Top 10 Best Euro 6 Cars
The VW scandal which broke in 2015 did great damage to diesel car sales – effectively killing off diesel’s reputation within a matter of months, but this was some years ago. Euro 6 emission compliance has changed everything.
Diesel has come fighting back in recent years – the latest Euro 6-compliant models are the cleanest diesels we’ve ever had. In fact, while they’ll never be as clean as electric or hybrid, on many levels they’re cleaner and less polluting than most petrol-fuelled vehicles.
Fast forward to this year and the list of outstanding Euro 6 vehicles to buy or lease is growing at an incredible rate…
Yet buyers are still put off diesel, in one broad brush stroke diesel has received a black mark against its name, it’s going to take a lot for people to realise how far the fuel has come in recent years.
But the new Euro 6 emission regulations also affect petrol engine vehicles, depending on the age of the engines petrol can still be highly polluting. However, it’s far easier to get a petrol to pass Euro 6 than a diesel.
To that end, we’ve put together a list of the best, and cleanest Euro 6 emission cars that are currently on the market today, both petrol and diesel.
All of the models listed in this article rate A+ on the EQUA Air Quality index, the A+ rating is given to vehicles emitting 0.00g to 0.06g of nitrogen oxides (NOx) per kilometre travelled.
Below we list our best Euro 6 rated cars to buy:
- Honda CR-V – Petrol
- Hyundai Kona – Diesel
- Audi A6 – Diesel
- BMW 8 Series – Petrol
- Volvo V60 – Diesel
- VW Tiguan – Diesel
- Toyota Corolla – Petrol Hybrid
- Suzuki Jimny – Petrol
- Mercedes Benz C Class – Diesel
- Nissan Qashqai – Petrol & Diesel
1. Honda CR-V
Honda’s new CR-V may have been out in the good ‘ole U.S of A for around two years now. However, we’ve only just got it across the pond.
It was worth the wait though, as the all-new turbo petrol engine is one of the cleanest on the market, you can also spec it as a hybrid if you want to gain even more miles per gallon.
Prices start from £26,310 for the two-wheel drive manual model. If you need all-wheel drive, then the range starts at ‘SE’ rather than entry-level ‘S’, this bumps the price to £28,170. Hybrid prices are a little loftier but still pretty acceptable from £30,130.
Emissions are 143 g/km for the 2WD manual and 151 g/km for the AWD manual. Expect MPG to be around 38.7, which is pretty decent for such a sizeable petrol-powered car.
The hybrid model emits just 120g/km of CO2 in 2WD form, 126g/km if you opt for AWD. Miles per gallon increase modestly to 40.9 MPG.
One thing that really sets this CR-V apart from the previous generations is just how car-like it feels to drive. There’s no sense of weight or size, it handles like a saloon or smaller crossover, it’s a big step for Honda.
Oh, and there’s also a 7 seat version if you have a larger family.
Price: Starts at £26,310
- Handles brilliantly
- 7 seater if needed
- Divisive looks
- Limited performance
2. Hyundai Kona
Hyundai may have scored a winner with their new electric Kona, it’s the real world, affordable Tesla alternative that makes EV motoring compromise-free. But what about the diesel model?
Little has been said about it, in fact, it’s rare for car makers to bring out diesel crossovers in the current climate.
With a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine making 113 BHP and 280 Nm of torque the Kona emits 112g/km of nasties while returning around 67.3 MPG.
Those figures are enough to give the diesel Kona an A+ rating on the Equa index, the same as the petrol CR-V above.
Hyundai has aimed the Kona at younger buyers, the funky styling appeals to millennials who are thinking of having a family and need some sort of practicality but don’t want to sacrifice on looks.
Bold colours like the Acid Yellow-Green and Pulse Red Claret stand out from the usual, boring crowd, and the modern interior with matching stitching and the latest tech is all you could wish for.
One slight nag has been the around town MPG of the diesel, it can struggle to get above 30 on a busy city commute, so the diesel Kona makes sense for long-distance travel.
In an urban environment or for commuting the electric version is well worth considering.
The diesel engine can also only be specced on the ‘Premium GT’ model, which means a much higher price than the entry-level £17,305.
- High MPG on a long journey
- Funky modern looks
- Low MPG around town
- Costs nearly 10K more than the entry-level model
3. Audi A6
A car you may seldom see on our roads and one for the fleet driver rather than your average buyer, the Audi A6. A traditional looking large saloon it sits between the A4 and range-topping A8 in terms of Audi’s boot offering saloons.
Possibly one of the most stunning pieces of engineering on this whole list is the 3.0-litre diesel engine powering this all-wheel-drive A6.
