Source= http://cars.uk.msn.com/greenmotoring/ar … id=1379476
MSN wrote:The mainstream production car that averages over 70mpg is now a reality. Here, we've looked at the 10 most economical cars on sale in Britain - and know what? Not a single one does less than 65 to the gallon...
* GALLERY: the 10 most economical cars on sale
SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive, 74.3mpg
SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive (Image © SEAT)
The Spanish company's tidy three-door supermini shoots straight to the top of our fuel-efficiency chart, courtesy of well-judged aero mods and an incredibly economical 1.4-litre turbodiesel engine. Gear ratios normally seen on intercontinental trains, plus tweaks here and there to reduce friction, boost economy to a remarkable 74.3mpg. Yet don't think it's slug-like. It still hits 60mph in 12.8 seconds and goes on to 109mph. When has economical driving ever been this satisfying? It even gets air con as standard, for £10,995 all-in. The Ibiza will be replaced in 2008, so there's even potential there to haggle dealers down from that bargain-tastic list price.
* More images of the SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive from Live Search
Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion, 74.3mpg
Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion (Image © VW)
The Polo achieves exactly the same fuel returns as the SEAT, and also beat it to market. So why isn't it top? Because of the small matter of over £1k extra on the asking price. And a lack of standard air con. Yes, we know it's a Volkswagen, and it has better-quality plastics inside, and a keyfob that shopkeepers in Mayfair won't get sniffy about. But really, they're the same car underneath, and feel little different to drive. Fuel economy is just as much about saving money as it is about saving cash: therefore, if the Polo is for you, hot-foot it right down to your local SEAT dealer.
* Driven: VW Polo Bluemotion
* Watch the video roadtest of the VW Polo Bluemotion
MINI Cooper D, 72.4mpg
MINI Cooper D (Image © BMW)
BMW's EfficientDynamics programme has extended down to the MINI with dramatic effect. It's now the most economical car the company produces, with 72.4mpg attainable from its 1.6-litre diesel engine. Tricks such as automatically turning off (oh, and restarting) the engine at traffic lights help here, but don't think the MINI has become a dullard because of them. It's well up for the traffic light GP, too; courtesy of 110bhp, it's able to hit 60mph in 9.9 seconds. We know, this does nothing for fuel economy, but MINI driving's inevitably as much about fun as it is about fuel economy.
* Driven: Mini Cooper D
MINI Clubman Cooper D, 68.9mpg
MINI Clubman Cooper D (Image © BMW)
The Clubman is one of the coolest things in town. And while it can't match its dinkier, lighter baby brother for fuel efficiency, it's still way beyond anything you could achieve in most other cars. The diesel engine officially averages just under 69mpg here - and this time, you can realistically bring along two mates in the back and a decent amount of luggage, too. No, it's still not Tardis-like, but the added extra space means it's a much more useful machine, while the green status it commands means that following fashion needn't be a jet-engined flight of environmental fancy.
* Driven: Mini Clubman
* Watch the video roadtest of the Mini Clubman
Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo 1.4 HDi, 68.9mpg
Citroen C1 (Image © Citroen)
These tiny cars are, when fitted with PSA’s (Peugeot/Citroen’s parent company) 1.4-litre HDi diesel, officially the most fuel-efficient in the UK. The only problem is that this diesel engine isn’t available in the similar Peugeot 107. Anyway, they’ll cover no less than 68.9 miles for each gallon of fuel – that’s twice the distance a 2.0 Seat Leon can do, and four times what an Aston Martin DB9 is capable of. And they won’t be miserable miles, either. The city cars handle well and beg to be chucked into corners, while the stylish cabin is minimalist, not cheap. Indeed, the only problem is their steep £1,000 cost over the 61.4mpg-capable petrol, which is a nicer engine to use. If total economy isn’t everything, we’d save the cash and take the petrol over the HDi.
* Driven: Citroen C1
* Driven: Toyota Aygo
Citroen C2 1.4 HDi, 68.9mpg
Citroen C2 (Image © Citroen)
Those who find the C1 and Aygo too compact needn’t feel left out. A car with exactly the same economy (but slightly higher CO2 emissions) is available. And, in the mad world of Citroen cashback deals, for less outlay. It’s a supermini but strictly a four-seater, that feels more planted but is a little less fun to drive than the C1. No matter. Instead, drop on a bodykit and some 21-inch wheels, darken the glass and screw in a kick-ass stereo system, to become the greenest, cleanest boy racer in the land. We’re sure, with a cunningly-fitted turbo wastegate bypass, it will even sound hornier than the 1.4 petrol you’d otherwise buy…
* Driven: Citroen C2 VTS HDI
* Used C2 diesels from £4,295
Fiat 500 MultiJet, 67.3mpg
Fiat 500 (Image © Fiat)
Like the MINI, Fiat's fantastic 500 is another must-have car - which proves that following fashion doesn't always have to cost the earth. And we don't just mean literally. Not only does it, in 1.3-litre diesel guise, average 67.3mpg, it is also available for just £9,300 on the road. Throw in the opportunity to bedeck the interior with a catalogue store full of jewellery and city centres are all but guaranteed to be packed with the things. Which makes it all the more admirable that Fiat's endowed it with such efficiency. For once, substance as well as style.
* Driven: Fiat 500
Fiat Panda 1.3 MultiJet, 65.7mpg
Fiat Panda (Image © Fiat)
In Italy, everyone drives flat-out on the Autostrada, two inches from the rear bumper of the car in front. At least with a Panda diesel (which, if your eyes are at all open, you’ll spot in Italy), Fiat’s giving them the opportunity to do this more efficiently. Even if they’ll still be a long way from the official 65.7mpg average. A five-door city car that’s surprisingly spacious, with a pleasant ‘big car’ feel, the very fact that it’s Italian means it’s a cool little thing too. And the gem of an engine makes you suffer for such frugality not one jot.
* Driven: Fiat Panda diesel
* Used Fiat Panda diesels from £4,699
Mazda 2 TD, 65.7mpg
Mazda 2 (Image © Mazda)
Mazda designed the current 2 supermini to be lightweight and fuel efficient. Courtesy of a diesel engine shared with Ford, Peugeot and Citroen, the claims bear out: 65.7mpg is pretty impressive for a standard five-door supermini that's yours for £9,500. It also looks, to our eyes, really good, while the sporty, taut chassis makes it a blast to drive. Mazda engineering means bombproof build and the ability to withstand the merciless rigours of city-centre motoring without batting an eyelid, too; the interior may look and feel plasticky, but it won't fall apart around you.
* Driven: Mazda 2
* Watch the video roadtest of the Mazda 2
Toyota Prius, 65.7mpg
Toyota Prius (Image © Toyota)
All that technology and expense, and the best Toyota can do is third? Yes, but hold on. Unlike any other car here, the Prius is a family-sized model. And is fitted with a petrol engine, not a diesel. And is a hybrid, so in town can run on electric power alone, therefore using no fuel at all. That’s clever, and it’s admirable Toyota has brought the technology to market and made it a commercial success out of it. It’s partly thanks to this car (and its celeb endorsement) that Americans are taking fuel efficiency seriously, and long may it continue. In two decades, we’ll be marking this as a very significant car indeed.
Now why do Americans get screwed? The only one open to Americans is the Prius and that thing definately does not get 65 mpg, maybe 43 if you drive it perfectly. Why can't these come to America NOW?! Just paid nearly 5 bucks a gallon at COSTCO! I totally want that VW
Last edited by SealXo (2008-06-24 17:41:57)