Carting your family around is one of the most common parenting duties and requires a car that’s both practical and cheap to run. To help you pick the perfect new model, we’ve drawn up a list of the 10 most fuel efficient family cars on the market.
Here are the 10 most economical family cars currently on sale:
- Citroen C4
- Ford Focus
- BMW 1-Series
- Skoda Octavia
- Volkswagen Golf
- Nissan Pulsar
- Peugeot 308
- Renault Megane
- Audi A3
- SEAT Leon
1. Citroen C4 – 85.6mpg
Gold medal goes to the Citroen C4 thanks to its frugal 100hp 1.6-litre diesel engine – clever start/stop technology helps it return an impressive 85.6mpg. It’s more affordable than many rivals – something reflected by its slightly lacklustre interior – but it’s a hugely practical family car and boasts a roomy 408-litre boot.
2. Ford Focus – 83.1mpg
The Ford Focus takes second place with an impressive 83.1mpg returned by its 105hp diesel engine. Similar to the Citroen, interior quality isn’t the Focus’ strong point – its buttons are somewhat confusing and the materials feel less than class leading – but it fights back with fantastic handling and a comfortable ride. Unfortunately, boot space is a little small – with the rear seats up you’ll be able to squeeze in just 316 litres of luggage.
3. BMW 1 Series – 83.1mpg
The BMW 1 Series might look more sporty than sensible but, in 116d Efficient Dynamics guise, it’ll return a wallet-friendly 83.1mpg. Don’t think this frugal model loses out in terms of creature comforts, however – it features an upmarket interior, BMW’s class excellent iDrive infotainment system, a comfortable seating position and a respectable 360-litre boot.
4. Skoda Octavia – 80.7mpg
The Skoda Octavia comes well equipped as standard – all models feature at least a 6.5-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It feels fairly plush inside and its cabin boasts plenty of room in the back for tall passengers. Its whopping 590-litre boot is also the roomiest of any car on our list while impressive fuel economy of 80.7mg makes it one of the cheapest family cars to run.
5. VW Golf – 80.7mpg
The VW Golf aims to be the all the car that you’d ever need. It has one of the best interiors in the business with lots of soft touch plastics and plenty of rear legroom. Its 380-litre boot is easily big enough for a family weekend away while the frugal 1.6-litre diesel Bluemotion model will return an impressive 80.7mpg.
6. Nissan Pulsar – 78.5mpg
Not only does the 110hp diesel Nissan Pulsar return 78.5mpg but it feels well built – if a little bland – and boasts a roomy 385-litre boot. There’s more room in the back seats than in many rivals and even six-foot-tall passengers will find head and legroom ample. Its rather dated infotainment screen – borrowed from the Qashqai – does let the side down slightly, however.
7. Peugeot 308 – 78.5mpg
The Peugeot 308 sports a classy cabin, a smooth ride and is quiet on the move. Its built-in infotainment system isn’t the most intuitive to use and rear legroom leaves a little to be desired but, as an overall package, it makes a comfortable and efficient family car. Boot space is a respectably roomy 470 litres while fuel economy of 78.5mpg is enough to earn it a place on our list.
8. Renault Megane – 76.3mpg
The Renault Megane can return up to 76.3mpg thanks to its quiet diesel engine. It’s a comfortable cruiser that’s reasonably relaxing to drive both at motorway speeds and around town. It can accommodate two adults in the back seats in relative comfort – a third passenger will be a fairly tight squeeze – while its 384-litre boot is roomier than a VW Golf’s.
9. Audi A3 – 70.6mpg
Not allowing BMW to take all the premium economy glory, Audi’s upmarket A3 returns a fair 70.6mpg thanks to its frugal 1.6-litre diesel engine. Its interior not only looks modern but feels exceptionally well built, too. In three-door form, its boot can swallow 365 litres of luggage while five-door Sportback models can manage 380 litres – 20 more than the 1 Series. Unfortunately, the A3 isn’t quite as fun to drive as its BMW rival.
10. SEAT Leon – 70.6mpg
The SEAT Leon uses the same 1.6-litre diesel as the Audi A3 and, unsurprisingly, can return an identical 70.6mpg. Unfortunately, the SEAT can’t match its Audi cousin in terms of build quality but it’s offered in a practical ST estate bodystyle alongside conventional five-door and sporty SC three-door variants. In standard five-door hatchback form, the Leon boasts a 380-litre boot while estate versions can carry an impressive 587 litres of luggage.
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