If you’re thinking of becoming a greener motorist, there are plenty of advantages to choosing a car with a lighter carbon tread. Whether electric or hybrid, in addition to their overall economy, fuel-efficient vehicles will reduce your car tax and take you further for your budget. Green cars have come along way in the last few years and developments are expected to continue in this area of the market. Here are some of the best.
Smooth-driving, silent and infinitely manoeuvrable, the eco-loving BMW i3 is electric in more ways than one. Its light but robust carbon-fibre build sits higher on the road than might first be expected from a BMW to offer a commanding driver’s-eye-view. With the estimated running costs of this EV coming in at a quarter of the cost of its petrol-powered counterparts, there are plenty of reasons to charge up your drive with this great work of green technology.
With its Gallic good looks and overall fluidity of design, the Renault Zoe best resembles the classic Clio, albeit with a minimalist twist. An R-link info screen with downloadable apps and Bluetooth, blue exterior lights and a TFT display all add to the futuristic feel. Its electric motor offers responsive acceleration and a 60bhp in Eco Mode, while its traditional gearbox will delight those who prefer manual-style controls.
Compact, agile, and very accessible to the first-time buyer, the VW Up! offers an exceptionally economical road experience. A choice of a two or three cylinder engine and high levels of customisation means you can tailor your drive to your needs, and there’s enough left under the bonnet for the occasional motorway excursion. Opting in to the VW’s BlueMotion technology option will boost fuel economy to around 68.9mpg; what’s more, with its low CO2 emissions, road tax will become a thing of the past.
The Volvo V60 balances the powerful performance you would expect from a car in its class with the saintly CO2 emissions of just 49g/km that warrant a car tax break and competitive insurance prices. The hybrid model is rubbing bumpers with other, comparably economical cars in terms of fuel efficiency, offering 150 mpg and good acceleration levels before the diesel engine takes over. With a 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating and roomy estate build, it’s also a viable option for the larger family on the move.
The full-hybrid Toyota Prius offers a medium-sized, 5 door family hatchback that can switch up between petrol and electric power as required. Its understated elegance and green credentials have won the Prius something of a Hollywood following; with Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus and Julia Roberts just a few in a fleet of Prius devotees. The Prius will tick over happily in electric mode to around 30mph before its hybrid engine kicks in, fuel efficiency sits at a comfortable overall 47.5 mpg and, expectedly, emissions fall into the zero car tax category.