Sports cars used to trade low fuel consumption for peppy performance. Thanks to ever improving technology, however, there’s now no reason sporty car should cost more at the pumps. We’ve put together a list of 10 fun, frugal cars – several of which use less fuel than many superminis.
Put any of these choices our car configurator and see how much carwow can help you save or check out our PCP calculator to get a better idea how much your new car could cost. Fancy a speedy hatchback instead? Check out our list of the best hot hatches on sale or, if you want something seriously fast, see our picks for the fastest hatches you can buy.
1. SEAT Leon SC TDI – 68.9mpg
First on the list is the SEAT Leon SC – arguably the most handsome model in the Leon range and, if you spec one in FR trim and add the 2.0-litre diesel engine, you’ll have a genuine hot hatch capable of over 68mpg. Its 181hp gets it from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. Opt for the fantastic DSG automatic gearbox and you’ll have a car that can cruise as well as it can hustle.
If you think it’s the car for you, see how much you could save with our SEAT Leon SC deals page.
2. Mercedes C220d Coupe – 68.9mpg
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is an elegant sports car with an interior that’s among the most luxurious on the market. Fitted with Mercedes’ 2.0-litre turbo diesel, it’ll get from rest to 62mph in 7.8 seconds, while the effortless 9-speed automatic gearbox results in a claimed 68.9mpg. Well judged suspension means it strikes the perfect balance between sportiness and comfort.
Check out how much you could save with our Mercedes C-Class Coupe deals page.
3. Audi TT TDI – 67.3mpg
The Audi TT was one of the first sports cars to be fitted with a diesel – the latest model offers even more efficiency thanks to its lightweight aluminium construction. This means the TDI model will achieve more than 50mpg regardless of your driving style and 67.3mpg is theoretically possible. Its 181hp means performance is equally impressive – it’ll take just 6.9 seconds to get from rest to 62mph.
See how much money you could save buying through carwow with our Audi TT deals page.
4. Mercedes SLC 250 d – 63mpg
The new Mercedes SLC is a heavily facelifted version of the old SLK, and that’s no bad thing – under the new body you’ll be able to spec the same 2.1-litre diesel engine capable of up to 63mpg. It’s not the most conventional powerplant for a sporty cabriolet, but 204hp and plentiful torque means it’ll be a supremely capable cruiser.
Spec up a Mercedes SLC in our deals page to see how much you could save.
5. VW Scirocco TDI – 54.2mpg
The Volkswagen Scirroco is a lower, sleeker version of the Golf, so it’s unsurprising that it shares the same impeccable interior quality and great range of engines. Choosing the 181hp diesel means you’ll hit 62mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds, while an average of 54.2mpg makes it as frugal as it is fast. Paying a little more for the DSG automatic gearbox will make the driving experience even more versatile.
Save money with our Volkswagen Scirocco deals page – you’ll get money off from the UK’s leading dealers.
6. Mazda MX-5 1.5 – 47mpg
The Mazda MX-5 is a nimble, good looking sports car and its old school approach means it’s lighter than ever before – helping performance and taking fuel economy up to an impressive 47mpg. The 1.5-litre petrol engine produces 130hp and, while small, it suits the car’s simple nature well. It completes the 0-62mph run in 8.5 seconds – while that might sound a little sedate, the frenetic way it delivers its power makes it feel significantly more exciting than the numbers suggest.
Spec one up with our Mazda MX-5 deals page to see how much carwow could help you save.
7. Lotus Elise – 45mpg
Like the Mazda, the Lotus Elise’s sporty credentials are thanks to its low weight. Step into the cabin and you’ll discover why its tiny kerbweight is just 876kg – there are laughably few creature comforts. Its spartan nature does mean it dashes from 0-62mph in just six seconds – mightily impressive considering the 1.6-litre engine produces just 134hp. Even more impressive is its fuel consumption – you can expect 45mpg from this no-frills Lotus.
8. BMW Z4 sDrive18i – 42mpg
BMW has a tradition of making great performance cars and the Z4 is aimed squarely at the likes of the Porsche Boxster. Thanks to quick steering and a rear-wheel-drive layout, it’s an ideal car for B-road blasts. Spec it with BMW’s 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and it’ll cost less than many rivals to run – 42mpg is claimed.
9. BAC Mono – 35mpg
The BAC Mono isn’t a practical vehicle but, for outrageous acceleration without the associated thirst for fuel, it can’t be beaten. Its racing car construction means you’ll see 0-62mph fly by in just 2.8 seconds – around the same as a McLaren P1 hypercar. Fuel consumption isn’t as eye-watering though – on a leisurely drive, expect a respectable 35mpg. You’ll just have to sacrifice boot space, a passenger seat, windscreen, etcetera…
10. Porsche 911 Carrera 2 – 34mpg 370hp
The Porsche 911 is more supercar than sports car – with all models now coming with a turbo, you can expect improved mpg as well as more power. Opt for a Carrera 2 and the brand new 3.0-litre flat-six petrol engine makes 370hp. It uses its fuel much more efficiently, too – 34mpg is more than feasible. With a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of more than 180mph, that’s no small feat.
Save money on your new car
If any of the cars here are for you, carwow can help save you money – check out our car configurator to get the best prices from approved dealers and use our PCP calculator to get a better idea how much your new car could cost. If you’re after something else, our car chooser will whittle through the 400+ new cars on the market to find the one that suits you best.