Next Green Car Car of the Year 2010
Welcome to the Next Green Car Car of the Year Award 2010, the most scientifically based green car Award in the UK.
Next Green Car uses its unique ratings to rank the greenest new cars to come to market this year, honouring the most innovative model with the Green Car of the Year Award.
To be selected for the Award, new models must be commercially available for purchase or order in the UK during 2010. After-market conversions are not eligible and all cars have to be available directly from the manufacturer.
Judging and test-drives of the 10 short-listed cars took place on Wednesday 30th June in London. Car and judges were based at Imperial College, London, a university specialising in technological innovation; making it an ideal place for the judges to assess the final line-up. The overall winner of the Next Green Car Car of the Year Award 2010 will be announced on Thursday 1st July.
And the 2010 Award winner is...
The title of Next Green Car Car of the Year 2010 has been awarded to the new Toyota Auris hybrid, which is launched today (1st July 2010).
In addition to awarding the Car of the Year title to the new Auris hybrid, the judging panel also 'highly commended' the Seat Leon 1.6 TDI Ecomotive, BMW 320d EfficientDynamics and Citroen DS3 1.6 HDi.
Next Green Car Car of the Year 2010
*Toyota Auris hybrid – Green Car Rating: 32 – CO2: 89 g/km
Highly Commended in 2010
*Seat Leon 1.6 TDI Ecomotive – Green Car Rating: 28 – CO2: 99 g/km
*BMW 320d EfficientDynamics – Green Car Rating 31 – CO2: 109 g/km
*Citroen DS3 1.6 HDi – Green Car Rating: 29 – CO2: 99 g/km
Car to Watch 2010
*Mitsubishi i-MiEV 47kW/Li-ion – Green Car Rating: 10 – CO2: 0 g/km
On behalf of the judging panel, Dr Ben Lane, Managing Editor of Next Green Car said: "With so many models now in the sub-100g/km category for CO2 emissions, this year's contest was more evenly matched than in 2009. The Seat Leon excelled in its drive, handling and its excellent value, with one of the lowest Green Car Ratings in its class. The BMW 320d has dramatically improved on the emissions of its predecessor, without denting BMW's high standards of build and performance. And the new Citroen DS3 is the new low emission head-turner, and will be in high demand from car buyers who are looking for a green car that's 'sexy'."
"The judges, however, were particularly impressed by Toyota's Auris hybrid; the latest in their developing hybrid range and, most significantly, the first hybrid in the 'small family' class. Cheaper and smaller than the Prius, the new Auris will allow significantly more car buyers to join the 'hybrid owners' club. In addition to the car's superior drive and state-of-the-art driver control options, the judges also noted its 'normal' looks, in contrast to the more futuristic Prius; and a sign that hybrid technology is now becoming mainstream."
"One other short-listed car that also caught the judges' attention was the all-electric Mitsubishi iMiEV. With its distinctive looks, silent running, zero-emissions, and total simplicity, several judges thought that this was the 'car to watch', the only reservation being the price. With a list price of over £38,000, the iMiEV remains way out of reach for most car buyers. That said, if Mitsubishi can find a way to lower the price, the iMiEV will sell like hot cakes – with a Green Car Rating of only 10, we hope they will."
2010 Award short-listed cars
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 47kW synchronous/Li-ion – Green Car Rating: 10 – CO2: 0 g/km
The i-MiEV is a proper four-seat electric car (as opposed to a quadricycle). Bigger than the G-Wiz, and with more room than the two-seater MINI E, the i-MiEV shares the same body as its petrol-engine counterpart, the Mitsubishi 'i'. The car has a respectable performance of 0 to 62 mph in 13 seconds, a top speed of 87 mph, and an impressive 100 mile range. On a fast charge, the 47 kW Lithium-ion batteries can be filled to 80% in just 20 minutes, or 'slow' charged within 7 hours. However, zero-emission motoring does come at a cost, outright purchase costs excluding any grants are £38,699, which is very high, and over four times the cost of the petrol 'i' version. That said, fuel costs are less than 2p per mile, road tax is free, and the car will qualify for Congestion Charge exemption. Available to order Autumn 2010.
Links: Mitsubishi i-MiEV, WGC iMiEV review.
