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The 10 most economical cars in the UK

10 New Cars that achieve over 50 Miles Per Gallon

Save money on economical cars that do more miles to the gallon

Why it's essential we use more economical cars

As petrol and diesel prices continue to spiral, it's a good time to take a look at how many miles your new car will do to the gallon as finally the manufacturers are taking this aspect of motoring far more seriously. Some manufacturers have gone down the route of hybrid cars, whilst others have improved existing technology to eek out those extra few miles per gallon. Here we take a look at a selection of the most economical cars that use traditional fuel sources, but all return above 50 miles per gallon on the combined cycle (if it's a hybrid or a low polluting vehicle you're looking for, take a look at our guide to Cars with under 120g co2 Emissions).

The cars listed aren't in any particular order or indeed leaders in their classes, they are however a selection of some of the top economical cars right through from city cars to saloon's, sorry, no 4 X 4's though, that would be asking too much.

Top economical cars in the UK 2021

New MINI Cooper 1.6 D  


Save over £400.00
First up, the new MINI Cooper 1.6 D, BMW have applied their EfficientDynamics fuel-saving technology to the new diesel MINI's, a combination of an automatic stop-start function, intelligent alternator control/brake energy regeneration system, electric power steering, improved active aerodynamics, reduced rolling resistance tyres, a High-precision Direct Injection system and an optimum shift indicator have all helped the MINI to achieve an average of 72.4 miles per gallon on the combined cycle, a better fuel consumption figure than either the Toyota Prius or the Honda Civic Hybrid, quite an achievement really.

MPG Urban (cold): 60.1

MPG Extra Urban: 80.7

MPG Combined Cycle: 72.4

New Peugeot 308 1.6 HDi 90 bhp Energy Saver Tyres

Save over £1900.00
The Peugeot 308 is the replacement for the outgoing 307 model and Peugeot in conjunction with Michelin, have developed a new generation of tyres that are designed to reduce fuel consumption and are available in exclusivity for the launch of the 308 (depending on engine options). The new Michelin Energy Saver tyres reduce CO2 emissions by almost 4 g/km and are said to generate fuel savings of almost 0.2 litres per 100 kilometres, this equates to nearly 2mpg on the combined cycle and as a result the 308 returns 62.7 miles per gallon on the combined cycle, making it a practical and economic alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and the Vauxhall Astra.

MPG Urban (cold): 48.6

MPG Extra Urban: 74.3

MPG Combined Cycle: 62.7

  New Peugeot 308
New Volkswagen Passat bluemotion  

New Volkswagen Passat 1.9 BlueMotion TDI DPF

Save over £1600.00
The largest saloon currently produced by Volkswagen in their BlueMotion range is the Passat BlueMotion. Aerodynamic tweaks, a lower ride height, longer gearing, low-rolling-resistance tyres and a dashboard gear change indicator all combine to make the Passat BlueMotion the most fuel economical car in the range. The VW Passat BlueMotion is sure to prove popular with company car drivers who clock up a lot of miles, but with the price of diesel these days, it shouldn't take too long before you start to see a return on your investment. The differences may be minor, but it shows what can be done to improve the fuel efficiency using tried and tested technology.

MPG Urban (cold): 42.2

MPG Extra Urban: 67.3

MPG Combined Cycle: 55.4

New SEAT IBIZA 1.4 TDi Ecomotive

Save over £1000.00
Also featured in our guide to Low co2 Emission Cars is the SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive, it uses all the tricks developed by Volkswagen for the Polo Bluemotion to reduce the Co2 emissions and it also weighs 22 kg lighter than its Ibiza siblings. With Air Con as standard, electric windows and a more than adequate six speaker stereo system with an auxiliary jack plug the Ibiza Ecomotive isn't that much of a compromise, especially when you take a look at the fuel economy figures. Not only that, with Co2 emissions of only 99g/km, you don't pay any annual road tax. No RFL and fantastic fuel economy make the SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive a truly fantastic buy.

MPG Urban (cold): 57.6

MPG Extra Urban: 88.3

MPG Combined Cycle: 74.3

  New Seat Ibiza Ecomotive
New BMW 1 Series 118d  

New BMW 1 Series 118d EfficientDynamics

Save over £3000.00
This one may raise a few eyebrows, but here it is, the World Green car of the year, as voted for by 47 journalists from 24 countries, is a BMW. To be a little more precise it's a BMW 118d Efficient Dynamics, with energy capture systems, brake energy regeneration, auto stop-start, optimum gear-shift change indicators, electric power steering and lightweight body panels, the 118d not only has reduced emissions, it has fantastic fuel economy. Indeed BMW are expecting to sell 700,000 cars in Europe this year incorporating EfficientDynamics and their combined fuel consumption save's around 33 million gallons of fuel when compared to non EfficientDynamic cars.

