The 10 most affordable cars to buy in 2023 (2023)

What are the most economical cars?

When it comes tofuel efficiency measurement, we're talking about the good old miles per gallon (MPG) ratings.

MPG measures how far a car can go on a single gallon of fuel (that's about 4.5 liters).

This can be anywhere from just 11 miles to, well, you'll have to read on to find out.

Most petrol engined cars have to play second fiddle to diesel cars when it comes to fuel economy because diesels are the best in fuel consumption.

But because most British buyers prefer petrol andhybrid carsthese days, we'll be looking at the best cars from both worlds, starting with the petrol.

Before we begin, we should probably explain that it is a carfuel economyit will vary depending on who is behind the wheel because we all have different driving styles.

For example, a racing driver might have a heavier foot than your nan... but that's not always the case.

However, in the interest of fairness, the following cars are all listed based on their official average fuel economy rating, which is provided by the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

  • Think of oneelectric carfor fuel efficiency

The most economical petrol cars on sale:

The 10 most affordable cars to buy in 2023 (1)

1.BMW 330e– 217,3 mpg

Here's proof that budget cars don't have to be boring - the 330e uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine mated toelectricengine that offers strong acceleration and impressive economy.

BMWit claims it can cover 37 miles on electricity alone, but you'll need to plug it in regularly to make sure the battery is charged and performing at its best.

As with the restBMW 3 Seriesrange, the interior is high quality and packed with amazing technology.

  • Used BMW 330e models: see our full range

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2.Toyota Prius– 67,0 mpg

Toyota offers both self-charging andplug-in hybridversions of its Prius, with the latter delivering the best official economy of 235.4mpg – as long as you can keep the battery charged.

The plug-in, self-charging Prius is cheaper on the used-car market and returns close to 70 mpg, according toToyota.

Plug-in hybridPriusThe models can only run on electricity over short distances.

As for the interior, it's very well appointed, as with all Toyota models, and built to an incredibly high standard.

  • Used Toyota Prius models: see our full range

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3.Suzuki Swift– 64,0 mpg

Every current version of the Swift supermini uses Suzuki's 'Boosterjet' hybrid engine, consisting of amild hybridsetting which means the electric motor takes some of the electrical strain off the petrol engine.

Since its electric power is 'mild', the car can't run on pure electric power alone, but you still get better economy than a standard petrol engine with the added boost when accelerating.

  • Used Suzuki Swift models: see our full range

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4.Toyota Corolla Touring Sports– 63,8 mpg

TheFlower wreathdisappeared from the UK for a few years, but now it's back and better than ever with some clever hybrid additions.

This is the estate version, and both it and the hatchback are good to drive, with nice suspension and handling.

Each version is well-equipped and there's a choice of two petrol-hybrid engines (a 1.8-litre or 2.0-litre) that deliver up to 63.8mpg.

  • Used Toyota Corolla models: see our full range

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5.Hyundai Ioniq– 60,0 mpg

As with theToyota Prius, there is a plug-in hybrid version of the IONIQ, but the plug-in hybrid version is better value as a used car.

Power comes from a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor, allowing up to 39 miles on a single charge.

It has very basic equipment, a bigger boot than the Prius and its official economy is still good, if not as good as the Toyota.

  • Used Hyundai Ioniq models: see our full range

The most economical diesel cars on sale:

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1.Mercedes-Benz E300 de– 217,3 mpg

No, we weren't wrong – this is a plug-in hybrid diesel with a frankly amazing official economy figure to get the best mileage.

However, you should note that you will need to keep the car battery charged to achieve this.

With a full battery,Mercedes it claims you'll be able to get 33 miles of electric-only range from the E300 de – enough to get you around a town or city.

  • Used Mercedes E-Class diesel models: see our full range

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2.Peugeot 208 1.5 Blue HDi– 71,4 mpg

The 2019 Peugeot 208 diesel hybrid is one of the sharpest superminis out there.

It comes with five doors, flashy LED lights and a 1.5-litre diesel engine that will return more than 70mpg, officially.

The interior of the baby Peugeot is just as interesting, with a very stylish dashboard that includes instruments you see above the steering wheel rather than through it.

  • Used Peugeot 208 diesel models: see our full range

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3.Vauxhall Corsa 1.5 Turbo D– 70,6 mpg

It is no coincidence that the Corsa shares its good looks with themPeugeot– both brands fall under the Stellantis umbrella.

Underneath, they're pretty similar too, because the Corsa shares the Peugeot's engine and other fat bits, which explains why its economy is so similar.

  • Used Vauxhall Corsa diesel models: see our full range

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4.Skoda Octavia2.0 TDI SE- 68,9 mpg

Almost any version of itOctaviait's a cracking family car thanks to its massive interior space (including a huge boot, especially in the Estate model), but this version adds terrific economy to its repertoire.

The 150bhp 2.0-litre TDI unit isn't the most powerful engine, but it has plenty of torque, meaning you'll be able to leave it in top gear on the motorway and cruise along without needing to shift much.

  • Used Skoda Octavia diesel models: see our full range

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5.Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI- 68,9 mpg

A bit like the abovePeugeotandVauxhall, TheSkodaandVWshare many of the same parts below.

This version of the Mk8 Golf has the same 150bhp diesel engine and six-speed manual gearbox.

It's not as spacious as the Octavia inside, but has a more premium feel, with digital instruments on most trims and a large infotainment screen.

  • Used Volkswagen Golf diesel models: see our full range

  • Spread the cost withcar financing

How to become more fuel efficient

When it comes to choosing your next car, it's always good to go for something like thiswith high fuel efficiencyas much as possible.

That's how you aresaving money on fueland do your bit for the environment.

There are many different engine options when it comes to buying a new car, but the most efficient are hybrid-assisted petrols and some newer diesels – especially on longer journeys.

But that doesn't mean regular gasoline engines can't be fuel efficient. As a general rule, most modern car engines are efficient thanks to turbocharging and hybrid technology.

What changes can I make to save fuel consumption?

There are a few changes you can make to your driving style to ensure you are more fuel efficient.

1) Turn off the A/C

Turn you offair conditioningit's something that's easy to do and saves quite a bit of fuel because your engine is feeding you a lot more than you think behind the scenes.

2) Become a "smooth operator"

Being steady with your right foot is another great way to reduce fuel consumption. For example, if you are on thehighway,you want to keep your revs and speed as consistent as possible to maximize fuel economy. The same goes for starting your car – the smoother you are, the less stress is put on your engine.

3) Get up and walk a little more

Another way to ensure you are as efficient as possible is to try to avoid shorter trips. This is because your engine needs time to warm up, so if you drive five minutes down the road for a loaf of bread, chances are it will still be cold when you get back.

This means the fluids haven't had a chance to flow around the engine, resulting in an unhappy engine.

learn more

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