Head of it's time?

Ahead of it's time

So someone asks you what the lowest CO2 of any car on sale on the UK is. Must be the Toyota Prius right? That’s been on sale since 2000 in saloon form and 2004 as a hatchback, long before anyone gave a monkey’s about CO2…

Well the most interesting thing is that the Prius was top of the class for just 2 years, and it superseded a car which produced 20% less CO2 than any car on sale today. Progress eh?

Between 2000 and 2005 (when it was no longer on sale), the cleanest car in the UK was a little-known, slightly strange looking vehicle called the Honda Insight. A hybrid ahead of its time, it produced just 80g/km. To put that in context, the Toyota Prius produces 104g/km. A good secondhand one will cost you from £4,000 now in the UK. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Insight)

The Toyota did indeed reign king of the clean cars for 2006 & 2007, but has recently dropped back to 3rd= place – a position that can only get worse until Toyota release the next generation Prius, promised for 2009/2010. Currently the lowest CO2 producers sold in the UK are the Ecomotion Seat Ibiza and the BlueMotion VW Polo, both from the VW group. So the current (as of the beginning of September 2008) top ten* are:

SEAT Ibiza 1.4 TDI 80PS Ecomotion (99 g/km CO2 – Diesel)

VOLKSWAGEN Polo 3 / 5 Door 1.4 TDI (80 PS) BLUEMOTION (99 g/km CO2 – Diesel)

MINI MINI Hatchback R56 MINI Cooper D Hatchback (104 g/km CO2 – Diesel)

TOYOTA Prius 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid (104 g/km CO2 – Petrol Hybrid)

CITROEN C1 1.0i 3 & 5 door (108 g/km CO2 – Petrol)

TOYOTA Aygo 1.0 VVT-i 3 & 5 door (108 g/km CO2 – Petrol)

CITROEN C1 1.4HDi (109 g/km CO2 – Diesel)

HONDA Civic Hybrid 1.4 IMA ES (109 g/km CO2 – Petrol Hybrid)

PEUGEOT 107 1.0 (68 bhp) (109 g/km CO2 – Petrol)

SKODA New Fabia 1.4 TDI 80PS Green-Line (109 g/km CO2 – Diesel)

*I have removed duplicates of the same car, for example with different bodyshells.

N.B. Electric cars such as the G-Wiz have been ignored, however they tend to be circa 65g/km if you take into account the production of electricity.