Real-world MPG: the most efficient small petrol cars

We test new cars’ fuel economy every week at What Car?, but unlike the laboratory-derived Government data, our True MPG technicians gain the numbers from driving in real-world conditions, to bring you realistic MPG figures.

Here are the 10 most economical small petrol cars on sale in the UK today.

1. Suzuki Celerio 1.0 Dualjet – official 78.4mpg; True MPG 62.9mpg

Suzuki’s five-door, five-seat city car is the most economical small petrol car our technicians have tested. Impressive economy aside, it’s also well equipped and comes with a versatile interior making a decent buy.

2. Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid – official 78.5mpg; True MPG 57.8mpg

Yaris buyers get a spacious, well equipped small car at a decent price, although they have to put up with a plasticky interior.

3. Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 95 Bluemotion – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 56.5mpg

Buyers after a classy small car need look no further than the Polo. It’s refined, well priced and comes with a classy cabin.

4. Peugeot 108 1.0 – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 54.6mpg

The Peugeot 108 just beat its Toyota-badged sibling in our real-world fuel tests. It’s cheap to run and comes with a good touch-screen infotainment system but it’s not as accomplished as some of its rivals.

5. Toyota Aygo 1.0 – official 65.7mpg; True MPG 54.0mpg

Toyota’s Aygo is cheap to run and offers some striking personalisation features, but like the 108 it won’t trouble the best in the class.

6. Audi A1 1.0 TFSI 95 – official 67.3mpg; True MPG 53.4mpg

No other car on this list can compete with the A1’s premium feel. On top of that it’s also efficient, good to drive and more practical than the Mini.

7. Mitsubishi Mirage 1.2 – official 65.7mpg; True MPG 53.4mpg

Every version of the Mitsubishi Mirage emits less than 100g/km of CO2, and the little car performs admirably in our real-world economy tests. That’s about the only good thing we can say about it, though, because it falls short of the competition in almost every other area.

8. Seat Ibiza 1.0 EcoTSI 95 – official 68.9mpg; True MPG 52.2mpg

The facelifted Ibiza gets new engines and new infotainment features. It’s not enough to trouble the excellent Skoda Fabia but is definitely worth a look.

9. Suzuki Swift 1.2 – official 50.0mpg; True MPG 51.7mpg

The Swift offers great value for money, and our MPG tests show it should be reasonably cheap to fuel. In 1.2 guise it managed 51.7mpg in the hands of our technicians, which is 1.7mpg better than its official figure.

10. Mazda 2 1.5 89 Skyactiv-G – official 62.8mpg; True MPG 50.8mpg

The Mazda 2 falls a fair way short of its official fuel economy, but a True MPG result of 50.8mpg is still a commendable result in the real world. The engine tested here is the middle of the three power outputs, with 89bhp from the 1.5-litre petrol.

Visit whatcar.com/truempg to see the full range of cars we’ve tested to find out what you really can expect to achieve on UK roads.

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