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What Car? Staff
4 Mar 2008 8:0 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

If you need further convincing that going green can save you money, these are the cars that should prove it once and for all.

Golf hybrid
This VW Golf is powered by a diesel-electric hybrid system that combines a 74bhp 1.2-litre engine with a 19bhp electric motor and a seven-speed DSG gearbox. As a result of this and aerodynamic and weight-saving benefits already made on the Golf Bluemotion, it is hoped it will return an impressive 83.1mpg while emitting just 89g/km of carbon dioxide.

The car is described as near-production, but the bad news for UK motorists is that it is scheduled to go on sale in America along before it reaches our shores.

As well fulfilling the Euro 5 emissions criteria, it will meet the US BIN 5 requirements for sale in all 50 USA states, including California, where emissions are most tightly governed.

Speculation suggests that the powertrain will also find its way into the VW Jetta and Audi A3 when it is launched, possibly as soon as 2009.

Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel
Also on display is a 148bhp Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel that runs on natural gas. Performance is not unduly compromised, as it has a 0-62mph time of 9.7s and a top speed of 130mph.

The gas tanks carry 22kg of fuel and are supplemented by a 32-litre petrol tank, giving the car a range of 497 miles.

The gas-fuelled TSI engine will reach production before the end of 2008, in both Passat saloon and estate forms.

Sharan Bluemotion
This seven-seater will join VW's Bluemotion low-emission range in late 2008. Powered by a 136bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, it has been treated with the usual energy-saving tweaks of longer gear ratios, revised turbo boost characteristics, a tweaked exhaust gas recirculation system and improved aerodynamics.

The net result is a drop in carbon dioxide emissions from the standard Sharans 177g/km to 159g/km. It also achieves 45.6mpg, as opposed to the 42.8mpg of the standard car.