We’ve got a habit of concentrating on the most impressive high numbers when it comes to cars. The highest top speed, the biggest engines, the largest number of cylinders, and many others.
But sometimes we like to look at the losers – the cars that offer the least impressive numbers, and that’s what we’re doing here by round up the least fuel-efficient cars on sale today. These monsters will barely go any distance on a gallon of unleaded, but in every one of these cases, it’s a sacrifice worth making for some reason or another…
Bugatti Chiron – 12.6mpg
It’s no surprise that one of the fastest cars in the world is also one of the thirstiest. The Bugatti Chiron’s enormous, quad-turbocharged W16 engine puts out more than 1,000bhp, and as a result, gobbles up fuel like hyperactive children gobble Haribo. Legend has it that, at full chat, a Chiron can empty its huge fuel tank in just nine minutes.
Lamborghini Aventador S – 15.4mpg
Lamborghini is well-known as a manufacturer of screaming V12 engines, and its latest and greatest is fitted to the flagship Aventador. These units have only got more powerful over the years, but one thing that hasn’t taken a quantum leap forward is fuel economy. The Aventador S returns just 15.4mpg.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – 16.8mpg
While the regular Jeep Grand Cherokee can be had with a relatively efficient diesel engine, Trackhawk models are fitted with an obscene V8 engine that puts out a monstrous 707bhp. Add in some serious heft and the aerodynamics of a rock, and this fuel economy figure is barely surprising.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan – 18.8mpg
The most luxurious SUV in the world? Very probably. Rolls’ foray into the high-riding 4×4 market didn’t come by accident, and though the Cullinan is divisive for its styling there’s no denying it’s one seriously plush beast. It’s a thirsty one too, as it weighs almost as much as Mercury and is powered by a 6.7-litre V12 engine.
Ferrari GTC4Lusso – 18.8mpg
It’s possible to get the shooting-brake style Ferrari GTC4Lusso with a comparatively economical turbocharged V8 engine but honestly, when the bonnet’s this long, why not fill it up? The V12 GTC4Lusso won’t hit 20mpg, but there are few more stylish ways to cross continents – and with 4WD, you’ll be able to strip Val D’Isere dry of its fuel even when it’s iced over.
Rolls-Royce Phantom – 19.1mpg
Powered by the same V12 engine as the Cullinan, the Phantom likely scores slightly better on fuel economy due to its lower, lighter frame. That’s not to say this is a small or efficient car – rear passengers get more space than they would in most two-bed flats, and it won’t touch 20mpg. But boy oh boy, you’ll be relaxed when you get to the petrol station… and have your chauffeur fill it up for you.
Bentley Bentayga W12 – 21.6mpg
The Bentley Bentayga’s biggest rival is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and while it can’t quite compete on desirability or interior luxury, it’s got it licked for fuel economy. The 21.6mpg figure is almost palatable, though it’s a sting to know that a more efficient V8 diesel model used to be available before it was dropped from the range.
Range Rover SVAutobiography – 21.6mpg
Matching the Bentayga for fuel economy – and indeed luxury – the supercharged V8-powered Range Rover SVAutobiography is a truly go-anywhere vehicle, as comfortable in knee-deep mud as it is parked outside the Hilton. Hopefully, it also feels at home at the Shell V-Power pump.
Aston Martin Rapide S – 21.9mpg
Soon, Aston Martin’s going to introduce an all-electric version of the Rapide, but until then this V12 model is the sole choice. It’s a wonderful car, mating the practicality of a luxury saloon to the classic ability and theatre of a British sports car – but it’s one of the older models in the Aston Martin range, and that fuel economy shows it.
Ford Mustang Bullitt – 22.8mpg
The cheapest car on this list by quite some margin, the Ford Mustang Bullitt is a great bargain performance car – provided you’ve got the income to support its thirst. Still, you’ll stand out at the pumps thanks to a movie-inspired makeover, and little else sounds so good for the price.