Top 5 petrol-powered hatchbacks

  • Our pick of the five petrol hatchbacks best for fuel economy
  • All have five doors and return a claimed 65.7mpg
  • Check out our Parkers Pick for the one we think is best

With the financial hardships we have all been facing over recent years, fuel economy  has never been more important.

Although diesel cars are more widely known for better fuel economy, petrol is quite often cheaper in smaller cars when you're not doing many miles.

While official fuel consumption figures don't represent real world driving figures, they act as a good benchmark to compare different cars against one another.

But which petrol small family hatchbacks are the best when it comes to fuel economy?

Parkers is here to help.

We’ve found the top five small hatchbacks; all have five doors, all have petrol engines and all return a claimed 65.7mpg - the best official fuel economy for the sector.

Which one will you pick as your next car?

Citroen C3

The C3 is a popular choice as a family car and, like the rest of the cars in this list, has impressively low running costs.

Entry-level VT trim is a little light on equipment, with electric windows, a trip computer and a CD stereo included in the standard specification list. This trim also misses out on the panoramic windscreen available in other trims. As the C3 is priced quite low, it may be worth paying a little extra to move up a trim level to VTR+, which adds cruise control, a speedlimiter, alloy wheels and air-conditioning. It still misses out on Bluetooth, though.

When it comes to practicality, 300 litres of luggage space is quite impressive although there are rivals that beat it. The engine is a little on the sluggish side with only 68bhp on offer.

Engine and trim: 1.0-litre VTi VT 

Fuel economy: 65.7mpg 

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

Power output: 68bhp

PRICE: £10,895

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta rarely fails to feature in a list of top-performing small cars. When it comes to economy, coupled with the award-winning EcoBoost engine, it was always going to rank highly.

Unfortunately, the EcoBoost engine is only available in Zetec trim upwards so carries a premium over other cars listed here, but for your money you do get a lot of kit. The Zetec trim comes with air conditioning, a USB connection, a heated windscreen and interior leather trim details all included as standard. Again, Bluetooth is an optional extra, costing £200 when included in the SYNC system.

The 290 litres of boot space is not as good as the Citroen C3, but what the car lacks in space it makes up for in driving fun. The Fiesta rides smoothly and delivers precise handling. It's easy to understand why it is the UK’s top selling car.

Engine and trim: 1.0 EcoBoost

Fuel economy: 65.7mpg

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

Power output: 98bhp

PRICE: £14,495

Read our road test of this model here

Nissan Note

When it comes to practicality, there are few cars in the segment that better the Nissan Note.

An adjustable rear seat bench and a 30-litre storage area under the boot are just a couple of the practical features jam-packed in this small hatchback. Boot space is also impressive with a maxuimum 2,012 litres of loadspace to take advantage of.

Acenta is the middle-level trim and the starting point if you want this particular engine's high fuel economy and low emissions. It is a little pricier than other cars listed here, but the equipment on offer represents good value for money.  

Standard equipment includes cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning.

Engine and trim: 1.2 DiG-S Acenta

Fuel economy: 65.7mpg

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

Power output: 97bhp

PRICE: £14,250 

Peugeot 208

The cheapest of the bunch, the Peugeot 208 is a popular choice for car buyers and the latest generation, released only last year, offers impressive economy and CO2 emissions.

This engine choice is also the least powerful on our list with only 68bhp at your disposal. As it is a small car, this should suffice but may leave keener drivers feeling a little disappointed.

Access trim is the entry trim of the range and comes with electric windows, cruise control, remote central locking and Radio and CD player as standard, it may be worth spending a little extra cash to move up a couple of trim levels to Active which costs £12,645, and for that you get Bluetooth, DAB Radio, alloy wheels, touchscreen entertainment system and air conditioning. Very impressive.

Engine and trim: 1.0 VTi Access

Fuel economy: 65.7mpg

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

Power output: 68bhp

PRICE: £10,595

Renault Clio

Similar to the Fiesta and Note, the entry level model does not have this engine available so you need to move up to the Expression+ trim to get the low running costs that the 0.9 TCe ECO engine offers.

Standard kit is impressive and includes electric windows, Bluetooth, keyless entry, alloy wheels, air-con and USB connection.

With the current generation only launched last year, the Renault Clio is also up to date with the latest kit and comes with arguably the most head-turning design of the bunch.

With more power on offer than the Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3 listed here, it is also likely to be a little more enjoyable to drive and make easier work of accelerating.

Engine and trim: 0.9 TCE ECO Expression+ 5d

Fuel economy: 65.7mpg

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

Power output: 90bhp

PRICE: £13,445

The Parkers pick 

The Fiesta is a hard car to beat in this segment, and while the others put up a valiant effort, the Fiesta is still the best at getting the right balance of driving fun and low running costs. If equipment is top of your list and your budget a little stretched, the Renault Clio is definitely worth a look as it offers a little more power and Bluetooth as standard.