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New small cars score worst when it comes to meeting official mpg

New, small cars have scored the lowest when it comes to meeting official mpg figures, research from consumer motoring website suggests.

As reported by Fleet News, the website compared actual miles per gallon figures submitted by motorists to official ECDC manufacturer data on more than 60,000 models, showing that many are failing to meet official figures.

At the top of the list for worst mpg performance is the 2013 Nissan Note, with an average shortfall of 32.3% on its figure of 74.72mpg, followed by the 2014 Mini Hatch with 32%.

Bottom 5 performing models Real mpg ratio
1.    Nissan Note (2013) 67.7%
2.    Mini Hatch (2014)  68.0%
3.    Citroen DS5 (2012) 70.8%
4.    Renault Captur (2010) 70.8%
5.    Ford Fiesta (2013) 70.8%

The fifth worst car on the list was last year’s best-selling car.

Managing editor of, Daniel Powell, said: “It’s no secret that car buyers are confused by official fuel economy figures. Indeed, receives thousands of complaints about misleading fuel economy figures, which shows that many car owners are out of pocket when it comes to calculating real world fuel costs.

“Rather than attack the official EC figures, which form the basis of car and company car taxation, we prefer to offer realistic figures achieved by real motorists to be used alongside official guidelines.

“Real MPG allows car owners and buyers to make accurate predictions as to how much fuel they will use and be better prepared as to how much that will cost.”

On a more positive note though, the 1984-onwards Land Rover Defender was the best performing, in terms of its claimed mpg, with 106.3%.

Top 5 performing models Real mpg ratio
1.    Land Rover Defender (1984) 106.3%
2.    Toyota Celica (2000-2008)  103.0%
3.    Nissan Micra (2003-2010) 102.6%
4.    Volvo S60 (2000-2008) 102.3%
5.    Volvo V70/XC70 (2000-2007) 102.2%

Cars currently achieve around 86% of their official mpg figures, but has indicated that this is decreasing by 1% each year.

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  • Paul Walker - 16/01/2015 15:10

    I bought a Fiat 500 1.2 which claimed 70+ MPG, never got more than 43. Changed for BMW 116d and this is 50 MPG+

  • Philip Hastings - 17/01/2015 16:30

    Most drivers fail to get anything like the claimed mpg because of their driving style and failure to monitor tyres. Even 'careful' drivers still drive up to red lights, crossings and junctions, especially roundabouts, as well as idling unnecessarily. Even parking properly (reversing into your drive) will make a big difference. Really competent drivers rarely stop and hardly ever need to brake except to actually stop.