Greenest executive cars

16 June 2008
BMW 318d

We list the five cleanest compact executive and executive cars in their class and recommend three from each which we think you should consider.

Compact execs: What Car? Recommends
1 BMW 318d ES
No wonder BMW scoops so many green awards. It has been quietly slashing emissions for some time now, and the 318d's 123g/km of CO2 puts it streets ahead of the rivals. It's more fun to drive, classier, roomier and more practical than most of them, too.

2 Mercedes C-Class C200 CDI
The C-Class is roomy, good to drive and comes loaded with safety kit. On the downside, some road noise intrudes into the cabin and it lacks the feeling of being an extra-special car. However, choose this model and you will also get the benefit of emissions of 149g/km, which drops the car into VED band F and should put a smile on your face.

3 Audi A4 2.0 TDI 120
Audi’s A4 proves that you don’t need to pay the earth – or do a lot of damage to it – to put a prestige-badged saloon on your drive. Thanks to a 2.0-litre diesel engine that’s frugal and emits only 134 g/km of CO2, this A4 is cheap to own. Okay, 118bhp isn’t a lot for a car of this size, but the engine is refined and flexible, and this model is as roomy, desirable and classy as much pricier A4 models.

Greenest compact execs
1 BMW 318d ES   123g/km   VED Band D   60.1mpg
2 BMW 320d   128g/km   VED Band D   58.9mpg
3 Audi A4 2.0 TDI 120   134g/km   VED Band E   55.4mpg
4 Saab 9-3 1.9 TiD 150    137g/km   VED Band E   54.3mpg
5 Alfa 1.9 JTDm 8v ECO Turismo    138g/km   VED Band E   54.3mpg

Executive cars: What Car? Recommends
1 BMW 520d SE
Is there no end to the talents of the BMW 5 Series? It has won every award in the book for being the best car in the class, and with the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel engine, it's also virtually the cleanest. As well as limiting emissions to near class-leading levels, the 520d is impressively fuel-efficient, returning 55.4mpg on average. The engine also gives strong performance and excellent refinement, while agile handling, a well-damped ride and excellent practicality complete an awesome package.

2 Audi A6 2.0 TDIe
Audi has put a lot of effort into making the 2.0 TDIe version of the A6 as efficient as possible and a CO2 emissions figure of just 139g/km shows that they’ve done a great job. Add in a low list price and the standard A6 characteristics of a vast cabin and top-notch build quality and you’ve got a very tempting business proposition.

3 Jaguar XF 3.0D S Luxury
Yes, the XF doesn't have the lowest emissions going, but that doesn't mean it's not a great green choice. Not only is the 3.0-litre engine more powerful than the 2.7 it replaced, it's also much cleaner, which equates to lower running costs for company car drivers. And, of course, that's on top of the talents that won the XF the What Car? Car of the Year award in 2008.

Greenest execs
1 Volvo S80 1.6D DRIVe    129g/km   VED Band D   tbc mpg
2 BMW 520d SE    136g/km   VED Band E   55.4mpg
3 Audi A6 2.0 TDIe   139g/km   VED Band E   53.3mpg
= Mercedes E220 CDI Blue Efficiency   139g/km   VED Band E   47.1mpg
5 Audi A6 2.0 TDI 170   149g/km   VED Band F    49.6mpg

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