The 2010 What Car? Green Car Awards have been made, so we though we should do a round-up of winners so you know what has this year’s biggest green halo.
Over the last 48 hours we seem to have endless press releases drop in our inbox claiming kudos for winning one of the 2010 What Car? Green Awards. Which is perfectly understandable. In this age of awareness the cost of running a car is of huge importance and its impact on the environment equally so. Not it’s CO2 emissions – for they are irrelevant – but it makes sense to drive a car that gives you the most for the least impact on your wallet.
So we decided it made sense to have a quick round-up of this year’s What Car Green Car Awards. And they are a varied bunch. We have everything from the new Jaguar XJ to the 2010 Nissan Qashqai, and the VW Polo to the BMW 3 Series.
What Car? say that although low CO2 is important (it’s not) they have not used the lowest CO2 figures to define the best cars (good). Instead they have looked at other pollutants and things like space and practicality to buying and running costs. And the fun drive factor.
Supermini – Fiat 500 1.2 Pop
We wouldn’t disagree with this one. We reviewed the Fiat 500 recently and found it to be a cracking little car. It’s not just frugal but is actually well built and a style icon in its own right and not just a modern pastiche of the original. On the ‘Green’ front we should point out that Ford’s KA is the same car under the skin. And What Car? make a big noise about Stop-Start being available across the range. But we found it a bit of a pain to use.
Small Family Car – Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion 5dr
No real gripes with this one either. The latest Golf is a return to real form for VW, and the Bluemotion Golf – although not the most exciting car in the world – is economical, well built and stylish.
Family Car – Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion
Bit of a theme going on here – surprising the Polo Bluemotion didn’t grab the Supermini spot too. The emphasis is on economy – which I guess you would expect from a ‘Green’ award – but the ‘Drive’ is a big part. The Passat is OK to drive, but the Passat BlueMotion does feel sluggish. Not the best choice.
Executive Cars – BMW 320 ED
Never really been sure about the ‘Executive’ tag for a car. In truth a car like the Mondeo is every bit as good as the BMW or the Audi. But that’s another story. The BMW 320 ED is a good choice here. It offers a decent amount of prestige and build quality and throws in 69mpg and a car that feels much like any other 3 Series to drive. Which means good.
We have no argument with the choice of Peugeot’s 5008 in this category. I suppose as this is hair shirt awards it was inevitable that What Car would pick the pauper’s trim level, but go a bit further up the trim options – even to the 5008 Exclusive we’ve had in this week for review – and you have an economical MPV that looks good and is a treat to drive. Never mind the ‘Green’ award, this is a competitor (with better trim) for best MPV. Period.
4×4 / Crossover – Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Visia Pure Drive 2WD
We won’t argue much with the 2010 Nissan Qashqai. It is a very good car. And having almost created the crossover niche on its own it does deserve to succeed. We would perhaps have gone in the direction of the Peugeot 3008, but we guess the Qashqai pipped it on some spurious ’Green’ criteria or other.
Sports Car – Honda CR-Z 1.5 i-VTEC Sport
I suppose this was a given. Honda have trumpeted the CR-Z as a sports hybrid, and that will always win ‘Green’ points. Its trying top be the 21st century version of the CR-X but with green credentials. On the looks front it’s not too terrible, but a 0-60mph of over 10 seconds isn’t great. If you ignore the CO2 – which you should – the Mazda MX5 would be the winner here.
Luxury Car – Jaguar XJ 3.0D V6 Luxury
Another winner you’ll get no argument from us about. We’ve just spent a week with the 3.0 litre diesel XJ – admittedly with a better trim level – and found it an astonishingly good performer but were even more astonished by its frugality. Jaguar claim 40 mpg which we really didn’t buy. We hammered it around to play with the performance on offer and got it down to 32mpg. We also took a trip to Goodwood – high-speed motorways, traffic jams and quick country roads – and got 38.9mpg. And it looks wonderful – inside and out.
Used Car – Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 90 Style 5dr ’08/08
What is good to see is that What Car? didn’t go the default route of picking the Prius as the best used green car. The Focus is a good choice; it’s good to drive; decent to look at; manages over 60 mpg and if you buy an ’08 car it’s done the biggest chunk of its depreciation. But we don’t understand the hair shirt trim being a requirement to garner good ‘Green’ status.
Editor’s Choice – Nissan Renault Electric Cars
Yes, these are ‘Green’ awards. But to choose the Renault/ Nissan electric cars – which are pretending to be a green alternative to a conventional, ICE powered car – is a nonsense. That’s all that’s worth saying.
Overall Winner – Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion 5dr
No argument with this really. Although it’s a bit sluggish. Still, it can’t be green unless there’s a drawback.
So now you can pick your car based on its ‘Green-ness’. Assuming you equate CO2 emissions to being ‘Green’.