Top City Cars for Fuel Efficiency and Low Emissions

The Green Car Guide to the lowest emission and most economical city cars on sale in the UK today. We list our top fuel-efficient city cars in diesel, petrol and electric categories, updating the rankings on a regular basis. Each car is road tested by the Green Car Guide team and the reviews contain fuel economy, emissions, VED and BIK data.

Petrol City Cars

First place

The new 500 is essentially a shortened Fiat Panda at a higher price Fiat 500 TwinAir  60.2 mpg (WLTP)

Fiat has been working on its TwinAir concept for some time and the fuel-saving results are excellent. You may be thinking at this point that all this efficiency will come at the cost of performance, but you would be wrong.

Second place

Suzuki Celerio 80x53 Suzuki Celerio 58.8 mpg (WLTP)

The Suzuki Celerio is very economical with 58.8 mpg, and not bad to drive – it’s just somewhat behind rivals in terms of styling.

Third place

peugeot-108-001-80x53Citroen C1, Peugeot 108, Toyota Aygo 57.3 mpg (WLTP)

The new Citroen C1/Peugeot 108/Toyota Aygo (all based on the same platform) move things on from the last generation car in a number of areas including exterior and interior design, and fuel economy. They remain keenly priced and fun to drive.

Fourth place

The up! may have comedy model names but this is a serious little car Volkswagen up! Take up! 1.0 S/S 54.8 mpg (WLTP)

The new 3-cylinder engine is key to the up!’s excellent fuel economy and packaging. Its diminutive size allows the engine bay to be shortened leaving more room for people and luggage and keeping the overall weight admirably low.

Fifth place

Hyundai i10 1.0 S 50.4 mpg (WLTP)

The i1o may not be as cheap as it once was, but it is a great all rounder with very low running costs and a free revving normally aspirated 3 cylinder engine helping it to stand out from the crowd. It has to be on your shortlist.

Sixth place

smart fortwosmart fortwo 1.0 90 hp  49.6 mpg (WLTP)

The smart fortwo is very cleverly designed and excels in the urban jungle. Just make sure you can live with two seats and the reassuringly expensive list price.


Electric City Cars

First place

smart fortwo ED 

The fortwo ED is brilliantly suited to the urban environment, great fun to drive and in the context of electric city cars it is sensibly priced too. Due to its size it does have a limited range and only two seats but if it fits into your life it is a great city car.


smart forfour ED

If you like the idea of the fortwo ED but can’t live with two seats, the forfour could be for you. It offers more space for minimal extra cash but disappointingly you don’t get any more electric range. In fact as it gets the same battery but weighs more the range is very slightly reduced!

Second place

Volkswagen e-up! Volkswagen e-up!

The Volkswagen e-up! is a conventional up! with an electric powertrain. It’s better to drive than the regular up! in our opinion, and one really good feature is the ability adjust the level of braking regeneration. Just make sure you can live with the short electric range.

Third place

We think that Renault should be applauded for putting the Twizy into production Renault Twizy

The Twizy is electric, rear-wheel drive, has two seats and not much else. Even doors are on the options list and if you specify them you don’t get any windows, so weather protection is minimal.

Fourth place

Mitsubishi i-MiEV/Peugeot iOn/Citroen C-Zero Peugeot iOn/Citroen C-Zero

The Peugeot/Citroen models are a welcome addition to the electric market. They feel solid and the clever design means that they are practical too, with no loss of interior space and a genuine four adult capacity.

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