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Top 10: Most Economical Cars

Updated on February 11, 2009


 There's a revolution going on in the car industry at the moment. Over the last decade, car manufacturers have been spending a lot of time and money investing in efficiency. The biggest area car manufacturers have looked at is the diesel engine.

Of course, more recently hybrid cars have been growing in popularity. The mix of a petrol engine and electric drive-train has proven a massive hit in the USA, but is it justified?

In this article, I'll look at the top 10 fuel efficient cars available to buy today. I'm not including electric cars because of how rare they are at present, although I'm hoping by this time in 2010 there will be a lot more on the roads.  

10. Fiat Panda 1.3 MultiJet 65.7mpg

Fiat Panda

A popular return of name for Fiat with the return of the Panda. This spacious little city car has amazed people with it's sense of spaciousness. It's a small car that feels big.

The small 1.3 Turbo diesel engine pumps out an impressive 65.7mpg on a combined cycle. There was some shock when this car first arrived at how well it was built. Fiat had a problem with bits breaking from almost new. Yet the Panda gets thumbs up from a lot of people and it help turn the tides for Fiats problems. 

9. Fiat 500 MultiJet 67.3mpg

Fiat 500

The new kid on the block. Retro is in and everyone is reviving classic cars. The Fiat 500 is obviously the new re-incarnation of the 500 from all those years ago. Using the same 1.3 TD engine from the Panda (above). Due to less weight (only 3 doors) and being a little more aerodynamic, the 500 manages an extra 1.6mpg over the Panda.

A great little car that's a lot of fun to drive. Is a definite contender over the king of retro, the Mini.  

8. Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 67.30mpg

Renault Clio

Another face lift for the ever popular Renault Clio has appeared, and with it's 80 horse power 1.5TD it has taken the crown of the most fuel efficient Renault of them all.The Clio is one of Renault's best selling cars now, and they keep making it better.

Like the Fiat 500, it's a lot of fun to drive, and like the Fiat Panda, it's also very roomy with a decent size boot, and 5 comfortable seats. It's looks are fresh up to date and as it's a Renault, is built very well.

7. Citroen C2 1.4 HDi 68.90mpg

Citroen C2

The Citroen C2 has been around for a while now, so Citroen have just launched a face lift version of the car. It's a good seller for Citroen, especially with the ridiculous cash back offers Citroen are known for! 68.9mpg comes from the 1.4HDi engine which is an absolute dream.

These well built French cars are on a par with Renault for quality and style. Both of these cars appeal to the youngsters as much as their elders and due to the massive increase in the economy are getting more and more popular.

6. Toyota Aygo 1.4 HDi 68.9mpg


The Toyota Aygo is exactly the same as the Citroen C1. Both use the same 1.4 HDi engine producing a brilliant 68.9mpg. There both a lot of fun to drive while keeping them easy to use. Well built and very reliable will add to the low cost of ownership to make both these cars great sellers in 2009.

The one thing to know about these cars, is there's a slightly cheaper brother to both of them. A 1.4 Petrol version is available for £1000 less, and still pulls 61.4mpg! Yes it costs a little more to run, but the little petrol engine is very capable.  

5. Mini Clubman Cooper D 68.9mpg

Mini Clubman Cooper D

This is one of the coolest cars out at the moment. Yeah it might have shocked you when you first saw one, but it's growing on you! It's not quiet as economical as the non Clubman version (losing 2.5mpg) but it's worth it for the extra room the Clubman offers you. those extra doors and a real boot really help!

The Clubman is comfortable and spacious, and even though it's growing in popularity, it's not as common as the normal Mini. Get yourself something rare before everyone finds out about this great little car. 

4. Skoda Fabia Greenline 68.9mpg

Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia is a great car. Skoda are part of VAG (Volkswagen Automotive Group) so in essence this car is the Volkswagen Polo Blue-Motion, but cheaper and slightly bigger! The slight increase in size means it's heavier so loses out 5.4mpg over it's VAG brothers. But the extra room and smaller cost means it's still a winner.

This is the mark 2 of the Fabia, and is it not a pretty car? It's a Volkswagen, so it's well built and well run for ever.  

3. Mini Cooper D 72.4mpg

Mini Cooper D

For the majority of this millennium the Mini Cooper has been a massive success for BMW. It's been one of the coolest cars to own. There small, cute and fun to drive. There maybe some controversy over the looks, and the fact it's more Midi than Mini, yet the sight of one every 30 seconds in any major town or city speaks for itself.

The cooper D has been improved for 2009 and is now part of an very small group of cars to average over 70 mpg. Even with these current diesel prices, that's a lot of mileage for your money! 

