Monday, 2 September 2013

Top 5 Congestion Charge-busting new cars

Top 5 Congestion Charge-busting new cars

As of July 1, the threshold for London's Congestion Charge exemption dropped from its previous emissions level of 99g/km to 75g/km.

It'll mean several hybrid cars are no longer eligible to drive into the centre of the city without having to pay – but worry not, because there are still plenty of options out there that'll get you a free ticket into the centre of the big smoke.

Below are five eco warriors that emit nothing but the faintest wisps, and in doing so, will save you a packet on your commute into the capital.
1. Volvo V60 D6 AWD

You might have to give up your 4x4 to be exempt from the new congestion charge, but you don't have to give up its practicality, image, or all-weather ability. The V60 D6 looks good, has an affluent appeal, and boasts plenty of space and a welcoming interior to boot. Drive goes to all four wheels, giving excellent traction in rain or shine, and it's no slouch, either, hitting 62mph in 6.2 seconds. All the more impressive, then, that it emits just 48g/km.

2. Vauxhall Ampera / Chevrolet Volt

These twins are identical in all but name and badge. They're small enough to be handy in town, but large enough to offer plenty of space for two kids and all their clutter, making them ideal for many young families. They're exceptionally cheap to run, too, as the plug-in hybrid drivetrain allows them to offer a staggering 235mpg. Emissions, meanwhile, are all the way down at an exceptionally C-charge-friendly 27g/km.

3. Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Electric city cars have come a long way since the dark days of the G-Wiz – take a look at the Mitsubishi i-MIEV for proof. If you need something small, nimble and easy to park in town, it's the ideal candidate, with five doors, four seats and a decent boot. What's more, as it's all-electric, it doesn't emit a thing, making it exempt from any congestion charging, for now and the foreseeable future too.

4. Nissan Leaf

The Leaf proves that it's now possible to get hold of a zero-emission electric car that's big enough for the whole family. Like the i-MiEV, it's all-electric, so running costs are about as cheap as it gets. And with a range of 123 miles, it's even got enough capacity to get you to the seaside and back at the weekend.

5. Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Reckon you need to trade up your luxury saloon to stay within the congestion charge's exemption limits? Think again. Porsche's new Panamera S E-Hybrid manages to kick out just 71g/km, landing it just within the free zone. That means you can enjoy its 410bhp wallop and 5.5-second 0-62 time, not to mention its top-of-the-range trimmings and premium build quality, and still avoid paying a penny when you enter Central London

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