will save a minimum of R237.60 driving to work.

Based on this, it will take approximately seven years to “make up” the extra R22,900 that you spent to buy the hybrid Corolla Cross XS instead of the standard model.

The amount you save on fuel spend will very likely be higher in reality, however, thanks to weekend and after-work driving being taken into account.

Long trips, such as driving to a holiday destination, will also push your fuel savings up – and affect how long it will take you to make up the price difference between the two vehicles.

It must also be noted that fuel consumption figures stated by manufacturers are not always achieved with real-world driving – and can affect calculations such as the one above.

Popular routes

To provide a practical example of how much you can save by driving a hybrid, we put the claimed consumption figures of the Toyota Corolla Cross against each other on the routes below.


Cape Town to Durban – 1,600km

Model Petrol Spend
Corolla Cross 1.8 XS R2,350
Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS R1,486
Savings R864

Cape Town to Gqeberha – 750km

Model Petrol Spend
Corolla Cross 1.8 XS R1,102
Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS R697
Savings R405

Johannesburg to Bloemfontein – 400km

Model Petrol Spend
Corolla Cross 1.8 XS R588
Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS R372
Savings R216

Johannesburg to Cape Town – 1,400km

Model Petrol Spend
Corolla Cross 1.8 XS R2,056
Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS R1,300
Savings R756

Johannesburg to Durban – 570km

Model Petrol Spend
Corolla Cross 1.8 XS R837
Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS R529
Savings R308

Johannesburg to Beitbridge via Polokwane – 540km

Model Petrol Spend
Corolla Cross 1.8 XS R793
Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid XS R502
Savings R291

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