Top 10: Economical petrol cars

If you’re in the market for any new car there’s a pretty high chance that you’ll place good fuel economy high up on your list of priorities, which will mean a diesel engine for most. Diesel powered cars, however, are not the best solution for all drivers. So which petrols are the most economical?


Toyota Yaris Hybrid – 80.7mpg - £15,195

The hybrid was once a rare thing, but now hybrid power is fairly common – not just in swoopy-bodied eco machines like the Prius, but in hatchbacks like the Yaris. It is fitted with a 1.5-litre engine and an electric motor.

The official economy figures put the Yaris Hybrid averaging 80.7mpg but Real MPG puts the everyday figure closer to 60mpg. That’s still a respectable number and as good as many diesel-powered cars but with the advantage of cheaper prices at the pumps.

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Lexus CT200h – 78.5mpg - £21,995

The recently revised Lexus CT200h is the smallest model in the Lexus range but is designed to have the same quality and refinement as the rest of the line-up. It has the same 1.8-litre engine and hybrid system as the Toyota Prius

Sadly it's not great to drive and lacks the quality of larger Lexus models, but there's no denying its efficiency with a claimed 78.5mpg and CO2 emissions of just 82g/km in the entry-level S model.

Read our Lexus reviews


Toyota Auris Hybrid – 76.3mpg - £19,995

The Auris Hybrid uses the same engine that was first seen in the Prius, but improvements mean it’s more efficient. That makes it a good choice for someone who wants the benefits of a hybrid in a standard hatchback.

It has a traditional bodystyle and as much practicality as the likes of the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus, but with the green credentials and economy of a hybrid.

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Fiat 500 TwinAir -72.4mpg - £12,710

Fiat’s TwinAir engine has found its way into various cars now. It is a two-cylinder unit but while it does have the potential for excellent fuel economy it’s so thrummy and eager to rev it tends to fall some way short of official figures.

The Fiat 500 is probably the cutest and most popular vehicle with a TwinAir engine, but for slightly less money you can get a Fiat Panda or Chrysler Ypsilon – though they aren’t quite as efficient, with fuel economy figures below 70mpg. 

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Toyota Prius T3 – 72.4mpg - £21,845

While Toyota wasn’t the first brand on the market with a hybrid model, it has really driven the popularity of hybrid power, helped by the popular Prius. It’s easy to drive, comfortable and practical. Its Real MPG rating is 80 per cent, which means its short of the official figure but it’s still a pretty frugal car.

Its main rival is the Honda Insight, which isn’t quite as efficient. Indeed, the Honda manages 68.9mpg according to the official figures but misses out on a place in this list on account of its price.

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Skoda Citigo Greentech – 68.9mpg - £9140

There are quite a few models on sale which manage 68.9mpg, thanks largely to the level of CO2 emissions that figure corresponds with, which is 95g/km. Rather than run down through the lot we’ve filtered by price and the cheapest of the 68.9mpg club is the Skoda Citigo.

It’s Skoda’s version of the Up and features Greenline technology including low rolling resistance tyres to achieve its frugal fuel economy stats.

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SEAT Mii Ecomotive– 68.9mpg - £9275

The Mii Ecomotive is more or less the same car as the Citigo Greentech. It’s slightly more expensive to buy but the difference is negligible. It’s obviously a close relation, but the Mii wears more angular headlights in keeping with the family styling language.

Still, it’s hard to justify those extra few pounds over the Skoda unless you really fancy having a SEAT badge on your car.

Read our SEAT reviews


Volkswagen Move Up Bluemotion – 68.9mpg - £9695

The Up is Volkswagen’s version of the Mii and the Citigo. It’s also the priciest of the three and you don’t really get much more for your money unless, of course, you attach value to the prestigious Volkswagen badge. Fuel economy is the same for all three, thanks to them sharing the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.

It might not be especially powerful but the Up and its relatives are light, so they’re all sprightly and nimble to drive.

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Mitsubishi Mirage 1.2 ‘2’– 68.9mpg - £10,999

The Mirage is Mitsubishi’s replacement for the Colt. It’s a perfectly acceptable car, but it doesn’t really shine in any specific area. Nonetheless it’s hard to argue with its official economy figure of 68.9mpg and it’s a little bit bigger than the Volksagen Up trio.

The Mirage owes its economy to its light weight, low rolling-resistance tyres, regenerative braking and a stop/start system. 

Read our Mitsubishi Mirage review


Nissan Micra DiG-S – 68.9mpg - £11,480

You wouldn’t think a supercharger, which was initially designed to boost performance, would also boost fuel economy but it does. In fact, in the case of the Micra DiG-S gets the best of both worlds, with more power and lower emissions.

The Micra has recently undergone a facelift and now has more up-to-date styling and better quality materials inside.

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