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Ten of the most economical SUVs that went on sale this year

The price of fuel these days means that the official consumption figures quoted for any given car can be a major element in the final buying decision.

In reality, vehicles very rarely come anywhere near these ‘official’ figures. To get a more realistic take on what mpg a car will deliver, we conduct our own closely controlled tests based on real city, country and motorway roads.

Here are our results for the most fuel-efficient SUVs tested so far in 2017.


10. Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI 150

Official: 51.4mpg

Real-world: 45.3mpg

Negative difference: 11.8%

This is the petrol version of Audi’s most affordable SUV, with all the usual class and substance you’d expect from this company. It’s a great drive, too. A diesel Q2 is likely to be more economical, but 45mpg is a good result.

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9. Vauxhall Mokka X 1.6 CDTi 136

Official fuel economy: 65.7mpg

Real-world: 47.0mpg

Negative difference: 28.4%

The 1.6 diesel of this popular UK choice adds efficiency to the Mokka recipe of style and plentiful standard equipment. It’s far from the quietest or most comfortable offering in the class though, and the steering lacks feel.


8. Suzuki Vitara 1.6

Official fuel economy: 53.3mpg

Real-world: 47.7mpg

Negative difference: 10.5%

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Today’s Vitara has come a long way from when it was a small, no-nonsense 4×4. Now it’s a genuine rival to trendier motors like Nissan’s Juke and Renault’s Captur, with plenty of space and good quality. It’s also recorded the best mpg figures for any petrol SUV tested this year.


7. Kia Niro Hybrid

Official fuel economy: 74.3mpg

Real-world: 50.1mpg

Negative difference:  32.6%

Falling way short of its official figure in real-world use – further away from it than any other SUV we’ve tested this year, in fact – this hybrid still cracked the 50mpg barrier, and it’s a practical car with a seven-year warranty.


6. Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI 115

Official fuel economy: 65.7mpg

Real-world: 50.2mpg

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Negative difference: 23.6%

A superb all-rounder, especially in turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol guise, but the 1.6-litre diesel will give you the most miles for your money.


5. Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi

Official fuel economy: 61.4mpg

Real-world: 51.4mpg

Negative difference: 16.3%

Good value in the ‘2’ trim choice, Kia’s well-equipped Sportage easily tops 50mpg when it’s powered by the 1.7-litre diesel engine. It’s not the most sophisticated or fun to drive option however.


4. Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110

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Official fuel economy: 70.6mpg

Real-world: 51.9mpg

Negative difference: 26.6%

This pioneering family-friendly small SUV is still right up there in terms of buyer appeal, and delivers nearly 52mpg in normal driving with the 1.5-litre diesel engine.


3. Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SHVS Allgrip

Official fuel economy: 60.1mpg

Real-world: 53.3mpg

Negative difference: 11.3%

One of the most compact and wieldy SUVs you can buy, with genuine off-road ability from its 4WD chassis, a low asking price, and a surprisingly roomy cabin.


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2. Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi 110

Official fuel economy: 74.3mpg

Real-world: 55.2mpg

Negative difference: 25.7%

A close relative of the Qashqai, the Kadjar is even more fuel-efficient than the Nissan, averaging over 55mpg in normal driving. If you want a classier experience though we’d still favour the Qashqai.


1. Suzuki Ignis 1.2 SHVS

Official fuel economy: 65.7mpg

Real-world: 59.6mpg

Negative difference: 9.3%

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No four-wheel drive system in this version of the Ignis, and that weight saving helps it to the top of our ‘most efficient SUV’ listing. With a small electric motor supplementing the power of the 1.2-litre petrol engine, the SHVS gets tantalisingly close to the 60mpg mark.


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