Fuel efficiency is a major factor for most car buyers, because the more efficient a car is, the more money you save. The fuel efficiency of a car is measured in miles per gallon (mpg), in other words, the distance in miles a car can travel using only one gallon of fuel. The higher the mpg rating, the more fuel efficient a car is. So, what are the most fuel efficient cars in the UK? The good news is, you have plenty to choose from, whether you prefer diesel, petrol or a hybrid.
Fuel Efficient Diesel Cars
The Peugeot 208 1.6 BlueHDi 100 Allure (start-stop), at 94.2 mpg, is considered to be the most economical diesel car in the UK. The 208's hatchback style makes it a practical family car, and its start-stop system automatically shuts down the engine when the car stops in traffic to save petrol. The engine restarts when you press the clutch, before you select a gear to move the car.
The Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi (turbocharged direct common rail injection) Style 3-door, at 88.3 mpg, combines great fuel efficiency with a spacious interior, a high safety rating and a wide range of hi-tech kit options.
At 88.3 mpg, the Nissan Micra 1.5 dCi (direct common rail injection) Acenta 5-door and the Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 ECO Play 5-door match the Ford Fiesta. The practical Micra is ideal for city and motorway driving, while the Clio offers an impressive 1,146 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded.
Fuel Efficient Petrol Cars
While a diesel is still the most economical internal combustion car, petrol cars have upped their game in recent years.
The Suzuki Celerio 1.0 Dualjet SZ3 5-door, at 78.4 mpg, is a compact, functional no-frills city car. The Fiat 500 0.9 TwinAir Lounge 3-door, at 74.3 mpg, may not be as practical as some other compact city cars, but it's stylish and fun. Possibly the most economical petrol family car is the Hyundai i10 1.0 Blue Drive SE 5-door (70.6 mpg). It's comfortable, spacious, a great value for the money and comes with a five-year warranty.
Fuel Efficient Hybrid Cars
A hybrid car combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. The most fuel-efficient UK cars available right now are plug-in hybrid cars that use fossil fuels, provided you take full advantage of the car's electric-only range. In practice, this means regular charging and using the car for short trips, not lengthy stints on the motorway. Two of the most fuel-efficient, plug-in hybrid cars are the BMW i3 94Ah Range Extender 5-door Auto (470.8 mpg) and the Toyota Prius 1.8 VVTi Plug-in Business Edition Plus 5-door CVT (283 mpg).
Standard hybrid cars don't match the mpg measurements of their plug-in counterparts, but still beat the most fuel efficient petrol cars. For example, the Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid Excel 5-door CVT (85.6 mpg) and the Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GDi (gasoline direct injection) Hybrid SE 5-door DCT (83.1 mpg) both use a battery-powered electric motor and petrol-driven combustion engine.