Few sectors place as much importance on innovation in design and technology as the car industry. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the car you bought brand new last year has a snazzy upgraded version already! Cars are so important in our day-to-day lives that this constant development isn’t going to stop. The progression in the industry even over the last 20 years has been impressive, with the Toyota Prius being the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle and electric cars also becoming a viable option, particularly since 2008. Even autonomous, self-driving cars are on the horizon! These alternatives are being promoted far more than ever before, with manufacturers placing huge value on being green and the development of renewable energy. Petrol and diesel remain the norm for the time being, but they’re becoming more eco-friendly by the year as well. If you can’t decide which type of energy suits you on your driving adventures, we might be able to provide some inspiration!
Petrol: Fiat Panda
The 2017 Fiat Panda might not be a stunning vehicle to look at, but it does represent remarkable value for money. They start at the fairly modest price of £11,245 when brand new, while they’re capable of doing a whopping 67.3mpg. Then, in terms of CO2 emissions, their output of 99g/km is excellent for a petrol car. It’ll be cheap to insure and service as well, so if value is a big factor, the Panda won’t be beaten by many.
Hybrid: BMW i8
If anything, the i8 is proof that even sports cars are getting the eco treatment. Not only does it have both an electric motor and combustion engine, making it a hybrid, but it’s also made from lightweight materials and is very streamlined. All of that combines to give the i8 an almost unbelievable economic capacity of 134.5mpg, a truly astounding feat, and it emits just 49g/km of CO2. None of that impacts negatively on its ‘oomph’ either, as it’ll still do 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds. Of course, only a certain type of person will be in the market for the i8 as it’ll cost about £100,000, but it’s noteworthy for being a truly innovative car.
Electric: Hyundai Ioniq
One of the most impressive aspects of the Ioniq is that it comes with three types of electric powertrains; hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric. It can do about 174 miles if fully charged, giving it better range than many of its competitors, while its 0-62mph of 9.9 seconds isn’t too shabby either. The Ioniq is also a pretty smart looking motor and won’t be suffering on sales due to an overly futuristic and unique appearance that some electric cars have been known to go for. You can expect to spend about £30,000 on it brand new, so it’s quite competitively priced, too.
Diesel: Alfa Romeo Stelvio
The Stelvio is something of an historic first for Alfa Romeo; it’s their SUV debut. Looks wise, the Stelvio is definitely on a par with the more luxurious competitors in the ever-growing SUV world, with that classic Alfa stylishness immediately obvious. However, it also packs some serious punch. The 2.2-litre diesel can reach 60mph in 6.6 seconds, yet it still manages to do 58.9mpg and emits 127g/km of CO2, making it more eco-friendly than many of its rivals. They won’t be cheap when they come out later this year, but the suspected £33,000 price isn’t too outrageous when you consider a BMW X3 costs about the same.
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