In terms of buying a used car for economical reasons, you should expect a tradeoff of performance for high economy. However, some cars have good balance of both. Generally, hybrid models and eco-friendly diesel versions are found to be the most economical. You should expect stop/start engines and emissions below 100g/km as standard to achieve the best miles per gallon (mpg).
Here’s our list of the most economical used cars:
- Toyota Prius Hybrid 2009-2016
- Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi Econetic 2013-2017
- Vauxhall Corsa D 1.3 CDTi EcoFlex 2010-2017
- SEAT Ibiza ST 1.2 TDI Ecomotive 2010-2017
- Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion 2009-2017
- Honda Civic 1.6i-DTEC Diesel 2012-2017
Toyota Prius Hybrid 2009-2016
The Toyota Prius Hybrid version boasts an impressive official figure of 134.5 mpg. However, the real-life mpg should be around 70% as you will find with most ‘official figures’ which are difficult to achieve unless driving at unrealistically slow speeds. With no electric power remaining, the petrol engine does an equally impressive 78.5 mpg. The CO2 emissions are the lowest you’ll find at 89g/km and zero emissions when below 30km/h in EV mode. With a 5 star safety rating, the Toyota Prius won the title of ‘Most reliable car’ in the 2013 “Which?” survey.
The entry-level spec is good but you will need to upgrade for alloy wheels, BlueTooth and park assist. Some of this additional cost could be mitigated with the free road tax due to how green this car is.
Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic 2013-2017
If you are looking for an economical car that’s a great city drive and equally efficient on motorways then the Fiesta ECOnetic would be it. The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic’s design does not imply it’s a green car when compared to the Toyota Prius. It is, as you would expect well-built to Ford Fiesta’s usual standards. It promises good handling as well as a stop/start system for the engine.
The 95PS 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic diesel Fiesta is the greenest version within its range. In terms of fuel economy, the official figures are 85.6 mpg and 87 g/km in CO2 emissions.
Vauxhall Corsa D 1.3 CDTi EcoFlex 2010-2017
The Vauxhall Corsa D CDTi EcoFlex has excellent build quality. It has impressive green figures of 85.6 mpg for fuel economy and 94 g/km in emissions. The entry level specs are what you would expect, however the SXi and SRi models have much better specs which can include a Pioneer touch screen.
There are plenty of choices available in the used car market for the Vauxhall Corsa as it’s a popular choice in the UK. The resale value is about a third of the original price after 3 years so you can expect a good deal as a used car.
SEAT Ibiza ST 1.2 TDI Ecomotive 2010-2017
A stylish design is the main feature of the SEAT Ibiza ST Ecomotive which immediately catches your eye. It’s also a highly efficient and economical car boasting 80.7 mpg
and 92g/km in emissions. As you would expect, this car is also stop/start engine compatible. There is also a practical five door option available for larger families.
The standard spec features are not that impressive. However, there are plenty of extras available at an additional cost including rear electric windows, BlueTooth and climate control. So look out for any deals on the used car market that include these extras.
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDI BlueMotion 2009-2017
The Volkswagen Polo TDI BlueMotion is at the top of most people’s lists when it comes to an economical used car option. It claims official figures of 80.7 mpg and 94 g/km in emissions. If you want a green car but don’t want to compromise in the performance, you may not find a better used car.
It has a solid build quality, famous with Volkswagen models. This quality is reflected in the price as it’s more expensive than cheaper alternatives available. You would need high mileage to warrant a purchase of the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion if you are looking to save money in the long run. In spite of the expensive price, there are plenty of features offered as standard including BlueTooth, leather steering wheel and alloy wheels.
Honda Civic 1.6i-DTEC 2012-2017
The Honda Civic 1.6i-DTEC is a powerful car in terms of performance. It also makes our list for its economical performance with official figures of 78.5 mpg and 94g/km in emissions. You should expect to handle faster roads with ease. Its main competition is the VW Polo TDI BlueMotion and the Honda is found to be more spacious in comparison. The entry level SE version has plenty of kit including alloy wheels, climate control and electric windows. In terms of safety, the 5 star safety rating provides extra assurance if seeking a suitable family car.
In conclusion, this list should give you a reasonable idea of what you should expect for an economical used car. We have excluded electric versions, however the Nissan Leaf could also be a good option for short journeys.
For more used cars with great mpg ratings search on Carsnip.