Most economical cars 2016: the best choices on the market

Feb 15, 2016

Looking for a new car but worried about running costs? Here are five solid choices to chew over.

The cost of motoring, regardless of petrol prices, remains a key factor for many consumers when opting to buy a new car.

While some opt for an electric or plug-in hybrid model in a bid to lower the cost of getting from A to B, others find it isn't feasible to be dependent on cars without a support network as substantial as the UK's near 8,500 petrol stations.

Here are five cars that are reasonably priced and will go a long way between trips to the pumps.

Peugeot 208 1.6 Blue HDi

Auto Express lists the 208 1.6 Blue HDi as the most economical option if you don't want a hybrid or range extender.

Peugeot's latest engine range is focussed on efficiency and the 208 Blue's 1.6-litre diesel can achieve up to 94.1mpg on the combined cycle. Three engines are available, in 75bhp, 100bhp and 120bhp states of tune.

The 75bhp option does not come with the stop/start function specced as standard on the other models, but it does emit just 79g/km CO2 and is priced from £13,995 in "Access" trim.

Peugeot 308 Blue HDi

Perfect for those tempted by the figures of the 208 but in need of scaling up, the larger 308 Blue model also returns extremely impressive miles per gallon.

CarBuyer notes it has shed a considerable amount of weight compared to its 307 predecessor, not only making it cheaper to run but also fun to drive. The car has lost 308lbs, which, when tied to the efficiency engine, means it returns 91.1mpg and 82g/km of CO2 on a combined cycle with the 120bhp 1.6 model, which starts from £20,045 and is road-tax exempt.

Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CTDi ecoFlex

The most economical version of the Vauxhall Corsa – of which 92,077 were registered in the UK in 2015 – is the 1.3 CTDi ecoFlex model.

Is this spec, the 95bhp diesel-powered 1.3 Corsa will return 88.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 85g/km.

One of the real party pieces of the current generation Corsa is its price. The new model starts at just £8,995, undercutting some key rivals by four figures. However, the most economical choice comes at a premium. The 1.3 ecoFlex Corsa starts from £14,990 - a lot of money to fork out on a car starting from under nine grand.

Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi

The cheapest version of the 1.1 litre Kia Rio is priced from £12,245, but generates fuel consumption figures that "almost defy credibility", says the RAC.

The 74bhp three-cylinder diesel engine will see you get 88.3mpg and emit only 85g/km of CO2. And despite being a supermini, dimensions inside and boot space are impressive. It also has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and comes with the manufacturer's 100,000-mile seven-year warranty.

It's a sensible choice on paper but despite a fairly cheap price and low running costs, the entry level version of the Rio 1.1 CRDi has been criticised for not quite matching up to its rivals in terms of equipment. Maybe the best choice for those on a tight budget.

Ford Fiesta ECOnetic

Auto Express proclaims the Fiesta ECOnetic to be a great choice for motorists who want good economy without compromising on driving fun. The 1.5-litre TDCi ECOnetic version posts 85.6mpg and 87g/km CO2.

The Fiesta often comes out top of polls regarding the best driving C-Segment hatchbacks and Auto Express says the ECOnetic "retains the brilliant driving dynamics that have helped make the Fiesta a consistent top seller over the years".

The entry level ECOnetic fiesta is the 1.5 "Style" with 95bhp and stop/start technology as standard. It starts from £15,195.

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