What Car? True MPG technicians test new cars every week, to bring you real-world MPG figures, rather than the Government data that comes from a laboratory test.
This week we’re taking a look at the most economical seven-seaters that we’ve tested so far. Apart from one hybrid, all are diesels, and most have six-speed manual gearboxes. All beat 45mpg in our test – and five models even managed more than 50mpg.
1. Toyota Prius+ 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid T4 – official 68.9mpg: True MPG 54.6mpg
The only hybrid on our list is also the most efficient seven-seat car we’ve tested so far. It’s not cheap, but the Prius+ has class-leading environmental performance and impressive interior space.
2. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTi 110 – official 54.3mpg: True MPG 52.3mpg
These diesel engines aren’t especially refined, but at least they’re efficient. The Tourer is also a classy and well-equipped seven seater. This version beats 50mpg, but the 128bhp Ecoflex and 192bhp Biturbo models beat 45mpg, too.
3. Peugeot 5008 2.0 HDi – official 51.3mpg: True MPG 51.5mpg
The stylish 5008 is our favourite mid-priced MPV. The seats in the middle row are all full size, plus the second and third rows fold away quickly to leave a large, flat load bay. The cheaper 1.6 HDi is also worth considering - it managed 47.1mpg in our tests.
4. Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 e-HDi – official 67.3mpg: True MPG 51.0mpg
This estate has plenty of boot space, but it’s not the most practical seven-seater with the optional seats in place. Higher-spec versions have useful, individual seats for the middle row though, and most versions have good quality, well equipped cabins.
5. Toyota Verso 2.0 D4-D – official 57.6mpg: True MPG 50.4mpg
The Verso is a refined and comfortable seven-seater with a range of punchy engines. It’s not the most roomy or practical MPV, but as long as you only have six passengers on occasion, it’s well worth considering.
6. Nissan NV200 Combi 1.5 dCi – official 53.3mpg: True MPG 47.9mpg
Other than an efficient diesel engine, there really isn’t much to recommend this car. A noisy engine and bouncy ride don’t help to avoid the inevitable comparisons to the van on which it’s based.
7. Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 163 – official 47.0mpg: True MPG 47.7mpg
The S-Max isn’t especially cheap to buy, but it’s a refined car that’s as fun to drive as an MPV can get. All versions are well equipped and demand few compromises.
8. Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 105 – official 55.4mpg: True MPG 47.2mpg
The Touran is classy, good to drive, and reasonably well equipped. It’s not as practical as some of its larger rivals though, which aren’t much more expensive.
9. Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI Ecomotive 140 – official 49.6mpg: True MPG 46.4mpg
Our 2013 MPV of the Year is a class act - spacious, refined and great value for money. It’s a fairly big car to get used to, but in return you get near faultless practicality and space for seven adults.
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.