The mpg figures published in sales brochures can tempt you into buying a particular car, but those results can be misleading. Fortunately, What Car?'s True MPG tests reveal what sort of fuel economy you can expect in the real world.
To ensure accuracy and repeatability, our tests are conducted under strictly controlled laboratory conditions but based on a real route that takes in urban, A-road and motorway driving.
Below, we take a look at the most efficient family cars we've tested so far.
The most fuel efficient family cars
Official combined mpg 72.4 True mpg 47.2 % difference 34.8%
Despite having a True MPG score that's almost 35% away from its manufacturer claim, the Renault Mégane is still a very economical family car. Every model gets plenty of standard equipment and this small diesel engine has nice mid-range pace. With low CO2 emissions, it's also the option of choice for company car buyers.
Official combined mpg 61.4 True mpg 47.3 % difference 23.0%
The Audi A3 is a former What Car? Car of the Year and, in five-door Sportback form, it's still our favourite family car. This 2.0-litre diesel engine is, we think, worth the price premium over the smaller 1.6-litre diesel and should be on your shopping list if you'll be covering a lot of miles.
Official combined mpg 68.9 True mpg 48.2 % difference 30.0%
We're big fans of the current Skoda Superb and we named this 2.0 TDI 150 version as the best executive car for less than £25,000 at the most recent What Car? Awards. The Superb offers vast amounts of space inside and it's keenly priced, whether you're buying outright or on a PCP deal. It really is one of the best cars around for you and your family.
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