Real-world MPG: petrol SUVs that beat 35mpg

  • Petrol-powered SUVs that won’t cost a fortune to fuel
  • Six models tested by True MPG team beat 35mpg
  • Results indicate real-world fuel economy
Words ByEd Callow

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What Car?’s technicians drive new cars every week to capture our True MPG fuel economy data. Unlike official Government figures generated by a laboratory test, the numbers we publish are worked out in real-world conditions.

This week we’re looking at the fuel economy of petrol-powered SUVs that we’ve tested so far. The six models below won’t cost a fortune to fuel, because they all beat 35mpg in our tests.

1. Mazda CX-5 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165 2WD – official 47.1mpg: True MPG 41.3mpg

Choosing this petrol engine is the cheapest way of getting into a CX-5, so it’s worth considering if you don’t want a diesel. Otherwise, the 148bhp Skyactiv-D makes much more sense, because it’s incredibly flexible and refined. This Mazda is still one of our favourite large SUVs, and entry-level SE-L trim has all the equipment you need.

2. Peugeot 2008 1.2 VTi 82 – official 57.6mpg: True MPG 40.3mpg

The 2008 performs best in town, where its small size and light steering make manoeuvring easy. As an urban runabout, this 81bhp petrol is the best option, because it keeps price and running costs competitive. The cabin is roomy and feels properly plush - it’s just a shame it’s not better to drive and more refined.

3. Vauxhall Mokka 1.4T 140 – official 44.1mpg: True MPG 38.1mpg

The Mokka is stylish, fairly practical and - if you choose entry-level Tech Line trim - reasonably priced. This turbo petrol is stronger than the cheapest 1.6i, but the latter will be powerful enough for most buyers. We’d still recommend you look at the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti first, though, because they’re far better in most areas that matter.

4. Chevrolet Trax 1.4T – official 44.1mpg: True MPG 37.0mpg

The Trax is fundamentally the same car as the Mokka underneath, and is blighted by the same weaknesses. Its steering is marginally better, and the starting price is slightly lower, but the Vauxhall counters with a value Tech Line trim that’s much cheaper than an equivalent Trax. In short, there are much better cars for the money.

5. Peugeot 3008 1.6 THP 156 – official 40.9mpg: True MPG 36.5mpg

The 3008 is no longer among the best in class, but it’s still a very roomy and practical small SUV. This 154bhp petrol is our favourite engine, and it gets Peugeot’s Dynamic Roll Control system, which improves body control through corners. It’s no longer available in mid-level Active trim, though, so you’ll need to shell out for a pricey Allure model.

6. Mitsubishi ASX 1.6 MIVEC – official 47.1mpg: True MPG 35.8mpg

The petrol engine in this ASX doesn’t use a turbocharger, but it’s still strong and efficient. It’s also the cheapest ASX, so it’s easier to make a case for it as a private buy. It’s not as good to drive or as refined as the class leaders, but its build quality, practicality and equipment levels make it a decent left-field alternative.

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