True MPG: most efficient cars with 1.0-litre engines

What Car?'s True MPG tests show what you can really expect from a car, and here we reveal the cars with 1.0-litre petrol engines that perform best. If you're a new driver or just want to downsize...

21 May 2019
Seat Ibiza, Suzuki Baleno, Volkswagen Up, Kia Picanto

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.

Today, we're looking at the most efficient cars with 1.0-litre petrol engines. These engines are perfect if you're a new driver, if you don't cover many miles in a year or if you just want to downsize and reduce your running costs. And don't go thinking that they exist only in the smallest models, because our top 10 includes family cars and small hatchbacks as well as city cars.

The 10 most efficient cars with 1.0-litre engines

10. Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 110

Volkswagen Golf

True MPG 49.7mpg

Ask 10 people to name a family car and chances are most of them will mention the Volkswagen Golf. It's consistently among the most popular new cars sold in the UK, and with good reason: with such a wide range of engines and versions on offer, there's a model to suit everyone. It's also brilliant to drive, competitively priced and frugal in 1.0-litre turbo petrol form.

Read our full Volkswagen Golf review or see what discounts are available

9. Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDi

Kia Rio 1.25 1 5dr

Town True MPG 50.3mpg

We like the Kia Rio's refined range of engines, and this 1.0-litre turbo petrol should suit you well if you live in the city. The Rio is also well equipped, with even entry-level versions getting air conditioning, Bluetooth and electric windows.

Read our full Kia Rio review or see what discounts are available

8. Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 95

Volkswagen Polo

True MPG 51.1mpg

The Volkswagen Polo is the best small car you can buy, thanks to a superb interior that's surprisingly spacious, a peppy range of engines and impressive refinement. And as our tests show, it's also highly efficient in 1.0-litre turbo petrol form.

Read our full Volkswagen Polo review or see what discounts are available

Next: the top 10 continued >

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