The best and worst – fuel consumption

  • The most-expensive and cheapest revealed
  • How much could you save at the pumps?
  • Remember other running costs
We compare the best and worst cars for fuel consumption
We compare the best and worst cars for fuel consumption
Everyone knows that a supermini will drink less fuel than a supercar, but which of the pint-sized options is the most frugal at the pumps?

We'll take you through each of our car categories to find the best and worst in each class – for both petrol and diesel where appropriate. We'll also show you what the difference means in hard cash over 12,000 miles.

All of the comparisons are based on the official average mpg. It's not a perfect system - you're unlikely to get within 10% of the figure in the real world – but at least it's a relatively level playing field.

There's more to life than fuel costs
Don't forget, though, there's more to the running costs of your car than fuel. Depreciation plays a massive roll in how cost-effective your car will prove to be over three years, so always remember to factor that in along with insurance, servicing and tax costs.

To help you with your sums we've produced a petrol versus diesel calculator into which you can punch the numbers to find out which car really will cost you less over three years and 36,000 miles.

The following prices relate to how much fuel will cost - and how much money can be saved - over a distance of 12,000 miles

Superminis
Best and worst petrol
Best: Toyota IQ and Smart Fortwo 65.7mpg, £981
Worst: Renault Modus/Grand Modus 1.6 VVT Dynamique Auto 37.1mpg, £1737
Potential petrol saving: £756

Best and worst diesel
Best: Smart Fortwo 0.8 cdi – 83.1mpg, £782
Worst: Fiat Panda 1.3 MultiJet Cross 4x4 and Kia Soul 1.6 CRDi 54.3mpg, £1197
Potential diesel saving: £415

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £954


Small family cars
Best and worst petrol
Best: Seat Leon 1.2 TSI 54.3mpg, £1187
Worst: Subaru Impreza 2.5 WRX STI 23.7mpg, £2719
Potential petrol saving: £1532

Best and worst diesel
Best: BMW 118d, Fiat Bravo 1.6 Multijet 105, Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 90 Style DPF, Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi 115 Comfort, Kia Cee'd 1.6 CRDi 115, Mada 3 1.6D, Mercedes A160 CDI Blue Efficiency, Renault Megane 1.5 dCi 106, Seat Leon 1.9 TDI 105, Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI CR, Vauxhall Astra 1.7 CDTi 110 ecoFLEX, Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 62.8mpg, £1035
Worst: Renault Megane 2.0 dCi Privilege Auto 42.8mpg, £1519
Potential diesel saving: £484

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £1683


Family cars
Best and worst petrol
Best: Mercedes B180CDI Blue Efficiency 44.8mpg, £1438
Worst: Vauxhall Insignia VXR 24.7mpg, £2609
Potential petrol saving: £1170

Best and worst diesel
Best: Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion 64.2mpg, £1011
Worst: Citroen C5 3.0 HDi V6 Exclusive Auto 38.2mpg, £1519
Potential diesel saving: £506

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £1596


Compact executive
Best and worst petrol
Best: BMW 318i 47.9mpg, £1345
Worst: Lexus ISF 24.8mpg, £2598
Potential petrol saving: £1253

Best and worst diesel
Best: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics 68.9mpg, £944
Worst: Alfa Romeo 159 2.4 JTDm 200 Q-Tronic 35.8mpg, £1816
Potential diesel saving: £873

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £1654


Executive
Best and worst petrol
Best: Mercedes E200 CGI Blue Efficiency 38.7mpg, £1665
Worst: Cadillac CTSV 18.5mpg, £3483
Potential petrol saving: £1818

Best and worst diesel
Best: Volvo S80 1.6D DRIVe 62.8mpg, £1035
Worst: Chrysler 300C 3.0 CRD V6 and Mercedes CLS350 CDI 34.9mpg, £1863
Potential diesel saving: £828

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £2448


MPV
Best and worst petrol
Best: Skoda Roomster 1.2 TSI 49.6mpg, £1299
Worst: Chrysler Grand Voyager 3.8 V6 22.2mpg, £2902
Potential petrol saving: £1603

Best and worst diesel
Best: Volkswagen Golf Plus 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech 65.7mpg, £990
Worst: Ssangyong Rodius 270 28.8mpg, £2258
Potential diesel saving: £1268

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £1913


Crossover
Best and worst petrol
Best: Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.33 VVT-i 2WD 51.4mpg, £1254
Worst: Volvo XC60 3.0 T6 26.4mpg, £2441
Potential petrol saving: £1187

Best and worst diesel
Best: Mini Countryman 1.6D One 2WD 65.7mpg, £990
Worst: Ssangyong Kyron 2.7 SPR Auto 29.7mpg, £2189
Potential diesel saving: £1200

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £1451


4x4
Best and worst petrol
Best: Suzuki Jimny 1.3 SZ4 39.2mpg, £1644
Worst: Mercedes ML63 AMG 17.1mpg, £3768
Potential petrol saving: £2124

Best and worst diesel
Best: BMW X3 xDrive18d 45.6mpg, £1426
Worst: Mercedes GL450 CDI 24.4mpg, £2665

Potential diesel saving: £1239

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £2342


Luxury
Best and worst petrol
Best: Audi A8 4.2 FSI 29.7mpg, £2169
Worst: Bentley Arnage 6.75 V8 14.5mpg, £4444
Potential petrol saving: £2274

Best and worst diesel
Best: BMW 730d 41.5mpg, £1567
Worst: VW Phaeton 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion 31.4mpg, £ 2071
Potential diesel saving: £504

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £2877


Coupe
Best and worst petrol
Best: Audi A5 2.0 TFSI start-stop Volkswagen Sicrocco 1.4 TSI 44.1mpg, £1461
Worst: Maserati Granturismo 4.7 V8 17.4mpg, £3703
Potential petrol saving: £2242

Best and worst diesel
Best: BMW 118d 62.8mpg, £1035
Worst: Peugeot 407 3.0 V6 HDi Sport Auto and Renault Laguna 3.0 V6 dCi GT 39.2mpg, £1659
Potential diesel saving: £623

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £2668


Open-top
Best and worst petrol
Best: Mini One/Cooper 1.6 49.6mpg, £1299
Worst: Bentley Azure 6.75 V8 14.5mpg £4444
Potential petrol saving: £3145

Best and worst diesel
Best: Audi A3 1.6 TDI 105 65.7mpg, £990
Worst: BMW 635d 39.2mpg, £1659
Potential diesel saving: £669

Potential saving between best diesel and worst petrol: £3454


Performance
Best and worst petrol
Best: Lotus Exige 1.8 33.2mpg, £1941
Worst: Bugatti Veyron 10mpg, £6443

Potential petrol saving: £4503

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