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Real-world MPG: most economical family cars

The most economical petrol and diesel family hatchbacks tested in real-world driving conditions

Words ByMatthew Burrow

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Honda Civic

What Car?’s technicians drive new cars every week to bring you 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.

These are the most economical family hatchbacks you can buy at the moment, according to our tests. We've ranked petrols and diesels separately so you can decide which is better for you.

Most economical diesel family cars:

1. Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC – official 78.5mpg; True MPG 67.2mpg

The Civic with the 1.6-litre diesel engine is the most economical family car that our True MPG team has tested, returning an impressive 67.2mpg.

Read our full review of the Honda Civic

2. Seat Leon 1.6 TDI 110 Ecomotive Technology – official 85.6mpg; True MPG 63.2mpg

As with many cars on this list, it is the smallest diesel engine that is the most efficient in the Seat Leon range. We reckon the Ecomotive version is worth the extra cash over the standard 1.6-litre car.

Read our full review of the Seat Leon

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

The Skoda Octavia is some way off its official figure of 88.3mpg, but a True MPG of 61.9mpg is still impressive especially considering the size of the car.

Read our full review of the Skoda Octavia

4. Peugeot 308 1.6 BlueHDI – official 88.3mpg; True MPG 60.8mpg

The Peugeot 308 isn't quite as good as its rivals but it does offer a stylish cabin, and with the 1.6-litre diesel engine installed it's cheap to run.

Read our full review of the Peugeot 308

5. Mercedes A-Class - A200 CDI auto – official 65.0mpg; True MPG 59.6mpg

The A-Class is not the best premium hatchback you can buy, but one thing in its favour is a strong range of engines. This A200 version returned an impressive 59.6mpg, which is not far short of its official figure of 65.7mpg.

Read our full review of the Mercedes A-Class

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