With the cost of petrol and diesel rising to an all-time high of £1.63 and £1.73 respectively this week according to the BBC, it’s safe to say motorists are not only looking for tips on getting the most out of a full tank of fuel but those in the market are also likely to be looking for the most fuel efficient cars available.
Fuel efficiency figures can be found on any car’s data sheet, with the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) introduced in 2017 as a more accurate and realistic form for testing a car’s miles per gallon (mpg) usage. Some of the cars listed below were released before this became standardised, so we have looked at Honest John’s Real MPG stats to compile this list.
Here’s five fuel efficient petrol and diesel cars currently available on the used market:
Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi 85: 61.4 mpg
What can we say about the Ford Fiesta that hasn’t already been said a million times before? Not only has it traditionally been one of the most popular new and used cars in the UK, but it can also boast to be one of the most fuel efficient too.
Buying new no longer gives you access to this diesel model, with the current seventh-generation facelift only available in petrol and hybrid form, so if you can track down a used model it not only gives you access to the Fiesta’s all-round practicality and drivability but its supreme efficiency too.
Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC: 65.1 mpg
While it’s often overlooked due to the eye-catching styling and power of the Type R, Honda’s regular Civic has always been a solid and reliable if unconventional choice in the hatchback segment.
This ninth-generation model does have its naysayers due to a somewhat downmarket interior, a misplaced attempt at cutting costs, but its somewhat sporty styling and exemplary reliability more than make up for it.
Add to this the ultra economical 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine, which offers an outstanding real-life range of 65.1 mpg, and you’re guaranteed years of efficient motoring.
Peugeot 208 1.5-litre BlueHDI: 66 mpg
While diesel might have become a dirty word in the new car market, they remain some of the most efficient vehicles on the road. And coming top of that list is the Peugeot 208.
Convenient, effortless to drive, the supermini was ahead of the curve when this first-generation model was released in 2012. Replaced in 2019, the 208 offers outstanding miles per gallon.
Whereas we’ve picked out the diesel for its real-life range of 66 mpg, those looking to downsize can get a 1.0 Puretech petrol which offers an okay 49.8 mpg.
Citroen C4 Cactus 1.5 BlueHDi: 66.6 mpg
One of the more noticeable and unique cars launched in recent years, the Citroen C4 Cactus is a small crossover that was launched in 2014.
With its Mini-esque size, protective door panels, loud colour choices and slimline roof rack, it was the epitome of a Marmite car when it launched with as many fans as detractors. Stepping inside, the interior featured a simple dashboard and minimalist design which was refreshing at the time, and also offered Citroen’s signature level of comfort.
With the 1.5 BlueHDI engine, the first edition model offers a real-life range of 66.6 miles per gallon. While it’s not as driveable or as generically crowd pleasing as others on this list, it does offer something unique and different in the used market.
Suzuki Celerio 1.0 Dualjet: 71.3 mpg
The Suzuki Celerio was available between 2015-2019 before being discontinued in the UK. Partly this was due to disappointing sales, partly it was to help Suzuki meet strict CO2 emissions targets by the EU.
While it’s not the most exciting car to look at, it is one of the cheapest and most fuel-efficient cars on the used car market. On top of that it’s well-built and reliable, offering a decent amount of space and an impressive list of basic tech such as Bluetooth and DAB as standard.
If convenience, city car practicality, and efficiency are top of your used car criteria then the Suzuki Celerio deserves your attention.
Not looking to change car? Our Top 5 tips to improve fuel efficiency
For those of you not in the market for a new or used lease car, here’s a few tips for improving your car’s fuel efficiency via adjusted driving habits:
- Drive at a constant speed: lots of harsh braking and quick acceleration will use fuel up quickly, if you’re on an A-road or motorway driving at a steady speed will improve fuel efficiency
- Don’t carry unnecessary weight: Having a roof rack on the car when it’s not being used, or a boot full of stuff you need to take to the tip will decrease your miles per gallon
- Drive in a high gear: Using the highest safe gear possible will use less revs and therefore less fuel while driving. Modern cars often give tips as to which gear you should be in so follow these if so
- Inflate tyres to manufacturer recommendation: Most cars feature correct tyre pressures in the vehicle booklet or within the fuel cover. Check monthly they’re to these figures
- Don’t use the A/C at low speeds: While air conditioning is a lot more efficient than it used to be, when travelling at speeds under 40mph it’s likely to be better to have your windows open instead