Compare the most economical cars

High-quality economical cars from rated and reviewed dealers

Most fuel efficient cars of 2022

The on-paper fuel economy figures are dominated by plug-in hybrids, which of course come with the massive caveat that you need to keep them plugged-in and charged-up to get the best possible economy from them. Diesel is still the economy king when it comes to longer journeys, though…

mercedes C-Class Saloon

1. Mercedes C-Class PHEV (471mpg)

8/10
carwow price from
£38,696
volvo V60

2. Volvo V60 PHEV (353mpg)

8/10
Battery range up to 31 miles
carwow price from
£439* / month (£38,305)
mercedes GLE SUV

3. Mercedes GLE PHEV (353mpg)

7/10
Battery range up to 57 miles
carwow price from
£749* / month (£64,670)
toyota RAV4 Hybrid

4. Toyota RAV4 PHEV(282mpg)

7/10
carwow price from
£287* / month (£31,951)
peugeot 308

5. Peugeot 308 PHEV (281mpg)

8/10
carwow price from
£218* / month (£23,449)
audi A3 Sportback

6. Audi A3 PHEV (256mpg)

8/10
carwow price from
£263* / month (£25,126)
kia Sportage

7. Kia Sportage PHEV (252mpg)

8/10
carwow price from
£208* / month (£25,322)
skoda Superb Estate

8. Skoda Superb Estate PHEV (245mpg)

9/10
Battery range up to 44 miles
carwow price from
£321* / month (£27,289)
volkswagen Golf

9. Volkswagen Golf PHEV (235mpg)

9/10
carwow price from
£268* / month (£23,994)
bmw 3 Series

10. BMW 330e (202mpg)

9/10
Battery range up to 34 miles
carwow price from
£425* / month

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Advice about economical cars

Most economical cars FAQs

Diesel is still king for longer journeys, although the best (non-plug-in) hybrids are catching up now. A Volkswagen Golf 2.0-litre TDI diesel will pretty easily do 60mpg on a gently-driven long-haul. If diesel prickles your conscience, then consider a Toyota Prius hybrid — that ugly-but-slippery body should see it on the sunny side of 60mpg as long as you keep your speed in check.

There isn’t quite one magic figure as all cars are different, and different road and weather conditions will also play their part, but the simple answer here is around 50mph. That’s fast enough that the engine won’t be labouring in a low gear, but slow enough that you’re not building up too much aerodynamic resistance. You may be building up a queue of road-rage behind you, but that’s their problem…

For an average family car, you should be looking at getting at least 40-45mpg overall, including city and town driving (which is always the worst for economy). For higher performance models, or bigger, bulkier SUVs, slipping into the 30s is still just-about acceptable, but given the cost of fuel and the climate crisis, ideally you’d be looking for something that can reliably return close to 50mpg.