Real-world MPG: most economical MPVs

We've tested a range of MPVs, including seven-seaters, to find the most economical people carriers on the market today. Here are the top 10 performers in the What Car? True MPG tests.

Words ByMatthew Burrow

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Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

What Car?’s dedicated team of True MPG testers has been testing MPVs to find how they perform out on the road.

All 10 of these MPVs return 50mpg or more, and the shortlist includes both seven-seaters and more compact, five-seater people carriers. Plus, they're not all diesel-powered; a petrol-hybrid model makes the list as well.

10. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6 CDTi – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 51.5mpg

The Zafira Tourer is a mid-sized people carrier and should definitely be on your shortlist if you're looking for something that's good to drive. However, it is feeling its age in other areas, most notably refinement and the versatility of its seating. The availability of strong discounts helps to compensate for these deficiencies, though.

Read our full review of the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

9. BMW 218d Active Tourer – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 52.6mpg

It might not be the most practical MPV, but there is plenty of room for three children in the 2 Series Active Tourer's rear seats. It's also refined, good to drive and has a high-quality cabin. We've tested the 218d with the eight-speed automatic gearbox and it still returned an impressive 52.6mpg in real-world testing.

Read our full review of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

8. Toyota Verso 1.6 D-4D – official 62.0mpg; True MPG 52.7mpg

The Verso isn’t the most dynamic MPV on offer, but if your priority is ease of use and comfort then it is worth taking a look at. Toyota also has a great reputation for reliability, and we’ve heard nothing to suggest that the Verso lets the side down, scoring above average in the JD Power survey. However, it lets itself down with an unrefined engine and reduced boot space with the smallish third row of seats in place.

Read our full review of the Toyota Verso

7. VW Touran 2.0 TDI automatic - official 60.1mpg; True MPG 54.4mpg

The VW Touran has a lot going for it: it’s roomy, practical, good to drive and solidly put together. It’s more expensive than some rivals but it’s worth the extra money. This 2.0-litre TDI model with an automatic gearbox also proves itself to be pretty frugal returning an impressive 54.4mpg in our real-world fuel economy tests.

Read our full review of the VW Touran

6. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi – official 70.6mpg; True MPG 54.4mpg

The Grand C4 Picasso is a stylish, spacious seven-seat MPV with a very practical cabin, which makes carrying the whole family or large loads very easy. Although it’s not the most exciting car to drive, it makes up for this by having lots of neat design touches, and high equipment levels on most models.

Read our full review of the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

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