Top 10 most economical cars

Fuel economy is a hot topic and car firms are responding by making their cars ever-more efficient. It is now common to see new cars returning more than 80mpg: even mainstream family cars regularly average more than 65mpg. On paper, at least.

Low CO2 emissions go hand in hand with good fuel economy, so there is a double bonus to buying an economical car - you'll pay less in tax. Both road fund licence and company car tax are based on CO2 emissions: the lower they are, the less you pay.


1. Vauxhall Ampera/Chevrolet Volt - 27g/km

The current European Car of the Year is the Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall Ampera - and with economy this good, it's easy to see why.

Thanks to an ingenuous combination of electric-drive and petrol-powered electricity generator for when the circa-40 mile range is exhausted, they give EV motoring without the range restrictions, and a staggering official combined economy figure of 235.4mpg.

2. Toyota Prius Plug-in - 49g/km

The Toyota Prius Plug-in is just that - a regular Toyota Prius with additional batteries that can be charged by 'plugging them in' to the mains electricity supply.

Because they can store more electricity, they allow an all-electric range of up to 15 miles before the petrol engine kicks in. Thanks to this, the official combined consumption figure shoots up, to 134.5mpg.

3. Fisker Karma - 53g/km, 62.4mpg

The Fisker Karma combines two unlikely bedfellows - jaw dropping good looks and tree-hugging emissions. Designed by Henrik Fisker - who had a hand in penning the Aston Martin DB9 - the Karma is a series hybrid which employs a 2.0-litre turbo engine as a generator to re-charge its lithium-ion battery pack.

With a powertrain that produces 397hp it isn't slow - 0-60mph taking just 6.3 seconds. A claimed 62.4mpg and emissions of just 53g/km make this one guilt-free luxury saloon.

4. Toyota Yaris Hybrid - 79g/km, 80.7mpg

Toyota has smartly combined the 1.5-litre engine and electric motor drivetrain of the Prius and Auris HSD with the lighter and more compact body of the Yaris. Result? The Yaris Hybrid.

Because it's so much lighter than its bigger siblings, it's even more fuel-efficient, averaging up to 81mpg and emitting just 79g/km CO2 - Toyota's lowest-ever figure. It can even travel for around a mile using electric power alone.

5. Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 ECO - 83g/km, 88.3mpg

Eco by name, eco by nature - the newest version of Nicole's runabout has a 1.5-litre diesel engine that's capable of 88.3mpg and puffs out just 83g/km CO2.

Wrapped in the brand new Clio's clothes it's a stylish and contemporary option for the budget-conscious supermini buyer. It also trumps the VW Polo BlueMotion and Ford Fiesta ECOnetic when it comes to green credentials.

6. Hyundai i20 1.1 CRDi Blue - 84g/km, 88.3mpg

Hyundai has recently facelifted the i20 supermini and part of the revisions include the launch of a super-efficient diesel model, using the firm's excellent 1.1-litre three-cylinder engine.

In eco-orientated Blue trim, it emits just 84g/km and averages an impressive 88.3mpg. Combined with great value prices, Hyundai has a compelling deal - the greenest regular-engine road car, for one of the best-value prices on the road.

7. Kia Rio 1.1 Ecodynamics - 85g/km, 88.3mpg

The roomy and practical Kia Rio five-door, five-seat supermini is a star when it comes to economy. With 88.3mpg and 85g/km CO2, Kia said it was the most economical conventional-engine car on sale anywhere in the world at launch.

Well, it was until Hyundai rolled out the i20 sister car with CO2 emissions that beat it - by 1g/km.

8. Smart Fortwo cdi - 86g/km, 85.6mpg

The Smart Fortwo cdi diesel's long reign as most economical car on sale in Britain is over. Despite this, it still averages an impressive 85.6mpg.

It only seats two, and the clattery diesel engine is not the fastest or most refined on sale. It is still economical enough to only now have been unseated as the UK's most fuel-efficient car, though.

9. Peugeot 208 1.4 e-HDi 70 EGC - 87g/km, 83.1mpg

With the 208, Peugeot has made its prettiest supermini since the classic 205. But it's not just a pretty face: the super-efficient 1.4-litre e-HDi engine is also very fuel-efficient too.

It is capable of returning up to 83.1mpg and emits just 87g/km, with a clever and seamless stop-start system cutting inner city exhaust emissions too.

10. Lexus CT200h S - 87g/km

Bringing hybrid power to the premium compact sector is the petrol-electric Lexus CT200h's raison d'etre. The appeal of this car lies in the marriage of smooth hybrid drive powertrain and the lure of fantastic Lexus customer service. Oh, and astonishing economy.

Thanks to smaller wheels and a larger spoiler than the standard CT200h, the S model emits just 87g/km of CO2 and manages a pretty startling 76.3mpg. Low benefit-in-kind company car tax liability and road tax exemption, are the icing on the cake for this premium eco choice.

Alex Todd Brand Manager at Its4women commented "With rising fuel costs, finding an economical car with good fuel economy is essential. With environmental issues at the forefront of the news, the pressure is on all of us to buy a car which uses as little fuel and emits the smallest amount of CO2 possible."

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