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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

Ford Focus Style 1.5L EcoBlue 95PS 80.7 mpg WLTP

The Focus has always been the default choice if you want a family hatch that is entertaining to drive, and the latest version is no different. However it is now plusher and much bigger in the back whilst remaining very keenly priced and that is enough to retain the top spot as our favourite small family car.

Peugeot 308 1.5L BlueHDI 80.7 mpg WLTP

The 308 remains a good looking family hatchback that combines a good balance of driving fun and ride comfort whilst also achieving excellent official fuel consumption. The biggest question is whether the i-Cockpit makes or ruins the experience for you, so whilst we always recommend taking a test drive before buying, in the 308 this is crucial.

Second place

Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE Technik S tronic 72.4 mpg (WLTP)

The A3 is feeling its age a little, it isn’t the most dynamic to drive, doesn’t have the best interior and it commands a significant premium over mainstream rivals. However for many the pull of that iconic badge is too much to resist.

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 166.2 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 166.2mpg.

Volkswagen Golf GTEVolkswagen Golf GTE 166.2 mpg

SOLD OUT! The Golf GTE is currently unavailable due to very strong demand.

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

BMW i3s 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

Hyundai Kona Electric Hyundai KONA Electric 39 kWh

A game changer. The KONA delivers real world range that the rest can’t get close to. It is also good looking, decent to drive and keenly priced.

Second place

BMW i3s 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.

Third place

Nissan LEAF 2018 Nissan LEAF Visia 40 kWh

The second generation LEAF is faster, better looking, and most of the range is cheaper than the car it replaces. As if that wasn’t enough it also delivers a significant increase in range which makes it a very strong package.

Fourth 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.

Fifth place

Volkswagen e-GolfVolkswagen 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.

 

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