Cars promoted as eco-friendly were criticised yesterday for pumping out up to 56 per cent more carbon dioxide than the manufacturers claim. Three models, including the Honda Civic hybrid, performed so badly in tests that their environmental claims were dismissed as a gimmick. A further five vehicles, including Volkswagen’s Polo BlueMotion, hailed as Britain’s greenest car when it was claimed that it emitted less than 100 grams of CO2 per km (g/km), failed to match the claims made by their makers. Road tests were carried out by Auto Express magazine, which accused manufacturers of attempting to cash in on concerns about global warming. David Johns, the magazine’s editor, said that demand for eco-friendly cars was rising rapidly but it could be hard for consumers to determine what was “truly green or just pure gimmick”. (…) Nevertheless, the testers were impressed by the technological innovations introduced to cut CO2 and said five cars tested could be considered “green” despite fuel consumption — and, consequently, emissions — failing to live up to official figures. The five were Ford’s Focus ECOnetic, the Mini Cooper Clubman D, VW Polo BlueMotion, Seat Ibiza ECOmotive and Toyota Prius. Image source: Dave Smith/Otis Clay / autoexpress.co.uk. > Continue.