Real-world MPG: the most efficient small petrol cars

The most efficient small petrol cars all achieve more than 50.0mpg in our real-world tests...

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Matthew Burrow
6 Jun 2016 10:15 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

We test the fuel economy of new cars every week at What Car?, but unlike the laboratory-derived official data, our True MPG technicians gain the numbers from driving in real-world conditions so we can bring you realistic fuel economy figures.

Here’s our round-up of the most fuel-efficient, petrol-powered small cars on the market today. All return more than 50mpg in our real-world fuel tests, with the two most efficient models beating 60mpg.

10. Renault Twingo 0.9 TCe - official 65.7mpg; True MPG 50.0mpg

If you’re looking for a small car that’ll turn heads, the Renault Twingo is the one to go for. It’s got retro looks, the engine’s in the rear and the turning circle is very tight, making tricky city manoeuvres easy to pull off. The 0.9-litre petrol engine can’t match its 65.7mpg official figure, but still returned an impressive 50.0mpg in our tests.

9. Hyundai i20 1.0 T-GDi 120 - official 58.9mpg; True MPG 50.3mpg

Hyundai's latest i20 is well equipped and offers good value for money, it’s just a shame that some of the interior plastics feel a bit cheap. This is the more powerful version of the Hyundai’s 1.0-litre petrol engine and it manages to get pretty close to its official fuel economy figure.

Read our full review of the Hyundai i20

8. Mazda 2 1.5 - official 62.7mpg; True MPG 50.8mpg

The Mazda 2 is a stylish and well-equipped small car that should also prove reliable. This is the mid-range 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces 90bhp and returned an impressive 50.8mpg at the hands of our fuel testers.

Read our full review of the Mazda 2

Real-world MPG: the most efficient small petrol cars

7. Suzuki Swift 1.2 - official 56.5mpg; True MPG 51.7mpg

The Suzuki Swift’s appeal lies in its low prices, high specification and fun character. This 1.2-litre petrol can’t match the headline economy figures of the newer Dualjet unit, but it still proved efficient in our real-world fuel tests.

Read our full review of the Suzuki Swift

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Real-world MPG: the most efficient small petrol cars