Compare the most economical small cars

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Best economical small cars for sale in 2024

The cost of living has rarely loomed so large in people's minds, and cutting fuel bills is one way you can save money. The best way to do this is by picking a car that returns a high mpg (miles per gallon) figure, and this article focuses on conventional petrol and diesel city cars and superminis rather than plug-in hybrids (which bring impressive economy, but tend to be larger, and can be expensive to buy). Our rundown of the best economical small cars has 10 great offerings for you to consider.

Peugeot 208

1. Peugeot 208 (73.6mpg)

Peugeot 208 review
Vauxhall Corsa

2. Vauxhall Corsa (70.6mpg)

Vauxhall Corsa review

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Toyota Yaris Hybrid

3. Toyota Yaris (68.9mpg)

Toyota Yaris Hybrid review
Citroen C3

4. Citroen C3 (66mpg)

Citroen C3 review
Renault Clio

5. Renault Clio (65.7mpg)

Renault Clio review
Honda Jazz

6. Honda Jazz (62.8mpg)

Honda Jazz review
Mazda 2

7. Mazda 2 (61.4mpg)

Mazda 2 review
Fiat 500

8. Fiat 500 (61.4mpg)

Fiat 500 review
Ford Fiesta

9. Ford Fiesta (60.1mpg)

Ford Fiesta review
Suzuki Swift (2017-2024)

10. Suzuki Swift (59.7mpg)

Suzuki Swift (2017-2024) review

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More advice about small economical cars

Small economical cars FAQs

If you're looking at petrol-only models (i.e. non-hybrids), the Fiat 500's 61.4mpg figure is might impressive.

The best official mpg figure we could find for a small diesel car was the Peugeot 208 and its 73.6mpg.

This entirely depends on the size of the car and how it's powered. A plug-in hybrid might manage over 200mpg officially, but this assumes you will be running it almost exclusively on electricity obtained via plugging in, and even then the manufacturer's figure might be hard to match. An economical petrol might manage 60mpg officially, while a diesel could get 70mpg+. If you manage above 50mpg in the real world you're doing pretty well (though many are able to do much better than this through careful driving).

Cars get their best economy at steady, low revs, so changing gear early is one way to help this. Keeping your speed down on a cruise will also improve things, as will gentle acceleration. Anticipating what traffic signals and other road users might do can also help, as this can avoid unnecessary slowing down and speeding up.