Top 10 best fuel-efficient cars

* New cars 18% more efficient than the average car * 10 great cars with affordable running costs * All 10 average more than 50mpg...

Top 10 best fuel-efficient cars

It's never been a better time to buy a more fuel efficient car. Latest figures show that a new car is now 18% more economical on fuel than the average car on the road today.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says that new car CO2 emissions fell 4.2% in 2011 and sales of cars that sit in the lowest VED (road tax) Band A have doubled in just 12 months.

We've updated our list of 10 best fuel efficient cars. They not only have high average mpg figures but are great to drive and own, too.

If you want an efficient, fun and upmarket supermini, the Audi A1 is the one to buy. We recommend the A1 1.4 TFSI version it sits in road tax band D and averages 53.3mpg.

The BMW 3 Series is the best compact executive saloon, and one of the cheapest to run. The 320d Efficient Dynamics makes perfect sense as a company car, but if you are buying a 3 Series with your own money, we'd go for the 320d SE fitted with an automatic gearbox. It still averages 62.8mpg and sits in VED Band C.

The BMW 5 Series is the most desirable executive car, as well as the most cost-effective. You have to spec it carefully, but if you opt for the 520d Efficient Dynamics you'll get a fantastic car that averages 62.8mpg and sits in road tax band C.

The four-wheel-drive BMW X3 is more efficient than most front-wheel-drive rivals and along with low running costs you get a high-quality interior. Opt for the xDrive20d SE version and you get a sensational SUV that sits in road tax band F and averages 50.4mpg.

The Chevrolet Volt has all the benefits of an electric car, but you wont suffer from any range-anxiety. Brilliant. A claimed 235mpg and zero road tax bills are another plus.

The Ford Mondeo blends sensational efficiency - if you go for the 1.6 TDCi 115 Eco Zetec S/S version - with an enjoyable drive and loads of space. It's in VED Band C and averages 65.7mpg.

The Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi Acenta 2WD has a cracking new diesel engine, making the Qashqai a stylish and sensible choice. It averages 62.8mpg and is in road tax Band C.

For an economical MPV, look no further than the Seat Alhambra . The 2.0 TDI 140 Ecomotive S model seats seven in comfort, is well priced and with an average 50.4mpg figure it's surprisingly frugal, too.

The VW Golf has it all classy, practical and great to drive. It's an incredible all-rounder and the 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech Match 5dr version averages 68.9mpg, which puts it into VED Band B.

The VW Up is the best city car you can buy, and our 2012 Car of the Year. go for the 1.0 75 High Up and you'll have a great car that averages 60.1mpg and sits in road tax band B.