Although green cars appear to be the way of the future, not everyone is ready to take the plunge toward an all-electric or hybrid vehicle. If you are one of these drivers, whether it is due to budget constraints or anxiety surrounding the relatively unknown, there are many new cars on the market that are still low-emissions and economical even with petrol engines.
First, it helps to know what carbon emissions levels are and how they are measured. Emissions standards are in place to determine safe and unsafe levels of pollutants that are released into the atmosphere by a vehicle. When looking at a car, you will want to pay attention to the emissions rating, which is measured as grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven (listed as g/km). Most cars will fall within the 100-200 g/km range, while the most efficient cars are between 86 g/km and 100 g/km. Very high-emissions vehicles might operate at 300-450 g/km.
The following three vehicle examples are just a few of many that feature low emissions levels: the Kia Picanto, the MINI Cooper, and the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso.
The Kia Picanto is just about the cheapest you can go while still investing in a vehicle that boasts decent emissions figures. Starting at only £7,195, the Picanto is a supermini from the Korean car manufacturer that is available in 1.0-litre and 1.1-litre powertrains. Both of these options have emissions figures of 114 g/km.
For those drivers aiming for a sporty and trendy look while hoping to remain true to environmental consciousness, the MINI Cooper is an ideal choice. The MINI Cooper boasts the best efficiency figures of any car in the BMW family. With an emissions level of just 104 g/km, this car combines appearance and economy into one neat package.
Drivers who need just a little more space might be interested to know that the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 eHDi, a diesel-powered MPV, has a relatively low emissions rating of 119 g/km, putting it in the lowest road tax bracket. Compare this to the Vauxhall Zafira, which features an emissions level of 204 g/km, placing it into the highest road tax bracket.
The above car makes and models are just a few of the many low-emissions vehicles that are available to UK drivers. With growing concerns over road taxes and rising petrol prices, it is no wonder that motorists are doing what they can to make their money go as far as possible, and trading in their used cars and upgrading to a nearly new car is becoming the chosen path of least fiscal pain.