In recent years, it is true that the most fuel efficient cars on the market are hybrid battery assisted models – increasing MPG (miles per gallon) to impressive new capabilities compared to traditional engines.
However, in spite of the evolution of electric cars taking centre stage in recent years and being a major focus for alternative fuel consumption, car manufacturers continue to develop the efficiency of new purely petrol and diesel models to increase MPG for owners.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your fuel consumption, read our guide to the best fuel efficient cars. However, always bear in mind that official figures may differ from real life performance (due to driving habits and traffic conditions) so your actual average MPG can often be less from the official figures below.
There are many reasons to buy a hybrid car not least due to reduced fuel costs.
To do this, hybrid cars work in 2 ways. A regular hybrid car has a petrol engine and a battery that is recharged by the car itself. Excess power produced by the engine (e.g. when braking or idling) is used to re-charge the battery. The second type of hybrid is a plug-in hybrid, which is self-charging as well as being chargeable via an external source of electricity.
Here are our top hybrid cars with the best mpg offering.
The BMW 3 Series iPerformance saloon is a stand out plug-in. Offering fantastic efficiency, as well as the sporty elegance of the BMW 3 Series, it’s the best of both worlds. Plus, BMW’s eDrive technology, electric motor and high powered 330e engine, offer outstanding dynamics in all driving modes.
The Mercedes 330de hybrid estate has a 2.0-litre diesel engine and a 90kW electric motor that combine to give this C-Class a fuel economy figure of 177mpg. It has an electric-only range of around 30 miles, but unlike most other hybrids, the engine is fuelled by diesel. And although it is an estate, is still capable of reaching 62mph in just 5.7sec.
The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE combines efficient electric driving with a powerful 1.4 TSI petrol engine, blending the classic Golf character with modern sustainability. This highly in demand GTE hybrid is capable of up to 29miles in pure electric mode and reaching 60mph in just 7.6 seconds.
The MINI Countryman PHEV (plug-in hybrid) is designed for the modern world, with its iconic MINI design and handling, is it now simply powered more efficiently. Experience the roomier, electrified MINI Countryman hybrid, which combines a 1.5 litre petrol engine and 87bhp electric motor that delivers a pure EV drive of up to 26 miles and low fuel economy of 134mpg.
The Toyota Prius has an impressive 94.1 MPG and CO2 of just 70g/km, making it one of the most frugal cars on the market. The fourth generation model is renowned as one of the best hybrid cars in the world: a tech triumph, at the fore-front of design, efficiency and innovation. Its smooth handling and impressive mpg make the Prius a pleasure to drive too.
Although a large portion of drivers are opting for EV tech and petrol powered cars in light of the latest Government restriction set to arrive in 2040 – diesel cars remain in demand by a large portion of the market, particularly those looking for cars with the best mpg.
Here are some of the most economical diesel cars:
The luxury Mercedes-Benz A Class is wonderful for any type of driving, the A Class has the ability to adapt for ultimate driving comfort and promises 108g/km of CO2 and 68.9mpg. Powered by the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder ‘180’ diesel engine and in ‘AMG Line’ trim, the A180d is capable of 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 125mph.
The Audi A40 TDI can return over 50 mpg with the diesel model being the best economic engine in the range. It has a powerful 187bhp 2.0 litre engine to boot - but as is the case with diesels, always consider CO2 based road-tax on pure diesel cars and weigh up with rising tax cost alongside mpg for a real world driving cost.
The Mazda Skyactiv-D fuel efficient engine uses the latest technology to reduce emissions, but also enhance response and noise performance. What’s more, the i-ACTIV All-Wheel-Drive uses 27 sensors to check road conditions 200 times a second, seamlessly switching between two and four-wheel drive to give you comforting grip on any surface, in all weather, for an effortless economical drive.
Finally, we look at the best performing mpg petrol engine cars.
Starting at 59bhp, the three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine VW Up! Is a great value highly fiewl-efficient drivetrain. The higher-spec High up! and Up Beats! models allow you to opt for 74bhp or a turbocharged 89bhp pocket rocket, reaching 0-62mph in just 9.9 seconds. All boast an efficient CO2 emissions and fuel economy, but the 59bhp and 74bhp BlueMotion models take the lead, with 68.9mpg and emissions of 96 g/km.
Backed up by a five year warranty, and providing you service your Aygo every 10,000 miles, the Toyota Aygo will cost you very little. With low tax and maintenance costs, alongside an economic engine of average 68.9mpg and CO2 of less than 100g/km, the Aygo is a very economical car to run.
Remember, while manufacturer MPG figures published might be tempting, it is important to gauge real-world results to reveal what sort of fuel economy you can expect.