2. Volkswagen Polo Blue-Motion 74.3mpg

Volkswagen Polo

The Polo is another car that's been around for years and is still very popular. Using the same engine and gear ratios as the Skoda and Seat, this daddy of the small VAG cars is a stunner. Amazing fuel economy, great build quality and VAG reliability make it a great car.

It runs joint top with the Seat (below) yet it sits in position 2 because of it's cost. It might still be popular, but being over £1000 more expensive than the Seat means it's not worthy of the number 1 spot. 

1. Seat Ibiza Ecomotive 74.3mpg

Seat Ibiza

Yes, the Seat Ibiza is the most economical car out today. using the same engine as the Polo and Fabia, this small little Spanish car is phenomenal value for money. It's a little over £10000 although they can be had for about £8000 if you look and haggle) and with 74.3mpg it will keep the pounds in the bank.

As with all VAG cars, it's well built, reliable and great fun to drive. The new version has just been launched, and Seat have really outdone themselves with the new model. There popping up everywhere. 2009 will see a great year for Seat judging by this amazing little car.  

Would you?

If you HAD to buy one from this list, which one would you choose?

See results

Toyota Prius 65.70mpg

Honda Insight 64.20mpg

The Hybrids

And here are the 2 popular hybrids! Languishing near and off the bottom are the Toyota Prius and the new Honda Insight. They both use a 1.5 petrol/electric system to help the economy and it seems to work well, just not quiet as well as the modern diesel cars.

The Toyota Prius as you may have noticed has the same 65.7mpg as the Fiat Panda in the number 10 spot. The reason the Prius did not get the 10th spot is down to the initial cost. The Prius costs between £18 - 21,000, whereas the Fiat Panda costs a tiny £9000! That's half the price! Sorry Toyota, you maybe one of the most popular cars in America, but in Britain your out done by the little Fiat.  


So they you have it, the top 10 economical cars available to buy today. There's a great selection of cars available to run on less money, and as long as you drive correctly, these amazing little cars will reward you with simply amazing economy. I wonder if they'll crack 100mpg over the next decade? Here's hoping for 200mpg!



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    • profile image

      Umer Hussain 

      6 years ago

      It's not worth buying a brand new eco box as they will cost a lot of money to buy initially. For the price of one you could get a good condition petrol turbo car with a lot of performance and use the remaining change you would have spent on an eco box to fuel your petrol car.

      In a nut shell if you want to save money which is pretty much the point, then you want a cheap old eco box that is cheap to buy and cheap to run, not a £15,000 eco box.

    • profile image

      Avinash Lewis 

      6 years ago

      Well, In India New Suzuki swift with 1.3 fiat Engine is a Defacto HIT, It gives 27.8Kms per litre of diseal, in India Unleaded is twice as costly as diseal per litre, and more over CNG/LPG has no power, and for the same pickup you have to raise the RPM more, which means more Engine Wear.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      To the hybrid lovers saying how diesel polluted more. Don't forget about your toxic battery cells that will be rendered useless after about eight heRe. Where the diesel will still be running strong and or be recycled to build new motors. And currently diesel is only five cents more than gas. Going twice as far on the same amount of fuel means less pollution.

    • profile image

      Scott H 

      6 years ago

      I drive a peugeot 306 hdi from 2000 and Its great, 2.0 turbo diesel, does about 60-65 mpg, pulls like a freight train. Great fun!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I too would like to see options that come close to this MPG in teh US market. Looking to buy now and the best I am finding is 35mpg. Unless it is a hybrid. And when you are looking at best economy you won't get the pauback on just fuel economy. Yes, I may feel better about it, but you have to be able to afford that luxury.

    • damek profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Professionally written. Good advice for young drivers. Voted Up! I have written a hub connected with this topic, you can check it :

    • profile image

      μεταχειρισμενα αυτοκινητα 

      7 years ago

      this economical cars was design to suit the need of the consumer.I've been wishing to have my own Toyota Aygo 1.4 HDi 68.9mpg look so cool and expensive.I had my second hand car or in Greek ?????????????? ?????????? it was an old fashion but still work good.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice information

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice work. Well researched

    • profile image

      yaseen hhjuikj 

      7 years ago

      Definitely had this problem for some time. Here's what I've done--praying it works.

      First, found that if you wash out the engine as well as you can with a hose and get as much nesting material and their scent out, that's a good first step. Then I got Pine Sol per one site's suggestion and faithfully spritzed that in the areas they seemed attracted to each week. That did decrease activity (sprayed near the windshield washer where they had clearly been feasting; also around the front tire, wheel well.) Got an ultrasonic pest control device and with an extension cord popped the hood and put the device in when car was not in use for about a week (used but would take the device out; got home put it back in). Idea was to send message to find a new place to live. That SEEMED to work, but didn't as eventually they got back to car.

