The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic has the best mix of fuel economy and reliability.
That's according to research carried out by Warranty Direct, after devising a top ten list of the most reliable used 'eco' cars aged three years or older. Those that offer the best combination of reliability and economy, we rated using Warranty Direct's Reliability Index which analysed its 50,000 live policies, measuring overall reliability by combining rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost.
With manufacturers continually developing new technology to delivers better fuel consumption and lower emissions, some more complex machines are still prone to going wrong, forcing owners to foot expensive repair bills.
The results revealed that the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, 1.6 TDCi (95bhp) Edge ECOnetic II, with an impressive combined MPG figure of 85.6 had the best mix of fuel economy and reliability. The Smart Fortwo (CDI Pure 2d Auto) was able to match the Fiesta's MPG figure and is unlikely to let its owners down, though it suffered marginally more mechanical faults than the Ford.
The SEAT Ibiza (1.4 TDi Ecomotive), Volkswagen Polo (1.4 BlueMotion TDI (80ps) and Skoda Fabia (1.2 TDI CR Greenline II) put in a strong showing for the Volkswagen Group with closely matched scores, though the Skoda nudged ahead of its stablemates owing to an MPG return of 83.1. However, the frugal SEAT is statistically more reliable. Rounding out the top ten was the Nissan Note (1.5 dCi Visia).
David Gerrans, Managing Director at Warranty Direct commented: "the 'eco' derivatives of a used vehicle are often desirable, promising economical motoring for the cost-conscious buyer. However, savings on fuel and road tax can soon be countered with astronomical bills for mechanical or electrical failure. It is important to take these factors into account when selecting a car based on green credentials."