Real-world MPG: small petrol cars that beat 45mpg

  • We name the most efficient small petrol cars
  • Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 the latest to be tested
  • Results indicate real-world fuel economy
  • Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZL beat its official figure, achieving 51.7mpg in our real-world tests.

    Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZL beat its official figure, achieving 51.7mpg in our real-world tests.

  • Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i SXi is one of only two petrol superminis that beats 50mpg.

    Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i SXi is one of only two petrol superminis that beats 50mpg.

  • Toyota Yaris Hybrid claims 76.3mpg in official data, but managed 47.7mpg in our tests.

    Toyota Yaris Hybrid claims 76.3mpg in official data, but managed 47.7mpg in our tests.

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We test new cars’ fuel economy every week at What Car?, but unlike the laboratory-derived Government data, our True MPG technicians gain the numbers from driving in real-world conditions, to bring you realistic MPG figures.

The Toyota Aygo is one of the latest small petrol cars to be assessed by our True MPG testers. It performed well, managing 54.0mpg on our test route, which, while good, is still 11.7mpg off its official economy.

The similar Peugeot 108 also did remarkably well, with a True MPG result of 54.6mpg. It has a claimed figure of 68.9mpg

There are other options if you’re in the market for a new economical petrol supermini, though. Here are the city cars that managed more than 45mpg.

1. Peugeot 108 Active - official mpg 68.9 True MPG 54.6mpg

The 108 and the Aygo are the two newest cars on this list, so it makes sense that they are the most economical. They are not up with their rivals in other areas, however, and the 108's 1.0-litre engine struggles to get going. It is a noisy car when it is on the move as well, with the wind, engine and road all making the cabin a noisy place to be.


2. Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i X-clusiv - official 65.7mpg True MPG 54.0mpg

The Aygo suffers from the same issues as the 108 in terms of refinement and lack of oomph, but it certainly helps move the game on in terms of economy. It is a shame that the figure is so short of its official rating, though.

3. Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZL – official 50.0mpg: True MPG 51.7mpg

The Swift offers great value for money, and our MPG tests show it should be reasonably cheap to fuel, too. In 1.2 SZL guise it managed 51.7mpg in the hands of our technicians, which is 1.7mpg better than its official figure.

4. Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i SXi – official 51.4mpg: True MPG 50.8mpg

The 1.4-litre Corsa is the better buy, but if efficiency is top of your priorities, the 1.2 is one of only a few cars on this list that beats 50mpg. It recorded 50.8mpg in our tests, just 0.6mpg shy of the Government data.

5. Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid – official 76.3mpg: True MPG 47.7mpg

The petrol-electric Yaris is one of the cheapest hybrids you can buy. While we found a huge 28.6mpg deficit from its official MPG figure, the 47.7mpg it achieved is still enough to earn it a place in the top six.

6. Audi A1 1.4 TFSI Sport – official 53.3mpg: True MPG 46.9mpg

The A1 is one of our favourite small cars, and this trim is our pick of the range. The 1.4-litre engine is fast and flexible, and returned an impressive 46.9mpg along our test route.

7. Kia Rio 1.25 1 Air – official 56.6mpg: True MPG 46.4mpg

The 1.1-litre diesel Rio is one of the most efficient cars we’ve tested, but its petrol sibling won’t break the bank either. In fact, the 1.25 Air is the model we recommend from the range. It achieved 46.4mpg in our True MPG tests, which is 10.2mpg lower than its official figure.

8. Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 125 – official 65.7mpg: True MPG 46.2mpg

The Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling car, and this is the most efficient petrol version you can buy. The Government test result is a lofty 65.7mpg, but in our real-world driving it managed 46.2mpg.

Visit whatcar.com/truempg to see the full range of cars we’ve tested to find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.

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