* The greenest cars revealed * 10 categories covered * Find out the winners, here...
Best Buy Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Visia Pure Drive 2WD
Nissan invented the crossover when it launched the Qashqai in 2007. Its blend of chunky 4x4 styling and small-hatchback affordability provided the foundation for cars such as the Skoda Yeti and our 2010 Car of the Year, the Peugeot 3008.
Read our review of the Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi Visia Pure Drive 2wd
Fast-forward three years and the Nissan is still one of the best crossovers out there and the top choice if being green tops your agenda.
Its recently been treated to a face-lift, as well as tweaks to the ride and handling. This brand-new Pure Drive edition is also lighter, with improved aerodynamics that slash already modest emissions by a further 5%. The result is that the 1.5 dCi Visia Pure Drive 2WD puffs out no more CO2 than a 1.4-litre Vauxhall Corsa.
Yes, the 1.5-litre diesel engine is a bit grumbly, but being green does have some financial upsides: this Pure Drive model will top 57mpg, and its low CO2 emissions make it a cheap company car, too.
Family car credentials, too
The Qashqai is a brilliant family car to boot. Its cabin is spacious and classy, while its tall stance gives an excellent view of the road ahead. Its set up to be relaxing and easy to drive, rather than for sporty handling but, frankly, theres no point in buying a green car unless youre going to take advantage of its emission-slashing abilities by driving sensibly. The supple suspension and soft seats also do wonders for the ride.
You may wonder why the cleanest Peugeot 3008 isnt featured here. Its mainly because the Peugeot pumps out more CO2, although NOx and particulate emissions are slightly lower.
Its also worth considering that while top-end versions of the 3008 are undoubtedly brilliant, smaller-engined models miss out on the Dynamic Roll Control that contributes greatly to the cars impressive ride and handling.
The fuel-sipping Pure Drive is available in basic trim only, but thats fine as you still get air-conditioning, Bluetooth, all-round electric windows, a socket for your MP3 player, six airbags and stability control as standard.
A reasonable amount of haggling at the Nissan dealership will secure you the greenest Qashqai in the range for less than 16,000, which is cheaper than
the equivalent Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.
So the Nissan is cost-effective, practical, comfortable, good to drive and, most importantly, easy on the environment. Thats why its our Green Crossover of the Year.
Green car fact file: crossovers/4x4
Best Buy up to 20,000
Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Visia Pure Drive 2WD
List price 16,695
**Target Price 15,738
CO2 emissions 129g/km
Particulate emissions 0.022g/km
Av economy 57.6mpg
The updated diesel Qashqai has a range of eco tweaks that make serious sense for green buyers
Best Buy 20,000 to 30,000
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 140 Bluemotion Tech Match
List price 23,195
**Target Price 21,861
CO2 emissions 139g/km
Particulate emissions 0.27g/km
Av economy 53.3mpg
Our favourite model in the range also happens to be the greenest by some margin
Best Buy 30,000 and over
Lexus RX450h SE-L
List price 52,435
**Target Price 50,242
CO2 emissions 148g/km
Particulate emissions na
Av economy 44.8mpg
Its a full-size, luxurious 4x4 that produces less CO2 than a basic Ford Focus