What Car?’s technicians drive new cars every week to capture our True MPG fuel economy data. Unlike official Government figures generated by a laboratory test, the numbers we publish are gained from real-world conditions.
This week we’re looking at cars that can sprint from 0-62mph in less than 6.0 seconds. The seven most efficient that we’ve tested so far include coupes, sports cars, hot hatches and SUVs, and they shouldn’t cost a fortune to fuel – all beat 30mpg in our test.
1. Audi SQ5 – official 41.5mpg: True MPG 39.1mpg
The SQ5 is one of the quickest diesel SUVs you can buy – the 5.1 seconds it takes to reach 62mph bests even the Porsche Cayenne S Diesel's time. What’s more, the Audi’s diesel is smooth and refined; in fact, it sounds more like a petrol when you put your foot down. If you want near-supercar pace from an SUV without the associated running costs, the SQ5 is a hugely tempting proposition.
2. Audi S3 Sportback (manual) – official 40.4mpg: True MPG 35.3mpg
A hot version of our 2013 Car of the Year was always going to have plenty going for it, and the S3 doesn’t disappoint. It’ll do 0-62mph in 5.2sec with the manual gearbox, or just 4.8sec with the optional auto, so it's quicker than a Porsche Cayman S. The S3 handles superbly, yet offers a comfortable, composed ride. If you want an ultimate hot hatch, the only alternative we’d recommend is BMW’s M135i.
3. Porsche Boxster 2.7 – official 34.4mpg: True MPG 34.9mpg
The cheapest Boxster has won the Best sports car category in our Car of the Year Awards for two years on the trot. It might cost only half as much as its bigger brother, the 911, but you aren't getting only half the fun. The light, precise gearchange makes the most of the mighty engine, and the Boxster stays remarkably flat through corners and grips amazingly hard.
4. BMW M135i – official 37.0mpg: True MPG 33.9mpg
While Audi’s four-wheel-drive S3 could be said to lack drama, the same isn’t true of this six-cylinder BMW. The rear-wheel-drive M135i is simply sensational. The ride is firm but well controlled, while the outrageous performance makes for a genuine thrill-a-minute experience. What Car? Target Price suggests you can buy one for less than £28,000, making it a true performance bargain.
5. BMW 435i – official 35.8mpg: True MPG 32.2mpg
Until the BMW M4 arrives later this year, the 435i is the fastest 4 Series you can buy. The 306bhp straight-six engine propels it from 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds. The 435i is relaxing to drive on the motorway, and exciting to drive once you’re off it, which makes it a fine grand tourer. Add plenty of space for four adults and a decent boot into the mix, and it’s easy to see why the 435i is our top coupe of 2014.
6. Porsche Cayman S – official 32.1mpg: True MPG 31.8mpg
The Cayman is one of the best-handling sports cars available at any price, as well as one of the most useable. This S model offers blistering performance, although we’d be just as happy with the entry-level car. The Cayman changes direction effortlessly and all the controls feel beautifully weighted. Compared with rivals, it’s great value, too. Overall running costs won’t be cheap, but you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune on fuel.
7. Porsche Cayenne S Diesel – official 34.0mpg: True MPG 31.7mpg
The idea of a rapid SUV may sound absurd to some, but the Cayenne handles better than a car of its size has any right to, and the pace of this S Diesel version is sports-car quick. The cabin isn’t cavernous, but the materials are sumptuous and the build quality is superb. The V8 diesel costs £12,000 more than the V6 diesel version, but if you want the best performance SUV on sale, it's the one to have.
We add new models to our True MPG database every week. Visit whatcar.com/truempg to see the full range of cars we’ve tested, and find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.