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The very best eco-friendly compact cars for city living

By Lisa Curtiss  |  April 18, 2020

LLM – Luxury Lifestyle Magazine motoring editor Lisa Curtiss has curated a range of compact, eco-designed cars – each perfect for city life. Here is her top picks for 2020.

Audi A1 Citycarver

A true city-slicker, the Audi A1 is now available to order with a new citycarver specification based on the popular Sportback model. A raft of special exterior design features together with increased ground clearance give a more rugged off-road-esq look and purposeful stance to complement its city-friendly dimensions and demeanour. Tech-rich, it is blessed with cutting-edge infotainment features and extensive digital connectivity and is available with swift, frugal and capable petrol engines.

New Mini Electric

This first fully electric model from MINI has recently been unveiled. Production at the Oxford plant has begun year, with deliveries starting in March. Fully loaded with beautifully designed features the model boasts performance stats close to the hot-hatch Mini Cooper S, and also has great eco credentials. This is set to be a super popular city-dweller car choice.

SEAT Mii Electric

The start of an electric future for SEAT, this, the brand’s smallest model is perfectly poised to provide a super stylish and eco-conscious city-driving choice. Like all SEATs, the Mii Electric comes with a great array of tech and other features as standard, including parking sensors and traffic sign recognition – particularly handy for urban use, plus cruise control and sports seats. It will also be the first model to be offered with SEAT CONNECT, a system which cleverly enables owners to control their car’s lights, lock its doors and put the air-conditioning on from their smart phones.

Citroen C1

A firm urban driving favourite, the C1’s combination of style with purpose and impressive array of safety and entertainment tech features as standard has made it a best seller world-wide. It’s quirky-cute looks, appealing range of colours and specs and economical insurance options make it a super-popular first car choice too.

All-new Peugeot 208 and e-208

Another favourite with a global legion of fans is Peugeot’s perennially popular 208. Recently fully updated, all variants are stylish, great to drive, loaded with advanced tech and the line up includes a choice of four advanced petrol engines plus one highly efficient diesel. There’s also now an e-208 model – an all-electric version perfect for city living, with a 211 mile range from a full charge.

New Nissan Leaf e+

This new range-topping Nissan LEAF e+ sits at the top of the LEAF range, featuring advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology to deliver 217PS of performance and up to 239 miles of zero-emissions driving on a single charge thanks to a new super compact and lightweight advanced battery pack.

All-new Renault Clio

No line up of city and compact cars could be complete without including Renault’s indomitable Clio. Completely redesigned inside and out, the all-new Clio is lighter, more luxurious, spacious and refined than ever, plus it introduces cutting edge driving assistance and infotainment systems to the supermini class. Safety-wise it has already been awarded a five-star EuroNCAP rating and, handy for urban driving, all models get autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, road sign recognition and six airbags.

New Vauxhall Corsa

Available now, the new generation Corsa is lighter, more aerodynamic and efficient than ever before. It has undergone a complete overhaul, with every engine type emitting less CO2 than even the most efficient versions before. All powertrain options also offer reduced fuel consumption, flexibility and refinement, while keeping the same lively performance and fun driving experience that’s made the Corsa so popular for so long.

VW up!

Consistently notching up ‘best city car’ awards, VW’s titchy up! continues to win praise for its great visibility, high level of kit, style, drivability and safety. Remarkably spacious too it can seat four, and has a 251-litre boot, plus boasts a very good reputation for reliability.

All-new Mazda3

A city car for those who want decent driver engagement, the Mazda3 not only looks great but delivers a human-centric experience to driver and passengers alike. The model is also the first to feature Mazda’s revolutionary new Skyactiv-X with world’s first production petrol engine featuring compression ignition which combines the advantages of petrol and diesel power plants, increasing fuel economy and torque, whilst reducing emissions.