Cars that can do more than 60mpg

Hoping for minuscule fuel bills? One of these 60mpg+ cars could be perfect for you - whether you're after a hatchback, coupe, SUV or saloon

James Wilson
Jul 25, 2022

If you want to cut your fuel bills to a minimum - without having to spend an enormous amount on a new car - models that have an official fuel economy figure of more than 60mpg should be high on your shopping list.

They are three main types that are worth looking at; small petrol-powered cars, larger diesel models and petrol-electric hybrid cars. Hybrids suit some drivers but not others, so it's worth thinking about whether the driving you do would get the most from a hybrid.

There are two main types of hybrid - traditional and plug-in versions, also known as PHEVs. Both offer high official fuel economy figures, with some PHEVs, on paper, being able to achieve more than 200mpg. As a small, economical car like a Ford Fiesta with a frugal 1.0-litre petrol engine will get around 50mpg with gentle driving, this may sound crazy to you. However, there's a catch.

To get anywhere near the official figures for a plug-in hybrid, you must charge the battery regularly and ideally do lots of short journeys - so as much of your driving as possible is done on electric power, which limits how much petrol or diesel the car burns.

Typically, plug-in hybrids have an electric range of 20-40 miles from a full battery and as soon as this is depleted, the petrol or diesel engine is relied upon and has the additional weight of an electric motor and heavy battery to carry around, with little electric assistance - which can result in surprisingly poor fuel economy.

Why do plug-in hybrids have such sky-high mpg figures then? Simple, the official test for fuel economy is based around the best-case scenario for a PHEV; assuming the car starts with a full battery and covers a short distance. If that sounds like the type of driving you do and you'll regularly recharge the car, a PHEV could be perfect.

Meanwhile, if you do a reasonable amount of town driving and don't do much on the motorway and aren't able to charge at home easily, going for a conventional hybrid could be a good move, as these are typically pretty efficient around town. On the other hand, if you do lots of long, high-speed journeys, you'd be better off with a diesel if you cover lots of miles or a petrol model if you don't.

When looking at fuel economy figures, often ‘WLTP’ and ‘NEDC’ will crop up. These are the names of the last two fuel economy test formats. WLTP refers to the newer test procedure and will be closer to what drivers achieve in the real world. 

Is 60mpg good? Cars that can do 60mpg

1. Toyota Aygo

Our pick Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i X-Trend
Used deals from £5,600
Monthly finance from £112*

Small cars that cost pennies to run don’t come much better than the Toyota Aygo. You could argue that the Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 are as good as the Toyota because, underneath the different bodywork, they are actually the same car. A handy option if you like the sound of the Aygo but aren’t sure about its styling.

One thing you can be sure of is the small petrol engine that powers the Aygo. This is very economical and promises over 60mpg. The engine is helped by how light the Toyota is, as a lack of weight means less fuel is needed to move the car.

This lightness also helps the Aygo to be very easy to drive, with light steering that makes manoeuvring in tight spaces a doddle. The Aygo also qualifies for very low insurance groups, which can keep annual premiums down, too - and for this reason, the Aygo is popular with new drivers.

TOYOTA AYGO BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Renault Clio

Renault Clio front view

Our pick Renault Clio 1.6 E-Tech S Edition
Used deals from £11,990
Monthly finance from £186*

The latest Renault Clio is the best version of the French hatchback yet. It feels better built, it comes with better equipment and thanks to the introduction of hybrid technology, it has better fuel economy. What’s not to love? From the driver’s seat, not a lot. Driving the Clio is enjoyable, too. It isn’t as much fun for keen drivers as the Ford Fiesta when it comes to zipping around corners, but it is still pleasant to drive for those who simply want to get from A to B.

Otherwise, driving the Clio is a comfortable affair. Hybrid models are the ones to go for in the pursuit of strong economy and they are also the best option for easy motoring. This is because they come with an automatic gearbox - as nearly all hybrid cars do - so there is no need to think about changing gears or worrying about stalling.

RENAULT CLIO BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Skoda Karoq

Our pick Skoda Karoq 1.6 TDI SE Technology
Used deals from £14,000
Monthly finance from £201*

It wasn't that long ago when Skoda didn’t make any SUVs. Now though, the Czech brand is one of the leaders in practical SUVs with the Karoq being its mid-size offering. This means the Karoq competes with alternatives like the Kia Sportage and comes with seating for five. The boot is impressively large, with plenty of space for luggage, pets, flat pack furniture - you name it. As for fuel, models with the 1.6-litre diesel engine promise to be the most economical.

