The Top 40 Fuel Efficient Used Cars For £5,000

What Are The Most Fuel Efficient Used Cars?

With the increase in prices at the pump on both petrol and diesel over the last few years it has become more financially beneficial than ever to invest in a fuel-efficient vehicle. Not only to be kinder to your wallet and save you money, but to reduce the amount of occasions you need to frequent the petrol pumps.

To help people out who are looking to purchase a fuel efficient car we have scoured the used car market to see what’s available and put together this list of vehicles which all meet the following requirements:

  • Cost around £5,000.
  • Return (on average), a minimum of 40 miles per gallon.
  • Have a speed of 0-60 mph under 10 seconds. A requirement we included to ensure an acceptable standard of performance across our selection.
*Any vehicle models marked with an asterisk represent models with petrol engines.
# Car Avg MPG 0-60 MPH Engine Year MPG Urban MPG Extra Urban BHP Drive
1 Vauxhall Corsa 57.6 9.3 1.7 CDTi 2007 44.8 68.9 125 FWD
The petrol 1.4 engine is slower with a 0-60 of 11.8 seconds and averages 46.3 mpg.
2 Fiat Bravo 55.4 8.2 2 2009 42.2 67.3 165 FWD
Surprisingly the 2.0 liter is faster and more economic than the 150 bhp 1.9 litre engines.
3 Honda Civic 55.4 8.6 2.2 i-CTDi 2006 42.8 65.7 140 FWD
The petrol 1.6 averages 42.8 mpg from 110 bhp doing 0-60 in 10.6 seconds.
4 Skoda Fabia 53.3 9.5 1.9 TDi 2006 40.9 64.2 130 FWD
This would be the preferred option over the 1.4 diesel which only does 0-60 in a painfully slow 14.8 secs.
5 Honda Accord 52.3 9.5 2.2i CTDi 2005 39.8 62.8 140 FWD
There is no point opting for the petrol engines as they have very similar performance and economy suffers.
6 Peugeot 307 52.3 9.8 2.0 HDi 2005 39.8 62.8 136 FWD
The 1.6 diesel doesn’t meet the 0-60 doing it in 11.5 secs.
7 Audi A3 51.4 9.5 2.0 TDi 2004 39.2 61.4 140 FWD
In 2006 a faster 170 bhp version was released.
8 Mazda 6 51.4 9.2 2.2 2010 40.4 60.1 163 FWD
The 2.0 diesel variants are more common averaging 46.3 mpg from 143 bhp doing 0-60 in 9.8 secs.
9 Ford Focus 51.3 9.3 2.0 TDCi 2008 40.3 62.7 136 FWD
This car is slightly out of the price range as the only example we found with this exact engine was £6,000 at the time of writing this article (January 2014).
10 Smart ForFour 51.1 9.8 1.5 2006 39.2 62.4 109 FWD
There are not many of these around as they were only produced for 2 years between 2004 and 2006.
11 Seat Leon 50.4 9.3 2.0 TDi 2005 38.2 61.4 140 FWD
This is the newer 2005 onwards model, the older 2004 shape is actually faster with a 0-60 of 8.9 secs and more economic with an average of 52.3 mpg.
12 BMW 120d 49.6 7.9 2 2005 36.7 61.4 163 RWD
This is the original shape 1 series hatchback, not the newer coupe or saloon that was introduced in 2009. Look out for the 123d, currently out of this price range – the 2.3 litre diesel engine has a 0-60 of 6.9 secs from 204 bhp while still averaging 55.4 mpg.
13 BMW 320 Cd 49.6 8.8 2 2004 35.8 62.8 150 RWD
There is also a faster 330 (3 litre) model that does 0-60 of 7.2 secs from 204 bhp that averages 42.8 mpg!
14 Vauxhall Vectra 49.6 9.8 1.9 CDTi 2006 38.2 60.1 150 FWD
Ensure you get the 150 bhp engine and not the slower 120 bhp variant as both of them are apparently the same mpg wise.
15 Saab 9-3 48.7 9 1.9 TiD 2007 36.7 60.1 150 FWD
The 2.0 litre petrol variant is faster with 0-60 in 7.4 secs but suffers with only 34.9 average mpg, whereas the 1.8t is worse than the diesel in both aspects.
16 Vauxhall Astra 48.7 9.8 1.9 CDTi 2008 38.2 57.6 118 FWD
The 1.7 CDTi engine averages 55.4 mpg doing 0-60 in 11.7 secs.
17 Volvo V50 48.7 9.6 2.0D 2008 37.2 58.9 136 FWD
The 2.4 petrol engine is faster as expected averaging 33.2 mpg doing 0-60 in 8.3 secs.
18 Alfa Romeo 147 47.9 8.8 1.9 JTDm 2007 35.3 58.9 150 FWD
The Q2 version has LSD (limited slip differential) and the Ducati Corse is the fastest version that does 0-60 in 7.7 seconds from 170 bhp which is also diesel and gets 47 mpg, however it is rare. Look out for it’s replacement, the Giulietta, in the next year for better looks and mpg.
