Best cars for MPG

A lot of people have often asked "what is the most fuel efficient car I can buy?". Its a good question and it varies on a lot of things, but we here at have had a rummage around in the database and have come up with some interesting results.

Remember that if you are interested in seeing details for any car in the database, have a look at the Whats my MPG? page where you can do as many lookups as you want.

Please Note that this information is not exhaustive, and some makes and models may be missing. The data is derived from official tests, but may not accurately resemble what your vehicle is capable of in day to day use.

The data used here was last updated in May 2006, and is available in a raw format at the VCA car fuel data website.

Average Fuel Economy of all UK Cars

Just out of interest we thought we'd have a look at the average fuel efficiency of all UK cars available today (that we have in the database anyway).

Urban MPG Extra Urban MPG Combined MPG
28.225 47.327 37.837

We were mildly suprised about these figures; we were expecting a higher figure for the urban cycle, and a lower figure for the extra urban cycle, especially considering that the database contains details for all those fuel hungry vehicles like Ferarris!

Most Fuel Efficient Cars

This table shows the top 10 most fuel efficient cars that you can get in the UK today, based on their Combined fuel efficiency figure. Unsuprisingly, diesel superminis are dominating the top positions.

What we thought was fairly interesting was that the Toyota Prius - long hailed as the defacto "green" car - just scrapes into our list at 10th place! However, to be fair on the Prius's electric benefits when we look at only the urban cycle (not shown here) the Prius comes in in 4th place, behind the Insight, and C3 and C2 1.4 HDI SensoDrives. All this leads us to one question - when are the car manufacturers going to start making a hybrid diesel supermini?

Manufacturer Model Specification Fuel Type Transmission Combined MPG VED Band
HONDA Insight Insight Petrol Hybrid M5 83.10 A
CITROEN C2 1.4 HDi Diesel M5 68.90 B
CITROEN C1 1.4 HDi Diesel M5 68.90 B
RENAULT Clio 1.5 dCi 80 Diesel M5 67.30 B
CITROEN C2 1.4 HDi SensoDrive Diesel A5 67.30 B
CITROEN C3 1.4 HDi Diesel M5 67.30 B
RENAULT Clio 1.5 dCi 100 Diesel M5 65.80 B
RENAULT Clio 1.5 dCi 65 Diesel M5 65.80 B
CITROEN C2 1.4 HDi Diesel M5 65.70 B
TOYOTA Prius 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid Petrol Hybrid E-CVT 65.70 B

Most Fuel Efficient Petrol Cars

Ok so even though we've just seen that the Diesel supermini is where you need to be looking if you are after the best fuel economy possible, not everyone wants a diesel because frankly - despite all the leaps and bounds that have been made with diesels over these past few years - they aren't sexy! And not everyone can afford a petrol hybrid like the Honda Insight or Toyota Prius either.

As such, we've broken the results down to show the top 10 petrol cars. As you can see superminis dominate again, but even the most fuel efficient petrol car in the database has a combined MPG figure about a fifth lower than the 10th placed diesel.

Manufacturer Model Specification Transmission Combined MPG VED Band
smart roadster 80 bhp (205 tyres) A6 55.80 C
TOYOTA Aygo 1.0 VVT-i 3 & 5-door Multi5 51.40 B
TOYOTA Aygo 1.0 VVT-i 3 & 5-door M5 51.40 B
CITROEN C1 1.0i M5 51.40 B
PEUGEOT 107 1.0 (65 bhp) M5 51.30 B
PEUGEOT 107 1.0 (65 bhp) A5 51.30 B
smart fortwo coupe 61 bhp 175 rear tyres SM6 47.10 B
smart fortwo coupe 50 bhp 175 rear tyres SM6 47.10 B
smart fortwo cabrio 61 bhp 175 rear tyres SM6 47.10 B
DAIHATSU Charade L251 1.0L EFi M5 47.10 B has gone to great lengths to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, however please be aware it is provide only as a guide.