Green cars

* We reveal the UK's best used cars * Judged by leading industry experts * All categories covered...

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What Car? Staff
19 Oct 2011 23:00 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Winner Green cars
VW Golf 1.6 TDI SE 5dr
Age
2009/09
Dealer price 12,300
Private price 11,900
Not only is the Golf great to live with, it also has a great set of numbers. Itll do an average of 62.8mpg and a years road tax will set you back just 30. You can forgive the fact that it isnt exactly rapid; factor in the low starting prices and its unbeatable.

If you plan to cover a lot of miles, you could look at the dedicated Bluemotion models, which manage as much as 74.3mpg. Theyre still too pricey for us to consider them good value, though.

The Golf is superb to drive, being both refined and composed, and the steering is accurate and well balanced. The ride manages to be comfortable, and body roll isnt excessive when cornering. Wind and road noise are kept in check, too.

Inside, the Golf is more than up to the task of coping with a family, with decent passenger space in the back. Theres enough leg- and headroom for two adults or three if theyre prepared to cosy up and the boot is big and easy to load. The only slight issue is that the split-folding rear seats dont lie totally flat when folded.

The SE is the best buy because it comes with many of the things youd expect on a Golf, including alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, and cruise control.

We expect the Golf to hold its value well over the next few years, which will limit the money youll lose through depreciation. The Golf also upholds Volkswagens reputation for reliable cars, so you wont face huge repair bills, but it isnt totally fault-free. Issues include faulty ventilation systems and wiring faults that cause the heated seats to fail. There are occasional clutch and engine management issues, too.

Runners-up
Toyota Prius 1.5 T4,
08/58, 9000

The car that bought green motoring to the masses is still a good used buy. Well equipped, spacious and easy to find on the used market.

BMW 3 Series 320d ED,
09/59, 16,700

Even more efficient than the standard 320d, the Efficient Dynamics manages 68.9mpg and costs 20 in annual road tax.
Judges view
Matt Sanger,used car editor, What Car?

Great to drive, desirable and very efficient, the Golf should be at the top of every green drivers wish list.