Petrol or diesel....? 

One of the first decisions you’re going to have to make in your pursuit of a brand new car. 

You’ve got to have a think about what’s best for your type of journeys, the environment and your wallet (in that order...maybe). 

It can be a genuine toss up between a petrol or a diesel engine, but the general rule of thumb is that short city journeys are more suited to petrol cars, whereas long motorway journeys work out cheaper in a diesel car.

Petrol is cheaper than diesel fuel and petrol cars also tend to wear a cheaper initial price tag than their diesel equivalents. 

Nonetheless, Co2 emissions are higher in petrol cars than diesel, although petrol cars produce less nitrogen emissions.

Again, petrol engines tend to be less noisy than diesel engines, but petrol engines are also less efficient and use more fuel than diesels do. 

It’s all tit for tat, so as a motorist, you need to figure out what engine suits your needs. 

I mean, you could just save the planet by going all-electric, but I'll leave that rousing speech for another day!

All of the best petrol cars on our list are available on LeaseFetcher, if you’ve already seen a car that tickles your fancy.

A profound member of the hot hatch hall of fame, the Ford Fiesta ST dons a stunning reputation alongside it’s dear rival, the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Short for ‘Sport Technology’, the Fiesta ST is the gutsiest version of the Fiesta thanks to its compelling, turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. The powerful engine combines with finesse handling to provide a real show-stopping driving experience.

The Fiesta ST’s dashboard is smartly laid out and kitted out to the rafters - the only slight issue we have with the cabin is that it could have a little more personality. 

Having said that, the ST is home to a classy leather steering wheel and carbon-fibre Recaro racing seats that add a certain degree of style and vigor that you won’t get in any other Fiesta model.

All Ford Fiesta ST models come with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system hooked up to Ford’s Sync 3 system. Volkswagen fanatics are going to say it’s not on the same level as the VW system, although the crisp graphics, fast response times and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities have reassured us that this is simply biased opinion. 

67 viewed this car Fiesta Hatchback View Gallery
7.3

Ford Fiesta Hatchback

111 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £125.26 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,503.12 inc VAT
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The Seat Ibiza may not prioritise pace and power, but this all-rounder shines as bright as its namesake by challenging the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Volkswagen Up as one of the best small petrol cars.  

If you’re predominantly sticking to city roads, the turbocharged 1.0 TSI 95 petrol engine is a peak performer. You do have the option of the entry-level 79bhp engine, although it is noticeably sluggish and won’t fill you with too much joy.

Arguably the best city car on the market these days, it’s genuinely hard to pick out the Ibiza’s faults. The composed handling and light, accurate steering makes the Ibiza a breeze through corners and narrow city streets.

You won’t struggle to get comfortable either - you’re well positioned for a small city car and the seats are exquisitely comfy with spongy under-thigh support. There may be a few hard plastics dotted around the dashboard, but the steering wheel, handbrake and gear level are layered in leather which definitely isn’t the norm for a car this cheap!

Practicality is another one of the Ibiza’s major selling points for families. The front, rear and boot space of the Ibiza all gain recognition for being at the top-end of the scale for spacious city cars.

44 viewed this car Ibiza Hatchback View Gallery
7.3

Seat Ibiza Hatchback

26 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £132.40 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,588.80 inc VAT
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The Volkswagen Golf R is the hot hatch of dreams. At first I assumed the ‘R’ stood for rapid, so I’m not surprised it’s part of the ‘Racing’ Line. Boy can this thing move.

There’s no beating around the bush - The Golf R is a seriously quick family hatchback that outpaces a number of more expensive sports cars. The Golf R gets from 0-62mph in a measly 4.8s with a helping hand from the 2.0 TSI 296bhp petrol engine!  

Please don’t assume that the Golf R sacrifices the build quality that we’ve come to love from a Volkswagen car for the sake of pure power.  

Gaze around the cabin and you’ll soon find a soft and squidgy spot to prod. The carbon-fibre effect trim on the dashboard gives the Golf R a business/pleasure feel. 

Every Golf model is graced with a HD 8.0-inch colour touchscreen as standard with touch-sensitive shortcut buttons on either side of the screen as well as on the steering wheel too so you’re always in control if you want to be.  

74 viewed this car Golf Hatchback View Gallery
7.7

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

36 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.2
  • Fuel: P, D, X, E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £174.00 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,566.00 inc VAT
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It’s unfair to refer to the BMW 5 Series as the 3 Series’ older brother, because it deserves to have its own share of the limelight.