      I noticed in my front yard that I had some burrowing. So just this past week I went out and got something called The Giant Destroyer, sold at Home Depot, on, and probably elsewhere. It's four sticks of sulfur producing materials. I had my brother help me. We plugged the holes and then down the largest most active one, we put the lit device. When it smoked, covered the hole up and let it gas whatever might have been in the hole. Next day I looked and the rock was moved--could have been internally or externally or a cat walking through, etc. I took a half gallon of generic Pine Sol and poured it into the hole and then put the rock back. I have seen no evidence of activity, so that MIGHT have killed things off.

      I had to get some things, wiring and tubing, replaced and the man at the shop said go get something called

      CRITTER RIDDER sold at Home Depot and feel free to spray it all over in the engine compartment as it can't damage the car. So I bought that and applied liberally. The spray bottle said it's good for 30 days. We'll see. It also comes in granules/powder and I bought that as well and spread it around in the areas where I know they've burrowed in the yard. (The problem is I live where we have cactus and I CAN NOT access all the holes.) So far, so good, but it's early days.

      I do KNOW for a fact that other things I tried did NOT work on what I had. Someone had said that peppermint oil would put them off. I took a cotton rag, soaked it in peppermint oil, then tied that near where they had been by the battery. Next morning, I went out and they had EATEN part of the cloth and pulled it all away from where I had tied it.

      I have been told that RAT BAIT will work as well. I purchased some and placed it out--it was carried away, but I don't know that it did any in.

      IF you have a garage, I would say try the ultrasonic pest controller and set traps in your garage. Get the engine as clean as you can, preferably either getting it on a lift or jacking it up and knocking away any visible nests. Spread the Pine Sol and/or Critter Ridder in the car engine compartment. With the Pine Sol, I'd NOT get it on the batteries--more in the area around the windshield washer where it's all metal (at least in MY vehicle) should have enough smell to send a message. The Critter Ridder should be safe everywhere according to the auto mechanic shop man.

      IF you can find burrows or nests or such--try the Giant Destroyer and/or Critter Ridder as well so they aren't handy.

      If you can't use your garage or don't have one, you still may try the ultrasonic device near the car--they claim they work for a hundred feet or so.

      I think that strategy (clean, use the smells, use the ultrasonic, and try to gas them in their holes) will work in many cases. If it fails, then you probably need a professional pest control person to come give it a go. I'm praying I don't have to shell out that kind of money and one I spoke with for free said they like to TRAP them--traps mean time and multiple visits and they can eat an amazing amount of stuff in short order.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good information. I like it much. Thank you.

    • DANIEL JOHNSON F profile image


      8 years ago from Switzeland

      I'd get me one)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice selection!

    • profile image

      tracy wilson 

      8 years ago

      this is an amazing site. i love this site.

      Cheap Cars

    • profile image

      Honda Cars 

      8 years ago

      First of all i like to thank them who made this interesting Hub, Skoda & Fiate ate good at this economics but Honda Insight is will stunning look. which i like most about Honda cars is they make all kind of class, but this was the most good looking car in all the economic car.

    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 

      8 years ago from India

      nice hub

    • profile image

      Dune Racer 

      8 years ago

      Unfortunately NONE of these cars is available yet in the US. We are stuck with the Prius for now. .... Clean little TD engines haven't caught on here. It seems no one knows about them

    • krishnamoorthy.g profile image


      8 years ago from india

      hai...................this is nice hub.i know this hub more information to automobile

    • krishnamoorthy.g profile image


      8 years ago from india

      this hub... i know more information to automobile at hwow greub....excellent explanation on the topic....great job done....

      thanx for sharing....well i got something opposite to you....

    • maritimer profile image


      8 years ago from canada

      Excellent article and really good comments. Out of circumstance I drive some uneconomical cars. My next car will be electric (if possible) or a hybrid.

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      @Steve - I don't really agree with you on the diesels. I only do 15K and save quite a bit over my old petrol. I have more power and loads more torque! I do however agree with you about LPG, it should be more readily available. It is however subsidized by the government in the UK so prices are unnaturally low.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Diesels are overpriced and pointless unless you do more than 50,000 miles per year, diesel is at the same price as unleaded. if you want cheap to run, go LPG, half the price of unleaded or less

    • sophieqd profile image


      9 years ago

      Top 10 Most Economical Cars

      This is really good information.

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      @ Bristol Boy - I had heard the Polo had won that, and it does make me wonder why it wasn't a joint thing with the Ibiza, considering they have identical figures, including the emissions.

    • BristolBoy profile image


      9 years ago from Bristol

      A great page.

