• Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

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Revealed: The popular cars that could cost you the earth

Only ONE of the most fuel efficient cars on the market today features in a list of Britain’s most popular cars, a leading fuel tech firm revealed today.

Figures released by London-based SulNOx Group Plc showed that only the VW Golf featured in the top ten most popular cars.

SulNOx Group, which has developed technology to improve fuel efficiency while reducing harmful emissions, said the figures showed there was still a long way to go to get motorists thinking about the environmental impact of the car they drive.

While environmental and fuel cost considerations have seen a rise in the popularity of electric vehicles, for many motorists these remain out of reach, whether because of their cost or because they don’t have access to a driveway or the infrastructure needed to charge the car when it’s not in use.

According to research by YouGov, the most popular car in the UK in the second quarter of 2022 was the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Audi R8 and the Ford Focus. But the most fuel efficient car available – the Renault Clio – does not appear in the top 10, and neither do the next most efficient, the Peugeot 308 and the Vauxhall Astra. Fuel efficiency is based on official combined fuel consumption figures from the WLTP, the test that decides fuel efficiency ratings for all petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid cars.

The Clio came in at number 55 in terms of popularity (based on the percentage of people who have a positive opinion of a car model), while the Peugeot 308 came 51st and the Astra 53rd.

The picture is not much different when looking at car sales in the UK so far in 2022. The VW Golf again appears in the top 10 according to the latest car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), and is joined by the Toyota Yaris, which just squeezes in at number 10.

Nawaz Haq, Executive Director of SulNOx Group, said: “Our research shows that, while many people may talk about fuel efficiency being important to them, the most popular cars out there, both in terms of user experience and actual sales, are by and large not the ones that are best for your wallet or for the environment. 

“A lot of people tend to buy cars that they already know and love, or based on recommendations from other people. What we really need to do is get people thinking about the cost of driving their cars, both in terms of their budget and in terms of the impact it is having on the planet. Fuel efficiency must be a key factor.

“We are in the middle of a cost of living crisis, where every penny counts. But we are also in the middle of a climate crisis which will affect us for generations to come. By making smart choices when buying a car, people can do their bit, even if they can’t afford to ditch the petrol or diesel car altogether.”

SulNox Group specialises in providing solutions towards decarbonisation of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. It has developed fuel additives made from natural, biodegradable ingredients which reduce the production of harmful, environmentally damaging emissions and improve engine efficiency.

Mr Haq said: “No matter what car you drive, there is still something you can do to improve your mileage and reduce the emissions coming from your exhaust, and that’s just what our fuel additives do.”

Most fuel efficient cars available (WLTP) and popularity ranking (YouGov):

  1. Renault Clio (E-Tech Hybrid 140 Auto Play) – 55
  2. Peugeot 308 (1.5 BlueHDI 130 Active Premium) – 51
  3. Vauxhall Astra (1.5 Turbo D 130 Design) – 53
  4. Seat Leon (2.0 TDI 115 SE) – 95
  5. Vauxhall Mokka (1.5 Turbo D 110 SE Edition) – 131
  6. Peugeot 2008 (1.5 BlueHDI 110 Active Premium) – 104
  7. VW Golf (2.0 TDI 115 Life) – 5
  8. Skoda Octavia (2.0 TDI 115 SE) – 85
  9. Toyota Yaris (Hybrid Icon) – 81
  10. Peugeot 208 (1.5 BlueHDI 100 Active Premium) – 110

Most popular cars in the UK by driver experience (YouGov):

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Audi R8
  3. Ford Focus
  4. Audi A5
  5. VW Golf
  6. Mercedes-Benz GLA Class
  7. Mercedes E Class
  8. VW Polo
  9. Ford Mustang
  10. Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Most popular cars by sales (SMMT):

  1. Vauxhall Corsa
  2. Ford Puma
  3. Nissan Qashqai
  4. Mini
  5. Kia Sportage
  6. Hyundai Tucson
  7. Kia Niro
  8. VW Golf
  9. Ford Kuga
  10. Toyota Yaris