These are Green Car Guide’s Top 10 Green Cars. These are the cars that we would buy with our own money. They are included here if they are efficient AND they are great cars to drive, NOT because they have the highest official combined miles per gallon figure.
If you’re surprised that our number one green car is a 3-litre, six-cylinder BMW estate, then don’t be. In 2012 we voted the BMW 330d Touring our joint Green Car of the Year, for combining efficiency, performance and practicality, and no car has appeared since then to take its crown.
Another surprise? The ActiveHybrid3 comes close to the M3 in terms of the driving experience and performance, but with around half the emissions and twice the economy – that’s why it’s our favourite – if expensive – hybrid.
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has an official combined fuel economy figure of 155mpg, along with 48g/km CO2, four-wheel drive and a 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds. It’s also a practical estate. What’s not to like?
The Tesla Model S is a pure electric car with a 300-mile range, a 0-60mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 132mph. It also has seven seats and looks fantastic. And amazingly it’s from a car manufacturer that has only existed for a shade over ten years.
The BMW i3, available either as a pure electric vehicle or with a range extender, has modern design, lightweight construction, rear-wheel drive and very low running costs. This is the electric car that will make electric cars aspirational.
The Renault ZOE is an ideal city car – it’s easy to drive, quiet, has a decent range, and for an electric car, it’s relatively affordable.
The Renault Clio dCi 90 ECO is one of the lowest emission cars with a conventional powertrain on sale, emitting 83g/km CO2 along with an excellent 88.3mpg – and it looks good and drives well.
The new Mazda3 may not be the most economical car you can buy, but it looks good, it’s great to drive, it’s efficient, and it deserves to be seen as more than just a niche choice in the small family hatchback class.
The Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion is not the most exciting car to drive, but there’s very little else to fault it, and its official combined economy figure of 88.3mpg is pretty amazing for a family hatchback of this quality.
The Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 offers one of the best driving experiences of any car, along with 39.8mpg (with automatic transmission) or 36.2mpg (manual). This is around twice as economical as most other cars that are this good to drive, and a fraction of their price. Best of all, you can have fun in this car within the UK’s speed limits.