Best mpg petrol cars

Petrol cars with the highest mpg

Good fuel economy has many benefits. The more efficient your car is, the less fuel you'll have to pay for, and the less carbon dioxide your car will produce from burning that fuel.

For cars registered before April 2017, car tax also decreases in line with the amount of carbon dioxide produced – if it's less than 100g/km, you won't pay any car tax at all.

How is fuel economy calculated?

The way fuel economy is calculated changed a couple of years ago. Car manufacturers used to use a test called the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle); however, the test conditions weren't particularly realistic, and the figures were all but impossible to achieve in real life. So from September 2017, a new test was brought in, called the WLTP (World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure), which is designed to be more reflective of real life.

So if you're comparing used cars of different ages, make sure you're comparing like for like. You can compare one car's NEDC figures with another's, or one car's WLTP figures with another's, but mixing the two won't produce meaningful comparisons as WLTP figures will be lower.

The WLTP test produces an overall fuel economy figure, called the combined figure – this is the one you'll usually see quoted, and the one we use virtually all the time on this website. However, there are also four other figures – low, medium, high and extra high – designed to represent city, town, rural and motorway driving, and conducted at speeds of up to 35mph, 50mph, 60mph and 81mph, respectively. You can use these to see how well suited a car is to the type of driving you do most often.

Three of the best petrol cars for fuel consumption

Ford Fiesta: Up to 50.4mpg under WLTP figures from the 1.0-litre EcoBoost 99bhp engine. All engines have start-stop technology.

Peugeot 308: Up to 50mpg under WLTP figures from the 1.2-litre 129bhp engine with a manual gearbox; all engines have start-stop technology. The AA called the 308 “one of the best all-round economic family cars on the market.”

Nissan Micra: Up to 50.4mpg under WLTP figures from the IG-T100 99bhp 1.0-litre engine, with either a manual or CVT transmission.

Tips for reducing fuel consumption

  • Look for engines with start-stop technology – the Energy Saving Trust estimates that it could save drivers hundreds of pounds a year.
  • Drive carefully. The more strain you put on the engine, for example by constantly braking and accelerating hard, the more fuel you'll use.
  • Keep your car in good condition and have it serviced when you're supposed to – fuel economy will be best when everything is working properly.

At Kent and Essex car dealers Carwise Group, we have a wide range of great value, highly economical used cars for sale. And you have the peace of mind that comes with buying from a reputable used car dealer– all our cars are thoroughly checked before they go on sale to make sure everything is working properly.

You can use the search function on our website to find the petrol cars with the highest mpg. If you'd like to test drive one of them, call 01622 233151 or 01279 216163. Ask us about our vehicle finance deals too.