Real-world MPG: seven seaters that beat 50mpg

  • We look at MPVs that can seat seven people
  • Five cars beat 50mpg in our True MPG test
  • 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 gained from real-world conditions.

This week we’re looking at the fuel economy of new MPVs that can seat seven people. Five cars beat 50mpg in our test, including our 2014 MPV of the Year, the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.

1. Renault Grand Scenic 1.6 dCi – official 64.2mpg: True MPG 56.1mpg

The Grand Scenic has impressive body control for a large MPV, and this 1.6 dCi engine pulls strongly and smoothly, too. The ride and refinement trails behind rivals, though, and the seating setup isn’t particularly clever. Still, CO2 emissions of 114g/km mean it’s not an expensive company car, and overall running costs should be low for private buyers, too.

2. Toyota Prius+ 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Icon – official 68.9mpg: True MPG 54.6mpg

The Prius+ is the only hybrid seven seater on the market, although it doesn’t come cheap. The cabin certainly doesn’t feel as plush as you’d expect in a car approaching Β£30,000. That said, the Prius+ has class-leading environmental performance and impressive interior space. Avoid Excel trim, as its 17-inch wheels push it into a higher car tax band and dent the fuel economy.

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

The brilliant new Grand C4 Picasso is so good that we named it our 2014 MPV of the Year. The 1.6 diesel is smooth and efficient, while the classy, minimalist dashboard and airy cabin make it a comfortable and relaxing place to spend time. Factor in easy-folding seats and generous standard kit and it’s easy to see why this is the best MPV you can buy.

= 4. Peugeot 5008 2.0 HDi – official 51.3mpg: True MPG 51.5mpg

The 5008 has been face-lifted for 2014 to bring its look in line with the company's latest models. Thankfully, little else has changed, which means that it remains a refined, practical MPV with a well built, well-equipped cabin. You should try the Citroen and Vauxhall MPVs in this list before heading to a Peugeot dealer, but the 5008 is a respectable alternative to both.

= 4. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6 CDTi Ecoflex – official 68.9mpg: True MPG 51.5mpg

The new 1.6 diesel Zafira Tourer is a big improvement over the 2.0-litre model it replaces. Power is delivered more smoothly and there’s hardly any of the clatter that you might expect from under the bonnet. It’s a tempting proposition for company car drivers, too, thanks to its sub-110g/km CO2 emissions. Add in the user-friendly flexible seating setup and this is a great value MPV.

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.