/Eco-friendliness, performance and budget-consciousness?

Eco-friendliness, performance and budget-consciousness?

eco car 600x431 at Eco friendliness, performance and budget consciousness?

Not so long ago, the best selling cars were those which consistently performed well and provided good value for money. With global warming and environmental concerns being at the core of contemporary living, a third element has been woven into the best-selling car criteria – an eco-friendly presence.

If you are in the market for a new car this year and are determined to find a reliable, high-performing model that provides value for money and is kinder to the environment, check out the following cars that clutch each of these values and by doing so look set to make it big in 2014.

Fuel economy

With the price at the petrol pumps going one way only, fuel economy is a hot topic at present. Car manufacturers are at loggerheads, desperately competing to create cars that do great MPG. Not only will having good MPG put a smile on a motorist’s face but it also goes hand in hand with being kinder to the environment. So not only will buying a car with good fuel economy save you money in fuel but it is also likely to produce lower CO2 emissions, meaning you’ll be leading a much greener existence and paying less tax. As vehicle tax is based on CO2 emissions, the lower the emissions are, the less tax you’ll pay.

So what are the most fuel efficient and therefore eco-friendly cars in the UK? And do these cars possess the high performance of the Nissan GT-R and the reliability of the Ford C-Max?

Vauxhall Ampera

The Vauxhall Ampera currently stands as the European Car of the Year. Why? The ingenious combination of electric-drive and petrol-powered electricity generator which enables the Ampera to spend 80% – 90% of its life running as a pure electric vehicle due to the recent Vauxhall emissions claim. When the battery runs out, the conventional engine will provide you with a 300-mile distance before you have to refuel.

Cost-effective and green the Vauxhall Ampera might be, but can it actually perform?

With adjectives like “punchy” and “enthusiastic” being used to describe it, it’s safe to say the Ampera can perform. In battery mode it accelerates with eagerness and in engine mode it’s just as responsive.

It certainly seems the Vauxhall Ampera ticks all three of the boxes, for eco-friendliness, performance and budget-consciousness.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Combining the lighter and more compact body of the Yaris with the 1.5-litre engine and electric motor drivetrain of the Prius and Auris HSD, Toyota have come up with a pretty interesting Yaris Hybrid. Put simply, being lighter than its precursors, it’s more fuel-efficient, achieving an average of 81MPG. Emitting just 79g/km CO2, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid is Toyota’s most emission-efficient vehicle to date.

Not known for mincing its words, Top Gear always gives frank and honest car reviews of every vehicle it test drives and none more so than the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. The car is cited for its “brilliant engineering” and being a “great little car to own” but get outside the town, Top Gear warn, and you’ll know you’re in a Yaris. “That means it feels tinny and sluggish, and a lot less fun, compared with the eco versions of the Polo, 208, Fiesta and so on”.

Skoda Fabia Greenline

With the Skoda Yeti beating off the likes of Jaguar and Mercedes to come top in a national satisfaction survey in 2013, Skoda certainly seems to have shaken off its reputation for comedy instead of quality. Besides its Yeti, the Skoda Fabia Greenline has received some great feedback, namely for being the greenest supermini on sale. This “super-practical” supermini averages 83.1mpg and emits a meagre 89g/km of CO2.

It is certainly highly efficient and environmentally friendly and, in terms of performance, the Fabia is a great small city car that offers all the space and versatility you’re likely to need. Get it outside the city, however, and you might want to consider going for a 1.6TDI engine instead.

If you’re looking for parts for your car, regardless of its efficiency, eco-friendliness and performance, Euro Car Parts is the UK’s number one provider of car parts online.

(Journalist) – Jorge is a Portuguese tech auto journalist and is responsible for our gadgets section. He joined our team in September 2009.