Best Superminis for Fuel Economy and Low Emissions

The Green Car Guide to the most economical and lowest emission superminis on sale in the UK today. We list and compare the best supermini vehicles in diesel, petrol and electric categories, with full spec reviews and fuel economy data. A supermini is defined as something larger than a classical Mini yet but smaller than a small family car and are most commonly available in hatchback form. The ‘Supermini’ as a formal car classification term was ratified in the 1980s and was eventually adopted as the B-segment of European Commission car classification in the late 1990s.

Diesel Superminis

First place

l-supermini-diesel-renault-clio-80x53.jpg Renault Clio dCi 90 Stop and Start ECO  88.3 mpg

The Renault Clio returns 88.3mpg, equalling the Hyundai i20 and the Kia Rio, but it emits just 83g/km, which is 1g/km less than the Hyundai i20, and 2g/km less than the Kia Rio.

Rio has the lowest CO2 emissions of any non-electric car Kia Rio 1.1 CDRi 1 EcoDynamics  88.3 mpg

The Rio is an excellent addition to the hugely competitive supermini market. With good looks, brilliant fuel economy, excellent safety kit as standard, a reassuringly solid feel and very competitive pricing.

Second place

l-supermini-diesel-ford-fiesta-80x53.jpg Ford Fiesta Edge ECOnetic 1.6 TDCi 3 door  85.6 mpg

The ECOnetic Fiesta uses an unfashionably large but highly efficient 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine which gives it good performance compared to super low CO2 rivals.

Vauxhall Corsa S 1.3 CDTi 16v Vauxhall Corsa S 1.3 CDTi 16v (95 ps) eco FLEX Start/Stop 3 door  85.6 mpg

The Vauxhall Corsa is a regular best seller in the sales charts, offering low emissions, high economy, and low running costs.

Third place

Citroen C3 e-HDI 70 Airdream EGS VTR+ Citroen C3 e-HDI 70 Airdream EGS VTR+  83.1 mpg

In order to achieve the excellent fuel consumption Citroen has deployed two of its strong cards: diesel engines and engine stop start. There is also the Valeo i-StARS system which is a belt-driven starter alternator that replaces the starter motor.

mini cooper d MINI Hatch One 95 D 83.1 mpg

The new MINI is here and the all-new three-cylinder diesel engine can deliver an impressive 83.1mpg.


Peugeot 28 supermini car review Peugeot 208 1.4 HDi Stop and Start EGC  83.1 mpg

The Peugeot 208 looks good both inside and out, is keenly priced, and the return of some driver involvement is long overdue, but for this specific model the fuel economy comes with too much of a compromise.

Skoda Fabia Greenline II Skoda Fabia Greenline II  83.1 mpg

The Fabia is a thoroughly engineered car which has always blended practicality with affordability. In Greenline II guise it is also achieves stunningly low CO2 emissions too.

Petrol Superminis

First place

Yaris uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine which is 10% smaller than the 1.8 used in the Prius and Auris Toyota Yaris Hybrid T3 1.5 VVT-I  80.7 mpg

The hybrid Yaris is a miracle of modern engineering, offering very high official fuel economy.  Unfortunately ‘fun’ and ‘Yaris Hybrid’ won’t appear together in print too often.

Second place

Chrysler Ypsilon 0.9 TwinAir SE Auto 68.9 mpg Chrysler Ypsilon 0.9 TwinAir SE Auto  68.9 mpg

Thanks to the Fiat connection, the Ypsilon uses the characterful two-cylinder TwinAir engine which despite its diminutive size produces 85 bhp at 5,500 rpm.

Nissan Micra 1.2 DIG-S VISIA Nissan Micra 1.2 DIG-S VISIA  68.9 mpg

As is now the norm in eco models the Micra also gets an intelligent alternator and engine stop/start. Under light load the engine also switches to the more efficient Miller Cycle.

Third place

Alfa Romeo Mito Alfa Romeo MiTo  67.2 mpg

The Alfa Romeo MiTo is now available with Fiat’s TwinAir petrol engine which gives it high mpg and low emissions to go with the MiTo’s good looks and fun driving experience.

Electric Superminis

First place

l-superminis-electric-renault-zoe-80x53.jpg Renault ZOE

The Renault ZOE is a fully-electric supermini that is excellent to drive, cheap to run, and relatively affordable to buy.