It makes 282 BHP, a huge 620 Nm of torque but it will hit 62 from a standing start in 5.5 seconds before going on to a limited top speed of 155 MPH.
All while emitting just 149 g/km. Performance this clean, from a diesel is almost unheard of.
MPG isn’t bad either, you have to remember it’s a big old car so don’t expect miracles, but you should easily achieve 45 MPG around town and up to 52 on a long cruise.
Prices for the 50 TDI engine aren’t cheap though, that’s mostly because you have to have the Quattro all-wheel drive and the Tiptronic gearbox, so the starting price becomes a lofty £48,340 in the entry-level Sport trim. That’s roughly an increase of £10k over the lower powered 2.0-litre diesel.
Price: Starting at £48,340
- High quality throughout
- Performance to best most things on the road
4. BMW 8 Series
Another unusually large car, this time in the form of a super coupe; the new BMW 8 Series. Its engine is even larger than the Audi’s 3.0 litre, it is, however, petrol this time.
With 4.4 litres, yes you did read that right, the twin-turbo V8 produces 532 bhp but will only deliver around 26 MPG…on a good day. It does propel itself to 62 from stationary in 3.7 seconds, the quickest car on this list.
Emissions are also high at 224 g/km but take into account its particulate score and 850i still gains an A+ rating and is Euro 6 certified.
With prices starting at £100,045 here in the UK it’s naturally only for the super-rich. It’s a grand tourer, a car for the weekend, one to jaunt to the south of France on a long weekend.
Fit and finish are claimed to be second to none, which they should be at this price. It features some of the latest self-driving tech too, for example, it can reverse you out of a tight spot by retracing the route you drove in…you’ll probably need that seeing as the car is so long.
The looks are to die for, and despite the size of its petrol lump the BMW 8 series isn’t all that bad for mother earth and her inhabitants.
Price: Starting at £100,045
- Gorgeous interior
- Mean exterior
- Incredibly costly
5. Volvo V60
Volvos of late haven’t been a thing of beauty, while the exteriors of the Swedish marque are an architects dream come true, but the clatter of a loud diesel makes it sound like you own a re-bodied tractor. Refinement is much needed.
Yet it appears the 2.0-litre diesel in the latest V60 is one of the cleanest on the market.
Making 148 bhp the front wheel drive automatic V60 emits just 123 g/km of CO2, MPG is only 38.2 around town, but you could get up to 57.6 on a long run.
If you need better MPG and even lower CO2 ratings the manual fares much better, but this spec appeals to company car owners who beat a path up and down the motorway day in day out.
Prices for the V60 start at £34,315, while the 2.0 litre auto in entry-level ‘Momentum Plus’ trim will cost you £35,865.
While everyone jumps on the crossover bandwagon, an estate offers a much nicer driving experience. You’re low to the ground, there’s no rolling around in the corners, and you can fit far more stuff in an estate than most mid-sized crossovers can.
Price: Starting at £35,865
- Stunning design
- Svelte interior
- Sounds like a tractor
6. VW Tiguan
As we mentioned at the start, diesel has cleaned up its act, and so have VW. Their latest Tiguan diesel, in either auto 4WD, or manual front wheel drive only form, both score an A+ on the Equa index rating.
In fact, they’re the only 2019 model to score an A+ rating for both, no other manufacturer can boast such cleanliness from two differing drivetrains.
With 148 bhp at your disposal, the Tiguan doesn’t feel slow, but there is the option to bump power to a twin turbo 240 BHP diesel version if needs must be warned though it’s rather scarily priced and emissions will go through the roof.
Emitting just 125 g/km and roughly 44.1 MPG, adding the DSG automatic gearbox drops this number to around 41.5 and ups the emissions too.
Prices for the range start at £26,750, but the 2.0-litre diesel will set you back £29,780 for the two-wheel drive manual and £33,290 for the 4Motion four-wheel drive Tiguan in mid-level Match trim.
Price: From £29,780
- Great MPG
- 4WD option rare on small crossovers
- Petrol engines are cheaper
7. Toyota Corolla
Toyota has reinvigorated the Corolla, for a time it had been known as the Auris, but the legendary name is back.
Modern angular looks take on more than a hint of their sister brand Lexus. Although a lot of the lines scream more evolution than revolution as the new Corolla looks incredibly similar in profile to the Auris.
Pricing starts at £21,305 for the entry-level Icon model, that’s with the 1.2-litre petrol engine. If you want to go for the ultra-green A+ rated hybrid that price creeps up to £23,755. It mates 1.8-litre petrol with a battery pack and motors, meaning the Euro 6 engine emits just 73g/km of CO2.