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDi BlueMotion – Green Car Rating: 26 – CO2: 89 g/km
This diesel BlueMotion produces the lowest Green Car Rating of any conventionally fuelled supermini available to buy in the UK; making it a strong contender for the 2010 Award. At just 89 gCO2/km, the Polo BlueMotion falls comfortably into VED band A, so annual 'road tax' is zero. The modifications used on this model to achieve these low emissions include: a diesel particulate filter, improved oxidation catalytic converter, longer gear ratios, aerodynamic front grill, smaller door mirrors, subtle side skirts as well as other drag reduction features. The Polo BM is also fitted with lower rolling resistance tyres mounted on specially designed alloy wheels. The result is a very impressive combined test fuel economy of 83.1 mpg. Prices start at £14,445; with the added benefits of low average fuel costs (around 6.6p/mile). Available now.
Links: Volkswagen Polo.
Citroen DS3 1.6 HDi – Green Car Rating: 29 – CO2: 99 g/km
Although the Citroen DS3 is a conventionally fuelled option, it's CO2 emissions are less than 100 g/km, placing it as a band A car and therefore receiving exemption from 'road tax'. The new DS3 is stylish and is literally designed as a rival to the iconic Mini. Many features used on the DS3 contribute to its low emissions of just 99 g/km and fuel efficiency of 74.3 mpg (around a 7.4p per mile average fuel cost), including carefully designed aerodynamics, a diesel particulate filter and appropriate gear ratios. Although frugal, the DS3 holds its own on the road, and can do 0 to 60 mph in 11.5 seconds. This is expected to be the fist model in the 'DS' series for Citroen, with 'DS4' and 'DS5' planned over the coming years. The DS3 price range starts at £11,700. Available now.
Links: Citroen DS3.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX – Green Car Rating: 29 – CO2: 98 g/km
The Vauxhall Corsa has long been a popular model in the UK, and improvements in efficiency should make this model an even more attractive choice for prospective car buyers. Even in 5-door trim, the Corsa ecoFLEX achieves 98g/km (76.3 mpg and 7.2p per mile fuel costs) and is equipped with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and start-stop as standard. As a result, Corsa ecoFLEX drivers will benefit from not only the lowest 13% BIK diesel band, but also full exemption from 'road tax'. Despite the improvement in fuel consumption and emissions, the ecoFLEX can reach 110 mph and is capable of a 0 to 60 time of 11.5 seconds. To achieve its low emissions, the 1.3 CDTi engine employs a variable geometry turbocharger, 20mm lower ride height than standard and low-rolling resistance tyres. Available now.
Links: Vauxhall Corsa WGC news.
Seat Leon 1.6 TDI Ecomotive – Green Car Rating: 28 – CO2: 99 g/km
With the same engine and technologies as the VW Golf BlueMotion, the less expensive Seat Leon Ecomotive proves that going green needn't be painful and you don't have to drive a car looking like a toad either. The features that help to place the emissions at 99 g/km CO2 include the use of a smaller engine with turbocharger, start-stop technology, diesel particulate filter, improved aerodynamics and longer gear ratios. The result is low emissions, zero 'road tax' and an impressive combined fuel economy of 74.3 mpg. That said, the Leon can reach 116 mph and achieve a 0 to 62 time of 10.9 seconds. The Leon Ecomotive is also considered to have a relatively low depreciation rate and reliability is reported as high. Oh yes, did we mention that it's cheaper than the similarly performing Golf BlueMotion? Available now.
Links: Seat's Ecomotive range.
Toyota Auris hybrid – Green Car Rating: 32 – CO2: 89 g/km
The Hybrid Synergy drive system is almost identical to that of the successful Prius, emitting just 89 gCO2/km on the standard test cycle. The Auris is the first full hybrid in 'small family' car class, and features a 1.8 litre VVT-i petrol engine and two electric motors that work together to deliver power to the wheels in the most efficient way. The result is very low emissions and a combined fuel economy of 74.3 mpg. As in the Prius, the driver is able to switch between the power options: driving in EV-mode (electric only when batteries have sufficient charge), ECO-mode (the car decides how to use energy sources most efficiently), and POWER-mode (petrol and engine and batteries are used to maximum effect). The model is exempt from paying 'road tax' and the London Congestion Charge. Available from 1st July.
Links: Toyota Auris hybrid, Auris on test in Spain.
