Go Green with Envy.
Australians are slowly realising that the best way to avoid queuing up at a petrol station is to go green. It wasn't that long ago that the fuel efficient cars were seen as the bastion of inner city hippies. However, in recent times, public sentiment has changed and with that comes a greater awareness of the availability of environmentally friendly, fuel efficient or low emission vehicles.
Here's some of what is on offer in 2018.
Tesla Model S
Tesla equals electric. The two models on sale in Australia at the moment are the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. Neither is especially cheap, with the S starting at over $130,000 and topping out at almost $250,000 – the X commands a premium of about $100,000.
The Model S is designed from the ground up to be the safest, most exhilarating sedan on the road. With unparalleled performance delivered through Tesla's unique, all-electric powertrain, Model S accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in as little as 2.7 seconds. Model S comes with Autopilot capabilities designed to make your highway driving not only safer, but stress free.
Each vehicle uses absolutely zero fuel, but they still create emissions due to being effectively fuelled by coal-fire power stations in this country. However, let's leave the discussion centred on fuel efficiency.
Tesla's edge is its populist leader, cool image and downright supercar territory performance. The brand's P100D model in Ludicrous Mode rockets from 0-100km/h. It's dual motors produce 568kW and 1000Nm which propel the two tonne machine from 0-100km/h in just 2.7 seconds.
However, the real test for the American upstart is the Model 3, and if it can actually get its production off the ground and deliver the cheaper, mass-market vehicle in great enough numbers to be a legitimate player in the automotive world.
One giant impact Tesla has made was that it forced the other carmakers to stand up and take notice, which is part of the reason we are about to see a tsunami of electric cars hit the market.
Whilst expensive, buying a Tesla is like buying shares in the future.
Tesla Model 3 Showcase
The BMW i3 is a futuristic hatch comes with the choice of a fully-electric model or as a plug-in hybrid range extender variant.
The electric version obviously produces zero emission, but the range-extender hybrid still only uses a miniscule 0.6L/100km. The little petrol engine used in the hybrid version is utilised purely to charge the batteries rather than drive the wheels and bumps up the i3's range by up to 128km.
And since the introduction of the i3 BMW has started to offer hybridisation in a number of its more mainstream passenger car ranges with hybrid versions of the 3- and 5-Series sedans and X5 SUV on sale with hybrid and fully-electric versions of the X3 SUV also planned for the local market.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUV
Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV SUV was one of the first plug-in hybrids on the market, combining genuine family hauling capabilities with hyper frugal motoring.
A combination of two electric motors – one on each axle – and a traditional 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mean the PHEV can claim fuel use of a miserly 1.7L/100km.
The top-of-the-range Outlander Exceed PHEV costs double what the entry-level model does, but it is still an affordable proposition at just over $55,000 before on-road costs compared to luxury cars offering similar levels of frugality.
Volvo XC90 T8
Volvo currently has a pair of very impressive plug-in hybrid SUVs – the XC60 T8 and the XC90 T8. Both utilise the same powertrains with a supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 235kW and 400Nm along with a 65kW/240Nm electric motor on the rear axle that brings total outputs to a very handy 300kW and 640Nm.
The Volvo's can also be powered for short city commutes using just the electric motor, with the XC60 capable of travelling up to 43km at a time.
Volvo's green credentials are further enhanced by a claimed fuel use of 2.1L/100km for both vehicles.
BMW is charging into the electrified landscape with more than just the i3 city car. It's headline-grabbing vision of the future is wrapped-up in the i8 sportscar which teams a 1.5-litre turbo charged three-cylinder engine with electric motors across the front and back axles to achieve a claimed average of 2.1L/100km.
That is a figure matched by its far more conventional 330e iPerformance sedan, a plug-in hybrid version of the popular 3-Series range. The German brand has similar plug-in hybrid models in the 530e mid-sized sedan, 740e limousine and the X5 40e SUV, each of which has a claimed fuel consumption of less than 3.0L/100km.
Not be outdone, arch rival Mercedes-Benz has the C350e plug-in hybrid. But one of the other big movers and shakers is Porsche. A lot of the focus has been on the sportscar brand's upcoming Mission E fully-electric sportscar due in 2019, which will directly rival the Tesla Model S.
Porsche Panamera 4 e-Hybrid
Porsche currently offer a green option with its Panamera E-Hybrid range, which comes in both sedan and wagon body shapes.
Two variants are available of the E-Hybrid, a 4 and a Turbo S. For a relatively large car of over 5M in length, the Panamera 4 is surprisingly efficient sipping a mere 2.5L/100km while the Turbo drinks 2.9L/100km.
In typical Porsche style, they both have sizzling performance: the 4 produces 340kW and can hit 100km/h from a standstill in 4.6 seconds, while the Turbo really turns up the dial with 500kW and a 0-100km/h time of just 3.4 seconds.
Being green comes at a price though, with the Panamera 4 starting from just under $250,000 and the Turbo S will cost buyers more than $450,000.
Top 10 Fuel Efficient Cars:
- Tesla Model S and X - 0L/100km
- BMW i3 - 0L/100km
- Audi A3 eTron - 1.6L/100km
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - 1.7L/100km
- Volvo XC60 and XC90 T8 - 2.1L/100km
- BMW i8 - 2.1L/100km
- BMW 330e - 2.1L/100km
- BMW 740e - 2.2L/100km
- Porsche Panamera 4 e-Hybrid - 2.9L/100km
- Toyota Prius - 3.4L/100km
Benefits of arranging your car finance through AFS:
- Ability to obtain a conditional approval (or pre-approval) so you can negotiate with confidence
- Secured Car Loan with fixed interest rate for the term of the loan;
- Competitive Interest Rate, particularly for new cars;
- No restriction on type of car;
- Generally no deposit required;
- Ability to purchase through a car dealer, auction house or private seller;
- Ability to finance your comprehensive insurance as part of the loan; and
- Arrange direct with AFS, through your finance broker or the car dealer (if accredited with AFS).