MPG heroes - Compact executives

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  • 11 categories tested
  • The right car for you
  • Over 40 cars to choose from
MPG Hero
BMW 318d ES
Target Price £22,580
Economy — Average 60.1mpg; Out of town 68.9mpg;
In town 49.6mpg

Quite simply, the 3 Series is the best compact exec out there. It’s by far the most economical, too, due to BMW’s Efficient Dynamics systems. This 318d has 141bhp, but still manages more miles to the gallon than a 1.1-litre Fiat Panda.

Budget buy
Audi A4 2.0 TDI 120
Target Price £20,541
Economy — Average 55.4mpg; Out of town 68.9mpg;
In town 42.2mpg

The A4 matches the 318d for out-of-town economy, but is way behind in town. It’s a classy car and has a lower list price than the BMW, but it should be worth a bit more when you sell it on, too, so it should work our cheaper over three years.

Best for image
Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI SE
Target Price £23,691
Economy — Average 47.9mpg; Out of town 60.1mpg;
In town 35.8mpg

This compact exec isn’t as good to drive as a BMW 3 Series, but there are fewer Mercs around and the C-Class has a great image. Avoid the 134bhp 200 CDI because, oddly, it isn’t any more frugal than this 168bhp 220 CDI model.

MPG heroes - Open-tops


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