Best green cars

Looking for a lean, green machine? We've rounded up the best affordable models available in a variety of fetching shades of green

James Wilson
Mar 30, 2022

Green cars can be classy, sporty and/or attention-grabbing - the best green cars are also some of the most enticing models of their type. Take the Skoda Karoq - available in a deep green hue - which is one of the best midsize SUVs available. As a result, it could suit anyone from family drivers to company car users. Dark green cars are only the tip of the green-car iceberg, though, with paler pastel shades and zingy bold shades also on offer.

Car makers offer all manner of weird and wonderful hues. Paler shades such as mint green or a silvery-green could be a great option if you don’t want a car that is too dark or lurid in tone, while lime green or some lighter metallic greens are an excellent way to stand out. Lime green paint in particular can be very dramatic, which is why supercar manufacturer Lamborghini uses it for some of its models. However, you'll be pleased to know that there are cheaper lime green options.

Below is a wide selection of makes and models ranging from affordable small cars that are great as town runabouts or cars for learning to drive in, to more upmarket SUVs which can be surprisingly fast. Prices for the cars shortlisted range from around £8,000 to £40,000 depending on age and specification. Roughly speaking, you can expect to pay around £150* per month to £575* per month with PCP finance.

Before jumping into the best green cars, there is one last thing to note. The most common types of paint on cars are metallic and flat (sometimes called ‘solid’) paint. The former is often seen as more of a desirable option as it sparkles when light hits it. Flat colours, meanwhile, don’t sparkle but they can look fantastic, thanks to their sheer depth of colour. Neither type of paint requires any special looking after, so deciding between metallic or solid paint is down to personal preference.

Green cars for sale

1. Audi Q5

Best dark green car for a premium SUV

Used deals Limited stock

District Green is quite an Earthy green and this makes it quite rare on Audi's medium SUV. Regardless of colour, the Q5 is a class act, with upmarket styling inside and out, that subtly says ‘I’m expensive and you know it’. Audi offers another shade of green which is called ‘Azores Green’, which is darker but only used on high-performance SQ5 models. This is a great choice if you want a fast SUV, but if you don’t, the higher fuel bills might be hard to stomach.

There are petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the Q5. If high fuel economy is a priority then the plug-in model is a good option, but there is a caveat; it needs charging regularly to provide the best fuel economy. Like all plug-in hybrids, if the battery pack has no charge, you're dragging around the weight of it and the electric motor, with little economy benefit, meaning that the car won't be particularly efficient.

This means that if you do lots of long journeys, or would simply rather not having to plug in, going for a diesel model is likely to be a better choice. All Q5 models come with 'Quattro', which is Audi speak for four-wheel-drive. The system isn’t as heavy-duty as those found in Land Rovers, which are designed for serious off-roading - but Quattro Q5s should be able to handle the kind of wet and/or snowy roads that can be found in the UK without too much fuss.

AUDI Q5 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Citroen C3

Best mint green car for low running costs

Used deals from £9,650
Monthly finance from £0*

Citroen makes cars that are comfortable to drive and economical to run. Citroen also puts a lot of effort into making sure its cars are interesting to look at compared with many more conservative companies. The C3, for example, comes in a range of colour combinations with the option to have a different colour roof (it can be red, black, white or blue) and funky cladding down each side. This plastic cladding is referred to as ‘Airbumps’ and is designed to prevent damage when parking or opening the door.

The C3 is an alternative to cars like the Ford Fiesta and small SUVs like the Renault Captur. All things considered, the Citroen is well worth shortlisting, thanks in part to its great range of frugal engines. Our pick would be the 110hp 1.2-litre petrol, as this is plenty powerful for town and motorway use but should prove to be nice and economical, too. Most models come with a manual gearbox although some automatics are available, albeit not on lower-spec models.

CITROEN C3 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Fiat 500

Best mint green car for learning to drive

Used deals from £5,995
Monthly finance from £0*

Drivers of the Fiat 500 should find it a doddle to park, a breeze to manoeuvre through busy streets and impressively cost-effective to run. These three factors alone make the 500 a great option for learner drivers. That said, many older motorists might appreciate these benefits too. If you are hunting for a fast green car, there are also sporty Abarth models available in lime green, though these will be more costly to run, in exchange for being quicker and more exciting to drive.

One important year to have in your mind is 2015, as this is when Fiat gave the 500 a revamp. Styling for newer versions is very similar but there were some useful updates like a more modern media system. We’d recommend hunting down a model with the 'TwinAir' turbocharged petrol engine - this is small in size but mighty in character and matches the fun-loving character of the car with its distinctive engine thrum.

