Best company cars: superminis, small cars and city cars

* Best company cars * Low company car tax; good to drive * Running cost data included in What Car? reviews...

07 August 2012

Best company cars: superminis, small cars and city cars

Getting low company car tax bills is a priority for most company car drivers, so if you need help to decide which one to go for, our list of the 10 best company cars is a great place to start.

Low company car tax bills and leasing costs are only part of the equation, however. The best company cars also need to be practical, comfortable and good to drive. Here are our favourites.

Top 10 company cars
Company cars don't get much cheaper to run than the Skoda Citigo. It shares most parts with the brilliant Volkswagen Up - our Car of the Year 2012 - so it's amazingly practical and sophisticated for a car this small and affordable. As a company car, the Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 Greentech SE 5dr makes most sense, because it's incredibly fuel efficient and leasing costs are cheap.

Moving up in size, the Ford Fiesta is a popular company car choice and it ticks our fleet car boxes, too. The Fiesta is refined and fun to drive, while the engines are clean and it's cheap to run. Our company car pick would be the Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi 95 Zetec Econetic 3dr. It balances equipment and cost better than any other model in the Fiesta range, and the 1.6 diesel engine provides excellent economy.

The Ford Fiesta averages 78.5mpg and emits 87g/km of CO2 in Econetic trim

Make a beeline for the Kia Ceed if it's on your company car list. The spacious, well-finished cabin is a major attraction and the 1.6 diesel engines are frugal and quiet. We'd recommend the Kia Ceed 1.6 CRDi 128 1. It has an impressive mix of performance, economy and affordability, while entry-level 1 trim provides all you need.

The Ford Mondeo is synonymous with company cars, and the latest version remains one of the best around. It's great to drive, smooth and comfortable to travel in. For company car buyers, we'd recommend the Mondeo 1.6 TDCi 115 Eco Zetec because of its excellent fuel economy, low emissions and decent performance.

BMW has dramatically reduced the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of its cars over the last few years, so it's no surprise to see that three of its models make it to our company car top 10.

BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics is cheap to run as a company car

The latest 1 Series is BMW's most efficient model yet, and long-term ownership costs are so low that it makes more sense than many mainstream models that have a cheaper list price. The BMW 116d Efficient Dynamics 5dr gets the nod here, thanks to CO2 emissions of just 99g/km and incredibly low leasing costs. It's classy and good to drive, too.

The BMW 3 Series remains the best compact executive around. A range of efficient engines is available, with fuel economy and CO2 emissions that beat most of its rivals. Our company car pick would be the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics.

If you're after a full-size executive car the BMW 5 Series is impossible to overlook. With the right options, the BMW 5 Series strikes just the right balance between comfort and dynamic excellence and the interior is suitably plush. Like most company car buyers, we'd go for the 520d Efficient Dynamics, which has supermini-rivalling CO2 emissions and fuel economy.

Company cars come in all shapes and sizes; the Nissan Qashqai has funky 4x4 styling and a desirable image. Combine that with a competitive price and strong resale values and you have a compelling, affordable company car. We'd go for the Qashqai 1.6 dCi Acenta 2WD.

Another car that blends smart SUV looks with excellent practicality is the Mazda CX-5. Its 2.2-litre diesel engine is one of the best - and most efficient - around, and the CX-5 is as good to drive as it is to look at. It's not cheap, but the Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv D 150 SE-L is a great all-rounder and running costs are comparatively low.

Opting for a seven-seat MPV often means being lumbered with poor fuel consumption and high CO2 emissions, but not if you go for a Toyota Prius+. Using an updated version of the standard Prius's petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, the Toyota Prius+ 1.8 VVTi T4 promises real-world fuel economy of over 50mpg, according to our What Car? True MPG tests. Sub-100g/km CO2 means low tax bills, and although it's not the most exciting MPV to drive or look at, the Prius+ is impressively practical.

What Car? company car guide 2012 >>

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