If you are planning on using the Karoq as a family car, there are two Isofix mounts present, on the two outer rear seats. When it comes to equipment, the Karoq is generally well specified and its touchscreen media system is very easy to use thanks to sharp graphics and a responsive screen. Much like with other cars on this list, if you don’t like how the screen operates, there is the option of mirroring your smartphone using either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

SKODA KAROQ BUYERS' GUIDE

4. BMW X5

Our pick BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport
Used deals from £30,995
Monthly finance from £590*

Large SUVs like the BMW X5 are very desirable but often the running costs are not, with extremely high fuel bills being par for the course. After all, these are some of the biggest and heaviest cars on the road, which often have particularly powerful engines, so you'd expect them to burn a lot of fuel.

A way to potentially reduce the running costs of a large SUV is to opt for a plug-in hybrid version, like the BMW X5 xDrive45e. This is a four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid model, so you should be able to get more than 60mpg from it - if you charge it regularly.

With a fully charged battery, the plug-in hybrid X5 is claimed to be capable of 50 miles of electric driving, which is more than most plug-in hybrids. Even considering that the range will be less in the real world (as particularly low or high temperatures can reduce the range, as can hills, traffic, fast driving and other factors), an electric range this long could prove very handy and should be enough to ensure the overwhelming majority of journeys can be undertaken without a single drop of fuel being burnt. Impressive.

BMW X5 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Lexus IS

Our pick Lexus IS 300h Advance
Used deals from £15,400
Monthly finance from £327*

Lexus didn’t let great fuel economy get in the way of style with its IS, as its rather angular design helps the Japanese saloon stand out against alternatives such as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Inside things are more conservative but the build quality is excellent, and if past history of Lexus cars is anything to go by, then the IS will prove to be very reliable indeed.

The IS uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine as part of a traditional hybrid system - which doesn't need plugging in - and although a larger engine can often mean poor fuel economy that is far from the case here. Happily, if you like speedy cars, feels relatively nippy for a 60mpg car.

You won’t be accelerating faster than the best sports cars here, but put your foot down and the Lexus will pick up speed with some gusto. Not that this is what Lexus has designed the IS to do, as it excels as a comfortable, refined and economical car to cruise around in.

LEXUS IS BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mercedes C-Class

Our pick Mercedes C220d Coupe Sport
Used deals from £17,290
Monthly finance from £299*

Who would have thought that you could drive a Mercedes C-Class Coupe with an official fuel economy figure of more than 60mpg? Well, you can, thanks to models such as the C220d Sport. What’s more, the C-Class Coupe's sleek styling means that this is an economical car that doesn't make it look like you're economising at all.

Compared to smaller coupes like the Audi TT, access to the rear seats is quite good in the C-Class. Additionally, while space is somewhat restricted back there, even adults should be able to cope on shorter trips - just don’t go planning a cruise from London to Edinburgh without expecting to stop regularly on the way.

Should you plan an adventure, the C-Class Coupe comes with a 400-litre boot, which is actually more than you get in practical hatchbacks like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. There is a catch, though, and that is the shape of the boot access. Where the Focus and Golf have a large square opening to load luggage, the C-Class has more of a letterbox shaped opening, which is much less practical.

MERCEDES C-CLASS COUPE BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Skoda Octavia

Our pick Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI vRS DSG
Used deals from £13,795
Monthly finance from £246*

Skoda makes some fantastically practical and easy-to-live-with cars. One such model is the Octavia, which is an alternative to cars like the Seat Leon and Peugeot 308. There are hatchback and estate models to choose from, but whichever you go for, there is plenty of cargo space available. Plus, the seats are comfortable and there is ample room for adults in the back - one of the reasons Octavias are very popular with taxi drivers.

That said, we aren’t focusing on taxi-friendly models here. Instead, we are looking at high-performance vRS versions, which are amongst the fastest cars in the Skoda range. The diesel models are very impressive, as they can accelerate as fast as some sporty cars yet come with an official fuel economy figure in excess of 60mpg.

For the most recent generation of Octavia, Skoda introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the vRS, too, but used versions are more expensive and rarer, so the diesel version seems like the better value choice for now.

SKODA OCTAVIA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Seat Leon

Our pick Seat Leon 1.4 eHybrid FR
Used deals from £22,299
Monthly finance from £364*

The Seat Leon is based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia. This is because Seat, Volkswagen and Skoda are all part of the same conglomerate. Each brand has its own strengths and Seat often shines for being the more youthful option and this holds true with the latest Leon thanks to its somewhat sporty styling and modern interior.

With a full battery, the plug-in hybrid Leon is claimed to be able to travel up to 40 miles using its battery alone, which is a decent figure for a relatively affordable PHEV. Being that plug-in hybrids have much smaller batteries than fully electric cars, the Leon will only take around six hours to charge using a regular wall socket.

However, if you are going down the plug-in hybrid route, you can still get a wall-mounted charger fitted, which will save you charging time - typically bringing a full charge down to a couple of hours.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SEAT LEON PHEV

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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