19 Alfa Romeo 159 47.9 9.2 1.9 JTDm 2006 35.8 58.9 150 FWD
The 159 also comes in a 2.4 litre diesel which does 0-60 in 8.4 seconds from 200 bhp and still gets 41.5 mpg!
20 Audi A4 47.9 9.7 2.0 TDi 2005 35.3 60.1 140 FWD
Also comes in cabriolet which would have slightly worse figures due to extra weight.
21 Toyota Avensis 47.9 9.3 2.2 D-4D 2007 37.2 57.6 148 FWD
The 2.0 diesel variant does 0-60 in 10.3 secs averaging 51.4 mpg.
22 VW Golf 47.9 8.2 2.0 GT TDi 2006 36.2 58.9 170 FWD
This is the 170 bhp variant. Watch out as there is a 140 bhp engine which is slower doing 0-60 in 9.3 secs but does average 51.4 mpg.
23 Jaguar X-Type 47.1 8.5 2.2 2005 34 60.1 152 FWD
Alternatively there is a 2.0 diesel which averages 50.3 mpg from 128 bhp doing 0-60 in 9.5 secs.
24 Renault Laguna 47.1 9.5 2.0 Dci 2007 36.2 55.4 150 FWD
The petrol variant is slower and averages 34.4 mpg.
25 Skoda Octavia 47.1 9.6 2.0 TDi 2007 35.8 57.6 140 FWD
This newer model is slightly faster, but slightly less economical than the older model.
26 *BMW 118i 46.3 8.7 2 2007 35.8 55.4 143 RWD
This petrol 2.0 version of the 120d had notable figures to add this 1 series model to the list twice, with similar mpg figures to the diesel this is something to think about, however it is marginally slower.
27 Citroen C5 46.3 9.3 2.2 HDi 2007 34.9 56.5 173 FWD
There is a smaller 2.0 litre version which is slightly slower with relative economy gains.
28 Ford Mondeo ST 46.3 8.7 2.2 TDCi 2006 34.5 57.7 155 FWD
The 2.0 TDCi is also an option averaging 48.7 mpg from 130 bhp with 0-60 in 9.8 secs!
29 Alfa Romeo GT 45.6 9.6 1.9 JTDm 2006 33.2 57.6 150 FWD
The Q2 model has LSD (limited slip differential).
30 Toyota Auris 45.6 8.1 2.2 D-4D 2007 35.8 54.3 177 FWD
The 2.0 diesel variant does 0-60 in 10.3 secs averaging 52.3 mpg.
31 Lexus IS 220d 44.8 8.9 2.2 2006 35.8 52.3 175 RWD
The petrol IS 250 (2.4 litre version) is only slightly faster but suffers from an average of 28.8 mpg.
32 *Fiat Panda 43.5 9.5 1.4 2010 32.5 53.3 100 FWD
The 1.3 diesel version of this car did not make the list as the 0-60 is a slow 13 secs.
33 Volvo S60 42.8 9.2 2.4D 2005 31.4 54.3 163 FWD
There is a 185 bhp diesel engine that does 0-60 in 8.7 secs however the economy suffers with an average 37.7 mpg.
34 Mercedes E220 CDi 42.2 9.7 2.1 2005 31 53.3 150 RWD
Look at the BMW 320d instead, I have always wondered why Mercedes do not keep on par with BMW on paper.
35 VW Passat 42.2 8.8 2.0 TDi 2007 32.8 49.6 170 FWD
This is the 170 bhp variant. Watch out as there is a 130 bhp engine doing 0-60 in 10.2 secs averaging 47.9 mpg.
36 Alfa Romeo Brera 41.5 8.1 2.4 JTDm 2006 30.7 52.3 200 FWD
This looks like the brainchild of the 147 and GT models and is the fastest Alfa in this list but also the least fuel efficient.
37 *Ford Fiesta Zetec S 41.5 9.9 1.6 2008 30.7 52.3 100 FWD
Also look at the ST version which averages 38.2 mpg from 150 bhp doing 0-60 in 7.9 secs.
38 BMW 525d 40.9 8.1 2.5 2004 30.4 51.4 177 RWD
This is also known as the E39 and was known as the best in its class.
39 *Mini Cooper (Petrol) 40.9 9.1 1.6 2005 29.1 53.3 115 FWD
The Mini One is another option averaging 41.5 mpg from 90 bhp doing 0-60 in 10.9 secs.
40 *Suzuki Swift 40.4 8.9 1.6 VVT 2007 32.5 47.1 125 FWD
This only just gets into the mpg requirement.

The results show that, with the exception of five, all of the vehicles have diesel engines.

It also shows that if you did the average of 12,000 miles per year, the difference in annual fuel costs between the least efficient Suzuki Swift (40.4mpg – £1,759 pa) and the most efficient Vauxhall Corsa (57.6mpg -£1,305 pa) is £454 per year. These figures were taken straight from the manufacturer’s however, as with anything we urge you to err on the side of caution when trusting their figures as many people never actually reach the high figures quoted by the manufacturers.

 
 

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