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Small Family Cars
The Green Car Guide to the most economical and lowest emission small family cars on sale in the UK today. We list our best most fuel-efficent small family vehicles in diesel, petrol, hybrid and electric car categories.
Diesel Small Family Cars
The first key to success in this class is to have an efficient diesel option, and here the Megane delivers in spades. The 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine blends decent performance with excellent fuel economy.
Volvo V40 1.6 D2 ES 78.5 mpg
The V40 gets a 1.6 litre turbodiesel which has a modest power output but a healthy 199 lb.ft. of torque available from 1,750 - 2,500 rpm.
Honda Civic 78.5 mpg
The Honda Civic gains a new 1.6-litre diesel engine which makes it one of the most fuel efficient cars in class.
The i30 also has excellent fuel consumption thanks to its 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine. Power and performance is in keeping with direct rivals with 192 lb.ft of torque available from 1,900-2,750rpm providing useful thrust.
Kia Cee'd 1.6 CRDi 1 ISG 76.3 mpg
The Cee'd offers excellent material and build quality with great fuel economy and good performance. It's not bad looking and is practical too.
The Astra is a common sight on our roads and this version delivers 76.3mpg from a turbodiesel engine with either 110 ps or 130 ps.
Petrol and Hybrid Small Family Cars
Toyota Auris HSD 74.3 mpg
The new Toyota Auris is lower, lighter and longer, and as efficient as ever, however it still can't match the driving experience of a Volkswagen Golf.
Lexus CT200h 74.3 mpg
The hybrid powertrain from the Toyota Prius is dropped into a Lexus body. So it's efficient and has a Lexus badge, but we're not wild about the way it looks.
Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE hybrid 68.9mpg
The Honda Insight was recently revised, with a key improvement being that its emissions dropped from 101g/km CO2 to 96g/km CO2, however it still doesn't have the solid, refined feeling of cars such as the Volkswagen Golf.
The new Volkswagen Golf is, predictably, evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but it is still sufficiently improved in all areas, including efficiency, to keep it at the top of the class overall.
Electric Family Cars
Nissan is pinning a lot on the electric car taking off, and with their partners Renault they are fully committed. This means that the LEAF is a thoroughly engineered car.
The Fluence Z.E. is impressively efficient. The 22 kWh battery pack provides an official range of 116 miles. To save the batteries, top speed is limited to 84 mph whilst 0-62 mph is dispatched in a respectable 13.7 seconds.