Wanting a car that’s both fast and economical might seem like the motoring equivalent of having your cake and eating it, but this list proves it’s not too much to ask. Every car you see here manages more than 40mpg and is able to blast from 0-60mph in less than 7.0 seconds should you decide to ignore the trip computer briefly.
If you decide to take the plunge, you might be asking ‘how do I value my car to get the best deal?’ Well, we’d suggest looking at an online tool such as the Parkers Value My Car tool to make sure you’re getting the right price and have a look at the DVLA to make sure road tax is affordable, too.
BMW 335d Touring
We’d argue the 335d, especially in Touring guise, really is the car that can do it all. Because its big turbocharged six-cylinder engine runs on diesel, claimed economy is an impressive 49mpg despite having over 300hp. With four-wheel drive helping out, 0-60mph takes less than 5.0 seconds and it’s just as comfortable on the motorway as it is hammering down your favourite B road.
Ford Fiesta ST
You’d expect a Ford Fiesta to be economical, but with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine with nearly 200hp, the ST is fast, too. In fact, when you’re not driving sensibly trying to match the official economy figure of 47mpg, it’s capable of 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds. It’s not just quick in a straight line, either the ST is also one of the most fun hot hatches you can buy regardless of price.
Porsche Panamera Hybrid
With diesel falling out of favour, the plug-in hybrid is becoming a popular solution to the fast but economical quandary. Take this Panamera for instance, its petrol V6 is assistant by an electric motor coupled to a sizeable battery pack to give a decent amount of electric only running and a power boost. Assuming you plug it in fairly regularly, it’ll do 91mpg yet cracks 0-60mph in only 5.3 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz SLC 250d
The SLC 250d is an interesting blend of two seat roadster and economical yet powerful diesel engine. This metal-roofed drop-top can sprint from 0-60mph in a hot hatch baiting 6.4 seconds and is still supposedly capable of 70mpg when driven carefully. We wish it was a bit more fun in the bends, though.
Peugeot 208 GTi
Like the Fiesta ST, the 208 GTi combines a relatively big engine with a lightweight small car to give efficiency and strong acceleration. In fact, its 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds and 52mpg official economy figure both better the ST. We’d point out that the Ford is a bit more fun to drive, though.
If you think a big, speedy SUV will guzzle fuel, you clearly haven’t been introduced to the Audi SQ5. Its hearty diesel V6 and four-wheel drive traction means it’ll crack 0-60mph in less than 5.0 seconds, yet it still manages 42mpg. Fast family transport that won’t break the bank doesn’t get much better than this.
Lotus Elise Sport
Although 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and 45mpg from a petrol sports car seems unlikely, the Elise can do both. The key to this astonishing feat is the car’s featherweight build, meaning a relatively meagre 1.8-litre Toyota engine doesn’t have to work all that hard. Lightweight also helps it handle exceedingly well.