Volvo C30 1.6D DRIVe – Green Car Rating 29 – CO2: 99 g/km
Our car reviewer Russell Bray gave the new Volvo C30 DRIVe coupe one of WGC's best reviews this year: "it is easily my favourite 'green' car to date because it is enjoyable to drive, yet naturally economical without any effort from the driver". Being based on the popular 480 model, the C30 has much improved environmental credentials, emitting just 99 gCO2/km and achieving a combined fuel economy of 74.3 mpg. These green credentials allow it to drive 'road tax' free with an average fuel cost of only 7.4 p/mile. Onboard low-emissions technologies include start-stop and regenerative braking, which together with its sleek aerodynamic design, combine to give the C30 an impressive Green Car Rating of only 29. Performance-wise, the C30 has a 0 to 60 time of 10.7 seconds, with a top speed of 118 mph. Volvo say that the C30 is 85% recyclable, and on the road prices for the start-stop model are £17,690. Available now.
Links: Volvo C30, WGC C30 review
BMW 320d EfficientDynamics – Green Car Rating 31 – CO2: 109 g/km
BMW has created the greenest ever 3 series with the introduction of this new 320d EfficientDynamics model, having bought the CO2 emissions down to a very impressive 109 g/km; the best-in-class figure for a compact executive car. Its CO2 emissions place it in tax band B, rewarding it with free 'first year' tax and just £20 annual road tax thereafter. The 320d comes fitted with the existing EfficientDynamics technologies from previous models, including start-stop and regenerative braking etc, but heightened environmental performance is reached due to changes in engine construction and transmission, lowered suspension and improved aerodynamics. Alongside the improved emissions and efficiency figures, this model will reach 137 mph and does 0 to 62 in just 8.2 seconds (well, it is a BMW). Available now.
Links: WGC 3 Series launch news, BMW
Kia Venga 1.4 CRDi – Green Car Rating: 33 – CO2: 117 g/km
For something slightly larger, the new Venga is a compact MPV that has made use of several new technologies (now becoming standard) to achieve a Green Car Rating of just 33, the best rating in its class. Kia's EcoDynamics badge means that it uses start-stop technology, low-rolling resistance tyres and optimum shift indicator which helps the driver to operate the vehicle most efficiently. These help towards the combined fuel economy of 62.8 mpg, and only produces 117 gCO2/km, placing the Venga into VED tax band C. This makes this model free from 'first year' tax, and £30 annual tax from the second year onwards, rather cheap when compared to other MPVs. Having similar emissions performance to the superminis in this year's Awards short-list, the new Venga is likely to impress the judges being as it is an MPV. Available now.
Links: Kia Venga.
Honda CR-Z hybrid – Green Car Rating: TBC – CO2: 117 g/km
The new Honda CR-Z is the first sporty hybrid to come to the UK market. The car uses a 1.5 litre 4 cylinder engine and an electric motor IMA system with a manual transmission, another first for a hybrid model. While not as 'strong' a hybrid as compared to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy drive, the CR-Z's CO2 emissions are still remarkably low for its class at 117 g/km, which puts the car into band C for 'road tax', with the 'first year' free and the 'standard rate' of £20. The IMA technology gives the model a combined fuel economy of 56.4 mpg, a figure helped by the use of regenerative braking. For those that might be concerned about the environmental impacts of using a larger battery, Honda claim it to be largely recyclable at the end of its life. The CR-Z's green credentials are rewarded in London as it receives the full 100% discount from the Congestion Charge. Available now.
Links: WGC CR-Z review, Honda CR-Z.
2010 Judging panel
A panel represented by some of the UK's leading green transport and environmental experts, have agreed to select and judge the cars for this years Awards. The judging is completely independent and is designed to showcase the most innovative green cars of 2010.
This year, the judging panel includes:
- Adam Vaughn, Environment Deputy Editor, The Guardian
- Sian Berry, We Are Futureproof
- Ian Featherstone, Fleet Advice Manager, Energy Saving Trust
- Neil Wallis, Head of Communications, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership
- Russell Bray, Freelance automotive journalist
- Ben Lane, Managing Editor, Next Green Car
The judging takes place on Wednesday 30th June at Imperial College, London, a university excelling in science, engineering and business; making it an ideal place for the judges to assess the short-listed green cars for the 2010 Award.