In close competition with the Audi A6, Jaguar XF and Mercedes E-Class, the 5 Series has a wealth of high-tech features and quality that gives it that extra wow-factor. 

The 5 Series is available in a range of three petrol engines that all come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

If you’re generally going to be sticking around town, our most efficient drive has to be the BMW 530i model that occupies a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. It’s a far more fluid drive than the similarly priced diesel models and returns you a modest 40mpg if you drive sensibly. 

The distinct, swanky vibe given off by the 5 Series’ exterior is matched once you step inside the well refined cabin. Everything you see is perfectly positioned and everything you touch has that well-polished, glossy tint to it.

A massive selling point for the BMW 5 Series is their top of the range Professional Multimedia system. Every 5 Series comes equipped with a commanding 10.25-inch touchscreen that can also be operated using a rotary dial between the front seats. The high-resolution graphics, great response time and built-in 20GB hard drive make this tasty number one of the best systems going.

48 viewed this car 5 Series Saloon View Gallery
7.6

BMW 5 Series Saloon

50 derivatives available

  • Doors: 4
  • Engine: 0.0 - 4.8
  • Fuel: P, D, H, X
  • Body: Saloon
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £278.98 Per Month

Initial Rental: £3,347.76 inc VAT
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The Toyota Prius may look like it’s just rolled out of Area 51, but its low running costs, bags of interior space and ultimate ride comfort tick all the boxes for family car buyers.

Ok, so the Prius isn’t technically a fully fledged petrol-head as it gains a helping hand from an electric motor. However, it still has a significant 1.8-litre petrol engine so we’re counting it due to popular demand! 

Both engines combine to produce 122bhp and return an impressive 80mpg, which in turn, will save you megabucks down the line.

The Prius definitely catches the eye thanks to the futuristic vibe it gives off. The interior cabin does its best to keep up with appearances, and to its credit, does a pretty good job. Patches of white gloss trim lighten up an otherwise dark cabin, and the 7.0-inch infotainment screen is well-mounted high up on the dashboard.

Passenger space is one of the main reasons the Prius is a favourite to Uber drivers around the country. The front seats are supportive and space in the back is generous enough for three grown adults to sit in sheer comfort as opposed to the likes of the Kia-Niro.

26 viewed this car Prius Hatchback View Gallery
7.8

Toyota Prius Hatchback

10 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.8
  • Fuel: H, X
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: 28 - 104g/km

From £226.34 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,037.06 inc VAT
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The Audi TT is an iconic feature of the car industry’s family tree. Let's be honest, it's the original modern coupe, so there’s no surprise that the TT easily outsells rivals such as the BMW 2 Series and the Ford Mustang

The TT is available in a pair of 2.0-litre petrol engines - the entry-level 197bhp and the more powerful 245bhp model. The entry-level is no slouch and will zip from 0-62mph in 6.6s - fast enough to give the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Golf R and run for their money. More importantly, it's also the most economical TT you can buy. 

Simplicity is king inside the TT and it looks absolutely brilliant. You won’t need to worry about any sporadic features on the dashboard as the minimalist approach ensures a neat and professional feel.

Audi have ditched the dashboard mounted infotainment system on the TT, and replaced it with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel that has your sat-nav and media features all-in-one. It’s a doddle to navigate and can be controlled using the buttons on the steering wheel or the rotary dial in the centre console. 

27 viewed this car TT Coupe View Gallery
7.4

Audi TT Coupe

34 derivatives available

  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.2
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £291.58 Per Month

Initial Rental: £3,498.96 inc VAT
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Don’t lie - we know you’ve walked past a souped-up Honda Civic Type R and thought to yourself ‘gosh I bet that’s a rush’. Pat your subconscious on the back, because you’re not wrong. 

The Honda Civic Type R combines the performance of a racing car with the practicality and comfort of an everyday car to stand it in good stead against hot hatches like the VW Golf R and the Ford Focus ST. 

The Honda Civic Type R has the pace to match its bold racing car looks. The 320bhp, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine can hurtle from 0-62mph in 5.2s and hits a terrifying top speed of 169mph! As you’d probably expect, fuel economy isn’t the most efficient. The Civic Type R will return 36.7mpg, but I’d assume you’re not buying this voluptuous beast on account of its fuel economy figures.

The Type R’s low-slung driving position and sporty red and black trimmed seats will have you reminiscing about spending countless hours on racing simulators in the arcade. 

