True MPG: most efficient cars for town driving

What Car?'s True MPG tests show what you can really expect from a car, and here we reveal those that score best for town driving. If you live in the city, these should be on your shopping list...

14 May 2019
Volkswagen Up, Renault Kadjar, Nissan Qashqai, Toyota Yaris

The official MPG figures published in sales brochures can tempt you into buying a particular car, but those results are often 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, we use strictly controlled laboratory conditions, but the tests are based on a real-world route that takes in town, rural and motorway driving.

The results reflect what's achievable if you’re driving gently and sticking to speed limits but aren’t resorting to any unrealistically slow acceleration or special 'hypermiling' techniques.

If you live in the city and mainly drive in town, you'll want a car that's highly efficient on tight urban streets. Below and over the next few pages, we'll tell you which cars scored highest for these type of roads. The top 10 includes a hybrid, petrol cars and even models powered by diesel.

The 10 most efficient cars for driving in towns or cities

10. Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110

Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DiG-T Acenta [Tech Pack]

Town True MPG 47.2mpg, Overall True MPG 51.9mpg

You can't go far wrong with a Nissan Qashqai; indeed, it's consistently one of the best-selling family SUVs in the UK. There's a range of efficient engines on offer, and the ride is comfortable if you stick with smaller wheels. You miss out on some of our recommended safety kit on lower trim levels, though.

Read our full Nissan Qashqai review or see what discounts are available

9. Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI 115

Peugeot 3008 vs Seat Ateca vs Toyota C-HR

Town True MPG 47.3mpg, Overall True MPG 50.2mpg

The Ateca may be Seat's first SUV, but it's also one of the best family SUVs around. It's spacious inside, offers class-leading handling and is keenly priced – and that's before you factor generous discounts into the equation. All in all, it's a very impressive package.

Read our full Seat Ateca review or see what discounts are available

8. Ford Mondeo 1.5 TDCi

Ford Mondeo

Town True MPG 47.7mpg, Overall True MPG 53.7mpg

The Mondeo is spacious and good to drive, offering agile handling and a comfortable ride. And because it doesn't wear a premium badge, big discounts are available to tempt buyers.

Read our full Ford Mondeo review or see what discounts are available

Next: the top 10 continued >

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