Which is more fuel efficient: 1.2 or 1.4 litre engine?

I always thought the lower the engine size, the more you save on fuel. But I've just read that the VW polo has 47.1mpg regardless of what size the engine is. I used to have a 1.4 which I liked but was thinking of getting a 1.2 for my next polo to save fuel.

Can anyone explain to me what I should look for? I've even read that the 1.9 litre diesel has 56.5 mpg. I'm confused!


So if I have a choice between a 1.2 or 1.4 litre engine in a supermini volkswagen polo, should I go for the 1.4 litre (which I'd prefer) or will the 1.2 litre save fuel (which is the most important thing)

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Generally smaller engines are better on fuel and generally diesels are better on fuel than petrols. If you want a super efficient car get the peugeot 206 1.4HDi. That does 65MPG. You are best to look at the fuel consumption of each car and engine individually and then make a decision. Check out the parkers website this is great for detailing the MPG of cars as well as insurance groups and road tax etc,


  • 1 decade ago

    it varies. generally it is accepted ( and used to be true) that smaller engined (same size cars) will give more miles per gallon.

    this was originally as anybody buying a smaller engined car had to be careful with fuel usage (which is why they bought a small car etc) and the larger engined car owner could afford to burn as much fuel as he wanted.

    There are other factors which affect it though. for the same size engine and same weight of car . I had an example years ago-

    a ford escort 100 and 1300 averaged (1972 era) 26-28 mpg.

    My Escort Mexico Had the larger 1600cc engine and it averaged 31 Mpg.

    this was because the larger engine required no heavy acceleration to achieve a good road speed or to 'pull' away from the lights. it cruised easily on a low throttle setting compared to the smaller engined cars.

    in effect the engine worked less harder was under less tress and due to the engine carburation setup was more fuel efficient anyway.

    This is not always the case though.

    another example is the For Fiesta(s) an 1.25 gives beter acceleration and mpg than the 1.4 litre. as two different types of engine are used and the smaller one is better designed.

    check out the overall fuel mpg for the car you want to buy first. if possible;e go for the bigger engined car but bear in mind also emissions as this can also have a big impact on running costs due to tax banding.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ussually, size does effect mileage. However, .2 L is not a major size difference. It is also effected by the gearing. Another factor is vehicle size (or hauling load) compared to the engine size. Smaller engines will work harder to pull the same weight than the larger engine. The best way to determine wich one will save the most fuel would be to look at the EPA estimations (that's what they are for).

  • 1 decade ago

    Usually smaller engines are placed in smaller cars. But if the cars are heavier then you really don't save any gas. There's more to MPG than just simple engine size.

    With proper engineering, they can put slightly larger engine into lighter car and still do great on gas.

    Good Luck...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In my opinion, in any given car a larger engine will be more efficient because you are not putting it under as much strain at any given speed.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i think and i say i think the bigger the engine size the more the petrol costs but lasts longer and the smaller the engine size the cheaper but doesnt last as long :)

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