The Green Car Guide to the lowest emission and most economical city cars on sale in the UK today. We list our top fuel-efficent city cars in diesel, petrol and electric categories.
Diesel City Cars
Fiat 500 1.3 16v Multijet Pop 76.3 mpg
Fiat has nailed the styling by combining key features of the original with a modern twist which allows the 500 to look uniquely retro and yet bang up to date all at the same time.
Fiat Panda 1.3 MultiJet Pop 72.4 mpg
The Panda shares the 1.3-litre diesel engine with the 500. As a result, fuel economy is terrific but the extra weight of the larger Panda means that it is slightly slower.
Petrol City Cars
Fiat 500 TwinAir 70.6 mpg
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’d be wrong.
Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir Easy Dualogic 68.9 mpg
The award winning TwinAir engine is once again the key to excellent fuel economy. You do have to drive very, very carefully to get near the official figures but if you are willing to make the effort the rewards at the pump are worth it.
The Mitsubishi Mirage is lightweight and efficient however it’s a shame that it looks so bland.
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.
Smart for two pulse 71 bhp mhd 67.3 mpg
The smart puts our diesel contenders to shame by emitting just 97 g/km of CO2. It also has a stop/start system called micro hybrid drive (mhd) which stops the engine when the car is travelling under 5 mph and restarts it instantly when you want to go.
Kia Picanto 67.3 mpg
Kia may have dropped the bargain price but the Picanto is still a cheap car and is arguably now better value due to the big hike in quality, excellent fuel economy and 7-year warranty.
Electric City Cars
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.
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.
The smart fortwo coupe looks like it was designed to be an electric car in the first place, which in fact it was – fifteen years later you can actually buy one.
The Mitsubishi/Peugeot/Citroen trio 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.