Real-world MPG: five-star cars and True MPG stars

Here's our round-up of the top 10 most economical five-star cars. They're outstanding cars with fantastic fuel economy.

What Car?’s technicians drive many new cars every week in order to capture our True MPG fuel economy data. Unlike the official Government figures, generated by a laboratory test, the numbers we publish are gained from real-world conditions.

These are the top 10 five-star cars we've tested. There's something for everyone whether you're looking for diesel or petrol, city car or MPV.

1. Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI 110 Greenline – official 88.3mpg; True MPG 61.9mpg

The Skoda Octavia isn't the most stylish family car but it is one of the best. The cabin is comfortable and spacious and the boot is enormous. This Greenline model is cheap to buy and run and is actually better to drive than the standard 1.6-litre diesel because it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. Its True MPG of 61.9mpg is some way off the official 88.3mpg but is nevertheless impressive.

2. Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi – official 74.3mpg; True MPG 54.7mpg

A former What Car? Car of the Year, the Nissan Qashqai is a fantastic car. It's got a classy interior, it's extremely refined and it's one of the most practical small SUVs on the market. The 1.5-litre diesel engine is quiet and fuel efficient, returning 54.7mpg in our real-world test.

3. Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI 110 – official 74.3mpg; True MPG 53.1mpg

The Audi A3 is another former Car of the Year. It's a great family car with a premium interior, decent specification and, when fitted with the standard suspension, a comfortable ride.

4. Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI 140 Ecomotive – official 49.0mpg; True MPG 46.4mpg

The Seat Alhambra is spacious, practical and good to drive. On top of that, it's refined, well equipped and economical. Our True MPG team achieved 46.4mpg in our real-world tests, which is particularly impressive for a seven-seat MPV.

5. Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 – official 60.1mpg; True MPG 46.1mpg

Our What Car? Car of the Year 2015 is the Skoda Fabia. It's cheap to buy, spacious inside and good to drive. The 1.2-litre petrol engine revs smoothly and doesn't need to be worked too hard. Running costs should also be low, thanks to a True MPG of 46.1mpg.

6. Hyundai i10 1.0 – official 60.1mpg; True MPG 45.6mpg

The Hyundai i10 is the best city car on the market today. It's got five seats - when most rivals have four - it's quiet, practical and cheap to buy and run. With the 1.0-litre petrol engine, the i10 achieved 45.6mpg in our real-world tests.

7. BMW 520d – official 60.1mpg; True MPG 45.4mpg

The BMW 5 Series saloon is a fantastic executive saloon. We'd go for the 520d SE with the optional Variable Damper Control to improve the ride and the automatic gearbox which is smoother than the standard manual gearbox.

8. Ford Fiesta 1.0T 100 Ecoboost 5dr – official 65.7mpg; True MPG 44.7mpg

The Ford Fiesta is a small car that's great fun to drive. We're also big fans of the 99bhp 1.0T 100 Ecoboost engine which is smooth and economical. We couldn't match the official 65.7mpg but did manage a respectable 44.7mpg.

9. Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 – official 62.8mpg; True MPG 41.8mpg

The Volkswagen Up is the classiest city car on the market. It's good to drive and economical. If you do spend any time on the motorway, we'd recommend choosing this more powerful 1.0-litre engine which is able to keep up with traffic more easily than the lower powered 59bhp version.

10. Mazda CX-5 2.2D Skyactiv-D 150 – official 51.4mpg; True MPG 41.5mpg

The Mazda CX-5 is a cracking compact SUV. It offers lots of space, a decent amount of kit and the diesel engine offers impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.

We add new models to our True MPG database every week. Visit to see the full range of cars we’ve tested, and find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.


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