MPG Urban (cold): 52.3

MPG Extra Urban: 70.6

MPG Combined Cycle: 62.8

New Mazda 2 1.3 TS

Save over £550.00
Mazda has hopefully set a trend with the new Mazda 2, instead of the manufacturer adding weight with every consecutive facelift, the new Mazda 2 seems to have been on a crash diet, it's safer than the car it replaces (five stars from EuroNCAP for adult occupants), has more equipment, yet is a full 100 kgs lighter. This massive weight loss improves the car's handling and ease of use and also allows the petrol engine to achieve over fifty miles to the gallon on the combined cycle. In bucking the trend, and losing weight, the new Mazda 2 may now be a serious rival to the likes of the Ford Fiesta and the Vauxhall Corsa.

MPG Urban (cold): 40.9

MPG Extra Urban: 61.4

MPG Combined Cycle: 52.3

  New Mazda 2 1.3 TS
New Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i 5dr  

New Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i 5dr

Save over £400.00
Although the car we are looking at here is the Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-I 5dr, you could just as easily take a look at the Peugeot 107 or the Citroen C1 as they all share the same platforms and the same engines, that having been said, the Aygo was chosen because of Toyota's residual values and after all you can save money at the back end as well as the front end. Designed in collaboration between the three manufacturers, the Aygo, C1, and 107 are all adept city cars with low tax banding and very good MPG figures, slight cosmetic design features (that and the price) are really the only things that set the models apart.

MPG Urban (cold): 51.4

MPG Extra Urban: 68.9

MPG Combined Cycle: 61.4

New Ford Focus Estate 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic

Save over £1100.00
Volkswagen are offering us the BlueMotion, BMW, EfficientDynamic technology, in fact Skoda, Seat, Audi, Fiat all offer Eco variants of some models. Add to this list the Ford Focus ECOnetic. Carrying a premium of around £250.00 over the equivalent 1.6 TDCi 90, the ECOnetic has reduced Co2 levels and better fuel consumption, this has been achieved by slightly lowering the ride height, adding low-rolling resistance tyres and various tweaks to the aerodynamics and if anything the changes Ford have made have improved the overall look and stance of the Focus. They may be a little late to the party, but better than not turning up at all.

MPG Urban (cold): 51.4

MPG Combined Cycle: 78.5

MPG Combined Cycle: 65.7

  New Ford Focus Estate 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic
New Vauxhall Tigra 1.3 CDTi 16v Air  

New Vauxhall Tigra 1.3 CDTi 16v Air

Save over £2600.00
Vauxhall say that if you drive around twelve thousand miles a year in a diesel Tigra as opposed to a petrol variant you will save in the region of £450.00, okay you may not get where you're going quite as quickly, but with savings of that magnitude it does make sense to at least take a look at the diesel. When compared to competitors such as the Ford StreetKa, the Tigra comes out well on top, it feels more substantial, better equipped and the roof mechanism is in a totally different league. It may have a nought to sixty time of over fifteen seconds, but surely the idea of a two seater roadster is to be seen, so forget the speed and concentrate on the money you're saving.

MPG Urban (cold): 48.7

MPG Combined Cycle: 72.4

MPG Combined Cycle: 61.4

New Volkswagen Touran 1.9 TDI DPF BlueMotion S 105 5dr

Save over £3000.00
Volkswagen aims to have a BlueMotion model in nearly every one of its model ranges and another model to undergo the BlueMotion treatment is their outstanding MPV, the Touran, optimised aerodynamics, a new front grille and air intake, lowered suspension, low-rolling-resistance tyres and higher gearing all combine to make the Touran BlueMotion the most economical Touran in the range. Returning over fifty miles to the gallon on the combined cycle, the Touran BlueMotion is a great way to transport you and your family, and you can do your little bit for the environment along the way, keeping your conscience a tad cleaner and greener.

MPG Urban (cold): 40.4

MPG Combined Cycle: 60.1

MPG Combined Cycle: 52.3

  New Volkswagen Touran 1.9 TDI DPF BlueMotion S 105 5dr
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