Hold on tight. Let's take a thrilling tour of the UK's best prestigious green cars. To qualify for this staggering status vehicles must have envy-educing badges, park in the compact executive sector or above, have exceptionally frugal fuel consumption, and emissions so low they could shame a second-hand bicycle. It would also help if they have a keen interest in organic gardening and super-efficient wind farms. Oh, that rules-out my car.
An actual contender is the ever-popular BMW 3 Series. In 320d EfficientDynamics guise, this fashion statement returns 56.5mpg on the urban cycle. This rises to 78.5mpg on the extra-urban run, which equates to a mighty combined average of 68.9mpg. Emissions are only 109g/km, so twelve months road tax costs £20. Genuinely astonishing. Despite its frugality this 163bhp beauty hits 62mph in 8 seconds and reaches a creditable 142mph.
Alternatively, motorists who fancy something larger may fall for the Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Avantgarde. What a long name. This prestigious green car averages a purse-pleasing 57.6mpg. On the extra-urban run this rises to 67.3mpg. Emissions are 132g/km, so this 2.1-litre 201bhp beauty sits in tax band E/£115. The race to 62mph takes 7.7 seconds, so this leviathan is also impressively quick. Very nice too.
One class higher still is the Audi A8 3.0 TDI Quattro SE. This knocks-out an impressive 246bhp, rockets to 62mph in 6.1 seconds, and is capable of 155mph. It also averages 42.8mpg and has emissions of 174g/km. This equals road tax band H/£190. These figures may sound poor compared to the BMW and Mercedes - but the A8 is one of the largest and most complete saloons ever conceived. Its comparative frugality is remarkable.