Driving through the streets of a place like Lilongwe, Malawi has an unmistakably euphoric feel to it. While the demographics vary all throughout the country, most of the cars on the roads have a hint of Japanese descent, and the style of choice appears to be the hatchback.
This fact perhaps points to the affordability, reliability and fuel efficiency of Japan’s car offerings. In this article, we will be taking a look at the 4 best, most fuel-efficient hatchbacks you can buy for under $1,000 at BE FORWARD. Before we get into specifics, here’s a quick overview of what each hatchback on this list can offer.
|Toyota Sienta||Mazda Demio||Toyota Passo||Toyota Vitz|
$400 – $1,800
$300 – $5,700
$350 – $2,000
$600 – $6,000
|Fuel Efficiency||18.2 km/L||19.2 km/L||21 km/L||16.5 km/L|
Toyota Sienta – An Affordable, Fuel-Friendly Hatchback
First on our list is a car that prides itself with a youthful exuberance. The Toyota Sienta is an affordable, fuel-efficient hatchback that perfectly fits the bill if you’re looking for a car to carry your family around.
Used Toyota Sienta Price, Features and Fuel Efficiency
With a seating area able to handle 7 people at a go, the car is perfect for large families. Many Malawians who’ve copped the vehicle will be quick to point out to that the car offers a spacious haven perfect for sightseeing.
The Toyota Sienta is also quite versatile since it can easily be converted from a seven-seater MPV to a more cargo-centric vehicle. Neatly enough, the transformation can happen in about a minute’s time once the seats are adjusted to form a flat floor.
Given the number of people the MPV is able to have on board at a go, you’re probably wondering just how much punch the engine packs. With a 1,496cc engine and 16 V in-line four, the Sienta shines from a performance perspective. Even better is the fact that this model is able to produce a torque of 140 Nm at 4,200 rpm with a top speed of 180km/h.
In terms of fuel economy, the Toyota Sienta is an excellent companion. Depending on the year, you can expect about 18.2 km per liter of fuel efficiency. Given the seating space and impressive aesthetics on board, its little wonder that the Sienta’s prominence in Malawi has grown.
Mazda Demio – A Sporty, Yet Conservative Hatchback
This small hatchback resonates perfectly with single drivers and small families. The 5-seater boasts an incredible 1.3-liter engine, which makes it ideal in terms of fuel economy whilst providing the necessary power for driving.
Used Mazda Demio Price, Features and Fuel Efficiency
The Demio is able to make a quick 0-100 km/h dash in just 11.6 seconds. While the vehicle flaunts its muscle best in urban areas, it can still hack the terrain on the occasional long-distance trip.
The boot compartment is voluminous enough to carry a couple of necessities. There’s sufficient space for you to store a large suitcase and a couple of small extras. To get much more cargo storage, you’ll need to fold down the rear seats.
From an aesthetic viewpoint, Mazda Demio features a couple of curves and a wide frame. We particularly love the beautiful 14-inch alloy rims that ship with the vehicle due to the guarantee of quality and enhanced fuel economy.
Compared to the 13-inch steel rims, which are optional during purchase, it’s safer for you to go with the 14-inch rims. The taller rims are ideal since they can ably handle the uneven terrain in many of the parts of a country like Malawi.
Having rims that offer greater ground clearance can go a long way towards an enhanced driving experience. Best of all, the Demio offers around 19.2 km per liter. This is definitely a car worth checking out.
Toyota Passo – The Compact, Low-Cost Hatchback
The Toyota Passo draws its inspiration from the Italian word Passo that means “footstep”. Expectedly, the Toyota Passo delivers as a light car perfect for you to drive around the suburbs.
Used Toyota Passo Price, Features and Fuel Efficiency
This subcompact car has an aesthetic appeal that seems to favor female users. Operationally, the car’s design is focused on minimizing the turning radius while maximizing the storage space.
The car comes in two drive system variations. You can take a pick from either the FF and 4WD options available. This distinction also existed when it came to engine capacity.
The FF engines have 1.3-liter oil capacity boasting 4 cylinders capable of producing 92 horsepower. On the other hand, the 1-liter capacity 4WD Toyota Passo has 3 cylinders with an output of 71 horsepower.
The Toyota Passo also boasts a spacious interior. The rear seats can be slid forward and converted to a long-cushion setup. Around the steering wheel area, are some neatly mounted column meter panels whose sole objective is to avoid visibility interruptions especially when one is tilting on the road. You can find out why the Passo is Malawi’s favorite hatchback by clicking here, but a big reason for its popularity is the fact that it can provide around 21km per liter.
Toyota Vitz – A Popular, Fuel and Cost Efficient Hatchback
The Toyota Vitz is a small hatchback that performs best in the city roads. The design of the vehicle is lengthy in order to maximize the interior space whilst ensuring visibility on the roads.
Used Toyota Vitz Price, Features and Fuel Efficiency
The front end of the vehicle has an impressively soft and rounded look. In a way, the façade resembles the nasal region. At the back, the rear hatch has an unconventional handle consisting of a tiny knob that is fantastically fitted with an electronic opening button.
On the road, the Toyota Vitz performs exceptionally well. The car capably maneuvers through corners and the steering’s lightness makes driving an easy-peasy process.
The Toyota Vitz has 3 options when it comes to picking engine capacity. There’s the entry-level 1-liter engine, then the popular 1.3-liter engine and the 1.5-liter engine that’s usually reserved for top models.
Excitingly, you can slow down the car when descending steep regions by sampling switching the transmission to “B mode.” The short bonnet makes parking the Toyota Vitz a quick affair since the driver has full visibility of the car.
The large rear window is also aptly designed to go way below the door. This means that drivers don’t have a need for guides like parking sensors and cameras when reversing. Furthermore, the Toyota Vitz gives about 16.5km per liter in fuel economy.
The sloping rear on hatchbacks makes them perfect for group driving because their design makes maximum utility on available space. Most hatchbacks usually feature a sporty look at the rear end to add an element of visual appeal.
The aforementioned hatchbacks are perfectly suited for the Malawian landscape in terms of performance, price and fuel economy. Driving is also quite simplistic since the vehicles have great braking and steering systems in place. All of which constitute the perfect ingredients for a smooth drive in the great outdoors.