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Economic doesn’t *have* to mean electric – check out these used cars

Over to the experts at cinch for some economy delivered the old-fashioned way…

Mazda MX5
  • 2017 Audi A6 TDI ultra - £18,450/£303 per month

    Perhaps this is the very epitome of the old guard: a big old estate car running on diesel power. And yet doesn’t it look kind of marvellous? Okay, perhaps you’ll want to spec a classier colour than white for something with such vast bodywork. Maybe speccing a manual gearbox will be a turn-off for the long slogs on the motorway this would otherwise lap up. We can’t help but love this example's slightly demure look, though, all non-privacy glass and silver wheels. And Audi claimed 61mpg when new, which ought to mean relatively easy 50s in the real world.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

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  • 2019 Volvo XC60 T8 Hybrid - £38,680/£595 per month

    This is a hybrid that’ll plug into the mains to give you a sliver of emissions-free, electric-only travel. Mind, with nearly 400bhp all told – the same sort of power you get from a Porsche Cayman GT4 – you might have a hard job resisting using its electric boost for the extra acceleration it adds to the four-cylinder petrol turbo engine up front. It’s no bargain, but then Volvos are designer items nowadays. SUVs don’t get much classier, or more subtle.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

  • 2017 Fiat Panda Cross TwinAir - £9,200/£141 per month

    When it comes to fuel economy, perhaps your ethos is the flipside of that old American muscle car adage: there’s no replacement for (lack of) displacement. In which case the titchy TwinAir engine in this Fiat Panda 4x4 is right up your street. Less than a litre in size and possessing just two cylinders, it’s hard to find a smaller engine outside of the motorcycling sphere. It arrived with wild mpg claims it could never hope to match given how hard it needed working, but it countered that with abundant charm. You’ll find it more commonly in the Fiat 500 and Alfa Romeo MiTo , but who can resist the mountain goat swagger of a Panda 4x4?

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

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  • 2016 Porsche Macan Diesel - £37,350/£844 per month

    Remember when Porsche went diesel? It alarmed the die-hard enthusiasts perhaps even more than the Cayenne’s arrival as the firm’s first SUV. Then Porsche kept cranking the power up until it claimed a Guinness World Record for towing a 285-tonne jumbo jet (with a Cayenne S Diesel) and the criticism calmed. This little Macan won’t quite manage that, but it’ll save you money via more ways than keeping your fuel bill under some level of control – it’ll cling onto its value with the tenacity of a Labrador biting onto an especially long stick in the woods.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

  • 2018 Skoda Octavia vRS Estate - £21,450/£329 per month

    Skoda has been knocking it out of the park for years now and a humongous estate car with a 181bhp diesel engine, slick DSG paddleshift gearbox and the general tenacity of a hot hatch is about as ‘all things to all people’ as it can realistically get. It’s not difficult to spec a tow bar and four-wheel drive, either. Feeling sad the kids mean you can no longer have a sports car? This is a much more easily justified solution than a C63 AMG or RS4 during a cost-of-living crisis…

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

  • 2015 Smart fortwo - £7,250/£132 per month

    'Smart' almost feels like a synonym for ‘economy’. It economises fuel, entry price, equipment and – most famously – space. If you live in an urban environment and fret endlessly about whether you’ll actually find somewhere to park, then the smugness with which you can hop away from a fortwo parked perpendicular to the kerb might never wear off. Smarts are fully electric these days, but with rising energy costs, your fuel bill will likely prove lower with its frugal, petrol-powered predecessor.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

  • 2018 Mazda MX-5 RF - £15,650/£231 per month

    It’s really very hard to list 10 used cars in any category without somehow including a Mazda MX-5. A reliable rear-drive sports car gets no better value, whatever your budget, and Mazda’s latest range of Skyactiv petrol engines are so clever that you’ll be bombilating around 50mpg without even trying. Just to shake things up a bit, go for the folding-targa-top MX-5 RF, but you’ll be just as delighted – perhaps even more so – with its lighter, soft-top sibling.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

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  • 2016 Peugeot 208 GTi - £12,985/£276 per month

    Proof, if any were needed, that economy doesn’t have to be boring. This is one of the punchiest hot hatchbacks of the last decade – all gnarly dampers and assertive differentials – and yet its little 1.6-litre turbo engine, while revving hard to give this lightweight GTi appropriate throttle response, also returns 40-odd miles per gallon even when you’re not driving it especially sympathetically. You’ll pay relatively low road tax thanks to its modest CO2 emissions, too.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

  • 2016 Dacia Sandero Stepway - £7,955/£149 per month

    We couldn’t possibly talk ‘economy’ without an example of the word’s modern gatekeeper. The days of truly bargain brand-new cars are over in the UK, with sub-£5,000 Korean or Malaysian curios a distant memory. In their place were, until recently, entry-level Dacia Sanderos with wind-down windows and rugged rubber bumpers. It turns out very few people bought them; the six-grand bargains pulled folk into showrooms before they left with a more popular choice: a crossover-esque Sandero Stepway Sandero Stepway with sat nav, parking sensors and Bluetooth.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

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  • 2018 Toyota C-HR - £19,800/£304 per month

    This isn’t a hybrid-crazy list. If you’d prefer not to go electric, the world of hybrids might seem off-putting – or just plain bamboozling – too. With so many different types, all marketed in their own, flattering ways, how do you know which does what? Well, Toyota’s self-proclaimed ‘self-charging hybrids’ are basically broadly petrol-powered cars that’ll whir silently around at the very lowest of speeds. The funky C-HR crossover is the Prius powertrain in a sportier suit, and it drives as such, delivering roughly the economy of a diesel without the smellier fuel pumps and modern prejudices.

    Find more examples from the experts at cinch

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