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
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.
Volkswagen 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.
Volvo 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.
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
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 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.
Peugeot 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.