Most Economical Family Cars in the UK

The Green Car Guide to the most economical and lowest emission family cars on sale in the UK today. We list, road-test and compare the best eco-friendly family cars in diesel, petrol, hybrid and extended-range electric vehicle categories, with full spec reviews and fuel efficiency data.

The list is updated on a monthly basis as new models are released and following our regular road tests where we give the vehicles a full work-out under realistic driving conditions.

Diesel and Hybrid Family Cars

First place

l-family-cars-diesel-skoda-octavia-80x53-2.jpg Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI CR  88.3 mpg

The Skoda Octavia range now includes a Greenline model which has an official combined economy figure of 88.3mpg along with emissions of 85g/km CO2.

Second place

jaguar-xe-001-80x53Jaguar XE 74.3 mpg

The Jaguar XE is the most efficient Family Car that we have driven. With outstanding fuel economy on motorway runs combined with good looks it has to be on your long list.

BMW 320d EfficientDynamics BMW 320d ED 74.3 mpg

The 3 Series blends fun with environmental responsibility better than any rival. When combined with one of the most communicative and adjustable chassis in any saloon car and excellent fuel economy it is going to take a lot to topple the 3 Series from the top of the tree.

Petrol and Hybrid Family Cars

First place

Toyota Prius Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i 94.2 mpg

The 4th generation Prius delivers outstanding CO2 emissions, more practicality, an improved ride and one of the most aerodynamic bodies every produced. If you aren’t after an engaging drive it makes a lot of sense.

Second place

l-family-cars-petrol-lexus-is300h-80x53.jpg Lexus IS 300h  67.3 mpg

The Lexus IS 300h is one of the best sub-100 g/km CO2 cars to drive, with rear-wheel drive, a 2.5-litre petrol engine, and of course an electric motor.

Third place

l-family-cars-petrol-skoda-rapid-80x53-2.jpg Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI 90 ps SE  60.1 mpg

Yes the Skoda Rapid has remarkable similarities with the SEAT Toledo, because there is much development- and parts-sharing going on, but 60.1 mpg is not to be sniffed at.

Plug-in Hybrid

First place

BMW 330e BMW 330e Saloon 148.7 mpg

We like the 330e. A lot. To find out why we think it is the best car in the class, read on.


Second place

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 350 e Sport 7G-Tronic Plus 17 inch wheels 134.5 mpg

The C 350 e is a technical tour de force but it has a super foe in the form of the BMW 330e and doesn’t quite manage to dethrone the 3 Series.

Toyota Prius Plug-In Toyota Prius Plug-in  134.5 mpg

With the Prius Plug-in thanks to the Prius mechanicals, fuel economy is also excellent when you run out of electric range.