The Greenest Small Family Cars on sale in the UK

The Green Car Guide to the most economical and lowest emission small family cars on sale in the UK today. We list what we consider to be the best most fuel-efficent small family vehicles in diesel, petrol, hybrid and electric car categories with links to our reviews and road tests.

Diesel Small Family Cars

First place

Peugeot 308 1.6 BlueHDI 91.1 mpg

The Peugeot 308 nudges above the 90mpg barrier, with an official combined fuel economy figure of 91.1mpg, equating to 82g/km CO2.

Petrol and Hybrid Small Family Cars

First place

Hyundai IONIQ 83.1 mpg

Hyundai’s hybrid is keenly priced, decent to drive, and very efficient. It is one of the biggest cars in the class which means it is a serious alternative to the Toyota Prius in addition the Small Family Car competitors.

Second place

Toyota has managed to refine the Auris’s aerodynamics to the point where they match the Prius Toyota Auris HSD 80.7 mpg

The new Toyota Auris is lower, lighter and longer, and as efficient as ever, however it still can’t match the driving experience of rivals.

Lexus has been at the forefront of hybrid technology Lexus CT200h  78.5 mpg

The hybrid powertrain from the Toyota Prius is dropped into a Lexus body. So it’s efficient and has a Lexus badge, but we’re not wild about the way it looks.


Plug-in Hybrid Small Family Cars

First place

Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid 256.8 mpg

The Plug-in version of the IONIQ completes the trilogy, and it was worth the wait. The electric IONIQ remains the pick of the bunch if you want to be entertained, but in this form it is competent to drive, well priced and incredibly efficient in the real world.

Second place

Audi A3 e-tronAudi A3 Sportback e-tron 176.6 mpg

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, meaning that it benefits from a flaw in the NEDC test cycle and achieves an amazing 176.6mpg.

 Third place

Volkswagen Golf GTEVolkswagen Golf GTE 166 mpg

The Golf GTE is more fun to drive than its Audi twin but it has a much shorter electric range than the excellent BMW i3 Range Extender, so whilst it is a great bet it has some very stiff opposition.


Extended-Range Electric Small Family Cars

First place

l-small-family-cars-electric-bmw-i3-80x53.jpg BMW i3 Range Extender 94 Ah 

The new BMW i3 is available as either a pure electric car, or with a range-extender, to provide extra range for occasional longer journeys.

Electric Small Family Cars

First place

l-small-family-cars-electric-bmw-i3-80x53-2.jpg BMW i3 94 Ah 

Yes it’s an all-electric BMW, going under the name of the i3. Designed from the ground up as an electric car, it’s lightweight and extremely innovative. Thanks to a larger capacity 94 Ah battery it has an official range of just under 200 miles.

Second place

hyundai-ioniq-electricHyundai IONIQ Electric

The IONIQ Electric offers a good range, keen pricing, and uncontroversial looks. So far so Hyundai. What you might not be expecting is the fun factor, which is why we prefer it to some key rivals.

Third place

the LEAF offers massive savings in running costs thanks to zero road tax and electricity costing about 80% less than petrol or diesel Nissan LEAF 24 kWh 

Nissan is pinning a lot on the electric car taking off, and with their partners Renault they are fully committed. This means that the LEAF is a thoroughly engineered car.

Fourth place

Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf, like the Ford Focus, is based on a conventional car – so helping to offer reassurance to potential owners of the electric Golf.

Fifth place

l-small-family-cars-electric-ford-focus-electric-80x53.jpg Ford Focus Electric

Whereas the BMW i3 is a new electric car from the ground up, the Ford Focus Electric is a Ford Focus with an electric powertrain replacing the petrol or diesel engine.