MPG heroes - Family cars

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  • 11 categories tested
  • The right car for you
  • Over 40 cars to choose from
MPG Hero
Mazda 6 2.0D TS 5dr
Price
£17,430
Target Price £16,093
Economy — Average 50.4mpg; Out of town 56.5mpg;
In town 42.2mpg

The 6 isn’t just a cracking family car, it’s also one of the most frugal. The Mazda’s excellent economy doesn’t come at the expensive of performance, though — if you’re in a hurry, the 2.0D will get you to 62mph in under 11 seconds. The 6 is good to drive, looks great, and the TS trim gets plenty of kit.

One for Practicality
Ford Mondeo Estate
1.8 TDCi 125 Zetec
Price
£19,745
Target Price £17,061
Economy — Average 49.6mpg; Out of town 60.1mpg;
In town 38.2mpg

You could get lost in the boot — but that’s not the only reason the Mondeo’s our favourite estate. It’s great to drive, beautifully refined and superb value for money – especially if you’re prepared to haggle. The Zetec trim comes with climate control, alloy wheels and stability control as standard.

Motorway muncher
Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI DPF Bluemotion
Price
£17,295
Target Price £15,924
Economy — Average 55.4mpg; Out of town 67.3mpg;
In town 42.2mpg

You’ll have to rack up quite a few miles to get back the extra cost of the Bluemotion, but if you’re on the motorway a lot, chances are you will. Thanks to a set of low-rolling-resistance tyres and longer gearing, it beats other family cars on out-of-town economy.

Budget buy
Toyota Avensis 2.0 D-4D Colour Collection 5dr
Price
£15,545
Target Price £13,695
Economy — Average 51.4mpg; Out of town 61.4mpg;
In town 39.8mpg

There’s a new Avensis on the horizon, but this one still makes a lot of sense if you’re on a budget. You won’t just save at the pump — this end-of-the-line Colour Collection model is cheap as chips to buy, and won’t shed pounds as quickly as rivals. Both air-con and stability control are fitted as standard.

Auto option
Mercedes B180 CDI Auto
Price
£22,245
Target Price £21,034
Economy — Average 50.4mpg; Out of town 57.6mpg;
In town 40.9mpg

Some automatic gearboxes can dent your fuel economy, but Mercedes’ Autotronic unit doesn’t do too much damage. The B-Class isn’t cheap to buy, but it’s pretty good at hanging on to its value, and comes well kitted out. If you’re prepared to shell out for the badge, the B180 CDI is worth a look.

The top five…
Automatics
1 Mercedes-Benz B180 CDI Autotronic — 50.4mpg
2 Seat Toledo 2.0 TDI DSG — 47.1mpg
3= Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI 170 DPF DSG — 46.3mpg
3= Volkswagen Passat CC 2.0 TDI 170 DPF DSG — 46.3mpg
5 Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi Auto — 42.2mpg

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