With the increasing need to be economically savvy when it comes to the way we heat our homes and live our lives, many drivers are now keen to extend this lifestyle philosophy to their motoring by shopping for eco-friendly as well as affordable new cars.
An ‘eco’ car, sometimes also called a green car, has less of a damaging impact on the environment than conventional vehicles – either by consuming less fuel than standard cars or by using renewable energy sources instead of petrol or diesel altogether.
Electric cars, solar cars, hybrid cars and hydrogen cars all fall under this category.
Sound expensive? Not necessarily. As demand for these types of car increases and technology develops further, eco-cars are becoming more affordable than you might imagine. If you’re in the market for a new or second hand car, and in the mood to do ‘your bit’ for the environment, take a look at this selection of four reasonably priced eco-cars, which are impressive performers and relatively easy on the finances…
Citroen C4 Cactus
You’ll know the Citroen C4 Cactus, even if you may not realise it – it’s the car with the Lego-like airbumps along the side; not just stylish but also with extra side protection against bumps, prangs and wayward supermarket trolleys. It topped the ‘Best Cheap To Run Car’ by carbuyer, stating that ‘Citroen has worked hard to make the Cactus as light as possible and that in turn improves fuel consumption’.
Price guidelines are listed as between £12,990 and £20,135 – to put that into context, the second on the list, the BMW i3, is anywhere from £32,330 to £43,500.
Peugeot 208 1.6 Blue HDi
This hybrid car ranks highly and, indeed, Peugeot boasts a range of models that can provide you with ‘both high performance and eco-friendly driving’.
The 208 has been described as their ‘greenest supermini yet’ and features a stop-start engine, therefore saving on fuel when the engine would otherwise be idling.
Prices are very attractive, with the entry level 1.6 BlueHDi 75 available for £14,215 according to Peugeot or around the £140 a month mark if preferring to use LeaseCarUK for a hire arrangement.
Renault Twizy Electric Car
If budget is your primary consideration when looking for an eco car, the 100% electric vehicle Renault Twizy is hard to beat. According to nextgreencar.com it has an on the road price of just £6,985, though its range could be better at 62 miles a day. As an electric model it will need charging for around four hours. Still, it has zero emissions and ‘is one of the greenest cars available’.
This is a futuristic-looking zippy two-seater which looks a lot of fun to drive.
Seat Leon Ecomotive
Seat’s Leon Ecomotive impressed as soon as it entered the market in 2014, hailed upon launch as the most fuel-efficient Leon ever and, in this review by a clearly won-over Auto Express, the ‘lowest carbon dioxide-emitting car the Spanish company has ever sold’.
Prices start at around £17,700 which, while not especially cheap, compare very well with perhaps its closest similar rival, the VW Golf Bluemotion.