If you own a car that’s showing its age, you might want to make the switch to a new, more economical car. The benefits only compound depending on how old your previous car is. It is indeed a big initial investment, but it will most likely turn out better for you in the long run. And with environmental policies gradually phasing out gasoline with ever-stringent rules forcing manufacturers to improve and innovate upon preexisting petrol tech.
Therefore, here are a few of the most economical and efficient cars you can find in Britain right now. Also, it’s not like a few years ago. Thanks to rapid tech development, you need not end up with a barren, miserable city car anymore.
1. Toyota Prius
The ubiquitous Uber car of choice, and for good reason. While the name ‘Prius’ emanates stigma amongst the world of car enthusiasts, I do find the Prius to be oddly intriguing in its own way. It definitely plays a role too, with its 1.8-litre hybrid gasoline engine in a surprisingly lightweight body powering a discreet CVT transmission and paired with clever energy management. Managing to muster a claimed 94.1 mpg and emitting just 70 g/km of CO2.
That said, it’s officially tested to around 62.5 mpg by Autocar. Still, the Prius is known for essentially pioneering the way for affordable motoring, and thus deserves a mention at least. A new one starts from £24,245, and it does come with a decent set of kit.
2. Škoda Citigo / Volkswagen Up / SEAT Mii
If you’re looking for a charming little car, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the Volkswagen Group New Small Family (NSF) platform-based cars. They’re all very competent little cars, powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine, with or without a turbocharger. Weighing in at less than a tonne, you can expect them to return around 63 mpg while putting out sub-100 g/km of CO2, not too bad at all. Best of all? You can find them from sub-£10,000 prices.
One of the newest entry in this list (not even officially released yet), the Mazda3 is particularly noteworthy due to its powertrain. A strong contender for engine of the year, the SKYACTIV-X is a signification innovation and provides a simple answer to improving efficiency. Combining the traits of diesel with petrol, despite being a seemingly conventional 2.0-litre inline-4 with 24V mild hybrid.
Putting out 175 bhp and 165 lb-ft, it is leaps above the previous SKYACTIV-G engine. With official figures coming in at 51.3 mpg and 125 g/km for the FWD manual variant, it’s definitely one to watch out for.
4. Ford Focus EcoBlue
If you’re looking for a very popular car with entertaining chassis dynamics, it’s hard to go wrong with a Focus. While there are multiple variants of the Focus, one of the most efficient that you can opt for is the diesel EcoBlue engine. The most economical variation is the 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel. While it puts out a seemingly measly 95 horsepower, it boasts 300 Nm of torque, allowing for easy overtakes.
What’s more impressive though is the fact that it’s a practical compact that’s available in hatchback, sedan or wagon body style. Prices start at around £20,000 depending on your chosen trim level.
Certainly, if you find one of the new-age hybrid cars capable of running purely on electric mode, you can easily return 100+ mpg without trying particularly hard. But that value can vary wildly depending on the distance travelled.
That said, efficiency ratings is also very largely dependent on your driving habits. However, with regular driving, these cars mentioned above should return satisfactory results.