Top 10: Most economical diesel Real MPG cars

Real MPG doesn’t just show how accurate (or inaccurate) official fuel economy figures can be in real world driving – it also reveals which cars are the most genuinely efficient.

We’ve crunched the numbers to find out which cars currently on sale deliver the best MPG in everyday driving according to owners. As Real MPG is a live database, these figures are likely to change. We have also used a minimum of 50 submissions.


Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 - 62.1mpg

While the Clio may be the elder statesman among small hatchbacks, having first been launched in 2013, it's proving to be economical when fitted with Renault's trusty 1.5 dCi engine. True, 90PS doesn't make it a ball of fire, but if you want outright diesel economy, this is where to look.

See Real MPG for the Renault Clio


Citroen C4 Cactus 1.6 BlueHDi 100 - 61.7mpg

French manufacturers have a long history of producing frugal diesels, so it's little surprise to see a Citroen here, second to a Renault. The C4 Cactus may have recently been given a facelift (and isn't quite as interesting to look at minus the air bumps) but you can still get it with the same economical BlueHDi engine, returning more than 60mpg in real world driving.

See Real MPG for the Citroen C4 Cactus


BMW 320d EfficientDynamics - 59.0mpg

This is perhaps the biggest surprise in this list. While BMW has done much with its EfficientDynamics models, it's impressive that the 320d sits so high here, with a Real MPG figure of close to 60mpg. Go for the automatic and economy only drops slightly to around 57mpg, making this, for our money, the best long distance car for fuel economy.

See Real MPG for the BMW 3 Series


Volvo V40 D2 - 58.4mpg

Although it may be approaching the end of its shelf life with a new version due in 2019, the ageing V40 is proving exceptionally economical, particularly when fitted with the D2 engine and manual gearbox. The 2.0-litre diesel has enough get up and go with 120PS yet it's the real world economy of more than 58mpg which is the real attraction. 

See Real MPG for the Volvo V40


SEAT Leon 1.6 TDI 105 - 58.5mpg

The Leon is the first of three cars from the Volkswagen Group here, proving that while it may be having some serious issues with emissions, owners are still seeing decent economy figures. The older 1.6 TDI 105 engine features here, although the newer 110 version is actually proving more economical. The only reason it doesn't feature here is that no variant has more than 50 submissions as yet.

See Real MPG for the SEAT Leon


Honda HR-V 1.6 i-DTEC - 58.3mpg

The first crossover to feature is not surprisingly a Honda. The Japanese manufacturer has always performed well in Real MPG with lots of happy owners. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that this wasn't higher in the ratings, although 58.3mpg in every day driving is still an impressive economy figure.

See Real MPG for the Honda HR-V


Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 110 - 58.0mpg

Hot on the heels of the SEAT Leon is its counterpart the Volkswagen Golf. The model performing best is the newer 110PS version of the 1.6-litre TDI engine which may not be the quietest around, but is certainly proving to me usefully economical with owners seeing 58mpg. Like the Leon, there are certain engines with better economy figures, but with less than 50 submissions to date, hence why they aren't included here as yet.

See Real MPG for the Volkswagen Golf


BMW 116d EfficientDynamics - 57.5mpg

The ageing BMW remains a popular choice thanks to numerous updates and facelifts. But while there's an almost baffling number of engines that have been fitted over the years, it's - not unsurprisingly - the 116d EfficientDynamics that has proved the most economical. Thanks to the eco-friendly changes, including low-rolling resistance tyres, owners are seeing more than 57mpg, while the standard 116d isn't far behind.

See Real MPG for the BMW 1 Series


Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI 105 - 57.4mpg

Comfortable, stress-free to drive and very practical, the Octavia is one of our favourite family hatchbacks and good value too. It's also proving economical with the 1.6 TDI 105 engine, although the figures suggest that it won't be too long before newer 110 version of the same engine leapfrogs it.

See Real MPG for the Skoda Octavia


Dacia Sandero Stepway 1.5 dCi - 57.0mpg

Both the standard Sandero and the more 'rugged' Stepway model are proving good on fuel when fitted with Renault's 1.5 dCi engine - the same unit that features at number one in the list in the Clio. Surprisingly, we've had more submissions for the Stepway, hence why it's here rather than the plain Sandero. Cheap to buy and cheap to run, it's easy to see why Dacia has made such a name for itself in the UK.

See Real MPG for the Dacia Sandero Stepway