The Top Eco Cars of 2015 for UK Drivers

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If you’re in the market for a new vehicle this year, check out our picks for the top 5 eco cars that will help you get around the UK with minimal environmental impact.

 

1. Volkswagen Twin-Up!

Volkswagen now has three versions of its Up city car, and while it’s tempting to tip the all-electric e-Up as one of this year’s top eco cars, its hybrid sister model gets the nod here for its higher mpg ratio that makes it that little bit more practical.

While the official test cycle figures show the e-Up delivers an equivalent 216mpg, the Twin-Up!’s 0.8 litre diesel engine and 35kW motor combine to deliver a fuel economy of over 250mpg – and all without the range anxiety of an all-electric.

Although the Twin-Up’s CO2 emissions come in at a relatively negligible 27g/km, it can still be switched to run on zero-emission mode – the downside here is that the battery range is just 31 miles, and that’s before the lights, wipers, radio and other in-car electrics begin to eat into it.

And while speed out-of-the-blocks probably won’t be at the top of your wish list if you’re in the market for an eco-friendly city car, the Twin-Up! makes 0-60mph in a none-too-shabby 15.7 seconds and delivers an all-electric top speed of 80mph.

 

 

2.Kia Soul EV

If you’re after an eco-car but owning a Kia has never appealing, the Soul EV could be the car to change your mind. The Kia research and development unit has been perfecting its EV offering for the best part of the last three decades and has arrived at the Soul’s 27kW lithium-ion battery that offers a range of 132 miles on a single charge.

Only the Tesla Model S can offer a better range than that.

And the Soul is an eco-car in every sense of the word; not only is it completely emission free – as are all EVs, of course – its interior is also made of environmentally-friendly bio-degradable plastic, foam and fabric.

Big enough to comfortably seat four adults but small enough to nip in and out of city traffic, the car is an ideal eco-friendly family car. And it also comes with Kia’s table-topping seven-year warranty for extra piece of mind.

 

3. Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

If you’re after an eco-car with a premium badge, you could do a lot worse than going for the Mercedes B-Class ED. Although all the talk in 2014 was of the BMW i3, 2015 is sure to be about Mercedes’ EV offering – not least because of the German marque’s tie-in with Tesla (more on them later) which has supplied the drive-train and battery pack.

We’ve come to expect outstanding performance from Tesla technology and the B-Class ED doesn’t disappoint, delivering 125 miles on a single charge and offering three drive modes. ‘Sport’ mode delivers up to 179bhp for when you need to quick out of the blocks, but you can then save the battery life a bit by putting it into ‘Economy’, which limits the car to 131bhp, or if you’re feeling particularly environmentally conscious ‘Economy Plus’ delivers just 87bhp and a maximum speed of 70mph.

 

4. Toyota Mirai FCV – Hydrogen Fuel Cell

A car with exhaust emissions that can be used to make the morning cuppa sounds like a British motorist’s dream car – and later this year Toyota will unveil its hydrogen cell technology for use in consumer models.

The Mirai will be powered by a 114kW fuel cell stack that offers a range of over 300 miles, which will all but eliminate range anxiety, and is capable of doing 0-60mph in a very impressive nine seconds.

On the downside, the screen price is likely to be upwards of £40,000 – this tech is anything but cheap – and the UK currently has fewer than 20 hydrogen refuelling stations, one of which is on the Isle of Lewis off the North West coast of Scotland!

 

5. Tesla Model X Electric

 

The Tesla Model S has been touted as a real game-changer in the world of EVs and the release of the much-anticipated Model X crossover is sure to have a similar impact. The Model X will have two battery pack options – a 60kWh with a range of 170 miles and a 85kWh battery capable of 230 miles – and while it will be larger and heavier than the model S, its all-wheel electric drive will still be able to push it from 0-60mph in under six seconds.

And as if to prove to any onlookers that this isn’t any old eco-car, rear-seated passengers will enter and leave the car via its ‘falcon doors’ that open upwards instead of outwards – the car has been on hold since 2013 but it should be well worth the wait.

These 5 cars are only a sample of the options available to you if you’re considering becoming more eco conscious, as they deliver the desired environmental efficiency with style and grace.

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    Greener Ideal strives to help you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips, healthy recipes and commentary on the latest environment news. The views expressed by guest authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.

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