Last updated July 07, 2022
Car manufacturers are always looking for ways to make their vehicles more environmentally friendly. Many have made great strides in recent years, but there are still some cars that are better for the environment than others.
The best cars for the environment are those with low emissions and made of environmentally friendly materials. Some of the most environmentally friendly cars on the market include hybrids and electric vehicles.
Here are some of our favourite environmentally friendly cars, including electric vehicles, hybrids, and even one with a petrol engine!
Whilst many see hybrids as a steppingstone to fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids can make a lot of sense for private and business owners alike. Hybrids are particularly appealing when the all-electric range is the 62 miles claimed for the Mercedes C 300 e. This range is around twice the distance we’ve come to expect from most rivals, thanks to its big, 25.4kWh battery.
Official efficiency features sit at 404mph and 14g/km for the Mercedes C 300 e, making for serious cost savings providing you top up the battery frequently.
Unlike many PHEVs, the battery supports fast charging up to 55kW, so you can quickly get back on the road with electric power. Because you can gain so many miles on electricity alone, the Mercedes C 300 e is one of the best environmental cars on the market right now.
There’s a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a 127bhp electric motor, so even when the battery is depleted the C 300 e feels convincing as a hybrid, with regenerative braking sending energy to the battery. Standard equipment includes 18” alloys, head up display, a rain sensor and keyless go
Prices start from £53,160. Find out more about the Mercedes C 300 e, here.
Although electricity is becoming the green fuel of choice for more people, petrol isn’t a thing of the past just yet. Toyota were pioneers of hybrid technology and now offer it across the majority of their range, including the Yaris.
The Yaris has gone through a number of different looks since its launch in 1999, but one thing has always remained the same – its reputation for being a solid, affordable and reliable hatchback. The latest Yaris provides plenty of technology for both economy and comfort in a small and surprisingly sporty looking package.
The new car is slightly more compact in dimensions compared to its predecessor, but should still seat four passengers in decent comfort.
Where the Yaris really shines, though, is with its green credentials. Fuel economy of well over 60mpg and CO2 emissions under 100kg/km, making the latest Yaris one of the cleanest fuel-burning cars on the market. The base-level Icon trim starts at £21,080, with the Design coming in at £22,140, the Excel at £24,040, and the GR Line topping off the range also at £24,040. Find out more about the Toyota Yaris, here.
The Fiat 500 has always been a crucial car for the brand, and now the latest 500 is the first fully electric Fiat to go on sale. Though slightly larger than its outgoing predecessor, the new 500 continues to perform brilliantly as a city car.
There are two battery options to choose from – the 24kWh ‘City Range’ with a claimed range of 115 miles, or the upgrades 42kWh ‘Long Range’ which boosts the range up to 199 miles. Customisation is still a big factor with four trim levels available.
The entry-level Action is only available with the smaller 94bhp motor, so if you want the larger one with 117bhp, you will need to opt for one of the higher-spec trims. If you really want to stand out and enjoy the summer sunshine, a convertible 500C is available.
The Action starts from £19,995, the Passion at £23,495, the Icon from £24,995, and the La Prima from £24,995. Find out more about the Fiat 500, here.
It may be the cheapest Tesla currently on the UK market, but the Model 3 packs in just as much brilliance and excitement as the pricier Model S and Model X. A seemingly endless array of technology ranging from a built-in gaming system to autopilot, the option of supercar-like acceleration, and an impressive real-world range all help the Model 3 to remain a highly attractive option for many buyers, even as the competition hots up.
With pricing starting from over £40,000, the Model 3 commands a premium price and subsequently does not benefit from the government’s plug-in car grant. However, forking out the extra pennies provides you with access to the ever-growing network of Tesla’s superchargers. You will also own a green car that will easily seat 4 passengers and has boot space for their luggage, as well as having a claimed range of between 305-360 miles at your disposal, depending on your chosen spec.
The Standard comes with a huge 15” infotainment screen, 18” alloys and climate control, with the Long Range adding rear heated seats, wireless phone charging and keyless entry. Prices start at £45,990 for the Standard, £54,990 for the Long Range and £59,990 for the Performance. Find out more about the Tesla Model 3, here.
If you are looking for a more simplistic approach to your electric motoring, the MG5 could well be the perfect option. Rather than trying to cram the car full of bells and whistles, MG has instead created a simple, sensible and highly-affordable estate car.
Continuing the overall theme of simplicity, there are just two trim levels available: Excite and Exclusive. All cars are fitted with a DAB radio, smartphone connectivity and sat nav, while the Exclusive trim adds some posher touches such as leather upholstery and keyless go.
Space is plentiful due to the estate style, with a 464-litre boot and a generous amount of room for both front and rear passengers. The MG5 undercuts a number of rivals, many of which are far smaller in size and less practical, particularly in price.
Although the cost-cutting is evident in some of the chosen materials, MG seems to be confident in the 5’s reliability because it comes with a seven-year/80,000 mile warranty. Prices start at £29,695 for the Excite, and £31,995 for the Exclusive. Find out more about the MG5 EV, here. here.
The first car of a new generation of all-electric Volkswagens, the ID.3 is an easy car to live with, thanks to its high levels of practicality and real-world usability. Thanks to some clever design, the ID.3 provides a good amount of space for both passengers and luggage.
Add a range of between 217 and 263 miles – depending on the spec – and the ID.3 makes a very strong case for both family use and the daily commute.
Technology is plentiful with LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, keyless start, climate control, heated front seats and a touchscreen all fitted as standard across the range.
Prices start at £29,635 for the Life trim, £33,725 for the Style, £33,635 for the Family, £37,745 for the Pro Performance and £38,815 for the Pro S. Find out more about the Volkswagen ID.3, here.here.
Hyundai had wide success with the original Ioniq in both hybrid and fully-electric forms, but the Ioniq 5 seeks to bring Hyundai into the premium electric car market in serious style. It features 8-bit headlights and bold styling.
It is actually a large car too, being both longer and wider than the Hyundai Tucson, a mid-size SUV. In terms of power, the range starts off with a 58kWh battery paired with a single 168bhp motor, which results in a range of 238 miles.
The mid-range setup is best if range is your top priority as the 73kWh battery increases the range to 280 miles, as well as increasing the power. If performance is what you’re after, the top-spec Ioniq 5 adds a second motor to this mix, resulting in 301bhp and 605Nm of torque. The range drops slightly to 267 miles, but 0-62mph takes a mere 5.2 seconds.
Even the entry level SE Connect comes kitted out with keyless entry, Hyundai road side assistance and wireless phone charging. Prices start from £39,400 for the SE Connect, £39,840 for the Premium, and £42840 for the Ultimate. Find out more about the Hyundai Ioniq 5, here.here.
Another car helping to change the image of SUVs as fuel guzzlers is the e-tron. This fully-electric SUV is just one of many cars released by Audi under the e-tron name, and is currently the lowest priced.
A lower price doesn’t make it any less premium though, as there is plenty of luxury and technology on offer – including Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system and even the option of LED headlights that feature four different lighting modes.
The Q4 e-tron has the range and power to match its premium appearance. The car’s range will vary depending on your choice of battery setup, but even the smaller 52kWh unit will achieve over 200 miles, while the top spec 74kWh battery will increase this range to over 3000 miles – both of which should prove relatively reassuring on longer journeys.
Prices begin from £43,865 for the Sport, £45,965 for the S Line, £50,060 for the Edition 1 and £57,565 for the Vorsprung. Find out more about the Audi Q4 e-tron, here.here.