FIAT 500 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Land Rover Defender

Best light green car for off-road ability

Used deals from £62,995
Monthly finance from £0*

Driving a new Land Rover Defender opens the doors to a world of possibilities. Want to cruise from London to Edinburgh in comfort? No problem. Want to scramble along a dirt track and over muddy fields? Not an issue. Fancy towing a caravan or trailer? No problemo. What’s more, you can do any of these with either five, six or seven people on board. There is even a high-performance V8 petrol model which can accelerate from 0 to 62mph as fast as many sports cars.

The hardest part of choosing a Land Rover Defender is deciding which model to go for. The first choice is size - there are 90 and 110 models. The bigger the number, the longer the car and the more doors you get. So, if you need space for five and a decent boot, the 110 is a must.

Then there is the range of trims, which is baffling. Entry-level models don’t actually have a trim name but come with plenty of equipment, making them a great option if you don't have an enormous amount to spend. Features such as heated seats in the front, smartphone mirroring (via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto) and a 10-inch media system are all standard. Plus of course, you have the option of a very fetching sage green for the paintwork, which very much makes the Defender look at home in the countryside.

READ MORE ABOUT THE LAND ROVER DEFENDER

5. Mercedes A-Class

Best metallic green car for your second car

Used deals from £15,949
Monthly finance from £0*

So you have suffered through your first ever car - which was potentially very cheap and a bit rubbish, depending how much you had to spend - but you are looking to move up in the world. What better way than to mosey on into a particularly classy Mercedes. The A-Class you see above is the third-generation A-Class and, while production stopped in 2018, this was a very popular model, so there are plenty of second-hand bargains to be found. Models available vary from frugal diesels to some of the fastest hatchbacks money can buy.

Of the trims that have been offered, we think AMG-Line suits the A-Class well. AMG Line comes with sporty styling but not the sporty engine of A45 AMG models, which are less wallet-friendly - costing far more to buy and run than less powerful versions. Mercedes gave the third-generation A-Class an update in 2015 and in the process subtly revised the styling, helping to keep this hatchback looking modern. If you can stretch to one, we'd recommend a post-2015 model as the newer versions look that bit more up to date.

2012-2018 MERCEDES A-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mini Countryman

Best green car for families

Used deals from £17,945
Monthly finance from £0*

Mini is known for offering a huge amount of personalisation options with its cars, so there is always a great range of second-hand models to choose from. In the case of the Countryman, there are three different green paints available at the time of writing. Sage Green is the softest and has a bluey tinge to it, but there is also the much darker British Racing Green and an even darker Rebel Green as well. British Racing Green is a metallic colour, while Rebel Green is a flat colour.

Mini names its models slightly differently to other brands, with the main types of Countryman being Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works. Each of these signifies roughly how powerful the engine is and how well equipped the model is - with high-performance John Cooper Works versions being the top dog.

This is only a guide, though, as each model can be specified with all sorts of option packs, which bring extra equipment. More recently Mini has introduced Classic, Sport and Exclusive trims, with these broadly describing the styling of each model. As a result, when looking for a used Mini, it's worth thinking about the options that you definitely want to have, to make sure your next car includes these.

MINI COUNTRYMAN BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Skoda Karoq

Best dark green car for a big boot

Used deals from £15,891
Monthly finance from £256*

If you want a medium car with a big boot and spacious cabin, then the Skoda Karoq is well worth considering. It is a five-seater only (the larger Skoda Kodiaq is the way to go if you need seven seats) but the boot is officially rated at 521 litres - large for this size of car. This puts it ahead of similar cars like the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar, plus family-sized hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus. It isn’t large enough to match the Toyota RAV4, but this is considerably more expensive than the Skoda.

Trims with green paint include SE, SE Drive and SE-L. Although SE models are the least well equipped of the three, features such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, parking sensors and Isofix points for child seats on the outer rear seats are present and correct. Moving up through the range can bring niceties such as a reversing camera, which are worth their weight in gold if you regularly have to tackle difficult parking manoeuvres or have kids whose heads obscure your view to the back window.

SKODA KAROQ BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Vauxhall Mokka

Best lime green car for electric driving

Used deals from £31,219
Monthly finance from £0*

Although there are petrol and diesel Mamba Green Mokka models, we think that the electric version particularly suits the vibrant paint scheme. Electric Mokkas come with a maximum range of more than 200 miles per charge, although factors such as cold weather may reduce the figure you achieve in typical driving. Vauxhall reckons that the Mokka will be able to travel nearer to 178 miles per charge when it is 10 degrees Celsius outside and you're cruising at a steady 50mph.

Regardless of colour, this Vauxhall manages to stand out thanks to its distinctive styling and attractive interior. Higher specification models come with a digital driver's display and a central 10-inch touchscreen media system. The digital driver’s display replaces traditional dials for things such as engine speed and fuel level.

If you aren’t sold on the new Mokka, Vauxhall only recently stopped making the previous version which is much more conservatively styled. This is more affordable, too, albeit it doesn't come with much of the slick tech that the new version does.

READ MORE ABOUT THE VAUXHALL MOKKA

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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