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2013's 58mpg Heroes

By raccars Published

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Along with previewing what the coming year has in store, now is a time to reflect upon the year that has just passed. There were a number of brilliant new releases last year, across a broad spectrum of styles, budgets and market segments. The cars listed below all stand out for one thing: superior fuel economy. In real world tests, all managed to surpass 58mpg. Family sized diesel motors, MPVs and petrol electric hybrid models were the top performers.

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC

Real world testing with a result of 66.4mpg may not match up to the manufacturer's reported 78.5mpg but is still rewardingly efficient. This is more of a practical family vehicle, boasting a massive boot, than a driver's car, as the ride is less than silky smooth.

Dacia Sandero 1.5 dCi 90

The Sandero is not only one of the cheapest cars to buy in the UK but is equally economical on running costs. The official figure of 74.3mpg is more like 61.7mpg in real life, and if you're happy with back to basics, no frills competence at an attractive price, you can't go wrong here.

Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi Ecoflex

In technical and design terms, this is a dated model and is satisfactory rather than outstanding in any category, but it does well in terms of fuel economy, returning 61.4 real world mpg versus the 85.6mpg official figure.

Hyundai i20 1.1 CRDi

This is a very well appointed little car for its sub-£12,000 purchase price and is comfortable and practical rather than thrilling. This model gets 61.1mpg rather than the reported 74.3mpg but the 1.2 litre petrol version may represent a better purchase for many buyers.

Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90

As an all rounder, the Clio lags behind market segment leaders such as the Ford Fiesta, but it is more economical than the competition, averaging 60.1mpg in the real world, against Renault's stated 78.5mpg.

Lexus IS 300h

Notably lacking any diesel variant in its range, this hybrid is a high quality and economical option, particularly for company car buyers – although a bit of diesel style torque delivery would be welcome. However, for some 59.6mpg (officially 64.2mpg), will make up for slightly lacklustre performance.

Citroen C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi Airdream

If there's anything to criticise here, it's the rather unengaging driving experience, as otherwise this ticks every box an MPV should. It's spacious, practical, stylish and returns 59.4mpg in the real world. Citroen claims 70.6mpg.

Consider also the Fiat 500L at 58.9mpg and the Toyota Auris Touring Sports at 58.7mpg.

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