• Renault,Twizy,EV
  • Peugeot,iOn,EV

5 Top European Eco-Friendly City Cars

UK Car Options for the City Dweller

Let’s face it, many of our towns and cities are full of air quality issues. And, while the government works out a coherent strategy to fix the problems, it’s down to us as communities to do our bit. One of the biggest contributors to air pollution is, of course, our cars.

In an ideal world, we would all take public transport, or walk, instead. But, the reality is that most of us have to take a car. With this in mind, what are the best cars to drive for city dwellers? Which will protect the environment more, and also save us some money in the long-term? Read on to find out some of the best options in eco-friendly city cars out there right now.

Renault Twizy Cargo Electric Van

If you are looking for zero emissions and don’t mind your own company, look no further than this little beauty. There’s an element of Marmite to the Renault Twizy – some will love it, others won’t. But, make no mistake about it, it’s a great little ride for cities. You can get an incredible 211 miles per gallon equivalency (mpge), and it will only cost you around £45 ($63) per month in charges for electricity. Yes, it’s more like an armored motorbike than a car, but it will help you slip into the smallest parking spaces.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.0 GX5h Auto


Mitsubishi teasing its plug-in

Next up, it’s this eco-friendly cracker from Mitsubishi. Cities aren’t the ideal location for an SUV, of course, but it’s understandable why people drive them – particularly parents. They are safer, of course – although you won’t get anywhere near the fuel efficiency of smaller cars. The Outlander is not a bad option, though. It’s an automatic hybrid which gives you the equivalent of 157 mpge.

Fiat Panda 1.3 Multijet

Sometimes, it’s important to have a car suitable for cities and the suburbs. Which makes the Fiat Panda Multijet an excellent choice. We took one for a test drive from Thames Motor Group, and here’s what we found. It’s lightweight enough to be a zipper around town, and because it’s 4WD, you could even take it off the road. Not only that, but its miles per gallon comes out at almost 54 miles in real terms. It’s an impressive little animal – and an inexpensive option for any budget.

Peugeot iOn 47kW Auto

On the search for a great looking small car, ideal for city driving? Then look no further than this little Peugeot. Again, we’re in automatic territory here, and back to zero CO2 emissions. It seats five, so not a bad shout for business travel and car share schemes. And, it’s small size makes it considerably easier to park into tight spaces.

BMW i8 Electric Car Protonic

BMW,i8,plug-in hybrid,supercar

BMW’s eco-supercar

Of course, there are still some flash Harrys around who like to show off a little when it comes to their wheels. So, if that’s you, don’t think you need a gas guzzler to look good. BMW’s i8 is a superb car and will give you 15 miles of EV range and then works as a hybrid until the next chance to plug it in. You can expect 135 mpge in total, and it looks incredible. Sure, it’s a little higher on its CO2 emissions than the others on our list. But, it’s set the standard for what is achievable with more eco-friendly vehicles.

US Footnote

While all of these eco-friendly city cars are available in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, we in the U.S. can get our hands on some of them, though not always in the same configuration. The Renault Twizy has shown up in San Francisco as a tourist-oriented rental car, but it’s badged as a Nissan New Mobility Vehicle (see our story here). The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is due to show up in this country any time. We haven’t gotten the Fiat Panda, but with Fiat establishing a beachhead on the continent, never say never. The Peugeot is in the U.S., but with a Mitsubishi badge. Americans have full access to the BMW i8 and we like!

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About Author: Ben Smith

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