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 avaliable 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
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
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 definate contender over the king of retro, the Mini.
8. Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 67.30mpg
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
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
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 millenium 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
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
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.
Toyota Prius 65.70mpg
Honda Insight 64.20mpg
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