The best and worst economical cars of 2015, as tested by What Car?

It’s been another busy year for the What Car? fuel economy testers, as we’ve assessed a total of 165 cars to establish their real-world economy.

The results were largely lower than the official figures, and varied from 18.8mpg to 64.0mpg. The furthest a conventionally powered model was from its official economy was 36%.

These are the best and worst-performing cars in terms of economy from 2015.


Toyota Auris Icon VVT-I Hybrid – official 78.5mpg: True MPG 64.0mpg

The top-performing car of the past year is Toyota’s petrol-electric hybrid hatchback, which features a 1.8-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. It managed a brilliant 73.7mpg on the motorway, which fell to 54.3mpg in the city. Even so, this is one of the most economical cars available today.

Suzuki Celerio SZ3 Dual Jet – official 78.4mpg: True MPG 62.9mpg

Having started the year on a sour note thanks to a brake failure issue, Suzuki has rallied throughout 2015 and ends the year with second place on our list. The Celerio may be 20% shy of its claimed economy, but this small hatchback can still return more than 60.0mpg in both town and country.

Audi A3 Ultra – official 83.1mpg: True MPG 62.3mpg

This version of the A3 is billed as being particularly economical and features a 1.6-litre diesel engine. It managed more than 57mpg around town and 67.5mpg on the motorway, falling 25% short of its combined fuel economy figure.

Vauxhall Corsa CDTi SRi Ecoflex S/S– official 85.6mpg: True MPG 60.0mpg

We’ve been impressed with the latest Vauxhall Corsa. It’s spacious inside and well priced, and in this Ecoflex form is economical, too. We saw around 60mpg in both the city and on the motorway.

Hyundai i20 SE CRDi – official 68.9mpg: True MPG 59.4mpg

Of all the cars on this list, the Hyundai i20 came the closest to matching its claimed fuel economy, with a variation of just 14%. This mid-range diesel model is powered by a 1.4-litre engine.

Mazda CX-3 SE-L Nav – official 70.6mpg: True MPG 58.6mpg

The CX-3 is the newest Mazda in the range, sitting below the larger CX-5 SUV. This 1.5-litre diesel model returned 57.5mpg on our urban test route, rising to 59.6mpg in an extra-urban setting.


Range Rover Sport SVR – official 22.1mpg: True MPG 18.8mpg

The title of the worst-performing car we’ve tested in 2015 goes to this performance Range Rover, which, considering its size and power, is perhaps not so shocking. Despite its low score, though, the Range Rover was just 15% shy of its claimed fuel economy.

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS – official 18.5mpg: True MPG 19.5mpg

It’s a rare occassion indeed when a car out-performs its official economy claims, but that’s exactly what the Vauxhall managed to do, bettering its official claim by a full 5%. It managed just over 15mpg around town, though.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo – official 25.2mpg: True MPG 20.7mpg

Porsche’s turbocharged SUV was just 2% shy of its official fuel economy claim about town, but on our extra-urban route that variance quickly rose to 27%, with the Cayenne returning just 23.6mpg – well short of its claimed 32.5mpg.

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