With the price of fuel seemingly rising inexorably, fuel economy is now dictating which car buyers choose instead of aesthetic, speed or even price to buy. The problem is that manufacturers’ fuel economy and emissions figures are generated under laboratory conditions and test cars are even geared differently to achieve more encouraging figures.

The bottom line is that buyers looking for good new car deals are being misled, and manufacturers’ figures are normally more than 10% better than reality. WhatCar? has been running its own real-world tests, in an experiment called ‘True MPG’, to build a database of accurate fuel economy and emissions figures for new cars on sale today. Simply select your car, choose your driving style and annual mileage, and your real-world mpg is calculated.

For example, a Nissan Juke 1.6 DiG-T Nismo covering 10,000 mainly motorway miles per annum, with little congestion, will return 33.1mpg if driven fairly hastily. This is far below the claimed 40.9mpg buyers might expect to achieve.

A BMW 320d EfficientDynamics driven in the same environment would return 50.6mpg. That’s certainly impressive, but it’s still some way short of the claimed 68.9mpg.

AutoeBid can offer thousands of pounds of the price of a brand new car but unfortunately real-world fuel economy is another matter altogether.

Below are a handful of new car deals for vehicles with exceptional fuel economy in their class (but still not as good as claimed). The AutoeBid saving represents the minimum saving for that vehicle, and dealers competing in a reverse auction will often offer further money off the price of the car to win business.

BMW 320d BluePerformance RRP £32,695 AutoeBid £29,805 Saving £2,890

Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost RRP £13,745 AutoeBid £11,752 Saving £1,993

Volvo V40 D2 SE Nav RRP £23,070 AutoeBid £20,185 Saving £2,885

Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 ECO RRP £14,545 AutoeBid £13,157 Saving £1,388

View new car deals here

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