Dealer Locator
Please enter a valid postcode
Home » Blog » Top 5: Premium cars with low emissions

It's always a numbers game, especially when searching for your next car. But amongst the facts and figures, how often do you prioritise emissions? In fact, you could be missing out on huge savings every year.

That's because if your car's CO2 emissions are below the magic 99g/km, then you're entitled to renew your road tax for free in the UK. Usually just the reserve of electric and hybrid models, ever-advancing technology means both standard petrol and diesel engines are feeling the benefits too. In fact, most cars now have at least one model placed in the lowest tax band, satisfying the increasing demand for sub-100 models.

Of course, whilst benefitting your 'green' credentials, most of these cars are pretty conservative on fuel at the same time. For most drivers, it's a win-win. Emissions aside it's important that these cars still perform, with a great drive and a comfortable interior. So here are five premium road-tax free cars that fire on all cylinders:

Jaguar XE - 99g/km

If proof were ever needed that low emissions vehicles can be cool at the same time, then it's the Jaguar XE. The critically-acclaimed XE launched in 2014, and thanks to an excellent drive, exemplary comfort and dynamic design it finds itself as the class leader.

The XE also spearheads a range of new technologies for Jaguar Land Rover. Innovations such as an aluminium-intensive architecture means that it's one of the lightest compact executive cars available.

It's unmistakably one of the sportier offerings in the sector, with a muscular, chiselled design and a range of powerful engines. There's even a 3.0 litre V6 borrowed from the jaguar F-Type in the XE S. However, it's the 2.0 i4 163PS Turbocharged Diesel which really impresses. Born of the new ingenium range of engines, a lightweight aluminium design means it can achieve just 99g/km of C02 emissions and 75 miles to the gallon.

BMW 116d EfficientDynamics - 89g/km

As far as premium hatchbacks go, the BMW 1-Series has proven itself hard to beat. Compressing the essential BMW experience in to their smallest offering, the 1-Series boasts a blend of agility and driving dynamics unseen in many of its competitors. It received a facelift in 2015 and continues to be a desirable option.

It's impressive on the economy front, too. The 116d EfficientDynamics model doesn't just meet the magic 99, it undercuts it by a whole 10. That means as well as achieving 83.1 miles to the gallon on the combined cycle, emissions of just 89 g/km CO2 keep it well under the free road tax threshold.

In fact with an automatic gearbox the BMW 118d SE, with 150bhp at its disposal, also manages 99 g/km CO2. An honourable mention also goes to the BMW 320d ED Plus, which can also claim free road tax renewal.

MINI Cooper D 97g/km

MINI has always been a byword for 'fun' - but not necessarily for 'low emissions'. That is, until we saw the new MINI Cooper D. And in many ways it's still the same old MINI, with a peppy 3-cylinder turbodiesel engine powering it to 60mpg in under 10 seconds.

However, this engine emits just 97g/km of CO2, and also manages 78.5 miles to the gallon at the same time. Pretty impressive, no? The MINI One D goes one step further, with just 89g/km of CO2 emissions to its name, making the MINI a leading contender in the sub-100 shortlist. Especially with the amount of excitement on offer.

All new MINI models come with a driving mode selector, which allows you to go for the maximum 'go-kart' feel and make the most of the pliable and responsive chassis. And now there are a range of engines which suit its many drivers too.

Mercedes-Benz B180 CDI ECO - 94g/km

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class, especially in this guise, is something of a rarity. A spacious family car with generous room for passengers, it's probably not a car you would normally associate with the economy of a supermini.

However, the Mercedes-Benz B180 CDI ECO manages just that, with emissions of just 89g/km of CO2 and fuel economy of 74.3 mpg. Plus, the 1.5 litre diesel engine with over 100bhp at your disposal means there is decent pace to be had. It's a comfortable car too, with air conditioning and a leather steering wheel as standard.

And if practicality is your thing, then the B-Class has a large 468 litre-boot and even includes the Easy Vario Plus package. This installs a rear sliding bench in the rear, which can be used to maximise legroom or boot space. A low-emission car without compromise!

Smart ForTwo - 93g/km

The Smart ForTwo is the anomaly on our list; a petrol-engine car with emissions below 100g/km. That's thanks to small but mighty 999cc engine, which offers plenty of thrust but returns 69mpg on the combined cycle. And with emissions of 93g/km, it's also one of the lowest emissions cars on our list.

There's even a turbocharged 989cc engine, ideal for motorway cruising thanks to a power boost, which keeps the emissions figures at an impressive 96 g/km. Emissions aside it's got a small footprint in every sense, with a class-leading length of just 2.69 metres, and a turning circle of 6.95 metres that means it can outmanoeuvre a London clack cab!

Well-equipped and stylish, the Smart really is a smart choice for commuters. An honourable mention also goes to the Smart ForTwo, which has similarly low figures.