Six of the most efficient petrol and diesel cars

Six of the most efficient petrol and diesel cars

These models combine impressive efficiency with low running costs

The recent fuel crisis has shone a spotlight on the efficiency of cars, when the need to get as many miles for your money and fuel tank have become increasingly important. 

Though many of us might have suddenly started thinking about an electric car, these models aren’t quite right for everyone just yet, along with full or plug-in hybrids. It’s why there’s most certainly still a place for new petrol and diesel cars, which are now cleaner than they’ve ever been. 

But what are the petrol and diesel cars that offer the best efficiency and lowest running costs? Here are six great options. For clarity, we’re focusing on non-electrified cars here. 

BMW 1 Series, 62.8mpg/119g/km

Diesel engines historically return better fuel consumption than their petrol equivalents, and modern engines are certainly no exception. And it’s why BMW’s premium 1 Series hatchback is actually one of the most frugal non-electrified cars on the market today – especially in 116d form. 

Using a 114bhp 1.5-litre diesel, BMW claims it will return up to 62.8mpg, with CO2 emissions of 119g/km. At the same time, performance isn’t bad at all, while you get the same fun driving experience and high-quality interior that’s available across the 1 Series range.

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Hyundai i10, 56.5mpg/114g/km

Where low running costs are concerned, it’s quite hard to beat a city car – these are models designed with efficiency as a priority. One of the best is the Hyundai i10, which is also roomier than you might anticipate, as well as getting an impressive level of equipment included for its low price. 

It’s available with two efficient petrol engines, but the cleaner of the pair is a 66bhp 1.0-litre option. While not especially quick, with its 56.5mpg fuel economy figure and 110g/km CO2 emissions, it should hopefully avoid having to stop at the pumps all that often.

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Peugeot 108, 58.9mpg/110g/km

While the Peugeot 108 might be one of the newest city cars on sale today, where efficiency is concerned, it’s quite hard to beat. In fact, it’s the cleanest petrol model on this list, with its 71bhp 1.0-litre engine able to return up to 58.9mpg, according to the French firm. CO2 emissions of 110g/km are also the lowest of any car on this list, whether petrol or diesel. 

The 108 also remains stylish to look at and very affordable to buy in the first place, while it comes well-equipped as standard – including a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air conditioning and a useful speed limiter. 

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Volkswagen Golf, 63.2mpg/117g/km

Volkswagen’s turbocharged diesel engines have always been impressively good on fuel, and the latest models are certainly no exception. And if you choose a 113bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine on the latest Golf, Volkswagen promises up to 53.2mpg, with CO2 emissions of 117g/km.

There’s a lot more to the Golf than just its efficiency though, as it’s good to drive and especially comfortable – little surprise they’re often chosen as commuting cars. With fantastic on-board tech and a spacious interior, this VW certainly ticks plenty of boxes. 

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Seat Leon, 65.8mpg, 113g/km

The Seat Leon is based on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen Golf, and even uses the same efficient turbodiesel engine. However, because of the Leon’s sleeker shape, it’s actually even better on fuel – Seat claiming 65.8mpg, which makes it the most efficient model on this entire list. 

The Leon is also great to drive, comes very well-equipped as standard, while it’s actually more affordable to buy than the Volkswagen Golf too.

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Citroen C4, 64.2mpg, 114g/km

Though Citroen’s C4 might also be available as an EV, the brand acknowledges that not everyone is ready for an electric car just yet, hence why its new funky hatchback-crossover is also available with regular petrol and diesel engines. 

It’s 108bhp 1.5-litre ‘BlueHDI’ diesel engine is also very good on fuel, with Citroen claiming up to 64.2mpg, with CO2 emissions of 114g/km. The C4 also offers one of the most comfortable rides of any new car on sale today, while is good value for money and spacious inside as well.

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