      As has already been mentioned all of these are good for the environment as well. It is interesting to note that in tersm of carbon emissions they are better for the environment than hybrids such as the Prius, and it was this which earnt the Polo the accolade of the greenest car as determined by the UK government: The other advantage of the Bluemotion and presumably the other cars is the lower tax (Band A) because of the lower emissions, despite being diesels.

    • nukedukemboy2003 profile image


      9 years ago from US

      This is just what we need in times like this. A list that helps us save money! I know im not trying to pay more than i have to at the pump. I'll definatlty try to make sure i get one of these cars when im done with my current one. 66 MPG is amaing!

    • AutomatedList profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Nice work, I'm not too crazy about the whole battery/gas thing but with this see-saw economy you have to be practical. The quality of the pictures is excellent.



    • ameliehub profile image


      9 years ago from UK

      Hi, a nice hub with brief information and some awesome images. I would like to have Seat Ibiza Ecomotive 74.3mpg. Low cost and reliable as well.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      thank you, good reviews for economical cars

    • profile image

      electronic cigarette 

      9 years ago

      The Volkswagen Polo Blue-Motion is the cutest car and a big bonus is that I can save the environment at the same time. I was surprised that it gets such great gas mileage!

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      Thank you Amy. It's a fantastic little car, so much more fun to drive than the Mini is! And a lot cheaper too!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Fantastic Hub - really interesting. My fave is the Fiat 500 :)

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      @ Camping Dan - That's very true Dan. Although from a lot of people's points of view, if you live in a City, do you really need a car?

      I have a 20 mile commute to work everyday, so I need a diesel. I've also made sure that there are 4 of us in the car, I pay less for my fuel, they pay less to get to work, and there are 3 less cars doing 40 miles a day (each) a day.

      Even if you only get 20mpg, if there are 4 of you sharing the bill, it will be much more economical and your still taking 3 cars off the road.

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 

      9 years ago

      Of course you can have the most economical car but if you do not use it efficiently you might as well not. Taking the time to plan your trip so that you are not criss crossing the city you live in will make your route more efficient so that you do not do extra driving burning more gas.

    • britneydavidson profile image


      9 years ago from united kingdom

      wow great hub....excellent explanation on the topic....great job done....

      thanx for sharing....well i got something opposite to you....

      have a look on it i am sure you will love it....


    • gracy.bonsu profile image


      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Awesome hub, the photos and info are great. I'm definitely interested in an Scoda. Thanks for posting.

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Great hub. I have not seen all of these before. I am still very fond of petrol and gas motors, but must admit the diesel has better economy. The price of diesel fuel in Australia is too high for them to make an appreciable difference in running cost here, but they are increasing in number.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      And now the real list based on real drivers:

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      The Polo is a great car, but seriously consider the Seat Ibiza, it's the exact same car but a lot cheaper!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub. I like Volkswagen Polo but all of them are looking good I want to get it :)

    • LondonGirl profile image


      9 years ago from London

      WE have an R reg Fiat Brava, and it's great. Good MPG, low running costs, and fun to drive. I'd definintely buy another Fiat.

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      That's very true Paul. I swapped to diesel years ago as here in the UK we need all the help we can get to run a car!

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      9 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I've been thinking of getting a mini cooper as my gas guzzling jeep seems to be in the shop a lot lately. When gas was approaching $5 a gallon, it seems like efficient cars was on everyone's mind, but as soon as the price of gas fell, it seems that hybrid and cars that get good mileage have fallen out of favor. How soon we forget....

    • kappa022 profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      Awesome hub, the photos and info are great. I'm definitely interested in an Aygo. Thanks for posting.

    • rambo87 profile image


      9 years ago

      The Clio is the nicest looking out of these ten. A very interesting article and hopefully one day we will all be driving lower emission vehicles!

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      Lol, very good point! Being green is expensive after all! I think if governements are going to consider subsidys for hybrids, they will have to group all alternative fuel cars together, because Honda had their Hydrogen fuel cells, and there's a whole load of electrics due out this year. Should be an interesting year.

    • pjdscott profile image


      9 years ago from Durham, UK

      All these developments are good - but it will be interesting to see how much subsidy governments provide towards car makers who are prepared to develop hybrids, given their contribution towards lessening greenhouse gases. Of course the recession may affect these targets, and we might all forget about global warming for a while!

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      Thank you very much.

      Yeah I agree the emissions are higher on diesels then the hybrids, and also petrol (gas) is cheaper (sadly), but i'd take the almost 10mpg more than the Prius and get the Seat, if I didn't already have a Fabia :)

    • pjdscott profile image


      9 years ago from Durham, UK

      Great hub and info! However, the two hybrids have a distinct difference over everything else - their emissions are far lower, making them better for the environment. On pure mpg/kpg I can't argue with your findings!


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