Fuel economy sits at 55.3 around town with the potential to get 62.7 on a long drive. However, the 0-62 is somewhat lethargic at 10.9 seconds.
The good thing about the Toyota is that the hybrid option can be specced from the entry-level trim, most other manufacturers force you to have a mid or top level spec to gain hybrid credentials.
Price: From 23,755
- Hybrid available across range
- Drivetrain lifted from Pruis
- Lacking performance
8. Suzuki Jimny
Possibly one of the most stylish sought after cars of 2019 is the new Suzuki Jimny. Although the basic ladder frame chassis is just an evolution of the last model, that funky G Wagen- esque exterior hides a rather efficient petrol engine.
There’s only one engine choice to pick, the 1.5-litre petrol, with, naturally, four-wheel drive as standard.
That means there’s only 100 bhp to play with, but the frugal little Jimny emits barely any particulates and just 178 g/km of CO2, that’s not bad for a full-time 4WD. MPG is roughly 35.8, so expect mid 30’s around town.
Probably more for looks and its off-road ability, the Jimny is pretty handicapped when it comes to on-road driving dynamics.
It wanders around a lot needing constant corrections from the vague steering, and the 5-speed gearbox could use an extra cog as everything gets very noisy at motorway speeds.
But if you want a hardcore off-road machine that will plug itself through the thickest of mud, look no further.
Price: From £15,999
- Unique looks
- Full time 4WD
- Bad on road performance
- Top trim level is expensive
9. Mercedes Benz C Class
One model stands out among the 2019 cars in the Equa index, the C Class. Across three different power outputs and two different fuel types, they managed to gain the A+ rating for their Euro 6 engines.
The C220d Sport Edition with their 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine makes 194 HP yet emits just 117 g/km, it can also muster around 50 MPG.
Moving up to the higher powered diesel 300d in AMG Line trim performance is bumped to 245 HP, but the emissions only increase to 129 g/km, and MPG dips to 47.
Taking a look at the turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and the power increases further to 254 HP, but emissions jump to 148 g/km, proving that diesel is currently less polluting in terms of CO2 than petrol.
The petrol will set you back upwards of £37k, the same as the lowered powered diesel. Expect to pay roughly £40k for the 294 HP diesel though.
Price: From £36,745
- Incredibly clean
- Affordable on lease
- Engines not available on every trim level
- Average fit and finish
10. Nissan Qashqai
Possibly one of the most common cars on UK roads, the Nissan Qashqai. It was the car that started the crossover boom, it’s popularity has soared since then, even though the model is now ageing Nissan sold nearly 55,000 of them in this country last year.
Both the current 1.3 litre turbo petrol engine and the 1.5 litre diesel score an A+ on the EQUA air quality index, they’re also both Euro 6 compliant.
The 1.3 litre petrol emits just 121 g/km of CO2, whereas the diesel only pumps out 100 g/km. MPG sits at a respectable 53.3 for the 1.5 litre diesel and 41.4 for the 1.3 turbocharged petrol.
Power is 113 BHP from the petrol or 138 BHP from the petrol. The other engines aren’t yet rated by EQUA, but they include 160 BHP DIG-T petrol and a 150 BHP diesel.
You can also pick between a CVT or a proper DCT automatic gearbox on selected models. Sadly the trim limits your engine choice, you cant be as granular as you’d like.
Thankfully the two cleanest engines are available with the entry level ‘Visia’ trim, prices start at £20,195 for the petrol or £21,795 for the diesel model.
Price: From £20,195
- Wide choice of trims and options
- Ability to add all-wheel drive if needed
- Automatic gearboxes available in both CVT and DCT
- Old model, likely to be replaced soon
- Trim limits engine choice
Has our Euro 6 car list left you cold? Still not sold on diesel?
We’ve shown that petrol and diesel are nearly the same in terms of emissions these days, the independent Equa Index tests prove how clean both fuels are.
Diesels still emit more particulates (small grains of burnt fuel) than petrol, but overall they are on par when you take into account the higher CO2 output of petrol engine vehicles.
If you still aren’t sure then maybe it’s worth looking at the rest of our guides, we’ve covered both hybrid and electric:
- The best hybrid cars
- The best hybrid SUVs
- The best new car deals
- The best cars of 2020 (in every category)
- Ultimate electric cars guide
- The best electric cars
- The most reliable cars
- The best cars for MPG
- LPG cars: the ultimate guide
- The best economical cars
- The best city cars
- Should I buy or sell a petrol car?
- Should I buy or sell a diesel car?
- Hybrid cars – should you buy or sell?
- Electric cars – should you buy or sell?
- The complete guide to the diesel ‘toxin tax’