These are the Most Fuel Efficient Cars Right Now

Car 3 min read

19 Nov 2019

When you’re buying a car for the first time, its running costs, specifically fuel, should be right at the top of your checklist. The price of fuel has not varied a huge amount recently, and is unlikely to go down any time soon. The good news is that there are more and more fuel efficient cars becoming available.

Electric cars are of course the most fuel efficient cars on the road right now. What you’ll spend on charging an electric car is minimal. (Check out our blog for more on the savings you can make with an electric car).

However, the current, upfront cost of buying an electric car for might be off-putting if you’re a first time buyer.
Plug-in and self-charging hybrids are another fantastic option if you’re looking for the most fuel efficient car you can get your hands on.

We’ve put together a sample of the most fuel efficient cars right now that might suit a first time car buyer. No list would be complete without electric cars, but we’ve tried to feature the more affordable models for you.

Ford Fiesta Hatchback – Diesel & Petrol

First up is the Ford Fiesta 84bhp (brake horse power) 1.5 litre hatchback. This is one of the most fuel-efficient diesel cars at the moment. Added bonus: its CO2 emissions are pretty low at 96g/km, making it cheaper for you to tax. So you’ll be doing your bit for the planet and saving cash while motoring around in your new wheels! Manufacturers say it returns up to 60.1mpg (miles per gallon). Ideal for anyone covering more than 19,000 km a year.

If you’ll be driving less than that, you might prefer the 1.1 litre petrol engine model. It delivers 84bhp and 48.7mpg.

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Skoda Octavia Hatchback – Diesel & Petrol

The spacious Skoda Octavia is another highly fuel-efficient car. The smallest diesel engine on one of these spacious, value-for-money cars is the 1.6 litre. This will give you 113bhp at 58.9mpg. If you want something more powerful (but slightly less economical), the 2.0 litre returns close to 55mpg.

The petrol engine options – a 114bhp 1.0 litre and 148bhp 1.5 litre – return 50mpg. Which is also pretty economical. The added bonus again is lower emissions and cheaper motor tax.

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Volkswagen Polo – Petrol

The newer model of the popular Volkswagen Polo features a turbocharged TSI engine delivering 94bhp and 50.4 mpg. Its low CO2 emissions of 105g/km contributes to its affordability. And also get it on the most fuel efficient car list for the first time buyer.

Toyota Yaris - Self-Charging Hybrid

Toyota’s Yaris is one of the more affordable hybrids on the market right now. Its 1.5 litre hybrid engine is self-charging, delivering you 85.6mpg, easily making it one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market. (You can see how this compares with the mpg delivery from the petrol and diesel engines). The Yaris is an ideal city car, and easy to manoeuvre into those tight parking spaces (for those among us not blessed with the parallel parking prowess!).

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Toyota Prius – Self Charging Hybrid

The Prius, while more costly than the Yaris and a larger, roomier car, is named in numerous motoring reviews as the most fuel efficient self-charging hybrid car right now. Its 1.8 litre engine delivers 94.1 mpg. Manufacturers say it’s 40% more efficient than segment competitors.

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Renault Zoe – Electric

The Zoe is perhaps the most affordable electric car in Ireland at the moment. The most affordable model is the Expression Nav.  It’s small and zippy and very handy for city driving. The battery is surprisingly big enough to give it a decent range.  Its 41KWH (Kilo Watt Hour) battery should deliver approx. 200 kilometres in favourable driving conditions according to manufacturers. (Less in colder temperatures).

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Nissan Leaf – Electric

The Nissan Leaf is Europe’s top selling electric car at the moment. And with good reason. There are two versions. The 40KWH Leaf which will give you 270 kilometres according to manufacturers. Or the 60 KWH which will give up to 385 kilometres. Again, these ranges are dependent on favourable weather conditions.

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Remember, the government’s climate action plan pledges to ban the sale of diesel-only and petrol-only cars from 2030 onwards. Just something to bear in mind when choosing your engine type.

And if you need help with sorting out finance for your car purchase, talk to your local credit union about their no-fuss, affordable loans.

*The mpg is a measure of how far a car can travel with one gallon of diesel or petrol in the tank. The KWH is the most commonly unit for measuring electricity usage in electric vehicles.