The dashboard styling is pretty trendy, and the patches of red trim around the cabin add to the racing car theme.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the infotainment system - the 7.0-inch touchscreen looks dull and feels rather out of place in an otherwise charismatic cabin.  

27 viewed this car Civic Hatchback View Gallery
7.5

Honda Civic Hatchback

25 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.2
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £190.51 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,286.12 inc VAT
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The Skoda Octavia Estate is flying the flag for practical, budget-friendly family cars this season. 

After a minor facelift of the previous model, the Octavia has integrated a four-headlight, front-end design to go alongside its already tried and tested expertise. 

The Skoda Octavia Estate shares the same 1.5-litre, 150bhp engine as the Volkswagen Golf, so you know it’s going to be a solid performer. Its swift 0-62mph time of 8.2s is pretty impressive and the potential to return 55mpg is one of the engine’s crowd pleasers. You’ll also get a much smoother and calming drive than you would in the diesel car equivalent. 

The build quality of the Octavia Estate can’t be faulted, even if the interior cabin lacks a touch of flair and flamboyance. The dashboard is adept and resourceful, without showing any real character. 

There’ll be no complaints from passengers in regards to head and leg room - the Octavia Estate is up there with the very best in the family estate class. The huge boot is another major selling point - the long squared-off shape of the Octavia delivers the goods and can be a real game-changer for families when compared against similarly priced rivals.

56 viewed this car Octavia Estate View Gallery
7.5

Skoda Octavia Estate

32 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 90 - 223g/km

From £185.98 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,231.76 inc VAT
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If you’re looking for a new car to accommodate your growing family, the Peugeot 3008 is a stylish SUV with a chic interior, massive boot and great build quality to rival the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and SEAT Ateca

You’ve got two options to consider when it comes to 3008 petrol options. You might think the 128bhp 1.2-litre engine won’t pack enough punch to carry the whole gang, but it’s surprisingly perky and deals with weight relatively well. If you’re after more venom, the 179bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine is your poison, but it’s inevitably going to cost you.

Enter the slick cabin, and the 3008 provides you with a fine dose of french flair. Everything looks and feels polished. The combination of soft plastics and sleek fabrics shed light on the fine level of craftsmanship undertaken to create such a pleasant cabin.

Although the 3008’s boot isn’t the biggest in the class, it’s still notably practical. All models also come with an adjustable boot floor to create extra space underneath the boot.

All 3008 models come equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen above the centre console and even the entry level ‘Active’ trim has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.

60 viewed this car 3008 Estate View Gallery
7.8

Peugeot 3008 Estate

27 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D, Y, X
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 36 - 182g/km

From £215.78 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,942.06 inc VAT
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With the same mechanical identity as the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo, the Volkswagen Up has all the foundations to become a desirable city car. 

Once you stick the prestigious Volkswagen badge on the front and spruce up the interior cabin, you’ve got yourself a masterpiece that the likes of Skoda and SEAT can’t compete with.   

You get the luxury of choosing from four 1.0-litre, three cylinder petrol engines: the 59bhp and 74bhp non-turbo versions as well as the turbocharged 89 bhp and 113bhp outputs.

The two lower powered engines are adequate if you’re sticking to city roads, but if you plan on venturing onto the motorway, we recommend the far punchier and smoother turbocharged 89bhp version. All engines are available in stop-start form which will improve your car's fuel economy and slash co2 emissions by cutting off the engine whenever the car comes to a halt. 

Get a glimpse of the Up’s interior and you’ll feel right at home. There’s a sophisticated level of pizzazz that we have come to love from Volkswagen cars. Even the entry-level trims have a certain sparkle to them.

The Up, of course only sits four bottoms. So what have Volkswagen done to reprieve themselves? They’ve made sure to give the Up one of the biggest boots in the city car class with a whopping 251-litres worth of luggage space.

38 viewed this car UP Hatchback View Gallery
8.4

Volkswagen UP Hatchback

16 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.0
  • Fuel: P, E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £149.28 Per Month

Initial Rental: £895.68 inc VAT
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We hope we’ve managed to shine some light on the wonderful world of petrol cars!

Our aim was to offer you a list of top performing cars from a variety of different car classes to provide you with the foundation to choose a car that best suits your personality. 

We know choosing a new car can be pretty daunting, so we want to be there every step of the way to aid your decision making. 

If you’ve seen ‘the one’, check out LeaseFetcher to compare the best deals for a new car.