Manufacturers make leap in drive for economy

The average fuel economy of new cars in the UK has improved by 7.64 per cent in the past year, according to a study by DrivenData.

The median combined mpg, based on claimed figures by manufacturers, now stands at 45.1 – up from 41.9mpg in October 2009. DrivenData compiled the statistics using its new car database, which provides comprehensive and accurate data specifications for every current model on sale in the UK.

Smart ForTwo

The most frugal Smart ForTwo

On this website we constantly report how combined fuel consumption figures are difficult to achieve in the real world. But they certainly should be a valid measure of how economy is improving.

There also can be no doubt that car manufacturers have made huge strides over the past five years as they bid to make cars greener. But they made the biggest leap forward during past 12 months


Between 2006 and 2009, combined mpg consistently improved every year by around 3.5 per cent.

In October 2006, the average car’s fuel economy stood at 37.9mpg. A year later, it rose by 3.43 per cent to 39.2mpg, and it improved by a further 3.32 per cent to 40.5mpg in 2008.

Over the next 12 months, progress continued at a similar pace, with combined mpg edging up by another 3.46 per cent to 41.9mpg in October 2009.

But car makers stepped things up and eclipsed that with this year’s improvement of 7.64 per cent, to 45.1mpg.

Based on manufacturers’ official figures, Smart can lay claim to the UK’s two most frugal cars, with the ForTwo and ForTwo Cabrio both squeezing 85.6 miles out of every gallon on the combined cycle.

The car to avoid if you put prudence before pleasure is the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti – which returns the lowest fuel economy of just 13.8mpg.
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