What Car? Green Awards 2011 - Small family cars

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Cut your family's carbon footprint with a practical hatchback.

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion 5dr

The Golf shows that it’s still possible to be green simply by improving the technology that's available at the moment.

At the heart of the Golf Bluemotion lies an already-frugal 103bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine, and it's made even more efficient by a stop-start system, longer gearing to keep the revs down, and brakes that recycle energy. Throw in lowered suspension, low-rolling-resistance tyres, a bodykit that improves the car's aerodynamics and an indicator on the dashboard that tells you which gear to use for optimum efficiency, and the Golf can match a Toyota Prius for fuel economy.

The Bluemotion won't cost you a penny in road tax and it’s exempt from the London Congestion Charge. On top of all that it'll be worth more than nearly all of its rivals when you sell it on.

Drive a Bluemotion and you'll barely notice any difference between it and a regular diesel Golf. None of the eco-technology compromises the car's superb driving manners, which isn't something that all of the Golf's rivals can say. Okay, so the ride's not quite as smooth as a standard Golf's, but the Bluemotion is still more comfortable than most small family cars. It handles well, too, and the 1.6-litre diesel engine feels eager enough.

There's only one trim level on offer, but this gets you air-con, alloy wheels and electric front windows. You also get the Golf's usual raft of safety kit, which comprises seven airbags, stability control and active anti-whiplash head restraints.

Kia Cee'd
1.6 CRDi 89 Ecodynamics 2
Price £15,995
Target Price £14,368
CO2 103g/km NOx 0.137g/km
Particulate emissions 2.31mg/km
Average economy 72.4mpg
Toyota Prius
1.8 VVT-i T3
Price £20,845
Target Price £19,418
CO2 89g/km NOx 0.006g/km
Particulate emissions na
Average economy 72.4mpg

What Car? Green Awards 2011 - Family cars


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