RAC Cars News


How Diesel Really Is Clean And Green

By raccars Published

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Diesel powered cars have taken a serious beating lately, vilified by Boris Johnson and the mayor of Paris, among others, as nasty polluters. However, the motor industry has decided to fight back, pointing out that while older diesel units were not as clean as their petrol counterparts, modern diesels are at least as good and, in some cases better, than petrol cars.

The pollution capacity of diesel engines is determined by measuring emissions of nitrogen oxides, or Nox. However, the newer diesels, which are compliant with Euro 6 emissions regulations, can be even cleaner than petrol cars, including the UK's best selling petrol model, the Ford Fiesta Ecoboost. Under these considerations, here are the cleanest diesel cars on the UK market.

Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI 150 DSG

VW's big saloon boasts just 16mg/km in Nox emissions and is winning awards everywhere. The 2.0 TDI 150 with an optional DSG automatic transmission is the cleanest model in the range.

BMW 320D and 420D

The 190bhp BMW is nearly as clean as its German rival, with Nox emissions of 19mg/km. This is with a manual or automatic gearbox. If its practical, four door shape doesn't suit, the sporty looking 420d Coupe matches its emissions level, as does the four door 420d Gran Coupe version. Impressive.

BMW 218D Coupe

Showing that the premium German brand is leading the way in clean diesel engine development, the 218D in Coupe and Convertible formats can claim Nox emissions of only 20mg/km.

Mini Countryman Cooper SD and Paceman

Also made by BMW, the funky Mini in its chunkier Countryman and three door Paceman formats can claim clean and green status, with 24mg/km in Nox emissions.

Audi A1 1.6 TDI S Tronic

A relief from the BMW monotony, Audi manages 27mg/km for its super clean, smallest car the A1 in 1.6 TDI format, helped by the S Tronic transmission.

BMW 525D

Impressively, the 525D matches the A1's 27mg/km in Nox emissions, despite being twice as powerful and far bigger.

Citroen DS5 BlueHDI 120

Citroen's large, low profile model keeps up with its German counterparts, with 27mg/km in Nox emissions.

Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTI 136

The once super popular Astra has fallen from favour among UK car buyers but is still the cleanest diesel powered five door hatchback, with Nox emissions of 27mg/km.

Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion

'Bluemotion' means green motion for VW, as the badge applied to its cleanest engines, in this case 28mg/km.

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