The four most frugal town cars
Saturday 28 January 1995
But the official figures are still a useful guide. Not surprisingly, they reveal small cars with diesel engines to be much the most economical. Diesels have a further advantage in that they function at virtually full economy as soon as they start from cold, whereas a petrol engine is much thirstier when cold than when warmed up.
First: the VW Golf Ecomatic, which scores 61.4mpg on the official urban test. This Golf has a diesel engine that switches itself off when the car stops, and restarts automatically when you press the accelerator. It also lacks a clutch pedal, though the gear-change is a normal manual system. You drive it as you would any other car, except that you can forget about doing anything with your left leg. Uncanny, but true. If the engine's stopping and starting irritates you, as well it might, you can switch the system off. Trouble is, you then use more fuel while the engine sits idling in stationary traffic.
Second: the Citroen AX 1.5D, with 55.4mpg. A relatively large, unstressed engine in such a light car is a fine recipe for fuel economy, especially when the engine is an extremely economical diesel. The diminutive AX is lively and agile, too, which makes it a great town car.
Third: the Peugeot 106 1.5D with 51.4mpg. Powered by the same engine as the Citroen, the Peugeot is heavier and therefore slightly slower and thirstier. Several trim levels are available, as they are with the AX.
Fourth: the VW Gold TDi, with 50.4mpg. Not only is this direct injection, turbodiesel Golf very economical, it is also rapid, with tremendous pulling power from low speeds. If your town driving includes steep hills, this is the economy car for you.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Life & Style blogs
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...