What Car? Green Awards 2011 - Fun cars

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You don’t have to lose an interest in driving when you buy a green car.

Mini 1.6D Cooper

Being green doesn't mean you have to wave goodbye to any driving enjoyment – and here’s the proof.

The Cooper D has none of the frustratingly long gearing and feeble engines of many 70mpg+ rivals. It will have you smiling before you even press the ‘start’ button. Its funky retro design still looks fresh today, which is pretty remarkable when you consider it’s hardly changed since 2001. It’s a similar story inside, with retro dials and switches.

The Cooper D doesn’t disappoint when you hit the road, either. Its 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine isn’t as powerful as some modern hot hatches’, but it’s nippy enough (0-62mph takes 9.7 seconds and top speed is 122mph) and you don’t have to venture close to the redline to access that performance.

What ground the Mini loses in a straight line it’ll more than make up when the road gets twisty. Superb grip is backed up by sensational steering and excellent body control, which gives you the confidence to really push the Cooper D to its limits.

This might be the greenest Mini, but it’s as darty and agile as far more powerful versions.

It isn’t all about how well the Mini drives, of course. CO2 emissions of 99g/km mean it’s exempt from road tax and the London Congestion Charge, while 74.3mpg will ensure fuel station stops are few and far between.

Being a Mini, there are certain compromises. There isn’t much room in the back, and the boot is tiny, but the Cooper D is without question the most fun way of going green.

Volkswagen Scirocco
2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech
Price £22,435
Target Price £20,884
CO2 118g/km NOx 0.134g/km
Particulate emissions 0.42mg/km
Average economy 62.8mpg
Audi TT
2.0 TDI quattro Sport
Price £30,295
Target Price £28,122
CO2 144g/km NOx 0.144g/km
Particulate emissions 0.20mg/km
Average economy 51.4mpg

What Car? Green Awards 2011 - Overall winner


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