Cars have never been so clean. The current consciousness of environmental issues and our own carbon footprints means that we have never put as much thought into what goes in and what comes out of the car.

But wanting a low emission car is not just about green credentials. Not only does a cleaner car mean a more efficient engine with less wastage, you also pay less tax and it can also mean you aren’t banned from low emission zones in city centres.

Here is our pick for the best low emission cars. We haven’t included zero emission cars like electric vehicles in this list. Check out our other rundown for that. 

DS 3


The posher cousin to Citroen, the DS range is a collection of high quality models that are a bit more upmarket than their day-to-day relatives. But you can get a decent version on the used market, and the DS3 is one of the best of the bunch. For the best low emission version, you want a model in the PureTech range. Not only will it give you 65mpg, it will also save you a lot on car tax each year thanks to the 100g/km CO2 emissions.

Aside from the green credentials, the DS3 is a smart little hatchback, with nice exterior styling and a comfortable drive, ideal for city living.

Hyundai Ioniq


One of the best cars available on the market, no matter what the emissions are, the Hyundai Ioniq fully electric model is up there with Tesla in terms of quality of drive and range. The hybrid is no slouch either, especially when you consider it’s price is a lot more affordable than higher-range hybrids of similar quality.

In terms of emissions, 79g/km is one of the lowest on the market for sedans and saloons. The 83.1mpg shows how efficient the engine is too, giving it more effective than some of the lower emission cars on the market.

Ford Fiesta


The most popular car in the UK for many years, the Ford Fiesta is known for being an excellent all-rounder. Smart safety features, comfortable interior styling, spacious boot, and a car that’s easy to drive, the Fiesta ticks all the right boxes. So the fact you can get a low emission model too, is just the icing on the cake.

The Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCI has lower emissions than the DS3, with just 82g/km. That means good fuel economy too, with an estimated 74.3 miles per gallon.

Nissan Qashqai


You might think it would be nigh impossible to find a low emission SUV, but engine technology is getting smarter all the time. The Nissan Qashqai was one of the most innovative cars on the market thanks to its bold crossover styling. Years and a few generations later, and it’s been refined even further.

In terms of emissions, 100g/km is great for a car this size. Add in the refined engines, and you get 74.3mpg in the 1.5 litre model. So size shouldn’t hold you back from finding an ideal low emission cars.

Toyota Yaris


The hybrid version of the Toyota Yaris is one of the best low emission cars on the market. Able to comfortably fit a driver and four passengers, it’s slightly bigger than most hatchbacks, to give you room to stretch your legs and not cause arguments with those sat next to you. There’s lots of smart tech too, whether you want to control the climate or the entertainment.

But it’s the low emissions that means it makes our list. The hybrid has emissions of 84g/km, giving it an impressive 76.3mpg.

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