Compare the most economical diesel cars

High-quality economical diesel cars from rated and reviewed dealers

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Most economical diesel cars of 2024

Although interest in diesel cars is on the decline and manufacturers are dropping the fuel from their offerings in increasing numbers, modern diesels can offer great fuel economy figures allied with impressive torque; the trick is knowing which ones to buy. Our experts here at Carwow have taken the guesswork out of your next purchase by researching the most economical diesels on sale today.

Volkswagen Golf

1. Volkswagen Golf (67mpg)

Volkswagen Golf review
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class (63mpg)

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon review
BMW 3 Series

3. BMW 3 Series (61mpg)

BMW 3 Series review
Battery range up to 34 miles

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Audi A3 Saloon

4. Audi A3 Saloon (61mpg)

Audi A3 Saloon review
Peugeot 308

5. Peugeot 308 (60mpg)

Peugeot 308 review
Battery range up to 35 miles
Volkswagen T-Roc

6. Volkswagen T-Roc (60mpg)

Volkswagen T-Roc review
BMW 1 Series

7. BMW 1 Series (60mpg)

BMW 1 Series review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Comfortable Cruiser Award
Highly Commended

8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class (59mpg)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
Audi A4

9. Audi A4 (59mpg)

Audi A4 review
Peugeot 508

10. Peugeot 508 (59mpg)

Peugeot 508 review

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Advice about economical diesel cars

Most economical diesel cars FAQs

While petrol cars have been slowly narrowing the fuel consumption gap with their diesel counterparts, a modern diesel car is still more fuel efficient. This is especially true on longer motorway drives. In-town driving sees much closer figures, but diesels still generally come out on top.

When it comes to reliability, diesel cars tend to have fewer issues than petrol cars, however repairs can cost more and they tend to require more frequent oil changes, so overall running costs are broadly similar.

For town-based driving a regular 'self-charging' hybrid car can be more economical than a diesel as it can make the most of its all-electric capabilities. And if you go for a plug-in hybrid and your commute is shorter than the electric range of your hybrid, you could get away with using no fuel at all as long as you recharge your battery each day.

On longer motorway journeys a hybrid loses some of its efficiency as it relies more heavily on its internal combustion engine. Here, a diesel will generally offer better fuel economy.

Diesels still offer good fuel economy on short, low-speed trips.

An additional consideration is that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) fitted to diesel engines can get clogged up if your driving consists predominantly of these short journeys. This can reduce performance and increase fuel consumption over time, so it's best to make sure your diesel car gets some longer runs to clear out its systems.

General tips for keeping your consumption figures low are to stick to the recommended service intervals, ensure that your tyres are not under-inflated, use the air conditioner sparingly and avoid harsh acceleration or labouring the engine in too high a gear if you have a manual. 

More specific to diesels, undertaking a longer trip every so often will help the diesel particulate filter (DPF) clean out any accumulated contaminants. This will allow for more efficient running and will lower fuel consumption and improve performance. And obviously don't carry around anything you don't need, such as roofbars, as they can have a hefty impact on efficiency.