Real-world MPG: the most fuel-efficient cars we’ve ever tested

Every week, What Car?’s team of True MPG testers road test new cars. While official Government figures on fuel economy are obtained from laboratory testing, our True MPG tests are carried out under real-world conditions.

This week, we’re rounding up the top 10 most fuel efficient cars we’ve ever tested. There’s some What Car? favourites on the list, including the Honda Civic and Seat Leon, as well as more niche choices. All of these vehicles return over 60mpg.

1. Citroën C3 1.4 e-HDi Airdream – official 83.0mpg; True MPG 70.3mpg

Citroën’s small family car is the only vehicle on this list to return more than 70mpg, and it’s the most fuel-efficient car we’ve ever tested. It’s not our favourite family car, but it’s hard to fault if fuel economy is your top priority.

2. Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ES – official 78.5mpg; True MPG 67.2mpg

A decent all-rounder, Honda‘s Civic impresses with its spacious boot and clever interior packaging. Its steering and ride are dissappointing, however, compared to rivals.

3. Toyota Auris 1.8 Icon VVT-I Hybrid – official 78.5mpg; True MPG 64.0mpg

In many ways it’s surprising that a petrol-electric hybrid doesn’t top this list, but Toyota‘s Auris is still a popular choice. It’s dull to drive, though, and the cabin doesn’t feel as classy as those of many other family cars.

4. Seat Leon 1.6 Ecomotive TDI SE Technology – official 85.6mpg; True MPG 63.2mpg

Stylish, practical and good to drive, Seat’s Leon is one of our favourite small family cars. It also represents great value for money compared to rivals.

5. DS 3 1.6 e-HDi Airdream DSport Plus – official 74.4mpg; True MPG 63.0mpg

There’s plenty to like about the DS 3, from its stylish looks to the amount of personalisation options buyers can choose from. Watch out for its sub-par ride quality, though.

6. Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ3 Dual Jet – official 78.4mpg; True MPG 62.9mpg

Suzuki’s small Celerio is a decent rival for the likes of the Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Up. It’s spacious and features a nice cabin but isn’t the last word in driving refinement.

7. Mini Cooper 1.5 D – official 80.7mpg; True MPG 62.6mpg

Mini’s premium family hatchback is a real What Car? favourite. It’s bigger and faster than the old model, offers a functional and luxurious cabin and remains as stylish as ever.

8. Skoda Octavia 1.6 Greenline III TDI CR – official 88.3mpg; True MPG 61.9mpg

The Octavia represents excellent value for money. It’s huge inside, has a classy cabin and most versions are cheap to run, even if it’s not quite as exciting to drive as some rivals.

9. Dacia Sandero 1.5 dCi 90 Ambiance – official 74.3mpg; True MPG 61.7mpg

The Dacia Sandero isn’t just one of the cheapest cars on sale in the UK, it’s also one of the most economical. The car is far from flawless, but its low price means it’s great value for money.

10. Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 ecoFLEX Exclusiv CDTi S/S – official 85.6mpg; True MPG 61.4mpg

The Corsa is consistently one of the most popular cars in the UK, and whichever model you choose, you’ll be getting a good car. It can’t match the class leaders for infotainment and handling, though.

Visit whatcar.com/truempg to see the full range of cars we’ve tested to find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.

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