Most Economical Family Cars in the UK
The Beating Spirit to the most economical and lowest emission family cars on sale in the UK today. We list, road-test and compare the best eco-friendly family cars in diesel, petrol, hybrid and extended-range electric vehicle categories, with full spec reviews and fuel efficiency data.
The list is updated on a monthly basis as new models are released and following our regular road tests where we give the vehicles a full work-out under realistic driving conditions.
Diesel and Hybrid Family Cars
Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI CR 88.3 mpg
The Skoda Octavia range now includes a Greenline model which has an official combined economy figure of 88.3mpg along with emissions of 85g/km CO2.
The DS5 is the first Citroen to use the Hybrid4 system. It is deceptively simple, combining a highly efficient 2-litre diesel engine driving the front wheels with a compact electric motor which drives the rear.
Peugeot 508 HYbrid4 80.7 mpg
The Peugeot 508 HYbrid4 achieves an incredible 78.5 mpg. It has a 2-litre diesel engine mated to a battery and electric motor which results in low emissions and high fuel economy in the official European test cycle.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 68.9 mpg
The new C-Class is more efficient than the last model, however you have to be careful about your wheel and tyre choice to achieve low emissions and correspondingly low Benefit in Kind rates.
BMW 320d ED 68.9 mpg
The 3 Series blends fun with environmental responsibility better than any rival. When combined with one of the most communicative and adjustable chassis in any saloon car and excellent fuel economy it is going to take a lot to topple the 3 Series from the top of the tree.
Toyota Prius 1.8 litre VVT-i 72.4 mpg
The 3rd generation Prius delivers more performance and outstanding CO2 emissions. It is a very persuasive package. The engine size increases to 1.8 litres to deliver better high speed fuel consumption and better performance. The electric motor is 20% more powerful too.
Lexus IS 300h 65.7 mpg
The Lexus IS 300h is one of the best sub-100 g/km CO2 cars to drive, with rear-wheel drive, a 2.5-litre petrol engine, and of course an electric motor.
Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI 86 ps S 55.4 mpg
Yes the Skoda Rapid has remarkable similarities with the SEAT Toledo, because there is much development- and parts-sharing going on, but 55.4mpg is not to be sniffed at.
SEAT Toledo 1.2 TSI 105 ps S 56.5 mpg
56.5mpg is impressive from a petrol engine, even if the SEAT Toledo is a somewhat predictable Volkswagen Group derivative.
Extended-Range Electric Family Cars
Vauxhall Ampera 235.4 mpg
The Ampera – or Chevrolet Volt – is a landmark car. Vauxhall doesn’t like it to be called a hybrid because it is an extended-range electric vehicle. Practically this means that there is no mechanical connection between the petrol engine and the wheels, instead it is always powered by an electric motor.
Toyota Prius Plug-in 134.5 mpg
With the Prius Plug-in thanks to the Prius mechanicals, fuel economy is also excellent when you run out of electric range.