Real-world MPG: best SUVs that beat 50mpg

  • The four- and five-star SUVs that beat 50mpg
  • All are diesel, two-wheel-drive models
  • Results indicate real-world fuel economy
Words ByEd Callow

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What Car?’s True MPG fuel economy data is gained from real-world conditions, unlike official Government figures which are generated by a laboratory test. Our results show what you should really expect to get to the gallon.

This week we’re taking a look at the most economical SUVs that get a What Car? rating of four or five stars (out of five). That means they impress in most – or all – key areas, so should be on the shortlist of anyone looking for a rugged-looking family car that won’t cost a fortune to fuel.

1. Renault Captur 1.5 dCi 90 – official 76.4mpg: True MPG 58.3mpg

A spacious and user-friendly cabin make the Captur a good small family SUV, and it’s also one of the quietest cars of its kind. Its low price and CO2 emissions make it easy to justify as a private or company buy, too. The engines need to be worked quite hard to keep up with traffic, and the cabin feels cheap, but in our favourite trim it’s seriously well equipped and great value.

2. Skoda Yeti 1.6 TDI 105 Greenline – official 61.4mpg: True MPG 55.7mpg

It was face-lifted for 2014, but the Yeti remains one of the best small SUVs to drive, thanks to its sharp steering and tight body control. The massive cabin and versatile rear seats that can be slid, folded and even removed make it great for families, too. CO2 emissions look average compared to rivals', though, and the ride and refinement disappoint.

3. Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110 – official 74.3mpg: True MPG 54.7mpg

The Qashqai is not only our favourite small SUV, it’s our 2014 Car of the Year. It feels agile and secure in corners, yet still rides well. This 1.5 diesel engine is smooth and the car is brilliant at shutting out wind and road noise. With CO2 emissions of 99g/km, this version is a cheap company car choice, too. If you want more low-speed punch, the 1.6 dCi 130 is worth a look - it’s not as refined as the 1.5, but still managed 53.0mpg in our test.

4. Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 110 – official 53.3mpg: True MPG 51.7mpg

It’s not cheap, but the Tiguan is classy and good to drive, not to mention more comfortable and refined than rivals such as the Mazda CX-5. This engine is available in only entry-level S trim, but you can always add Bluetooth, sat-nav and climate control as options. The 2.0 TDI 140 is a better bet, because it returns not far off 50mpg, and is available in the best value Match trim.

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