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How far will the UK’s most popular cars get on a single tank of fuel?

The i logo The i 15/05/2019 Matt Allan
a hand holding a cellphone © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Fuel prices are a constant source of worry for drivers and recent months have seen a series of rises adding to their burden.

According to the RAC, petrol prices jumped more than 5p per litre in April - the worst rise in nearly 20 years - and there is little sign of costs dropping any time soon.

It’s important, then to make sure you get the most out of every tankful and new research has revealed which of Britain’s most popular cars offer drivers the best value.

a car driving on a road © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Focus on the prize

The investigation pitted the UK’s ten best-selling cars against each other to see which could travel the greatest distance on a single tank of petrol.

It found that the Ford Focus could not only travel furthest on its 52-litre tank but that it also trumped every other model when it came to cost per mile.

The Ford Focus was found to have the longest range and over the lowest cost per mile. (Picture: Shutterstock)

According to the data from Euro Car Parts, the Focus is capable of covering 1,112.69 miles on a single fill-up, at a cost of £66.75.

Not far behind it are the VW Golf and Audi A3, which can both achieve 1,046.12 miles at a cost of £70.40.

Gallery: Most efficient prestige SUVs in the real world (Auto Car)


The study compared data for the 10 most popular cars based on the number of new registrations and second-hand sales recorded by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

How far a car can travel on a tankful is obviously partly down to the size of the fuel tank, with the tested cars’ capacity ranging from 40 to 60 litres. However, across their most popular versions, the Focus still managed to cover more ground than the BMW 3 Series, VW Golf and Audi A3, all of which have larger tanks.

Based on the number of miles covered and the cost of filling the tank, the Focus costs 7.1p per mile to run, ahead of the VW Polo (7.6p) and Ford Fiesta (7.8p).

10 most popular cars by maximum distance travelled on one tankful

# | Model | Distance (miles) | Tank Size (L) | Cost to Fill 

1 Ford Focus | 1,112.69 | 52 | £66.75

2 VW Golf | 1,046.12 | 55 | £70.40

3 Audi A3 | 1,046.12 | 55 | £70.40

4 BMW 3 Series | 1,014.42 | 60 | £76.80

5 Vauxhall Astra | 874.94 | 48 | £61.44

6 Renault Clio | 855.92 | 45 |£57.60

7 Ford Fiesta | 821.05 | 42 | £53.76

8 VW Polo | 803.08 | 40 | £51.20

9 MINI | 639.30 | 44 | £56.32

10 Vauxhall Corsa | 606.28 | 45 | £57.60 

The study used the average petrol price of £1.28 per litre as recorded by RAC Fuel Watch for April and calculated the maximum distance using the official fuel tank capacity and maximum combined miles per gallon figures from the car maker.

It also set drivers of the UK’s three most popular cars the real-world task of getting as far from John o’ Groats as they could on a single tankful, with the Focus proving its worth by covering 502 miles compared with the Ford Fiesta’s 476 miles and the Vauxhall Corsa’s 468.

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