What Car? Green Awards 2010 - Used cars

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  • The greenest cars revealed
  • 10 categories covered
  • Find out the winners, here
Best Buy Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 90 Style 5dr ’08/08
The Ford Focus is good to drive, reliable and environmentally friendly, which proves green used cars don’t have to cost the earth.

Read our review of the Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 90 Style 5dr 08/08

It has beaten off hardened eco-warriors such as the Toyota Prius to be our Used Green Car of the Year, and a look at the numbers shows why we chose it. An official average economy of 62.8mpg and only 118g/km of CO2 emissions means you’ll pay just £30 a year in road tax, and if you do 12,000 miles a year it’ll cost you only £982 in fuel. Older examples with higher mileages start from as little as £7000, and the Focus comes with a particulate filter, which keeps harmful emissions down.

The 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine may have only 89bhp, but that’s still enough to make the Focus feel at home on the motorway.

It’s great on a B-road, too, thanks to its sporty yet comfortable ride, and accurate steering.

There’s decent head- and legroom for four adults, and there’s plenty of space for all of their stuff in the boot.

No need to suffer
The Style may be the entry-level Focus, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer for the sake of the planet; it comes with alloy wheels, air-con and electric front windows as standard, as well as Isofix child-seat mounting brackets and a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

As well as the Prius, the Focus Style also had to fend off its sister Focus Econetic to be our Used Green Car of the Year. The 65.6mpg Focus Econetic is fractionally more economical than the Style model, but the standard car is far easier to find on the used market and considerably cheaper.

The Prius ran the Focus Style closer, but the Ford had the edge in a couple of areas: the Prius’s hybrid system is at its most efficient in urban stop-start driving, and is less effective elsewhere, whereas the Focus works well in all situations, and is substantially cheaper to buy as a used car.

Get haggling
You won’t struggle to find a Focus on a forecourt, with franchised Ford dealers, car supermarkets and independents having a good selection of Focus 1.6 TDCi 90 models to choose from. The sheer number of cars available means that prices are competitive and haggling should save you even more money in the long run.
An 08-plate Focus 1.6 TDCi 90 Style 5dr will cost from around £7000 at an independent dealer, although it will have covered well over 50,000 miles. Expect to pay closer to £9000 for the same car with fewer than 25,000 miles on the clock.

Green car fact file: used cars

Best Buy up to £8000
Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 90 Style 5dr ’08/08
Price from £8900 (’08/08, 24,000 miles)
CO2 emissions 118g/km
NOx 0.205g/km
Particulate emissions 0.019g/km
Av economy 62.8mpg
Green verdict
Proof that even those with a tighter motoring budget can afford to buy and run a genuinely green car



Best Buy £8000 to £13,000
Toyota Prius 1.5 T3 ’08/08
Price £11,000 (’08/08, 24,000 miles)
CO2 emissions 104g/km
NOx 0.010g/km
Particulate emissions na
Av economy 65.7mpg
Green verdict
The Prius has led the way in cleaner motoring, and there are now plenty on the market so finding a good one is easy


Best Buy £13,000 and over
BMW 318d SE ’08/08
Price £16,000 (’08/08, 25,000 miles)
CO2 emissions 123g/km
NOx 20.201g/km
Particulate emissions na
Av economy 60.1mpg
Green verdict
BMW has worked hard to make the 3 Series one of the cleanest yet classiest cars in this price bracket



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What Car? Green Awards 2010 - Editor's Award

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