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Most fuel-efficient cars

Most fuel-efficient city cars

By Martin Pratt

Article 1 of 11

City cars don't always have the good fuel economy you'd expect. Our independent mpg tests reveal the most and least efficient city cars.

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The smaller the car the further it should go on a tank of fuel, right? Not always. City cars are often equipped with thirsty petrol engines.

We test every city car's mpg to ensure our reviews give you best indication of how much a city car will cost you in the long run. Read on to see which one has the most impressive mpg and which leaves a lot to be desired.

To find out which city cars achieved the best scores click through to our best city cars.

The difference between claimed and tested mpg

There are differences between the fuel economy claimed by manufacturers and the results you'll experience in everyday driving. Our own tests aim to better replicate real-life motoring than the current NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test procedure the carmakers quote. 

Which? members can log in to see the most fuel-efficient city cars. If you're not already a member, take out a £1 trial to unlock this table and all our reviews.

Most fuel-efficient city cars

Toyota Aygo
Typical price £8,568
Brand score 76%
Reviewed Jun 2014
Ride comfort:
3 out of 5
Boot & storage:
3 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

Economical engines set this car apart, even if it's nowhere near the mpg claimed by the manufacturer.

Mitsubishi i-Miev (2010-2015)
Typical price £5,459
Brand score 76%
Reviewed Jan 2011
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Boot & storage:
3 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

This tiny car easily tops our fuel-efficiency table with a remarkable result in our tests.

Citroen C1 (2005-2014)
Typical price £1,867
Brand score 70%
Reviewed Jun 2005
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Boot & storage:
2 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

This car may be showing its age in a few areas; it isn’t the quietest or most secure city car around, but it is one of the most economical. Its mpg of 62.8 is only bettered by two other city cars.

Peugeot 107 (2005-2014)
Typical price £2,038
Brand score 66%
Reviewed Jun 2005
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Boot & storage:
3 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

If you want to drive around in style and not spend too much time at the pump this is a car to consider.

Smart ForTwo
Typical price £10,254
Brand score 62%
Reviewed Jan 2015
Ride comfort:
2 out of 5
Boot & storage:
1 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

One of the smallest cars we test is also one of the most economical. It can’t match the claimed fuel economy, but the 55.4 miles per gallon it achieved in our tests is still respectable.

Smart ForFour
Typical price £10,664
Brand score 62%
Reviewed Jan 2015
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Boot & storage:
3 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

Adding two extra seats hasn’t made this car any less economical. It’s as quirky as ever and with an mpg of 55.4, it won’t cost you much to run.

Citroen C2 (2003-2009)
Typical price £1,215
Brand score 54%
Reviewed Sep 2003
Ride comfort:
3 out of 5
Boot & storage:
3 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

This car is getting a little long in the tooth but it still gives more miles to the gallon than some of the newest cars in the class.

Smart ForTwo (2007-2014)
Typical price £2,676
Brand score 51%
Reviewed Jan 2004
Ride comfort:
3 out of 5
Boot & storage:
3 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

This lightweight, diesel-powered car managed an impressive mpg in our tests - city cars don’t get much smaller or more frugal.

Suzuki Celerio
Typical price £7,313
Brand score 40%
Reviewed Feb 2015
Don't buy
Ride comfort:
3 out of 5
Boot & storage:
4 out of 5
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (all claimed):
Member exclusive

It may have a weak engine but this city car at least manages to make your fuel go further.

How we test fuel economy

Our lab tests, carried out on a rolling road, include some of the same urban and extra-urban cycles as the official NEDC test, but we add some more demanding cycles, including one to simulate motorway driving. 

We also test cars in their default mode from start-up, rather than in an 'eco' or economy mode, with their air conditioning and radio on, lights on dipped beam, tyres inflated to road specification and with no items or components removed to reduce weight. 

Our testing is based on the cycles scheduled to replace the NEDC in 2017. 

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