The Greenest Small Family Cars on sale in the UK

The Beating Spirit 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 308Peugeot 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.

Second place

l-small-family-cars-petrol-volkswagen-golf-80x53-2.jpgVolkswagen Golf BlueMotion 88.3 mpg

88.3mpg from any small family car is pretty amazing, but this is a Volkswagen Golf, so it also comes with all the quality and reliability that you’d expect from a Golf.

Third place

Volvo V40 Small Family Car ReviewVolvo V40 1.6 D2 ES 83.1 mpg

The V40 gets a 1.6 litre turbodiesel which has a modest power output but a healthy 199 lb.ft. of torque available from 1,750 – 2,500 rpm.

Fourth place

Renault Megane Expression+ dCi 110 Stop & Start Renault Megane Expression+ dCi 110 Stop & Start  80.7 mpg

The first key to success in this class is to have an efficient diesel option, and here the Megane delivers in spades. The 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine blends decent performance with excellent fuel economy.

Petrol and Hybrid Small Family Cars

First place

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.

Toyota has managed to refine the Auris’s aerodynamics to the point where they match the Prius Toyota Auris HSD 78.5 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 a Volkswagen Golf.

Second place

peugeot 308Peugeot 308 1.2 e-THP 110 64.2 mpg

The petrol-powered Peugeot 308 may not be as economical as the diesel option, but 64.2mpg is still pretty impressive.

Third place

l-small-family-cars-petrol-audi-a3-80x53.jpg Audi A3 SE 1.4 TFSI CoD  60.1mpg

The Audi A3 1.4 TFSI CoD has cylinder deactivation technology, meaning that although it’s normally a four-cylinder engine, it can run as just a two-cylinder if needed.

vw e-golf 80x53 Volkswagen Golf GT 1.4 TSI ACT DSG 60.1mpg

The new Volkswagen Golf is, predictably, evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but it is still sufficiently improved in all areas, including efficiency, to keep it at the top of the class overall.

Plug-in Hybrid Small Family Cars

First place

Audi A3 e-tron

Audi 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.

Extended-Range Electric Small Family Cars

First place

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

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

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.

Second 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

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.

Third place

vw e-golf 80x53 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.

Fourth 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.