Best economical family cars of 2022
With petrol and diesel prices spiking and showing no signs of coming down, it’s more important than ever to buy the most economical family car you can find. Helpfully, car makers are now offering plenty of plug-in hybrid models that, if driven the right way, can return astonishing economy levels. Here’s our list of the best, most economical family cars around.
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On-paper, it’s the Mercedes C-Class C300e plug-in hybrid, which can hit an official 470mpg. That’s assuming you make as much use of its generous electric range as possible. If you don’t want to plug-in, then your best bet is probably the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which can manage 62mpg in real-world conditions.
The short answer here is the Toyota Corolla — it returns 89mpg on the official fuel economy test, and it’s pretty easy to squeeze 62mpg out of it in real daily driving. The hatchback is a bit small in the boot, so go for the much roomier estate instead if you’re hauling lots of stuff around.
Slowing down helps, although creeping along at low speed isn’t necessarily the answer. What you need to do is to drive as sensibly as you can, accelerating gently and trying to use as much anticipation as you can to minimise braking and keep your momentum. Making sure your car is serviced and has fresh oil and air filters is a good idea, as is checking that your tyres are in good condition and inflated to the correct pressure. Remove roof racks and roof boxes to improve aerodynamic performance, and switch off the air conditioning around town (it’s more efficient to have a window open below 50mph, more efficient to have the air-con going above that speed). Finally, take any excess weight out of the car (clean out the boot, in other words).