Most economical family cars to buy in 2019

Hybrid power and efficient engines mean low running costs for the most economical family cars on sale now

BuyaCar team
Oct 29, 2019

A family car is not just something you can fit your family in. Although that helps, it needs to be more than that. A family car needs to be practical, it needs to be manageable around town and it needs to be cost effective and efficient. Most cars nowadays, whether it's larger hatchbacks, saloons, estate cars or SUVs are all capable of taking a family of four or five on a 50-mile journey from A to B, but there are much less of them that do so while also offering genuinely affordable running costs.

Mainstream manufacturers like Ford, Honda and Volkswagen are busy developing increasingly impressive hybrid power units that work to decrease a car's dependency on fuel and also reduce their output of emissions.

Most efficient of these new hybrid modesls are plug-in hybrids, with large battery packs that can be charged up to power the car, either alongside the standard petrol engine or exlusively with electricity. In both instances, this will reduce the pressure on the combustion engine and greatly improve fuel economy (mpg) and therefore reduce the amount of money you spend on the burnable stuff. Their act of reducing exhaust emissions is also hugey beneficial to your wallet as a lower g/km of CO2 figure will also substantially reduce the cost of road tax.

That said, there are still plenty of conventional family cars with excellent fuel economy and decent emissions figures. The most efficient of these will be powered by diesel engines, but they have been rather scapegoated for their emissions in recent time so the cost of tax alongside additional charges for diesel cars will negatively affect their running costs.


All the models we have listed below are current, so they comply with the latest and toughest emissions standards. This means that they will avoid future inner-city emission charges, and they should prove to be very economical cars indeed. 

Read on for our pick of the eight best economical family cars.

Most economical family cars

1. Hyundai Ioniq

Our pick Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GDi Premium
Latest deals from £14,000
Monthly finance from £186
Fuel economy
CO2 Emissions 84g/km

2. Toyota Prius

Our pick Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i Active Auto
Fuel economy 94.2mpg
CO2 emissions 70g/km

3. Ford Focus

Our pick Ford Focus 1.5 EcoBlue 120hp Titanium 
Latest deals from £7,599
Monthly finance from £140
Fuel economy 80.7mpg
CO2 emissions 93g/km

4. Honda Civic

Our pick Honda Civic Saloon 1.6 120hp i-DTEC SE
Latest deals from £14,291
Monthly finance from £216
Fuel economy 62.8mpg
CO2 emissions 93g/km

5. Kia Niro

Our pick Kia Niro 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh 141hp 6-speed DCT 2
Latest deals from £13,999
Monthly finance from £200
Fuel economy 76.3mpg
CO2 emissions 86g/km

6. Mitsubishi Outlander

Our pick Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.0 Juro Leather Auto
Latest deals from £12,850
Monthly finance from £212
Fuel economy 156.9mpg
CO2 emissions 40g/km

7. Volvo XC60

Our pick Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine Inscription
Fuel economy 60mpg
CO2 emissions 52g/km

8. Mini Countryman

Our pick Mini Countryman PHEV ALL4 Cooper S E
Fuel economy 141.2mpg
CO2 emissions 43g/km


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