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Green Car Guide Cars of the Year 2012

16 December 2012 by Paul Clarke

Cars of the Year 2012 - UK Award

Green Car Guide has one clear aim – to seek out cars that offer motorists the best combination of economy and driver appeal – and based on this criteria we’re delighted to award our Cars of the Year 2012 title to the BMW 330d Touring and the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ.

The two cars may seem very different – one is a diesel premium estate and the other a petrol sports car – but they both also have similarities: both are amongst the best in their class for efficiency, and both are rear-wheel drive and designed to be drivers’ cars.

Here are the top 10 reasons why these cars win our Green Car Guide ‘Cars of the Year 2012’ award :

BMW 330d Touring


1. Combination of 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, 155mph, 560Nm torque, 55.4mpg combined and 135g/km CO2 emissions

2. Practical estate body ideal for families

3. Communicative rear-wheel drive chassis

4. Great soundtrack from 3-litre, straight-six, twin-turbo engine

5. Can be economical or a responsive, performance-focused driver’s car

6. Despite economy and performance, a comfortable car

7. Automatic transmission always seems to be in the right gear at the right time

8. All interior controls feel intelligently designed around the driver

9. Looks good

10. Aspirational brand attractive to company car users and private buyers

Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ


1. One of the most responsive driver’s cars on sale

2. Offers good economy in relation to the driving experience – especially with automatic transmission

3. Refreshing lightweight-focused design ethos

4. Fantastically adjustable rear-wheel drive chassis

5. Controls such as steering and brakes all well-weighted

6. Great noise from boxer engine

7. Practical for such a car – can fit two adults and two children; rear seats can also fold flat

8. Should be durable and reliable

9. Looks good

10. Good value for such an entertaining driving experience

Read our back-to-back test of the
BMW 330d Touring v Subaru BRZ

Watch the video of the
BMW 330d Touring v Subaru BRZ on some of the best roads in North Wales

Read our initial impressions of the BMW 330d Touring – see our report after week 1

Read about our 60mpg economy in the BMW 330d Touring – see our report after week 2

Find out how the BMW 330d Touring performed in the Lake District – see our report after week 3

See how the BMW 330d Touring performed in mud and snow

Read our review of the Subaru BRZ (manual)

Read our review of the Toyota GT86 (automatic)

Car Facts and Figures

BMW 330d Touring Luxury data

Model/Engine size: 330d Touring Luxury

Fuel: Diesel

Fuel economy combined: 55.4mpg

Fuel economy extra urban: 62.8mpg

Fuel economy urban: 44.8mpg

Real-life economy: 45.0mpg

CO2 emissions: 135 g/km

Green rating: VED band E – first year £120

Weight: 1680kg

Company car tax liability (2012/13): 21%

Price: £36,300

Insurance group: TBC

Power: 258 bhp

Max speed: 155 mph

0-62mph: 5.6 seconds

Subaru BRZ (manual) data

Model/Engine size: 2.0-litre boxer

Fuel: Petrol

Fuel economy combined: 36.2mpg

Fuel economy extra urban: 44.1mpg

Fuel economy urban: 27.2mpg

Real-life economy: 34.7mpg

CO2 emissions: 181 g/km

Green rating: VED band I – £215 a year

Weight: 1180 kg

Company car tax liability (2012/13): 27%

Price: £24,995

Insurance group: 29

Power: 197 bhp

Max speed: 130 mph

0-62mph: 8.2 seconds

Paul Clarke